america, Ohio, Pennsylvania

CA to NJ: Day 7 — Two Cities, One Day

Pop Pop and I were on a roll today! We packed up my roof bag and secured it to my car and left Chicago early in the morning for Cleveland, Ohio. I was really trying to see places I probably would not have a reason to visit in my lifetime, so I decided on Cleveland, AKA Forest City. 

Cleveland’s biggest attraction is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which opened its doors in 1995 and has been a destination for music fans ever since. Pop Pop and I took a gander through the museum, and then drove to the Cleveland’s oldest market, the West Side Market. Upon browsing its impressive selection of meats, sweets, and snacks, we decided we were not hungry enough for lunch, but took home some baked goods for the road, staying in character for both of us, of course. 

In an unexpected turn of events, Pop Pop and I ended up being super ahead of schedule as we left Cleveland for Pittsburgh. We were so far ahead that Pop Pop had me call the private tour guide he quite impressively found on the internet see if he would be available for a last minute change of plans (he was originally booked for the following day). Miraculously, he was, and we met him in the parking lot of the Pittsburgh funicular at around 4:15 p.m.

The view from the top of the Duquesne Incline

The tour started with a ride up the 140 year old Duquesne Incline, where we got a personal look at the mechanics underneath the machine and enjoyed a scenic view of the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. The tour guide afterward took us to several highlights of Steel City, including to outside the Museum of Natural History, the 40-story “crown jewel” of Pittsburgh,  the Fred Rogers statue along the city’s north shoreline (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was filmed in Pitt) and the Pittsburgh Steeler’s stadium, where I recreated the “Immaculate Reception.” 

My “Immaculate Reception” remake

This ended up being the earliest and, unfortunately, last night of our road trip. Following the awesome tour, Pop Pop an I checked into our hotel and enjoyed a leisurely dinner at Pittsburgh-founded Primanti Bros., a chain restaurant known for their giant sandwiches that include French fries between the two slices of thick bread. 

While discussing our final day of the trip, which is when we were originally supposed to tour Pittsburgh, I brought up to Pop Pop that I noticed a town on the map not too far from our route that I wanted to stop by if it wasn’t too inconvenient. The stars aligned and it turns out Pop Pop wanted to stop there, too. Find out in my next post where I was elated to go visit. 

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