Once again we ran around like a band of traveling gypsies. Saturday Michelle and I took a little bit of an impromptu trip to McConnell’s Mills. A great spot about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. It has great hiking trails, covered bridges and runs along Slippery Rock Creek, which is more like a small river.
It is very scenic with beautiful views, landscapes and greenery. Trees, ferns, large rock faces, moss-covered boulders/rocks and assorted other forest plants set the scene. It is an ideal spot for anyone who enjoys the outdoors and likes to hike. Ferns are my favorite plant, so I’m like a pig in mud when I’m there because McConnell’s Mills has ferns like an episode of ‘Hoarders’ has cock roaches.
Ava isn’t quite ready for the advanced hiking trails just yet, so we had to stick to the beginner path. It was paved, which is to say it was relatively flat and had something that could be considered a non-dirt surface without roots sticking up and large rocks on the path.
Ava was in her glory though. She definitely is a fan of nature. She was in her stroller and never stopped pointing to plants, kicking her legs, clapping her hands, laughing and giggling, looking in every direction. The only thing that Ava didn’t enjoy was when mommy tried to dip her toes in the water. Every time Michelle went to lower her feet in, Ava would curl her feet up like a turtle. Later she waved her finger at mommy to tell her, “No more of that!”
Someone who did enjoy the water was Frasier. If you thought we wouldn’t bring him then you haven’t been reading this blog close enough. Frasier tried jumping in the water every chance he had. Then he also felt the need to roll in the dirt and sand once he was out. I had to hose him down once we were home.
We ended our trip that day by having an awesome picnic at one of the many areas they have set-a-side up there. Once again, I highly recommend McConnell’s Mills for any family looking to enjoy the outdoors.
Not to be outdone by Saturday, we headed to the Pirates game on Sunday. Frasier had to stay home this time, though he was still recovering from the prior day’s activities and needed the rest. After fighting through marathon traffic and blocked roads, I had to park a few blocks from PNC Park, which I didn’t think was a real big deal until I had to carry Ava in 80+ degree heat. By the time we got to the park I was sweating like I just ran the marathon and my arm was numb.
I got us duckets in the Pirate Club level. This way we could step inside and watch the game if it got too hot, which we did a lot. Even though we put sun-block on Ava, it was just too hot sitting in the sun. We watched a few innings from our seats, but most the time was spent watching from a shaded balcony or inside the restaurant area. Which isn’t a bad way to watch the game either. Though the Pirates didn’t make it much of a game to watch anyway.
Most importantly, Ava got her ceramic Pirates pierogi bowl, which is worth the price of admission alone. Regardless of how the game turned out, there is nothing like that feeling of taking your kid to a ball game. Walking across the bridge with her. Seeing her take in the park and all its sights and sounds. It was all great and will only get better as she gets older.
We are headed back to PNC Park tonight to see the Buccos play the Nats. Hopefully the Pirates give us a better showing tonight. Either way Ava will be smiling and so will her parents.