Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Correcting the Past: Light Up Night for Fun

When I was in middle school and high school, I played in the South Hills Junior Orchestra (string bass, represent!). Every Christmas we were booked to play the PPG Wintergarden during Light Up Night, and every Christmas I dreaded it. (I hated the uniform, and riding on school buses with my peers was kind of a nightmare scenario.) As a result I never went to a Light Up Night for my own enjoyment - even though it includes one of my favorite things in life: FIREWORKS. So, this year, I decided to change that and attend a Light Up Night and enjoy it.

Allie and I headed straight to Wingharts after work for burgers and beers to keep us warm while we wandered around waiting for the fireworks to begin.

After our delicious burger meal (and after I nearly fought someone in line for the bathroom when she complained about the business of the place ON LIGHT UP NIGHT IN MARKET SQUARE), we went to check out the Macy's windows decorated for the season. (Confession: I had no idea what I was looking for and started taking pictures of the normal window displays! Oooops.) Here are some of the real displays, which made a lot more sense as to why they were special.

Next we walked over to PPG Place to check out the ice skaters and the tree. We discussed ice skating at lunch and whether or not that would be the best idea possible. I've only gone skating on this ice once, and I have fond memories from that evening of skating round and round on the small rink.

Once we'd watched enough skating to make us dizzy, we made it to the PPG Wintergarden and came across dozes of Santas from around the world (they get a post all their own later on in December) and the gingerbread houses you see below. Much to my dismay (okay, joy) the South Hills Junior Orchestra was not on stage, which meant I didn't have to suffer through embarrassing teen-Allison flashbacks.

Heinz Field gingerbread house.

Check out Bert & Ernie!

On the street, as we made our way over to Fort Duquesne Boulevard, we watched this guy chainsawing ice sculptures in two. Still not sure if he was supposed to or not.

And then it was fireworks time!

My first legitimate Light Up Night experience was a success. It wasn't even that cold out, as we've been in the midst of a nice cooling off period. I know it's about to get wintery, and my outdoor adventures will lessen, but for now, I'm enjoying the slide from fall into two or three months of snow, ice, and lots of sitting under warm blankets.

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