Sunday, September 23, 2012

Music, Food, Friends and WashPA VI

We are about done with all our doctor and dentist visits and continue to have a great time with friends and family while visiting a few of our favorite local eateries.  We also got back to being tourists as we explored a bit of Western PA culture.  On another note, this past summer I wrote about the changes taking place in North Dakota because of the oil boom.  Here is a link to an unusual way RVers are getting help surviving the harsh Dakota winters.
 We had not had a chance to see Rosemary and Pete since we got back because of their busy schedule, so we were very happy for a chance to get together.  It was great hearing about their family and the wonderful trip they had back to Pete's native home, Greece.  To set the mood we met at Mr. Gyro's, a great local Greek restaurant where we were also happy to see owners Kosta and Chris.
 We had another lunch with the retired teachers at the Kopper Kettle.  Here are Jim, Tom, Georgie, John, Patrice, Sandy, Ron, Becky, Bill and Nanc.  This group is sure enjoying the retirement that they worked so hard for so many years to get.
 Another evening we celebrated my little brother Rick's birthday with his wife Denise at Burgh's Pizza and Wings, a nearby local favorite of ours.  We have been together with them a couple of times, but this was a great relaxing evening getting caught up.   
We have also eaten several times at our favorite local spot, the Union Grill.  If you want a great meal at a great price at a place with a Cheers like atmosphere, the Grill is a must do in WashPA.
 We did a bit of unusual music at Bayernhof Music Museum, a home near Pittsburgh that has a huge collection of musical machines.
Here are Nanc, Jim, Georgie, Tom, Tim and Di in the pool (swimming) room of the house.

Every room in the 19,000 square foot home has a number of music machines.  Starting top left is one that holds twelve 26 inch disks, top right is one that plays two violins, bottom right is a great Wurlitzer and left another unusual music machine.  Here are a couple of short videos so you can hear these neat old treasures.  The first is a player piano.  The second is a Wurlitzer Military Band Organ.  
In addition to the music machines, the tour includes a look at this wonderful home built with a German theme by Charles B. Brown in 1976.  Top left is one of three full kitchens, the 16" telescope, the master bath and the dining room that seats 16.  There are also eleven fully stocked bars in the house that was built with entertaining in mind.
Top left is the billiards room with a Multiphone Early Cylinder Juke Box in the background.  Top right is Chuck's office, bottom right is Nanc in the wine cellar and left is the master bedroom with a collection of Hummels worth thousands.
Left, our group enters one of three secret passageways, this one a cave-like hall that leads to the swimming pool with its ten foot waterfall.  Right is an old moonshine still and the boardroom that was never used because Chuck did not have a board, as he owned his own business.
We finished off the day at the Hofbrauhaus where we went for dinner to carry on the German theme.  It was the first day of Octoberfest so the place was rocking with beer, wine food and music.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Music, Food, Friends, Fishin and WashPA V

We continue to have a great time in WashPA getting together with many, many friends and taking care of other business.  We both have one more dentist appointment and I got an A-OK on my colonoscopy (no pics).  Nanc and Mary Lou had a great time going to dinner and to the theater to see Jersey Boys.  We have contributed much to the local economy by going out to dinner with many people. 
 Here are Jim, Nanc, Mary Lou and Gail at Beez where we spent the evening catching up.  We will be celebrating Christmas and ringing in the new year with Mary Lou in Florida.
 Another week and more music.  The card club got together at Table for an evening of food, fun and music.  Hillary, the singer, was in Sherri's pre-school many years ago.
 I know we all have to deal with construction and I sometimes think that in Pennsylvania they could put a Road Work Ahead sign at one border and End Road Work at the other end of the state because there is so much.  That said here is a picture of what may be the shortest construction zone in the USA.  
One of our favorite things to do here has always been going to "the lake", Pymatuning, to Mike's and Sherri's cabin to drink a couple beers and to fish.  We had three beautiful days on the water with sunny skies and temps that got warmer each day.  In three days we only saw four other boats on the water.  I hope all the usual boaters were working to support us retirees.
 While I did not do as well as last summer when I had a once in a lifetime fishing trip, I did get a couple of nice catfish.
Even Mike, Capt. Catfish, caught a real nice perch.  We had a great time on the water and catching up with all that has been going on in our lives.  Nanc and Sherri played many games of Upwards and Frustration and once again the guys ruled at Euchre.  A great visit with great friends.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Music, Food, Friends and WashPA IV

The fun times continue in WashPA with another week filled with music, food and friends.  We are still doing doctor and dentist appointments, but are about done with all those chores so we should have a few less obligations for month two of our stay. 
 We heard more jazz at Al & Ruben's with a different group.  The heritage of different music from all over the country is one of the things we enjoy the most and those musical roots run deep right here.
 Here is the Wednesday Lunch Bunch that got together one last time before some of the group head back into the classroom.  The four standees are the only ones still teaching and contributing to the retirement system to support all of those who are seated.  We all thank them for their labor.
 The old card club; Tim, Mike Tom, Georgie, Sherri, Diane, Nanc and I, took in a Pirates game.  The evening included some great ballpark food and fun. 
PNC Park has a great view of the Pittsburgh skyline.  The team is drawing more fans this year as they have a shot at the first winning season in almost twenty years, if they don't suffer a September swoon.  LET'S GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A Blue moon rising over the Pittsburgh skyline.  The Gulf Building, triangle top on the left, has just brought back another Pittsburgh tradition with the colors forecasting the wind speed, humidity, precipitation and temperatures with different colored lights on the 39th to 44th floors.  We did not need that info to tell us the weather that evening was fantastic.
 The perogie race is always a highlight of the game.  This season it is not the high point as the Buccos are bringing home more wins.
 Georgie, Sherri, Di and Nanc stand and join the crowd singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch.  A grand time was had by all as the Pirates beat the Cards 5 - 0.
 I wanted to use my new senior lifetime fishing license so Mike and I went to a nearby lake for an afternoon of angling.  It was a fun time fishing, but not so great for catching.  Mike shows off his trophy catch.
Another evening we went bowling with Mike and Sherri.  A fun time was had by all, especially me as I won both games against some stiff competition.
 Last spring at Betty's we met Buzz and Sandra who live in Ohio not to far from Pittsburgh.  We told them about a great Burgh tradition, the Primanti's sandwich, and agreed to meet there for lunch when we were back in WashPA.  We had a fun afternoon of catching up on our travels and exploring the Strip District. It is always great seeing friends on the road.
All Primanti sandwiches include slaw and fries right on the sandwich for a great easy to eat delight.  The murals in the restaurant include many of the Burgh's most famous, from Andy Warhol to those SIX Super Bowl trophies.  If you want a true taste of Pittsburgh put Primanti's on your to do list.