fun things, history, museums

Visitors to San Francisco, one of America’s most iconic cities, are likely to take a classic cable car ride.  Even if you haven’t ever been to San Francisco, you probably can conjure up an image in your mind’s eye of some scene in a movie or TV show  like Full House or some other movie that includes a San Francisco cable car.  Or maybe you remember the classic cable car fight scene from the James Bond Movie, Moonraker, which takes place in the Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car in Rio de Janeiro.

Well, Pittsburgh has its own famous cable car ride, otherwise known, as the “Incline”.  At one time, Pittsburgh had 15 inclines, shuttling people up and down Mount Washington, located across from downtown Pittsburgh.  Two remain today, the Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela Incline– both built in the 1870’s, sometimes referred to as “working museums”.  Both inclines are registered in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania. The 20 passenger cable car has no operator on board, as he is busy in the station manning the engine that is used to power the cable that pulls the cars up and down the inclined track…inclines with grades of 30-35 degrees. It’s a very gentle 2 ½ minute ride, at a speed of 6 miles per hour – luckily the length of track is less than 800 feet long or you would have to pack a lunch!  The inclines are enjoyed by many tourists and still used by commuters on a regular basis.

It’s opened 365 days a year, until 12:45am, rain or shine…or snow!  If you haven’t taken a ride yet, it should be on your “must do” list.

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fun things

Last March was my first experience at Phipps Conservatory’s annual Spring Flower Show. I was looking for a place to meet up with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. We both love the outdoors, but with the uncertainty of weather conditions, we decided that Phipps would be the perfect outdoor experience for us. It was a dreary and rainy day in Pittsburgh on the day we met, so we were both pleased to have made Phipps our choice meeting place. Inside the walls of Phipps was a completely different world than the gloom we left behind on the streets of Pittsburgh. It was like entering into a wonderland of nature. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located in Schenley Park, near the Carnegie Museums in Oakland.

It is made up of a variety of buildings and grounds. There are 14 rooms in the Conservatory that showcase formal gardens and exotic plants. There is a room with all varieties of ferns and ground plants. Other rooms feature a variety of palm trees, orchids, and tropical plants – all of which made me feel as though I was in a different part of the world.

With the Spring Flower Shower, it seemed as though every variety of spring flowers were represented. It was so refreshing to see so many colorful flowers in full bloom, all surrounded by such beautiful greens.

My senses came alive with every new and vibrant color and variety of flower we came upon. We awed over everything we saw, taking pictures of our favorites and vowing to become gardeners so we could enjoy such beauty on a daily basis. (That never happened, by the way.)

My friend and I strolled through each room, enjoying the plants but also enjoying each other’s company in a very peaceful atmosphere. There’s something about all that beauty in one place! That’s one place I highly recommend going if you want a good time in nature.

For more information about the Phipps, go to :

fun things, south side

It’s no secret that one of my all-time favorite food is ice cream. Yes, I would choose ice cream over any other food in the world. If there were no calories involved or no health risks in over-consumption, I would begin my day with eating ice cream and then, every other meal of the day as well. I’d snack on ice cream too. But in my real world, I can only treat myself to ice cream occasionally, and when I do, I just don’t want ice cream…I want really good ice cream.
So I’m going to let you in on my two favorite places in Pittsburgh that serve great ice cream and have a great atmosphere to boot!
1) The Milkshake Factory located on Carson Street on the South Side. 

image courtesy of / the Milk Shake Factory

The line is usually out the door, especially in the spring and summer. But don’t let that hold you back. The line usually moves at a decent pace, but even if it doesn’t, standing in line there is usually pretty pleasant. There’s a candy counter featuring gourmet chocolate that you have to walk past before you get to order. I get happy just looking at all the chocolate and I usually order something to take home (like ice cream isn’t enough). Coconut clusters are my favorite! Everyone standing in line usually seems to be in a good mood, after all, if you are about to eat some really good ice cream, how can you NOT be happy? Also they’ve got a TV tuned into the likes of old “I Love Lucy” reruns, which are always entertaining. Continue Reading

fun things, natural health, south side, sports

There are some incredible places to work out here in the Burgh . I’ll let you know of the best places I can think of, both indoor and outdoor.

Best outdoor places:

1. Down by the rivers

One of the best places to workout is down by the fountains where the three rivers meet- the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers. You can do pushups, dips, squats and any kind of bodyweight exercise there, or bring your own equipment for a nice kettlebell or dumbbell workout.

2. Running along the South Side

Yes, it can be crowded there sometimes, but there’s something about the South Side that I just cant get enough of. Maybe its the friendliness of the people, or maybe how many quint little shops there are, but I absolutely love running through the South Side any time of Day or Night Continue Reading

fun things, grocery, health food, natural health, shopping

If you guys enjoy eating healthy food as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this list of awesome places for health food/ natural foods in the Pittsburgh area.

health food
health food
  1. East End Co-Op

The east end Co Op is a natural health food store in Pittsburgh. They have an amazing selection of natural foods, including a nice deli with all kinds of grass fed meats and cheeses, a salad bar and more organic foods than you an imagine. Even my dad goes there on his days off and shops there, and hes the son of a steelworker with no nutritional background or really any interest in healthy food. The people there are hip, Continue Reading