Wednesday, February 23, 2011


To sum up this past weekend: Port Authority Buses Suck.
But otherwise, it rocked!

Alex came to visit this past weekend! He got to meet all of my friends and we had a really great time together.  Sunday afternoon, he, Lauren, D, and I went to Pamela's for an amaaaazing brunch. The omelets were on poiiiint. After that I showed him around the Cathedral of Learning, we went to the top floor (well, the highest that we were allowed to go) and looked out over the city. It was awesome. Then I showed him the chapel (all the stained glass and wood work in there is beauuuutiful) and then we went back to the lounge to watch the Penguins game on tv! Sadly, they lost :/ but we didn't let it ruin the night.  We decided to visit the Duquesne incline since it really wasn't TOO cold out. Figuring out the right bus took us a little while but we finally took the G2 to the Incline. 
 Looking out from Mt. Washington
Alex at the Duquesne Incline
We rode all the way up, walked around the museum looking at all the artifacts and old pictures, took a self-guided tour that we're pretty sure was actually closed but we went through it anyway, and looked out over the balcony from Mt. Washington. It was really beautiful. It was kind of foggy out so the taller buildings were sort of hidden. I loved it!
 the "closed" self-guided tour
and again :)
So after looking through the whole museum (trust me, this guy who rode up on the incline with us told us we HAD to look at everything...he could have definitely been a spokesman for the place), we rode back down. And that's when the adventure really began. We waited down at the bottom of the mountain for awhile (at this point it was getting colder out and started to rain) for a bus and when one finally came that said it was going downtown we jumped right on...planning to eat somewhere downtown and then catch a bus back to Oakland. Only...we didn't get off downtown. We completely missed the two stops downtown. So, being naturally smart of course, we thought "we'll just ride the loop again until we get back downtown. how far could it be?" Answer: FAR. People were getting on the bus, people were getting off the bus. And there we sat. Finally, with only one or two people left on the bus with us, the driver turns around and says "where are you two going!?" We told him "yeahhhh we missed our stop. We're going downtown." What did he say back? "I'll say you missed your stop! You ain't in Kansas anymore! You're in the HOOD!" hahahahahhahah awesome. 
Luckily the driver was probably the nicest guy we met all week. He tried to get us on another bus but when he found out it would be a while, he ended up driving us back downtown anyway, giving Alex a free ticket for the next bus we needed to catch, and told us exactly where we needed to go. We rode that bus for a solid hour....or more. It was kind of cool though. I mean, iiiiii didn't know those buses went out that far! We made it back to Oakland safe and sound, got some dinner at the O, and ended the night watching a movie with D and Laur. 

Alex walking over the shaky bridge..shaking
it so of course it was hard for me to cross!!!
Monday we decided to get up early and be the most productive people ever. And maybe the dumbest. We seriously planned an entire day February. Who DOES that? Yep, we do. We decided to go to the zoo!! We found the right bus, the 500, and made the journey to the Pittsburgh Zoo. They even lower the prices in the winter since some of the animals aren't out, but honestly, it felt like most of them were there! It was awesome. There were maybe, twenty other people there. And it seemed like there was barely any staff working either.  The weather was perfect.
 King of the Jungle; one of my favorites.
 I forget which kind of primates these were, but the 
white one only had one arm! and the black one 
was soooo active; he was swinging all over
the place.
We walked around for a good three hours or didn't even feel that long at allllll! And the animals were great! I mean...we caught moooost of them when they were "relieving themselves" (which was actually really really hilarious because it KEPT happening to us) but they were all soooooo beautiful!! 
strangest looking animal I saw all day :P
I think, one of my favorite things to see were the elephants getting bathed...they would just lift up their feet when the zoo keepers needed to wash them and they'd feed them treats while they were doing. It just looked like they were loving life. They would pick up the treats with their trunks and then eat them and, I don't know, I just thought it was really funny! I mean...they were eating...with their nose...
bath time!
this guy was deffffinitely the cutest animal there.
made me wanna just climb in there and
cuddle with him!! (probably not a good idea)
We had lunch at the zoo and just sat and talked about a lot of things. It was really great. It was funny because there was this big area set up for kids to climb ropes and go down slides...and because no one was there we went right on them! It was probably a good thing we did too because it led us to even more animals...the day was just great. And of course I had to climb through another "children's tube" for this photo opp:
I think, the aquarium section was proooobably one of my favorite parts. Alex got to see his favorite animals...the penguinsssss! They were so funny...walking around with their chests puffed out, thinking they were the biggest, baddest things around. But ohhhhh if they lived in the wild....
 Alex. Penguins Jersey. Penguins.
Then it was time for MY favorite animal: the POLAR BEAR. (way way cooler than the penguins). They were soooooo cute! And so active too!! The one was just pacing around and other was swimming and playing with his toys...he even swam right up to the glass for us. They're just so damn cute...

