There is never a better time to get lost in adventure than right now. Why not? Why wait? You may never hear these words spoken from my mouth again, but . . . why plan? The planner in me likes things to follow a pattern, for things to be pieced together with careful precision and not rushed into. I don’t push limits and rarely take risks – so here is me getting crazy. We just left. We packed up our bags, jumped in the car, and got on the interstate.
You are all thinking, who is this person! I know, right? Well, here is where I lose my street credit for being a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants gal – I knew where we intended to go. My open road had directions . . . to Pittsburgh . . . and hotel reservations waiting for me. I know, I know, it isn’t really a limit pushing, risk taking getaway, but we did not have any plans once we arrived at the hotel. Having the whole weekend and not one detail planned is a big step for me. I should join a self-help group for the helplessly organized.
Check in went smoothly and with warm chocolate chip cookies in hand, we made our way to our room, unpacked and checked out the pool. I sure hope Graham remembers swimming in that really big bathtub. Shortly after our dip we did a Google search for family-friendly restaurants near the hotel. We had a lovely dinner and turned in for the night. We didn’t know what we were doing, but we did plan to get an early start.
Pittsburgh advertises as ‘Kidsburgh’ and they deliver. We decided on a two-for-one deal. for the Carnegie Natural Science Museum and the Carnegie Art Museum. Kids of all ages will find something to strike their interest and those under two are free.
My paleontologists loved digging up dinosaur bones. Well, one took it very seriously and the other threw his goggles across the dig and had to be removed. He was happier touching the live reptiles they had on display.
Tours are free and directed towards children ages 5-8. When my oldest raised his hand to share his Dino facts, I knew we hit the jackpot. Colin and I even learned how to properly pronounce Diplodocus.
We spent the whole day and we were unable to cover the entire museum. Granted, we did spend an hour watching our dinosaur enthusiast dig for dinosaur fossils. Back to the hotel, another Google search for some food that turned up a place off the beaten path. Shiloh Grill served up the best pulled pork sandwich I’ve had in a long time and mac and cheese that should win awards.
Woke up the next morning wondering how we could live up to the previous days fun. We ended up at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and spent another full day playing and learning. This museum lets the kids run off their energy while building, crafting, and experimenting.
We played in the sand, we played in the weeds, we crafted and played all day and when we finally got tired, we got in the car and drove home.
The trip was perfect and it couldn’t have ended any better. As we pulled onto the interstate in the direction of home Graham’s main jam came on Sirus XM Hair Nation and, as if we needed another bonus, we lucked out and found ourselves beside a flat bed pulling an excavator for half the trip!
The whole trip was a great way for my family to slow back down and reconnect. We are close, but so quickly the routines weigh you down and we are fortunate enough to take these little adventures when the routine takes its toll. I can say with confidence that I will never be a jet-setter. I’m okay with that. Maybe next time we will just jump in the car and go, however, it is more plausible that I will plan a few details here and there. This is me letting loose and, hey, even this plan-aholic let loose like a little kid with my kids and that memory is worth stepping outside my comfort zone.