Monday, July 28, 2008

Finally in Pittsburgh but definitely not settled!

Well, this is our 3rd day in Pittsburgh - takes some getting used to. California, it is not! It's hot but not unbearable and the humidity hasn't been bad. The people out here drive crazy! If anyone thought California was bad - this is worse! The streets are super narrow and lots of one way streets make it confusing to get around. Our house is interesting - built on the side of a hill on the downslope so you enter through the kitchen into the living room and then down the stairs to the bedrooms. None of the floors are even - they slope, dip, etc but it seems to be status quo with most of the homes around here along with the streets - it's an old city not built to modern expectations. The house does have a lot of room which is nice and the landlord is great - very nice and willing to help make the house comfortable for his "California" residents. We needed more air conditioning and today are having 3 installed!
There are a lot of stairs and my knees are having a hard time getting used to it but I try to limit my trips up and down - I make piles by the stairway of things that need to either go upstairs or downstairs and then don't make the trip unless I absolutley have to - it seems to be working out so far.

We are getting familiar with some of the restaurants around here since we didn't have a working refrigerator until yesterday and still don't have any of our kitchen stuff or furniture. We found a good pizza place down the street but they don't use fresh mushrooms here - only canned - YUCK! I haven't had my Pittsburgh Sandwich yet - just too hot to even think about eating some of the foods here -it's not easy to find healthy options. However, I did have a Cheesesteak at Miguel's request - I supposedly ordered it the original way with Cheez Whiz (all my dietitian friends are cringing right now!) and grilled onions.
For this pic, Miguel put all the food in front of me - rest assured I didn't eat all of that - the heat really plays a role in your appetite - with all the crap we've eaten, I have managed to lose a little weight - portion control!

I've investigated the gyms and it is a sorry sight! I can't believe how expensive they are and they have so little equipment. Today my plan is to join up and try to get back in the swing of things with my workouts - it's gonna be tough because sleeping on an air mattress is taking it's toll on my back!

Well, that's about it for now - as soon as our furniture arrives, I'll have the opportunity to download some pictures.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Almost there!

When we left Colorado Tuesday morning, we forgot to get gas and when we were almost on empty in Utah (with nothing in site), we thought for sure we'd be stuck on the side of the road in the 100 degree weather. Here are some of the views we saw that day - beautiful mountains!
Luckily there was an exit marked with a gas station and after driving down a dirt road, happened upon the only gas station in what was probably a town with a population of 50 (if that!). Talk about stressful! Then to top it off, we stayed in an Econo Lodge Tuesday night and our cat, Maddie, managed to wedge herself up and into the box spring of the hotel bed. Miguel was able to lift up the bed while I chased her out - not fun!

This is Kansas (I think) - it rained almost the entire day on the road). I made Miguel drive cause I wasn't comfortable in the rain.
We stopped for breaks along the way to give the cats water and a little leg room - this was Other Kitty's favorite resting spot - not in the carrier but on top of it!
He also liked to climb up on the dashboard and see what was going on outside.

Wednesday we made it to Kansas City, MO and met up with Miguel's friend, Jamie from San Diego. It's been about 8 years since we've seen him - last time was when we drove back from the NIH after Miguel finished his year of research. It was great visiting with him and his wife, Sara.

Tonight we have settled into Dayton, OH and probably had our first decent meal at a little locally run Italian restaurant. The people here are super nice so I hope that Pennsylvania will be more of the same. We should arrive tomorrow afternoon in Pittsburgh to see our new digs! I'll let you all know how it goes!


Monday, July 21, 2008

First day on the road

Wow - What a day! We left LA around 9 a.m. and hit the road. The cats were exceptionally good and this made the drive much less stressful. We made it to Utah today - crossed a lot of dessert through CA, NV and AZ - Utah was a nice change of scenery but there was some amazing landscape we saw today. Took some pics but won't be able to post them right away.
The only snafoo we had was hitting a bird on the highway which then got lodged in the grill of the Element - yuck! Luckily I didn't have to see it but when we stopped for dinner we asked for some disposable plastic gloves from the kitchen so Miguel could do a little "surgery" on the bird/car. Tomorrow we hope to make it to Denver, CO but that's about 500+ miles from where we are so it may be too big a goal for the day. I'll keep you all posted!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Documenting a Year in the Life

Well, tomorrow starts our journey to Pittsburgh for the next year.

The movers come by tomorrow and then it's an air mattress for us for the next couple of weeks.

We plan to leave Monday morning on our drive across country. We expect it will take about 4-5 days and we are hoping the cats will not get too stressed out.

We are excited about our new opportunity and I already have a list of all the places I want to see and things I want to do while I'm there. I created this blog so I could share this with you - I'll post pictures when I can but sometimes just my thoughts.

Looking forward to my year in the Pitts!