Went to the zoo in *almost* Spring...but not really...here in central PA, once the temp hits 35ish, everyone declares it is Spring. Winter coats are thrown off. People break out their bikes and running shoes. Kids beg their parents to go to the park, and said parents take them. No matter that snow remains in the shadows and the trees have not budded yet. No matter. We are no different now. Saturday, the high was going to be 48, so Joe says, "let's go to the zoo." And we did. Joe map quested a more scenic route to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is the coolest city...more on that in a sec.
So, we are enjoying the snow-y yet warmish country side when...I declare...
The Amish are coming! The Amish are coming!
I break out my camera like the most obnoxious tourist ever, and Joe, in a moment of what can only be described as true-love, clicked on the windshield washers just in time for me to snap this.
We were in Amish country. And lemme tell you something, there is nothing cuter than pudgy Amish toddlers girls in those little black bonnets. Soon though, the novelty of being in Amish country wore off. Another horse and buggy. Another horse and buggy. Another...you get the point.
Then the funniest thing ever happened. Way down the road, Joe saw a horse and buggy on a side street. We are in a car mind you. Anyhow, he says, "He is not going to pull out in front of me, is he? Is he? Is he going to pull out in front of me? Surely not, right?"
"Surely not. He is not going to..."
Oh no he di'nt! Awwww no!
Oh yeah he did.
You know how when a car pulls out in front of you, almost cutting you off, it will accelerate real quick? I swear that horse did that. We had to slow down, cause you know, we were in a car, but that horse sped up when that buggy pulled out in front of us. Then, we just crawled, which allowed me to take this picture. Note the no-passing double yellow line. Yes, eventually we were ready to be out of Amish country. And, to the Amish people, I am sorry for the obnoxious camera face. You fascinate me and I could not help myself. Please forgive me.
After Amish country, we got lost, twice. By the time we got back on track, this happened.
Which was a really really good thing because he started screeching right as we got lost.
Eventually, we were almost to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is not at all what I expected. Not at all. It is the 'steel city' you know. You know that lady with the rolled up sleeve and doo-rag, the 'we can do it' lady? I expected to see here there. And, I expected the streets to be filled with a bunch of steel union workers, wearing hardhats, carrying tin lunch pails. Storefronts? Nah, maybe just row after row of industrial factories. Smoke and plumes and whistles...Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but I had serious misperceptions about this city. For starters, as you get close to Pitt, you see these type of neighborhoods.
Bright, right? I don't normally go so bright, but Joe was standing over my shoulder when I was editing these pics, and he asked me to make them nuclear. After switching on the windshield wipers for my Amish photo op, I could not say no. Anyhow, Pitt is surrounded by hills and hills and hills. There is still a good amount of green outside the city. When you get close, the hills are dotted with an insane amount of these houses. Small, built very close to each other, countless in number. Each hill dotted with these houses appears to have been its own fully functioning community as well, with an old factory and huge church. It is funny like this up north. Even though a town may only be 5 miles from the neighboring town, they were different communities with their own parish, schools, and identity/pride. This is the original urban sprawl. Not the 50's ranch or 90's mcmansion sprawl. So, when you get into the city...it is just really cool! Neat eateries, store fronts...very cosmopolitan I tell ya.
So, finally, we get to the Zoo.
Joe, Jude and Joey took the elevator. Me, Pete, and Paul took the escalator. It was a race.
Right after we got on, Paul realized he was just a little bit scared.
But we won!
But we won!
It was fun. Thanks for the idea daddi-o.