So this is Detroit

Now that I took a little break I completely forget how I was formatting these posts. Sigh. I am a stickler for similar formatting. It takes me forever to load my ipod if for some unknown reason I lose all my music, which has happened more than once. I have had orientation going on, so that is my excuse :D

View of Canada from GM building
We left Pittsburgh the morning of the 10th (I think) heading to the great city of Detroit. Both of us had heard so many things about the state of the city, so we were excited to get to see it for ourselves. That, and the fact that the Mariners were playing the Tigers, made the 5 hour drive fast. Okay, fast is a bit of an exaggeration but still. Our drive was pretty uneventful, and the GPS never steered us wrong. Whoop!

On the way into the city, we passed a lot of factories. Matt thought they looked empty. I didn't so much, but I agreed with him as to not seem like I was contradicting just for contradicting's sake. There was no denying the emptiness, however, when we pulled off the interstate. My goodness. Below is the first building we say. Almost all the glass was blown out. It was spooky looking, and it was still midday at this point. 
We headed to our hotel and checked in causing us to notice this on our hotel door:
And we were in a super nice hotel that needed a key card to take the elevator to the rooms. We, of course, were hungry, so we stopped here:
These two places have been on TV a lot battling against each other. A few decades back they were started by relatives both serving "authentic coney island dogs." Basically...chili cheese dogs with mustard and onions. We each ate one dog at both, and our winner is: American!!!!! For me, it was the winner because I liked the hot dog a little more and the chili a lot more.

After that we went walking giving us the opportunity to see all the abandoned buildings up close. My goodness people. There seemed to be no one. No one! We made it to a free tour of the GM building, which was actually pretty cool. It turns out that Detroit hit its high population in the 50s. After that (not just with the demise of the car industry), people started moving to the suburbs. The GM building was built in the 70s in an attempt to draw people back into the city. Turns out it didn't work. Sigh. We walked around a little more after the tour before heading back to the hotel.

As we got there, it started to pour! We weren't worried about getting wet (we aren't made of sugar afterall), but our concern was that the game would be cancelled. We headed out for a wet wet walk just to see more abandonment. No people hitting up Friday happy hours. No cute little stores. In fact, a sign just north of the baseball stadium read: We strongly suggest you don't park north of this sign. We could see why. Crumbling houses. Burned out buildings. When night came, only about 30% of the high rises had lights on - that includes either offices on the inside or lights to show the architecture on the outside. 

Enough with the sadness! Tigers stadium was actually really really cool inside and out. The scoreboard and crowd interaction was a bit lacking though. The game ended up starting on time, and we got cheap seats up high. The Mariners even won! Whoop! We head out just as the great fireworks show started because we wanted to make it back to the hotel (via walking) while people were still around. Tons of people came in from the suburbs for the game, but they just head right back out afterwards. On the way, we stopped for pizza (weird) and ate it at the hotel. Overall it was a very weird experience. We agree we would go back to visit the other parts of the state, but we would probably never return to Detroit. : /

Land: 286 miles

The winner!

Fist bump to the extreme

Church we found

There are actually tall buildings. You just can't see them

Where old Tigers Stadium used to be


Therapy in Pittsburgh

This was supposed to be at the end, but this is the view from the stadium
Matt hates Pittsburgh. And when I say hate, I mean hate. Ever since the Seahawks lost to the Steelers a few years back, he has had a lot of emotional baggage that we, as a couple, have to carry around. Our brief stint in the city helped relieve some of this pent up anger.

We left Cincinnati in the morning for an evening game of the Pirates vs the Arizona Diamondbacks. While Matt is a World Geography teacher, apparently neither of us know the exact details of each and every American state. Turns out, on the way from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, you go through West Virginia! Mark that one off our list! It was only 10minutes if that, but it still counts. Pittsburgh had some pretty cool tunnel thing coming into it and a whole lot of bridges. This was actually the one and only time that the Navigation tool on my phone failed us. She said take exit 7B and it was really 1B, so it threw us all off. After a 2mile detour we were at our hotel: DoubleTree. They had a room ready for us and even upgraded us since we said we were on our honeymoon (heck, you get to do it once, why not get all the perks out of it that you can). Our room was awesome! We decided to start doing our usual thing - walking.

After about 5 minutes outside we were both hot and hungry, which makes for two very grumpy newlyweds. On my list for Pittsburgh was Primanti Brothers. They are on Food Network and Travel Channel a lot. Basically their claim to fame is putting your fries and your slaw on your sandwich. We both got the same thing because I panicked while ordering, but it all turned out okay. After our oh-so-filling lunch, we walked a little longer and then headed back to the hotel. Just as we were relaxing, someone knocked on the door. Now, when you travel alone (ie, not with your basketball team) you don't expect anyone knocking on the door. My heart started racing a little faster, as my mind went worst case scenario of course (it is a cross I have to carry). Turns out it was just...room service!!!!! The hotel sent us a bottle of champagne and hand dipped chocolate covered strawberries. My goodness. Those were some of the best strawberries I have ever had. Then we got to throw back the champagne because it was almost time to leave for the game.

