Three years ago we didn’t know where this journey would take us. But, we are thankful we decided on this adventure together and had been blessed ever since. It all started with two failed marriages, some comments from some friends, a spontaneous trip to Pittsburgh to see a Steelers Game, stay at the historic Omni William Penn, eat some good food, and explore downtown Pittsburgh. So here it goes, the Parental Escape that started it all.
Let’s go back and start from the beginning. Heather and I have been friends for many years. She and I were both coming out of failed marriages and looked to each other for support. What did we do wrong? Why did it not work? Why did our marriages fail? We had similar situations and circumstances and even came up with some therapy phrases of our own to explain our dilemmas. One of them was breadcrumbs. In both of our relationships when the other partner drifted so far away that we knew it was over, they would toss us a breadcrumb. Just enough to keep us there until it happened again. We both tried to fix our failed marriages for years, but it was now time. It was over, papers filed, agreements made, and time to write the last chapter of our book and to start a new.
With Heather and I now being each others support group, we started hanging out more than ever. People were seeing us walk together, workout together, go shopping together, eat together. We were always together, and most everyone started thinking we were together. One evening we ran into some friends, and they said they have seen us walking around town and they just wanted to say that we were a lovely couple and we looked so happy. They then asked, “How long have you two been dating now?” What? Nah! We are just friends, was our reply. But wait, we are happy! We do love being with each other. Could this work? Could we be a thing?
With these ideas running through our heads it was time to ask the question, “Heather, could this be a thing? Would you like to give this a try?” I mean, I was hoping she would say yes, but I had no clue what she would say. We had concerns. What would people think? What would people say? It didn’t matter! One, they were already saying things anyway. Two, we will never know if we don’t give it a try. Three, we love each other as friends and have known each other as friends for over a decade, so let’s see where this can take us.
I jumped online and purchased two tickets to the Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs games, three nights reservation at the historic Omni William Penn, and a romantic dinner at the Capital Grill. It was many firsts for us that weekend. Our first date, our first NFL game, our first time eating at the Capital Grill, and our first trip to Pittsburgh. Well, how did it work out? We got a tour of the William Penn by a professional Jazz Musician. Ate a very romantic meal at the Capital Grill, the Steelers won 20 to 12, and we are now back in Pittsburgh reliving what started our fabulous relationship together and celebrated our wonderful life and our Christmas surprise, after almost a year of trying we are finally pregnant again.
Pittsburgh during the Christmas Season is such a beautiful experience. The city is all lit with holiday cheer. The Omni William Penn with a live band in its marble lobby and their yearly gingerbread hotel for all to see. Traveling from the South is the best way to enter Pittsburgh. As you drive toward the city, you run face to face with Mt. Washington. This hill completely blocks the view of the city, and you don’t even know there is a city until you exit the tunnel. Once you do, it is a breathtaking view. The city of Pittsburgh in a 180-degree pan from North Shore to South Side, everything lit with beautiful lights. As we exit to downtown, you know you are in the heart of the city.
The Omni William Penn is a beautiful historic hotel that has been the heart of Pittsburgh since first opening its doors in 1916. It has had many notable guests walk through its doors such as John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. It has seen such events as Bob Hope’s marriage proposal and filming of the movies Foxcatcher & Concussion. When visiting Pittsburgh, the Omni William Penn didn’t disappoint and made for a very romantic and exciting venue for the beginning of another memorable event, the start of our relationship.
There would be no NFL game this year, but we would be pulling out a card from our second date, tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We headed over to the concert and enjoyed a joyous evening with a beautiful Christmas Story for the first half of the performance, and we rocked out to the second half. As always, TSO never disappointments.
The following evening we headed down to the Market Square to visit the Christmas Village constructed every year. Little shops line the Square with handmade ornaments and gifts, live band playing on the stage, Santa is his house, and ice skaters around the trees by the Ice Rink at PPG Place. To reminisce from our first date, we ate at Primanti Bros, kissed in front of the Christmas tree, grabbed a latte and listened to the band play in the crisp night air.
When thinking of words to describe the Steel City, some may think of industrial, cold, and hard. To us, Pittsburgh was the start of a new life. The Steel City is romance, elegance, and new possibilities. This place has not only built bridges connecting us but has foraged us a new life. Pittsburgh will always have a special place in our hearts and our lives. We are already planning and looking forward to our next trip.