Myself and the polar bears :)
These little guys were cute too...this is where I got the photo opp above :P  This one especially liked Alex...

best friends!
But of course, he wasn't the only one to become best friends with the animals.  We got to the sea lion exhibit and this one little guy just wouldn't leave us alone! Every time I went up against the glass, there he would be! His big brown eyes wide open, nose pressed up against the glass. So. So. Cute.
Even better best friends ;)
jelly fish!
i love this picture.
We saw so many animals was awesome. The lions were so lively and really...everything else was too! I think another one of my favorites was definitely the sea otters...we didn't even know they were there! We thought the exhibit was empty and then all of a sudden one of them just popped up from under the water! They really loved the attention too...they would swim right up to the glass with their toys and just sort of smile up at you....jeeze.
 the lions :)
 Snow Leopard
this poor guy was all alone and on our way
out it sounded like he was just crying...or maybe
he was predicting the oncoming snow?? 
sea otter!
On our way out, we decided to stop by the tiger exhibit one more time. And I'm really really glad that we did. This guy was just hanging out earlier but when we came back, he walked right over to us at the glass. It was awesome. But you know, I'm pretty sure these animals are a lot smarter then we give them credit for. And maybe, by doing this, he was telling us just howww much he hates having people come watch him in this cage....he walked RIGHT up to us (luckily there was glass there) and peed...riiiiight where Alex's face was! IT WAS HILARIOUS! If it would have been a normal fence, of course it would have been better...but it was still sooooooo funny! He jumped right off the landing and we just laughed for foreverrrrrr. I actually got the entire thing on no doubt it will be finding its way on here...

