July 4th at Pittsburgh

We finally headed out to Pittsburgh for the July 4th weekend. Our first stop was the Balaji temple in Monroeville. As usual the food there was excellent. We then checked into our hotel in the late afternoon. After a nap, we headed out to Point State park to get to the waterside. Even with the Garmin, we missed the right turn like a hundred times though the distance was just about 3 Miles from the hotel. We finally said let’s try it one last time and ended up at a parking lot nearby.

The waterside was awesome in the evening. The city was preparing for the July 4th celebration. There were a lot of food stalls. We headed out to the point where the three rivers meet – Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela. After spending sometime there watching the BMX riders show across the river and listening to a bit of music on the grounds, we drove out to India Palace on fifth street. The food was good and the price reasonable.

Next morning – July 4th – was Kennywood day. The day was awesome. The rides were great. It is the first time I ventured out to the real roller coasters – ThunderBolt, Jack Rabbit, Racer and the biggest of them all – The Phantom’s revenge. The latter was a terrific ride lasting just under 90 seconds, but there was a big drop to start taking us up to 85mph. Exterminator was dizzying – lots of jerky turns, one girl came out crying! Vikas took the Pitfall which was 250ft tall. He was visibly happy he passed that one. The fireworks were a bit disappointing for a big park. Our neighbouring city – Skippack – fireworks would have been equally dazzling. We survived on Cheese Pizzas – vegetarian food at amusement parks are still wanting in the USA.

We checked into the Renaissance on sixth ave. It has an awesome foyer and the room was fabulous with the view of the waterfront. The bridges and water and the PNC park across the river at midnight was glorious. By the time we slept it was well over 1 AM.

Carnegie Space Center was a nice attraction with lots of hands on exhibits on nearly five floors. The Omni Max presentation of Beetles with Laser was a disappointment for me. The submarine visit was excellent. It is incredible how little space there is on these subs for the crew to move around and sleep. Hats of to the brave men and women who fought to protect America in World War II. Today’s freedom is the result of their sacrifice. We had lunch at the Balaji temple again and started at 3 PM hoping to beat the holiday traffic. We did get stuck for 1/2 hour along the way but with a quick stop for coffee and gas, we made it back home by 8:45 PM.

Well spent July 4th; something I will remember for a long time.

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