Sunday, July 25, 2010


Last weekend I visited family in Pittsburgh.  Mom and I left from our house (I was still at home for the Baclofen trial) and picked up my aunt, her sister from her house about 45 minutes from ours.  It has become tradition for our family to listen to a book on tape whenever we go on a long car ride.  Since Pittsburgh is 6 hours from our house near Philly, a book on tape was in order.  A few days before we left, mom went to the library and must have picked up 6 books, just in case we started one and didn't like it.  We also needed a variety to choose from since we have different tastes, interests, etc.  We chose a murder mystery.

Part of the trip included a trip to Children's Hospital Pittsburgh so I could meet with their director and talk about their internship and practicum programs.  I also wanted a tour of the hospital since it is brand new.  Unfortunately, I would have to be a student in order to be accepted into their programs.  They said the reason for this is for insurance reasons, which anyone can get independently.  While their programs sounded very strong, I cannot apply to them because I am not currently in school.

While the trip to CHP was disappointing, I did have a lot of fun with my family.  The first night there we ate dinner on the porch and both aunts, cousin Andrew and I went out for ice cream.  They had every flavor imaginable, but I decided to play it easy and get a strawberry milkshake.  It was great, but the strawberries kept getting stuck in the darn straw.  The next day, I slept in while the others went for a walk or run.  After everyone was showered and fed we went to a museum where we had lunch.  We also went sight seeing on Mt. Washington which was nice since the weather was great and there was a great view.  We also walked around the University of Pittsburgh where Andrew goes to school to look at some of the nationality classrooms.  They have everything from an American room to a Spanish room to a Japanese room to an Italian room.  After playing tourist, we went back to my aunt and uncle's house because everyone was exhausted.  I went upstairs, plopped on the bed, rolled over and fell asleep almost instantaneously without bothering to take off my sneakers.

After our siesta, we all went out to dinner.  Mom brought some gluten-free pasta for me since many restaurants have accommodated my needs in the past and so if I didn't see something on the menu I liked, I could always have pasta.  Not so fast...  Apparently, it is "a violation of PA health code to serve food that doesn't belong to the restaurant."  I was completely stunned.  "It would be a liability if you got sick..."  It would be an issue for YOU if I got sick from the food I brought?!  Yeah...that makes sense...scoff.  Long story short, I ended up ordering a combination of things: mashed potatoes, scallops, scrimp and crab.  It was very good and I was very full afterwards.

Mom and I were sitting on a bench outside the restaurant after dinner when a lady approached us saying something like, "Mother and daughter sitting together..."  She was wearing a black sequined baseball cap which I told her I liked and she responded, "and I like your glasses" (in a very drama queen tone).  We continued with the small talk and I have never met this person in my life, so it was rather odd to be conversing with someone responding so dramatically to every word out of my mouth.  She recently moved to Cambridge, MA (across the Charles from Boston) and asked me something about school.  I told her I had graduated from Simmons the year prior and she replied, "Oh SIMMONS" with such enthusiasm you would think she not only founded, but served as president her entire adult life.  She did not attend Simmons, but another school in Boston I think.

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