Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And now for the rest of the story...

And now...the moment you've all been waiting for!
The view from our front porch to our street...that truck is a staple of Melrose Avenue
it belongs to our neighbors across the street, I totally could have sworn that it had a "charleton heston is my president" sticker on it, but I checked again the other day but nope, wasn't there.
maybe i'll get Denny (our neighbor who owns it) one...i guess my imagination thinks it would fit!

This was out first real meal in Ambridge.
Lemon dill salmon and salad...yum!
FYI, our camping chairs are still in the front and seem to have become permanent lawn fixtures.

Our quaint little porch and awning area.  To the left you can see St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox church.
They're our landlords and currently, our pirohy dealers of choice. 
Lesson #1 in Ambridge:  Fridays are Pirohy Fridays at the churches...pretty much ALL the churches.  That means on Friday, you can go over to the basement at St. Vlad's and find several folks ready to serve you hot, cold or frozen potato or sauerkraut pirohies with or without butter and onions.  Fr. Michael says that people don't understand the concept of tithing and they expect a little extra, so they do the pirohies :) 
If you come visit, you're sure to find us with some of these on hand or we'll take you over to St. Vlad's for some pirohy goodness.

Woo hoo!  One of the first things we noticed in Ambridge is how much they like to party...not in the classical sense but rather churches like to hold festivals and our first week in town, Good Samaritan Parish, one of five churches on our street, was having their annual festival.  As you can see below, it was an event sponsored by Miller Lite...okay, we're not actually sure that's true but it was really funny that they had a beer tent with different cover bands and lots of two-steppin'.  
Our particular vice took the form of BINGO!!!!
  We figured the house always wins but in this case, we didn't feel too bad givin' to the house :)

And then....Noel won!  We had played a couple of different nights, it was 7 cards for $1.00 so we really only spent about 5 bucks, but check out this card...single winner, baby!  14 bucks in our pocket, awesome.

Here's the tell all sign...it was great.  The priests of Good Samaritan live down the street from us and they're really really kind.  Maybe cuz of the Miller Lite? ;)  We tried our first pierogies here...yum-my!

Another Pittsburgh favorite that we experienced: 8 dollar tickets for an enjoyable night at the ball game ain't too shabby.  Ah, it's nice to be in a town where the team sucks and the price reflects it.
It was a really fun outing with a bunch of Trinity peeps.

So, for Pirates games, they literally shut down the bridge to cars and people just walk on by...can you imagine the rioting if they tried to close down a bridge in Chi-town?

So, you can't play ball?  Well, kill 'em with aesthetics!
PNC has an AWESOME view of the city and the river which runs right by it.

Look! Isengard!

Same ol' us

This is Gabe, he likes to make funny faces and yelling for the Pirates,
he's our friend Geoff's kid (and Erin's too...gotta give credit where credit is due)

I love this photo, I caught every person off guard, awesome.
All these people are Trinity folks...Geoff is on the far left with the orthodox priest beard, Chimela is from Africa and he's sitting below him, Karen (and her husband, John, who wore matching Canada sweatshirts to the game) and Meg are down in the seats by Greg and they're awesome, Trevor's the Yankees fan from South Carolina, Paul was clearly caught in the flash light...he's from San Diego so he pretty much looks awesome no matter what.  Brian is over there in the Cubs outfit, but get this, he's also from San Diego.  Weird, eh?  Mike, Scott and Bartholomew are in the back row and they all rock.  The first two are our neighbors and we like to hang out with them.  Bartholomew's from Tanzania and has two sets of twins!  The Africans enjoyed the game though I think it was mostly because they got kettlecorn. :)

 There's a better shot of our friend, Brian...the security guard stopped him, looking quite concerned and partly perturbed, to inform him that the Cubs were not in fact playing in PNC that night.  Brian was like, "oh yeah, I know, I just wear this to all baseball games."  Hilarious.  Pittsburghians definitely take their sports waaaaay too seriously...especially the ones that really suck. 

And here's the real reason that everyone goes to Pirate games: Pierogy races!
Oh yes, you read that correctly...those are pierogies on the field.
In case you're wondering, the purple one named "Oliver" won

Pierogy butts!

 And then, the Pirates actually won...astounding us all!!!  Obviously, Geoff and Ben were just a little excited.  They probably won because Mike was in the back praying that it wouldn't go into extra innings...I said, AMEN and AMEN!

So, as you can see, God's put us in another great city with more great people...and thankfully, a waaay shorter commute to get to urbania.

The Move

6,000 miles and gabillions of bird poops, dust storms and intermittent rain later, we arrived in Elmhurst, IL
Pseudo home sweet home where the Pechanios took excellent care of us...even though we proved to possibly be the most difficult houseguests they've ever had...more on that later!

Well, here's the dirty car:

 Then we picked up the truck and the moving party began

Special thanks to Phyllis, Jenn and Matty for all their help, sweat and tears
(just kidding...unless you did actually cry)

 On one hand, we felt like, "awesome, all our stuff fit in this one unit" but at the same time, we said, "man, we've got a LOT of crap"...and we're only in our 20s...more stuff to Freecycle, I guess (yes, that was a shameless plug...go check it out, it's green, it's free, it's cyclical...what could be better?)
 So proud, so muscular.
In his favor, we did manage to fit all our stuff into the 16 footer, just perfectly.
 Sorry about the really dirty windshield...imagine driving with that thing.
Also sorry for the short supply of photos from this trip, things like time constraints, a UTI and not traveling with the truck the whole time held us up.  But, we arrived in Ambridge to about a dozen folks on the lawn ready and willing to help, even after having moved about 3 people earlier in the day.  The whole truck was unloaded in about 45 minutes and there began our relationship with our new community.  Alleluia.
 And that's just the beginning...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where the buffalo roam...or rest o' the trip pt II

And then the next thing we saw was this...sca-ry!

Jackson Hole Home

Through the tent...

Oooo...aahhh.  The Grand Tetons...and a river in Yellowstone

Right before we saw the wolf, I took a picture of the above spare tire cover...an omen!

Old Faithful was not actually so faithful...we waited forever but it was glorious!
Check out the insides of the smoke and boiling water below!

The other hydrothermal features!!!


Bill and his hoard of bison friends

Bisons on the side of the road

Goodnight Wyoming, Goodnight Yellowstone.