Even though I talk about Doggin' Cleveland all the time, it wasn't the first book in the Doggin' series by Doug Gelbert that I bought. When my parents first got their sweet girl, Maz, I got them Doggin' Pittsburgh for Christmas. To my knowledge, they've only been to 3 of the 50 parks--and one of them, Mingo Creek, I think they went to before I got them the book, so it doesn't really count.
Since Barley and I were visiting for a week (and since we've covered most of the really cool Cleveland-area hikes), I decided we should tackle something from Doggin' Pittsburgh. There are so many little towns near my parents' house that I really didn't have a clue how far away any of these places were from their house, so instead of mapping them all like I did with the Cleveland hikes, I just flipped through, found the ones with the coolest pictures, and stuck post-its on the pages.
Last Monday, I convinced my parents that I absolutely needed a picture of Barley in front of the mansion at Hartwood Acres. After all, we have a castle picture, so why shouldn't we have a mansion picture in the collection?
|"I'd be happy living here, Mom."|
Later in the week, Mom and I took the dogs to Fort Necessity (Doggin' Pittsburgh's vote for the most historic walk with your dog out of the 50 options in the book). Mom loves forts, so I thought this trip could be a way to make up for the times that we stopped at historical sites in my youth and I fussed or pouted and sat in the car.
The fort, which I guess George Washington built, was kind of dinky. It was super tiny and all wooden--I'm used to big stone, brick, etc. forts like Fort Pulaski and Fort Frederica (my favorite!), so it was kind of a let down to see the actual fort.
|The entire fort's behind that fence.|
|Barley wishes she could get a drink at the tavern! Hot dog!|
|Maz was too tired to hop onto the bench with us.|
|Spazzy Mazzy is excited about being in the woods.|
|I'm not sure what Barley's weird face says about her feelings about the historic Braddock Road.|
|Maz is happy about the road as long as it means she can cool down for a minute.|
|Two hot dogs on the way to the glen.|
|Pup and I have matching smiles!|
|Maz loves being a trail dog!|
Overall, we had a really good day. Despite the heat, the trails were shady enough that it was great hiking weather. The dogs were really well behaved, too, so it was enjoyable all the way around. I'm not sure we'll go back here very often because it was over an hour away from the house and it was $5 per person to get into the park, but it was definitely worth a visit!
I decided that Bar and I definitely have the best hikes in our neck of the woods, though! Most of the ones in Doggin' Pittsburgh are not actually all that close to Mom and Dad's house--both of the parks we went to were an hour or more away (and in opposite directions!) and there were several that you had to pay to visit. In Doggin' Cleveland, most of the parks are within 30-40 minutes from our house and I think the only one you have to pay to visit in the Arboretum (and we love it so much we're members, so we just pay a yearly fee and visit any time we want). Clearly, Northeast Ohio is far superior to Southwest Pennsylvania (kidding! Pittsburgh has my beloved Pirates and PNC Park, so it will win every time!).
The pups weren't the only ones that got to have fun on our visit, though. Last Saturday, we took a trip to Pittsburgh's Strip District to visit Wigle Whiskey. Mom wanted to get Dad a whiskey aging kit for Father's Day, but she wanted to be sure he liked Wigle's whiskey before she bought it, so we went out to do a tasting.
Mom and I got cocktails since neither one of us likes whiskey enough to taste several different kinds on it's own. Dad and Ben got to sample 3 different kinds and the gin that Wigle makes. Dad liked it, so he got the aging kit and one day after whiskey's been aged in the barrel he'll put beer in it--so I'll take advantage of this present then ;)
Ben and I also had some sibling time at PNC to watch the Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers. It was a really exciting game (and the Pirates won! Raise the Jolly Roger!)--we were playing one of my other favorite teams (I love Prince Fielder and even though he wasn't pitching Wednesday night, Justin Verlander is my favorite current baseball player, so I always root for the Tigers if they aren't playing the Pirates). We were also sitting super close to Miguel Cabrera's home run--Ben says we made it onto Sports Center, but I haven't actually seen proof of that. I probably don't want to see proof of that because I was probably cowering/screaming.
So, overall, it was a great trip home and we got to experience several things we hadn't done in the 'burgh before. Now let's just hope that my pup isn't so worn out that she can't focus in class tonight!