Washington, PA


Gayle & Bill

In late March, we visited Eric’s first cousin, once-removed, Gayle, and her husband, Bill in the beautiful country of western Pennsylvania.  Spring had been following us slowly up the East Coast for a couple of months now, but it lagged behind us at this point – PA was still downright cold.


The Welcome Brigade: (from left to right) Freddi Mae, Rosie Kay and Banjo Ray.

For the first few days, Eric spent much of each day cycling through the foothills and mountains; Holly was busy with mid-terms.  In the evenings, we visited with Gayle and the doggies, while Bill instructed us how to be proper Pittsburgh Penguin fans.

Once the weekend arrived, we started exploring.  Eric rode in his first road race of the year – he flatted, then exchanged wheels twice, and chased for most of the race.  Gayle was really excited to see him in action, as this was her first bicycle race ever to spectate.  So much spandex!


Eric and a very proud Gayle, just before the start.

On Easter Sunday, we took a day trip to Pittsburgh, to visit the National Aviary and Phipps Conservatory.  The Aviary had an excellent penguin exhibit, and a variety of other birds.


A few good birds: Gayle and the penguins.


Tummy time for penguins.


A graceful swimmer.



Bird Whisperer.


Potential nesting site – check out that beard!

Next up: the botanical gardens of Phipps Conservatory.  Not only was it pleasing to the eye, but the sweet fragrance was a delight for the nose.


The light and coloring was a welcome sight.





Selfie at the Conservatory.

We got in a hike at the nearby Raccoon Creek State Park.  It was cold and deserted and very wet, but we both had a good time.


A fallen log in the forest.


Eric, never without the smartphone…


This was the hike that led to the infamous “stalker” photo on Facebook.

Eric and I took another trip to Pittsburgh, to visit the Hofbraeuhaus.  This is our fourth HB to visit (in addition to Munich, Vegas, and Newport), and by far, the most authentic we have visited in the U.S.


Eric is always happy to see his Bavarian pretzels and drink a liter.


The May Pole at HB.

We enjoyed our visit to Pennsylvania and getting to know our distant (in measurement only) relatives better.  We’ll leave you now, with this artwork from the basement.  We had to laugh at these two little guys…I assume they died of natural causes, right, Bill?


Look at the ref!

C heers,



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