Turns out we actually really liked Pittsburgh's stadium. Again, like Cincinnati, it was right on a river. Great view of downtown, some cool architecture, etc etc. Cheap tickets were a little more spendy here though. After doing our typical full walk of the stadium, we started racking up our free things. Matt manages to schmooze us into some upgraded club level seats, which was awesome. If I keep him around for nothing else, I will keep him around for that. I kid, I kid; I will keep him around for many reasons. :D I forget who won the game, but we both really liked this stadium.

On the way home we were slightly hungry, so we stopped and got some pitas at a Greek place. They were good, and we didn't get poisoned, but the place may have been a little sketch looking back at it. Tada! Pittsburgh! I am sure some other things happened, but being a couple days out, I sort of forget things.

Land: 286miles


Nom nom nom nom

So good!!!

Nice glow of sweat going on

Cincinnati Pics

This is Columbus actually, just wanted to take a pic
The scoreboard. I was hot by this point
It worked this time!!!!

Skyline chili dog!

Our awesome sign! Bottom said: Remain married

Us in Kentucky looking at Ohio



If there is nothing else I learned on our adventures, I at least learned how to spell some cities without writing them down including: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee. I know you all might be saying, "Aren't you smarter than that Becky? Do I really trust you with my life?" My answers: yes, I am smart but bad at spelling in my head; no, don't trust me just yet. Onwards and upwards!!!

Wednesday the 8th found us in Cincinnati, OH for a day game of the Reds vs the Cubs. I swear that I almost died during this game. Day games are so hot! I also refused for us to buy a $5 bottle of water. We did get frozen lemonade though, which managed to bring me back from the brink of death. The stadium was cool because it was right on the river that separated Ohio from Kentucky! We sat in the cheap bleachers again and could see Kentucky the entire time. We also purchased a Skyline Chili (big thing there) dog. It was yummy. Definitely a different type of chili than I am used to. After the game we walked back to our hotel, which was finally ready for us to check in. I think we recovered from the heat for a while and relaxed.

One of Matt's coworders was also in Cincinnati grading papers for AP Human Geography (don't ask me what that means, I think it is similar to sociology). We met up with him and a few other graders and headed over to Kentucky for dinner (I didn't have anything planned here). Oh yeah, Kentucky!! Turns out it was hot over there too. It also turns out they didn't have a ton of options over there. We chose sort of a sports bar type looking place. After being seated, we realized how silly we were. It seriously took forever for our waitress to come talk to us. She was much faster moving away than moving toward our table. Sigh. Everyone but Matt & I just got wings to eat (we aren't the biggest wings people). I would say we made a better decision. We slowly walked back toward the hotel after our 2 hr below average dinner as not to start dripping sweat. The teacher peeps had a final night reception to attend, so Matt and I watched some hockey in the hotel bar. Eventually they convinced us to go upstairs with them as they had free drinks up there. Afterwards we went out with them for a little bit and then headed back to the hotel room to prepare for another awesome 5 hr drive. Whoop! I don't know if I would ever visit either Cleveland or Cincinnati again. I wouldn't avoid necessarily but I wouldn't optionally go back again. They were just 'meh" to me. But here are some more pictures!!!

Land: 250 miles

Okay, I can't get the pics to load. For another day!!


Cleveland Rocks

We are back from Breckenridge. Those stories to come later.

Our honeymoon journey continued.

On June 7th we took off on a one way flight to Cleveland, OH. While Matt strongly strongly prefers the aisle seat, I made him choose a window seat (Southwest Air) as for us to see the flooding going on along the Missouri River. Note to future city developers: don't build your airport on a flood plain near a river. The day after we left there was going to be a big meeting about the best plan to keep the airport from flooding. To date they have built up the levees. There is currently some standing water on the airport side of the levee, but air traffic continues as normal. Yikes. Back to the main story.

We arrived in Cleveland and picked up the rental car - a silver Hyundai Elantra. We both really liked this car. It got great gas mileage - 37mpg or so. My car gets 21 on a good week. The game was a 7pm game, and being 3pm, we were hungry then. My basic job for this honeymoon was to research where to eat in each city. Our first stop was Melt. I had heard the place is normally PACKED, but going at an odd time to the 2nd, less "cool" location meant we got seated right away. The menus were on old albums. We meant to take pictures of them, but we didn't. Don't worry though because we managed to take pics of our food.

