Not really the pits in Pittsburgh
Damara Hutchins | Highlands TodayHaving an outspoken personality can sometimes gain a few perks for a person like me; for instance, my position as President of the Student Nurses' Association and the current trip that has taken me to Pittsburgh, Penn., for the Annual Convention of the National Student Nurses Association.
Published: April 14, 2012
Published: April 14, 2012
To get here, I first had to ride on a plane which was something I hadn't done in about two years. The airline was Delta and, due to some unexpected automobile delays, I was fortunate to arrive in time to actually board the aircraft. When you hear, "Last call for flight 1943. We will soon be shutting the hatch door. Any passengers who have not boarded please proceed directly to the gate," you know you've cut it too close for comfort.
I was disappointed to find that the passengers who were packed together in the humid canister of misery were in no mood for my attempt at comic relief. I discovered this when I jokingly declared, "It's okay, everyone, I'm here! We can leave now," and no one cracked a smile. Tough crowd. In reality, the plane sat a while longer and, for the record, I did not check any bags so it wasn't really me holding them up.
I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at the touch-screen technology offered for our in-flight entertainment. I played a trivia game under the pseudonym "Dmommy" against several other passengers, but the top secret code name was needless because my seat number appeared next to my name. It was really very easy to look around and see who all the smarty pants were.
My plane change was in Atlanta, which is an incredibly large airport. Any layover I've ever had there always requires traveling to a different terminal, which necessitates a train ride to another dimension. After this seemingly necessary inconvenience, I paid way too much for a crappy sandwich that ended up being my dinner and eventually boarded the plane that took me to Pittsburgh.
People were telling me not to expect much out of Pittsburgh, but when I got a good look at the city after a couple of days spent exploring between meetings, I fell in love.
So far, I've eaten a Primanti's sandwich, which was constructed of meat, cheese, French fries, coleslaw, and tomato on white bread. It was an interesting flavor combination for a fair price. Before anyone tries to call me out on the coleslaw ingredient because of my known inability to eat mayonnaise-based products, this slaw contained only vinegar, so my taste buds remained safe and mayo-free.
I've walked down to the Strip and bought some discounted souvenirs for my family consisting of T-shirts, post cards, and a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey Teddy bear. I've ridden three forms of public transportation: bus, light rail, and one of the famous inclines, the Monongahela, that took me up to the top of Mount Washington.
It hasn't been all fun and games. There have also been meetings and networking to accomplish at the convention, but nothing pleases me more than meeting people so I can't complain too much.
As I write this, I'm preparing to return home tomorrow. Pittsburgh has been a wonderful, welcoming city and I'd love to visit again someday when I have more time.
Right now, I miss my children and husband something fierce. To all you native Pennsylvanians: thank you! Your state is beautiful and "yinz" certainly do have some real nice people here!