When I sat down to think about it, I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve visited my “in-laws”. Jeff’s been back to Pittsburgh for a few of his friends’ weddings last summer, but I’ve been stuck in residency and Pennsylvania was way out of the way for our coast to coast road trip. The holidays saw me taking call and us not wanting to brave the airports during the crazy holiday travel time and so here we are, a year and a few months after the wedding, and finally getting together!
Our flight on Thursday morning from Seattle was delayed for a maintenance issue which meant that we missed our connection in Chicago. Unfortunately this meant that the 45 minute layover turned into 8 hours.. ugh! But we utilized our time wisely to watch some March Madness:
In the Chicago Midway airport there is a very small Terminal C which has about 3 gates. Normally it’s quite empty so you can spread out, find a plug and set up camp if you’re there for too long. You’re welcome if you’re laid over there for an extended period of time. Thank you last year’s interview season for helping me find this spot. Please don’t let the secret get out.
We never check bags anymore because of our rotten luck in airports.
Unfortunately because of the delay we lost almost an entire day of an already short trip. Ugh! But we tried to make the most of our next few days with lots of basketball watching, setting up Jeff’s parents’ new computer and eating delicious home cooked prime rib. On Saturday we headed first to Washington, PA to indulge in some Shorty’s:
- Hotdog and hamburger with the special chili, mustard and onions and a large fries with gravy. Total cost: $4.05
(picture form HollyEats.com)
This is the place that I fell in love with fries and gravy – so good! Jeff’s dad Paul has been going here for over 50 years and says the place hasn’t changed a bit. I don’t think we’ve ever spent more than 10 total minutes inside, including ordering, eating and paying – it’s the original fast food. Last time Jeff and I were driving through PA we stopped, but it wasn’t open and I’ve been disappointed for the last two years – glad we got a taste of it this time around!
We continued on south to go to the dog track to bet on the greyhound races at Wheeling Island. I’ve been several times with Jeff and his family and they’re pretty good at it, but I’ve always been terrible. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to look at the names and watch the dogs (did you know that Saturday was also National Puppy Day??), but I do not have the handicapping ability that comes with years of practice.
Jeff studying the program to pick the best dogs
Jeff and his dad waiting for the winners to be announced
Jeff’s dad started off the first race winning a big trifecta! I just circled random things in my booklet like I knew what I was doing:
To be fair, I’ve learned a lot in all our trips down there – I actually know now what a quinella and a trifecta mean and I can at least read what all the little numbers in the book mean after warming up on a couple of races. But usually I just give the track money. But then it happened! I looked at my trifecta ticket and the first two numbers matched first and second place, but third was contested and they had to go a photo finish:
By a nose #6 was third!! And it was the largest trifecta payout of the day! Whoo! I can see why people can get into this gambling thing 🙂 We all had a great day with the dogs, minus Jeff, but he makes a very cute anchor.
We caught up with Jason, Jeff’s best man for dinner and a few beers later that evening. He’s finishing up his PhD in Economics at Carnegie Mellon and we tried to convince him to move out to Seattle, but I don’t think he was buying it. Good luck with the final parts of your thesis and come visit!
Jeff and Jason – sorry for the blurriness, my phone was dying from checking my March Madness bracket too many times
And then this morning, it all came to a much too fast close and we headed back to the airport. Thanks for the wonderful trip Paul and Mary Fran! And thanks for my birthday presents – I read half of the book on the plane back! Can’t wait to see you all again (hopefully soon)!
Fortunately no unexpectedly long layovers on the way back, but still plenty of time to catch up on March Madness:
And we made it back to a gorgeous Seattle spring day in time to catch Duke’s win over Creighton (the only advantage of a 9:40pm east coast start time). Good job Devils – sweet sixteen bound!
Unconsciously we both wore plaid flannel shirts this morning. We totally fit in on the plane full of people clad in similar shirts and outdoor gear – a dead giveaway that the plane was headed to the Pacific Northwest.