Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day Weekend...

My friend Hayden from Florida came up for a visit. It was good to see her. The last time she came for a visit, I was living in Brooklyn and it was the middle of winter and 13 degrees outside. Luckily, the weather was much more agreeable for this visit!

Although Pittsburgh is a short distance away, I rarely go into town. I feel as though it's a fortress guarded by tunnels, bridges, roadwork and LOTS of traffic. Since we were already out there though, coming back from the airport, we decided to stop and explore a little. We went to the Beehive Coffeehouse and poked around the shops on East Carson Street in the South Side neighborhood. It was a cute area and one that I remember fondly from my visits for trade shows years ago. While walking around, I also found this unusual nut. I think it's a chestnut.

Luckily we started back before the windstorms came through. The end of the drive back was met with showers of leaves and swirling dust. It looked like a scene out of The Witches of Eastwick or something.

The next day we went to the antique shops around Ligonier. We had fun exploring the town. It's so charming.

One of my favorite shops was The Toy Box. I got some presents for my niece and nephew. They've got a great selection of toys and games and have a GIANT Playmobil figure outside their store. Second Chapter Books is also really nice and they just moved closer to the square a week or so ago. They've got free Wi-Fi and some great books. I was also really impressed with the G Squared Gallery. They've got a nice mix of jewelry, tableware, greeting cards and Japanese gardening utensils!!! I was particularly interested in the latter, as my cheap plastic shovel I use for weeding split in two.

Also of interest, were the Main Exhibit Gallery and the Toy Soldier Gallery. By the time we finished up with lunch, both were closed. But I'll definitely be back to explore. I saw some of Cynthia's old garden art sculptures in the window at Main Exhibit Gallery and am curious if they have the ones based on my mom and grandma.

Later that evening, we had a mellow time of watching the fireworks in the distance.

Sunday morning wouldn't be complete without brunch. It has become one of my favorite times of the week. We make strong coffee, play music and eat good food. This past Sunday, I made "Muffin Tin Frittatas " with a spicy aioli sauce and my version of hash-browns. The eggs were farm fresh, the vegetables were straight from the garden and the potatoes from the Amish. Since it was a special occasion, we made mimosas also. On the playlist were songs by Alexi Murdoch, Julia Kent, Damien Rice, Break of Reality, Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, and Nick Drake.

After brunch, we headed out to Buttermilk Falls to see the local waterfall. And then we went to Walnut Hill Winery in Blairsville to sample some of the local wines. Since we were in Blairsville, it was impossible for me not to take Hayden to Clem's for a pulled pork sandwich and some creme soda. When we finished up at Clem's, we made our way to Johnstown to visit the Inclined Plane. Apparently it's the world's steepest vehicular incline. Then it was off to State College for a taste of the nightlife.

It was great to have an old friend visit. I feel lucky to have be blessed with good friends and a beautiful world to share.


Courtney Breul said...

Sounds like a perfect, long weekend!

Alice said...

What a wonderful weekend with good friends, good shopping, and good food.

SueBeads said...

What a great weekend, Andrew! I was in Laurel Summit Park and Ohiopyle this weekend! I'll have to check out your places! Of course, Clem's is always the best!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Sue!

We were really close to going to Ohiopyle. We were going to wake up early on Sunday and go, but decided to have a more leisurely start to the day.

I know that I've definitely got to get out there before it gets too cool to go. (Though I am curious to see the waterfalls frozen.)

swopemelmel said...

OMG Andrew, I love Nick Drake. I discovered him after searching for the voice who was singing the most unforgetable song at the end of the movie "Serendipty". (It is one of my favorite movies and I cry buckets everytime as though i've never seen it before. Yes that's me a BIG SAP!!!!) The song was Northern Sky and it took my breath away. His life was tragically short but he left us an extraordinary gift, I pray he found the peace and love he was seeking here on earth. May his star shine bright forever.