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Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Day in Pittsburgh

Willie woke up early as usual for him. His back was feeling a little better, but was still not good. He hoped maybe getting up and moving around would help. The Steelers game wasn't until 8:30, but we wanted to spend part of the day site seeing. We had breakfast, Willie took some more ibuprofen,  and then headed out. We honestly had no clue where to go. The Steelers website suggested parking in the golden circle and riding public transportation to the stadium. I set the Google maps to The Golden Circle and we decided to see where that would lead us.

We did get downtown, but we were on the wrong side of the river and Willie wasn't comfortable with leaving the car so far away. We reset the GPS for the stadium and drove. We made some wrong turns, but made it down to the stadium area. We tried to park in a public lot, but were told we had to be out by four. That wasn't going to work. The lady suggested we park at the casino. It would be expensive, but it was within walking distance. It sounded like our best bet.

We crossed through the casino, and started walking around the downtown area. Across from the stadium was Carnegie Science Center. We decided that was a good place to spend a few hours before the game. It was only 10:00 am, we had the whole day to kill.

The day was gray and drizzly, being inside for a few hours sounded like a good idea. As gray as it was, it was supposed to clear off by game time, I wasn't going to dwell. The museum was interesting. It was geared a little more toward families, then middle aged couples. We saw some fun things though. 

I'm a bit of a science fiction fan. I'm not obsessed, I've never been to a comic con. I do love Star Trek and Star Wars though. Yes both, it is possible, lots of people do. Growing up in the '60s I also remember watching Lost in Space. Never a favorite, but I still liked the robot, so got a kick out of getting to see it. 

Then around the next corner, in the robotics wing of the museum, there they were. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had never met real celebrities before. Shut up, they are too celebrities, they just weren't active that day. CP3O and R2D2! Right there! In front of me! It was awesome! My vacation had been made. I don't know if they were just replicas, or original to the movies, but they were still fabulous! A little boy stood next to me as I looked at them. I knew I had to touch R2D2. I just had to! I looked at the boy, I waited for him to leave. I didn't want to set a bad example. He kept looking, too. Finally I looked at the boy and said, "Shhhhh, you don't see this," as I reached out and put my hand on R2's head. I couldn't resist. Besides, if they didn't want me touching them, they should have put them in a more secure display. It's their own fault you know. 

I caught back up with Willie. He wasn't nearly as impressed with R2 and 3PO as I was. We had bought tickets to see an Imax movie and it was about time for it. I looked back at my favorite robots once more before we left the room. 

The movie was fun, I always like a good Imax movie. Though, we went to see The Matrix on Imax, many many years ago. As much as I like Lawrence Fishburne, he just shouldn't be on that big a screen. He had some pox scars on his face you could drive a truck through on such a medium. It was all I could concentrate on. The movie about the ocean was much more enjoyable and beautiful. 

On the river next to the science center was the USS Requin Submarine. We still had plenty of time after the movie and decided to tour the sub. When watching movies involving subs, you really don't get the true idea how small and compact everything is. As we walked through corridors, ducking through door, I kept thinking of my 6'4" son.  It's lucky he had never had aspirations of being a naval submarine officer. He wouldn't fit. 

Even the officers' quarters were tiny. Josh would have to sleep with his knees in his ears. Luckily, he should never have to find out. 

The rest of our afternoon consisted of checking out everything around the stadium. One of my favorite things was the statue of Mister Rogers. He was born and grew up in Pennsylvania. The statue of him changing his shoes sits overlooking the Ohio River. I always loved Mister Rogers. His kindness and compassion for others are lessons this world could really use right now. 

Willie enjoyed the walk around the stadium. The sky seemed to be clearing, slowly, and gave hope for the game. There was a statue of Art Rooney, the founder of the Steelers, which interested Willie more than Mister Rogers. Mr. Rooney's statue gave you the impression he was a thoughtful man, who loved life and his cigars. I won't pretend to know anything else about him. 

After walking the circumference of the stadium, we headed back for the front. We bought sweatshirts. I talked Willie into buying a hat. He was't going to, he rarely wears a hat anymore. He used to, he has many, many baseball style hats. He just grew up and grew out of his desire to wear hats all the time. I told him he needed to get one anyway. I convinced him by telling him if it started raining again he would be glad he did. It would help keep the rain off his glasses. He relented and bought a baseball style hat. I kept hoping he wouldn't need it because of rain, the sun was peaking out more. They also had a floppy fishing hat. I joked he should get that one. He just shook his head and walked away. A little while later, it started to sprinkle a bit. I went back and bought the silly fishing hat to keep my glasses dry, maybe if I had it, I wouldn't need it...

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