For our honeymoon, Michelle and I went down to the Riviera Mia and stayed in an oceanfront suite at a five-star resort. It was without a doubt the nicest place we have ever been. We plan to go back every few years. For the birth of our daughter, Michelle and I went to West Penn Hospital and stayed in a cramped room with a wonderful view of the hospital’s AC units. Not sure when our next visit will be, not anytime soon.
I don’t mean to bash the hospital, but it is what it is. The doctors and nurses, especially the nurses, were some of the nicest and most accommodating people we have ever met. They really are the best at what they do. The facilities on the other hand left a lot to be desired.
Lets start with the room. It was your standard size recovery room. Michelle slept and spent most of her time in the bed, which was very comfortable. I had to sleep on a small, hard couch that has been sat on by thousands of people. The thought that wouldn’t escape my mind as I tried to doze off to sleep was how many people had farted on the very spot where I was laying my head. One plus of the room was the TV. Nice sized flat screen with a good number of cable channels. Michelle and I watched a lot of ‘Family Matters’ reruns on Nick at Night at 3:00 am. Michelle couldn’t sleep due to uncomfort from her C-section. I couldn’t sleep because of the fart nightmares.
The other thing that was hard to deal with was the food. Not good. I know saying hospital food sucks is a cliché, but there is a reason why it is a cliché. The food was greasy, bland, and juts terrible in general. Breakfast usually consisted of french toast that looked like cardboard in syrup and sausage that tasted like pencil shavings. Lunch and Dinner were usually some crappy pork or chicken dish. The only thing Michelle would consume was the ginger ale or jello.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I won’t stand for this. Luckily West Penn Hospital is located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. Every day for dinner I went to this awesome Sicilian pizzeria called Angelo’s. They had great Sicilian pizza. Nice thick, crunchy crust with a light, sweet sauce and tons of cheese. They also had great cheese steaks. For breakfast my dad and I went out to this little breakfast joint on the corner. To say it was a hole in the wall would be an insult to holes that are in walls. However, those are usually the best places to eat (read: pig out on unhealthy food), just don’t look in the kitchen. They had freshly made doughnuts and nice strong coffee. I had a western omelet with nice big chunks of veggies and ham. My dad had eggs with generous portions of thick bacon. We brought Michelle back a huge breakfast sandwich which smelled like heaven on a muffin. Our families also stopped in with food to help save us from the hospital’s chum.
The best joint I found was this great dive bar. It was right next to Angelo’s. The first night, after I put in my order, I had about 20 minutes to kill. Instead of sitting in Angelo’s, I thought to myself I deserve a shot and a beer. I walk into the bar, one of the few left where people still were allowed to smoke inside, and ordered a Heineken and a shot of Jack. The bartender saw my hospital band and asked of I just had a kid. I replied yes and told him it was a little girl and my first. He laid down the beer and shot exclaiming, “Congrats, these are on the house.” I thanked him, he did a shot with me, I drank my beer, left a nice tip and picked up my order. Back in the room, with my own brand of sedatives in me now, I enjoyed my pizza and sandwich with my new daughter and lovely wife. Now that’s good eatin’.