Raphael and I spent 2 nights (March 15-17) at the Marriott Springhill Suites hotel, on the grounds of Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. In addition to shopping, we visited with my niece, Emily, and her family. The shopping experience was not as good as I expected (Millcreek Mall in Erie, PA is better shopping in my personal opinion); however, spending time with family was priceless.
Bob and I are spending the weekend in the Pittsburgh area. Bob came home from work at noon today, as is customary on Fridays. We left for our hotel shortly after Bob came home from work.
After settling into, and relaxing in, our room at the Springhill Suites Pittsburgh Mills hotel, we went to dinner at Olive Garden. We made one stop on our way to the restaurant. We stopped at Best Buy, where Bob purchased a 320GB hard drive for his laptop computer. We enjoyed our dinners of Five Cheese Ziti (Bob) and Lasagna (me), along with Garden-Fresh Salad and breadsticks.
After dinner we went to the Pittsburgh Mills shopping center, with one purpose in mind — to walk off some of the dinner that we had just eaten! I made one purchase while at the mall. I bought a book called “Photoshop Elements Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks” by Rob Sheppard at the Borders bookstore. I was browsing the book shelf containing photography how-to books, and this book caught my attention.
We returned to the hotel but realized that we had forgot to make one stop, at Walmart. Bob picked up a new pair of contacts before leaving home. He needed a second contact lens case. We left our room one more time and drove over to Walmart.
After picking up the contact lens case and soft drinks at Walmart, we returned to our hotel. As we walked towards the hotel, I caught glimpse of a bright light in the sky. I stepped back to get a better view. What I saw made me grab my camera when we reached our hotel room and go back outside.
We are going to the zoo tomorrow!
Today’s blog post wraps up our “Get out of the Cold” vacation.
We departed our hotel in Kissimmee on Friday, January 15th. We were awakened by a dripping noise. The air conditioner in the room above us was dripping water on top of our air conditioner. That noise awakened us at 4:00 AM. We were on the road shortly after 5:00 AM. We arrived at our night’s destination (Sleep Inn in Summersville, West Virginia) at 6:40 PM. After checking in, we ate dinner at a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. After dinner, we spent rest of the night in our hotel room. We needed a lot of rest. Spending almost 14 hours in a car is a long time. It was approximately an 800-mile drive from Kissimmee to Summersville.
We passed by this unique-looking and colorful building somewhere in Virginia, I think. I wonder what it is?
On Saturday, January 16th, we drove from Summersville, West Virginia, to Tarentum, Pennsylvania, where we checked into the Marriott Springhill Suites Hotel located on the premises of the Pittsburgh Mills Mall. The drive was much shorter than our previous day’s drive. We departed Summersville at 9:00 AM, and we checked into our hotel at 1:15 PM. We could have made it all the way home from Summersville in approximately 6 hours. Why did we decide to spend the night at a hotel located on the premises of the Pittsburgh Mills Mall? Bob has wanted to see Avatar in an IMAX theater ever since the movie was released. We do not have an IMAX theater near where we live. The nearest IMAX theaters are 3-4 hours away from our house, one of which is located at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall.
The first thing we did after checking into the hotel was drive to the movie theater and purchase tickets for Avatar. We returned to the theater at least 30 minutes before the 3:00 PM showing of the movie, and we sat in the middle back of the theater. The theater was 100% full for the 3:00 PM showing. The IMAX 3-D is the most intense way to see Avatar. We sat in front of a giant screen and experienced a larger-than-life, fully immersed viewing of the movie. Things popping out of the screen felt just a couple feet or, in some cases, several inches out of reach. I remember jumping one time when it felt like something was thrown at me! The best seats are in the back of the theater, as the picture will be more clear. The closer you sit to the screen the more blurry is the picture. The IMAX glasses were over sized, which was good for me because they needed to fit on top of my eyeglasses. Did we like the movie? No; we LOVED the movie! It was the most visually fantastic movie that we have ever seen!
On Sunday, January 17th, after eating breakfast at a nearby Eat ‘n Park, we headed home. The ride home was uneventful. As expected, it was approximately a 3-hour drive from Tarentum to our home.