Good Morning from Pittsburgh!

Yes, we’re traveling again. My husband went to college in western Pennsylvania, and his parents grew up in the Pittsburgh area, so he’s been wanting to bring us out here to show us around for years. Recently he got it in his head that he wanted to take our son to a Pirates-Phillies game, so when we discovered that we were free this weekend, and it’s the weekend the Phillies are in Pittsburgh, we decided to make a weekend of it.

As usual, I woke up bright and early so I snuck downstairs to the lobby for coffee and some one-on-one time with my laptop.

coffee talk

We’re staying in a brand spankin’ new Hyatt House in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and we are thoroughly enjoying our stay so far. It’s spacious, modern, and clean, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such friendly staff members. They seem like they’re truly happy to be here.

The Hyatt House hotels are designed for extended stay guests, so many rooms have kitchens and sitting areas. They strive to create a neighborhood environment that is warm and welcoming, where guests can live like residents and feel comfortable as long as they need to stay. I say they’re doing a great job at creating that atmosphere.

The lobby area is clearly designed for people to hang out and socialize. There are a variety of seating areas, cozy nooks, high tables, several flat screen TVs, and a fully stocked bar, and it extends for the entire length of the building so you can spread out and not feel like you’re on top of one another.

hyatt house bar

We have a little suite with a kitchen and a sitting area with a pull-out bed, which is perfect for our family of five. After dinner last night, my youngest daughter occupied herself playing restaurant in the kitchen, while my husband and son watched a game on the TV in the sitting area, and my other daughter and I read books in the bedroom. The suite feels spacious, and there are lots of flat areas to stash our many belongings (it’s amazing how much stuff a small family can bring for a 2-night hotel stay!!!)

Best of all, the price is reasonable, especially considering that the room rate includes a full breakfast with omelet bar both mornings. Speaking of which, breakfast is set up in a galley area behind the bar, and I love how it’s designed with open floor-to-ceiling shelving that displays their serving dishes.

hyatt house breakfast

Last night we had a wonderful dinner at an Italian place called Joseph Tambellini’s. The restaurant had rave reviews on Trip Advisor and Open Table, and my son was hankering for Italian, so we made reservations. It was clearly a neighborhood restaurant, where most of the patrons knew the staff and each other.

We all loved how the Joe, the chef/owner, came out to greet everyone. This wasn’t your typical stuffy chef going from table to table to make sure everyone was satisfied with their meals. Joe stood around each table, chatting up his customers, sharing anecdotes about his family, and when he got to us, talking baseball with my husband and son.

Ours were the only kids in the place, and the prices were a bit daunting, but the food and the atmosphere were fantastic. If you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area and want an amazing dinner experience, go to Joseph Tabellini Restaurant, and whatever you do, do NOT skip the dessert. I wish I had pictures, but the light was dim, and I was too busy stuffing my pie-hole to pause for photographic evidence.

Today we have plans to go on the Duck Boat Tour and then to the Phillies-Pirates game. Unfortunately the weather isn’t being cooperative, but we’re hoping the rain clears out soon so we can enjoy our plans. If not, oh well. I guess we won’t melt.