Our 20th Anniversary

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This weekend we had a wonderful time escaping all responsibilities as parents and celebrating our relationship with each other.

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A few weeks ago we celebrated our 20th anniversary together…from a distance. That was the week I was away at Girls’ Camp with 100 teenage girls and he was home with our three boys. There was a quick phone call home but that was the extent of our celebrating.

We decided that when our schedule allowed we would celebrate right with a weekend away.

Because of the struggles Ozzie and Tyler are having right now, we couldn’t go too far away, so we decided to be tourists in our own town and spend the weekend in Pittsburgh.

Toby’s mom graciously offered to watch Ozzie for the weekend and have special time with him, while the big kids watched Tyler at home. “Divide and Conquer” is the only way we can safely go away. It worked out well.

 Ozzie had a great time with Mimi Joy.

Tyler loved the special activities Gracie planned for those at home.

And Toby and I loved not being parents for 48 hours.

It was a lovely respite.

We slept a lot.

We connected and conversed without interruption.

And we loved being US…not “Mom” and “Dad.”

Toby got us a room at the beautiful Embassy Suites. We love this hotel! And thanks to Hotels.com he got it at the incredible rate of $60.00/night. It was a perfect location for a romantic getaway!

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On Saturday, we headed down to the Strip District of Pittsburgh and spent the morning shopping. I have lived in Pittsburgh for over 20 years and have never gone down to “The Strip.”

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“Along the Allegheny River just northeast of Downtown is the mile-long stretch known as the Strip District, one of Pittsburgh’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife. Along The Strip, industrial and warehouse spaces have been reclaimed to support a bustling marketplace and provide the perfect architectural setting for some of the city’s trendiest nightclubs and restaurants.

During the day, the Strip District is a bustling market district where you can find fresh fish, meat, poultry, produce, ethnic foods, and knick-knacks of all kinds at very affordable prices. Wholey’s Seafood is a must stop for the largest selection of fresh seafood and produce. Other Strip favorites include Mike Feinberg Company, Sunseri’s Italian grocery and Benkovitz Seafoods.”

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Toby hadn’t visited the Strip for 20+ years so we decided it would be a fun adventure to go explore and window shop in the unique stores found there.

It was a blast.

I don’t normally enjoy shopping (it is just not my idea of fun) but I loved strolling through this area of Pittsburgh, sticking our noses in charming and unusual shops, being able to take our time and look around without little boys pulling on our sleeves, and sampling delicious foods.

Some of our favorite stops included:

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop

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Pittsburgh Popcorn Factory

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Wholey’s Fish Market

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After that we walked a few blocks down to the Heinz History Center.

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As the resident museum of the Strip District, the Heinz History Center focuses on the rich history of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.  With exhibits ranging from the early settlements in the region to all of the modern day inventions and personalities that have come out of the city, there is no better museum in the city to learn about Pittsburgh and the surrounding region.

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The kids and I attended a field trip here in the spring and fell in love with this uniquely Pittsburgh museum. Toby had never been there so we thought it would be a fun stop on our Pittsburgh date.

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It was so much fun moving through the museum at a slower clip and being able to actually stop and look at the displays and read the signs. (Toby is not as speedy a museum partner as Tyler was!)

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It was interesting to learn all about the history of Pittsburgh and what makes it such a special city.

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My favorite exhibit was “Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation.” Here the history of Pittsburgh was highlighted. It was fun to see all that was born from this city that we love.

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“Innovators from this region have changed the world. Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, recognizes the incredible impact our region has had on peoples’ lives.

This two-story exhibit features immersive spaces, hands-on activities, touch screen interactives, and audio-visual displays that detail Pittsburgh’s definitive story.

The story begins 16,000 years ago at Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, Pa., the oldest known site of human habitation in North America and comes current to examine the challenges and opportunities that inspire innovators today. From the first people who battled over this land, key to controlling the interior of the country, to those who built the region’s reputation as a steel capital and workshop of the world, to the advances made in medicine, robotics, and green building in recent years, the exhibit unravels the process and products of innovators that have shaped this region’s unique history and influenced people around the world.”

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After a fun time exploring the history of all things Pittsburgh we ended our sightseeing day with a yummy dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

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It was a perfect day…a perfect weekend.

It was lovely to just be together, to reflect on our journey over the last 20 years, and share our hopes and dreams for the next 20.

Happy 20th Anniversary, my love!

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