<--My Gyro Melt

 <-- Matt’s some sort of Italian melt (cheese sticks & meatballs on there)

Following our orgasmic (I can say that now, I am a doctor and a wife) late lunch we checked in to our hotel: Embassy Suites!!!! I have wanted to stay in one since going to Disney World as a child. We stayed there then, and all I remember was free Shirley Temples in the evening. In fact, my little brother would insist we leave whichever park we were visiting to get back in time for happy hour (imagine a child saying that w/o being able to say his r’s). I don’t remember the free breakfast as much, but being there jogged my memory. I got all our hotels on Priceline and seriously saved big $$$$$. I tried to get all of them relatively close to the stadiums so that we could walk. Pretty much anything within 3 miles is walking distance for Matt & I, but we were closer than that for pretty much all of them. We hit up the manager’s reception for a free G & T before heading to the stadium. We bought cheap bleacher seats and ended up moving a few innings in to a closer seat. We made an awesome sign. I think we have a picture of it somewhere. I will post pictures at the end.
We decided prior to any of the games to get the same exact thing at every stadium (ie mini logo bat, magnet, etc). Being the money savers we are, we went with scorecards. They are only ever $1-2, which fits our budget perfectly. We also walked around the entire stadium to get every free thing we could. In Cleveland, we got a free shirt and umbrella. It was great. Again, being savers, we didn’t buy any food in the stadiums but did drop our jaws at how expensive all the beer was. We already knew that coming in, but it was still impressive. More impressive was the thought of how many people buy beer after beer in the stadium. I have a feeling that even when I am all grown up and making more money, I still won’t want to be spending $30 on beer alone in the stadium. That is so much more beer at home!!!
After the game (Cleveland beat the Twins), we walked back to our hotel via a mile detour to see Lake Erie. The great lakes amaze me. Seeing the ocean a bit growing up, it is easy to forget, when seeing that amount of water, that it really is just a lake. It is even weider when you see gigantic barges on the lake. The next morning we woke up early and hit up the free breakfast. We had a 5 hour drive ahead of us to make an afternoon game in Cincinnati. I love my smart phone because of the “Navigation” on the GMaps. I didn’t have to look up all the directions beforehand!!! Whoop.
Air: 740m
Land: 13m

On the plane & ready to go!

Matt not smiling even though he just ate an awesome lunch

Free G & T

We took a pic like this at every stadium

Us in our original seats

Lake Erie at dusk


Stay tuned...still

We are leaving for Breckenridge tomorrow and am too lazy to upload photos. I will do that when we return in a couple of days. Then I will barrage you all with tales of glory, honor, and food.


We will start from the very beginning

Matt and I are sort of on a 3 week long extended traveling honeymoon. I will tell our journey slowly to spare my fingers.

Matt's last day of work was the 2nd of June. On the 3rd we headed toward Morrison, CO to see Dispatch at Red Rocks. The show was on Sunday, but the people with whom we were riding & going to the concert had a wedding on Saturday in Kearney, NE. Matt and I pretty much walked all of Kearney as the two of them went to the rehearsal on Friday night. We then headed 1hr west to Cozad, NE to spend the night at Dave's (the guy of the couple) mom's house. While Dave & Tiffany went to the wedding on Saturday, Matt & I lived it up in Cozad. Walked the whole town. Population 3000. Pretty easy to walk. On Sunday morning we headed out to Colorado. We stopped in Sterling where we found showers in the gas station. Yes, showers. I get that truckers have to shower, but it is still a little weird. Do you just bring in your own shampoo? Or do you have to purchase some from them? Strange. We got into Denver early enough to have lunch with my little bro Bobbo. The weather was glorious, so the 4 of us (Matt, Dave, Tiffany, and I) went walking around downtown Denver. We found some sort of public festival thing. As much as I love a good public party, these types of things always seem to bring out the crazies. And maybe it is because you just notice them more, but the number of people not in wife beaters or lacking the face tattoos seem few and far between.

Eventually we made our way out to Red Rocks for the awesome concert. For those of you who have never been, here are some general pictures (not mine). In case you couldn't tell, it is a bit of a workout to get to the top even if you are slowly climbing. I mean come on, you are already a mile high and now you are climbing. In college my team did a workout or two here during fall conditioning. Due to my lame joints, I didn't get to (read "have to") join them. The concert was amazing. I love Dispatch. In less than 9 months I have now seen two of my favorite groups (Guster being the other one). Life is good.

After the concert we decided to head about an hour east of town to find a hotel for the 5 of us (Dave's brother joined us at the concert). We pull in to a small town (but large enough to have 4 or 5 mediocre hotels) at about 12:30 or so. My phone (the only smart phone in the car) was about to die, so we really weren't sure how much further we would have to ddrive to get to another hotel. We decide to go ahead and try one: no room. Another one: too sketch. A 3rd: closed. The 4th: $100 for one room for the night. Seriously!?!?!?! 6 hours and you are going to charge us that. Really!?!?!?! I know they have us in a vice grip there, but they aren't going to sell that room without us! Matt ran in to ask them about the price, comes back to the car pissed, and says "Give me my hat, I want to intimidate him. Rather, we send Tiffany in. As a girl and a great negotiator, she got it down to $80. We said yes. Bam. Sleeping. Hot room. Honeymoon. 5 people. Awesome. We got back to Omaha about 5pm with just enough time to shower, eat, and pack for the 2nd leg of our honeymoon.

Stay tuned for more.