When we finally decided to leave the zoo because it started to sort of sleet...then eventually snow...we walked back to the bus stop. The bus stop that the bus driver CLEARLY told us to wait for a bus back to Oakland. never showed. We called the Port Authority line TWICE. The first time they told us it would come in twenty minutes. The second time, they told us that we weren't at a real stop. But we were! It was seriously a normal bus stop. It had a bench and everything. Frustrating. Soooo after waiting there for a good half an hour, we walked on over to a convenience store and bought some hand warmers and waited at ANOTHER bus stop for about an hour. At this point...its snowing pretty heavily. Thankfully, the 500 FINALLY showed up, we got on, and went directly to the Consol Energy Center to student rush the Pens/Caps game. I think, had it been anyone else, they would have been really mad they we were standing outside in the snow for so long...but not Alex. We were just happy to have each other. And we definitely made the best of it by simply laughing at the situation and "going with the flow" was really cool. We got there a little before 4 o'clock and stood in line with some of the craziest people ever. The group in front of us, it turned out that one of the boys went to McDevitt and knew Lauren and D! And the people behind us...well they were just crazy. I mean, here we were, all standing outside in this big snow storm, and they dare the one guy to slide through the snow...shirtless. AND HE DID IT! Kind of. He didn't really slide. But you know, these people really made the two hour wait outside in the freezing cold a pretty fun time. 
Alex and I outside in the student rush line.
Soooo by the time our socks and our shoes were soaked and we couldn't feel our fingers, the two hours were up! And we were finally let into the arena. That place was.awesome. Seriously. We had some pretty good seats too! We were in the lower level but we had this little counter in front of us (different, but cool). Alex even ran into two friends from back home. I guess it's true when they say it's really a small world...
 the picture doesn't do it justice...but we were
really a lot closer than it appears.
Sadly, the Pens lost this game as well :/ but I mean you can't really blame them when they're out so many players due to injuries. They played really well. We decided to stay in our seats until most of the crowd cleared out and when we finally made it outside...the entire city was white. Soooo much snow! We were about to cross the street to find a bus when a some guy told us that all the Port Authority buses were taken off the roads. We were told to go over to the hotel across the street because a lot of cabs are always sent there after the game, so of course we did. Anddddd half of the arena did too. Of course :P.  It was crazy in there. People EVERYWHERE. We waited around for a while, hoping to catch a cab and decided to sit on this one bench at the end of the hall and wait. So. While we're waiting there, what happens next? I hear Alex say "that's Tyler Kennedy. That's Tyler Kennedy!!" (one of the Penguins players) He seriously was like a kid in a candy shop hahahha. It was the strangest thing because NO ONE even noticed him walking down this hallway towards us..and there were people EVERYWHERE in Pens gear...So he walks by, gives us a wave and then these two people came up and asked for his autograph. Two people. Out of alllll the people at the game, only these two people noticed him. So of couuuuuurse we had to take advantage of the situation and ask for a picture! And heeeere it is!: 
Alex and Tyler Kennedy.
Needless to say, his entire day was made with this one picture :P But after that...we STILL needed to find a way back to Oakland. (We had been waiting around for a few hours now). We found out that all of the cab companies barely had any cars running because the roads were so bad. So we waited at the door and when we fiiiinally saw a cab pull up we ruuuushed out there! The driver asked us where we needed to go so I said "Oakland" and...of course with our transportation luck...he said "oh. i can't take you there. I can't make it up that hill. No one's gonna be able to take you all the way up there." Great. So what were we supposed to do? A room cost 259 dollars! Holy.Crap. So...we decided to walk. Yep. That's right. Walk...from downtown to Oakland. Now that's a hike.
We leave the hotel into the totally white Pittsburgh streets and make our way up Fifth Avenue. I turned around to Alex and said "we should just hitch hike" I mean not the BEST idea, but probably would have done the same thing if you were in our position! He said "I was thinking the same thing, but I wasn't gonna say anything unless you did." Soooo sine Fifth is a one-way going in the complete opposite direction, we crossed over to Forbes and began our journey. We walked for about 15 minutes holding our thumbs out to every car that passed....and passed. But FINALLY...a car stopped. And seriously...probably one of the nicest guys I'll ever meet. He worked at the hospital and lived in South Side and still didn't mind giving us a ride paaast South Side to Oakland...he said "how could I turn down someone in a Penguins jersey!? I just came from the game too!" It was awesome. He drove us right to Oakland (HE didn't have any trouble getting there! Stupid cab drivers). Seriously though...what a nice guy. 
So Alex and I were back in Oakland. We stopped at Market Central for some sandwiches and to basically replay our entire, crazy day....and to warm up of course. We came back to the room...told Laur and D all about our adventures, and basically passed outttttt. It was so nice to be back in the warm.
The 6:20am megabus got delayed to 8:45, so at least we got to get a little more sleep then we expected! And by the morning the roads were a lotttt clearer (although traffic was still pretty bad). I think getting downtown this time was the first time allll weekend that we didn't have any trouble with the bussing. Thank god. But you know what? It was a freaking awesome weekend, and I wouldn't have changed any of it for anything :)

Alex and I infront of the Polar Bears!

just happy to be alive ;)