Thursday, July 21, 2005

Maxi-Mini Weekend

Things have been very hectic at Sully Central, hence the lack of posts. July is the time of the year when the whole world, or at least the better part of our family comes to Pittsburgh for a visit.

This past week Russ and Pat were in town for their annual visit during the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. This year we were also lucky because my father, John and my sister Shannon were able to stop on their cross country trip from Fountain Hills, AZ to West Haven CT. (Shannon began a new job at the Carver Foundation in Norwalk, CT on Monday.)

Schenley Park Golf Course becomes a sea of interesting cars each year as the vintage racers take to the hairpin turns of Serpentine Drive and Westinghouse Pond. This year for the first time, we participated in the car show with the Pittstop Mini Car Club of Pittsburgh, parking with about 20 other "BMW" Minis above turn 13. Despite the hot, humid weather that has pulled in for the first time in 3 years, Gretchen made our PVGP debut memorable by taking home the trophy for best Mini Limerick:

"There once was a family of five,
with only an old van to drive,
they thought it'd be super
to motor in a Cooper -
now they're the happiest family alive."

The visit included visits to 3 of Pittsburgh's culinary highlights:

  • Prestogeorge Coffee Roasters in the Strip District where Uncle Russ was able to buy 5 pounds of his favorite freshly made peanut butter that is made from peanuts that are freshly roasted in the store's coffee roaster. Thankfully, he was able to learn how he can order it and have it shipped directly.
  • Mon Amie Chocolates, also in the Strip District where we were able to pick up Garrison Confections salted caramels. Created by Andrew Shotts, one of the top artisanal chocolatiers in the U.S. , Garrison's is known for their bonbons, hand enrobed in milk, dark or white chocolate. Introduced to her by our friend Betsy, these caramels have become Gretchen's latest addiction.
  • Tessaro's in Bloomfield, home of Pittsburgh's best hamburger. Using meat freshly ground by the in-house butcher, cooked to perfection over an open flame, served on a freshly made bun with a side of homefries, this is about as luxurious as a hamburger gets. During this meal we were introduced to the beer of Pittsburgh's newest craft brewer, East End Brewing, the creation of former home brewer and fellow Regent Square resident Scott Smith.

Overlapping my family's visit was the annual summer visit of Gretchen's brother Kevin. Last Wednesday was Kennywood day, where Sydney and Ella stole the show at kiddie land, while Russell and Delaney outrode their older cousins on the big kid rides. Caslow family events are never small -- the visit concluded with a small, intimate dinner for 16 at Don Pablo's. We need a rest.


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