How was your 4th of July? Hopefully super exciting and full of fireworks! Mine was completely uneventful. It was incredibly muggy and the sky threatened to rain all day (and it did rain a little), so I opted to stay indoors and do absolutely nothing but watch TV. I know, super exciting. I was a little bummed I didn’t book the initial leg of this trip in Philly because I can only imagine how much fun it must’ve been to celebrate Independence Day in the Birthplace of American Democracy. Fun fact–technically, the Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4th; the document was not completely signed until August 2. July 4th is celebrated because it’s the date that the Continental Congress adopts and prints the document, but it’s not distributed until July 5th. Crazy, right?!
Anyway, Day 4 in Pittsburgh, PA–I didn’t do too much today either, but I did move a little more than I did yesterday. I went on a nice hike and ate some tasty food, so let’s start this post with breakfast.
Pittsburgh Yelpers told me P&G Pamela’s Diner was the place for breakfast. There are several locations of this diner, so I decided to go to the one closest to Frick Park since I wanted to go hiking there afterwards. There aren’t any bike stations close to Squirrel Hill (I learned this the hard way when I tried to bike to the farmers’ market the other day), so I opted to take the bus. The bus dropped me off right by Pamela’s Diner, so that was easy peasy.
Pamela’s Diner is pretty cute! It looks like one of those diners you see in the movies. I’m totally into diners, so I completely loved how this place looked. Once I came in, a waitress promptly seated me then took my order. I’ve heard so much about their famous crepe hotcakes (and the pics looked so good!) so I decided on that and a side of their famous Lyonnaise potatoes.
Verdict? Delicious, but super fatty. The crepe hotcakes were nice and crispy and tasted very buttery, but I definitely couldn’t stomach the whole thing. Especially since I also had a side of the Lyonnaise potatoes, which were also just as fatty. Both delicious items but very rich (and of course, I got bacon with my hotcakes lol). Disclaimer, I was feeling a little under the weather, so I might’ve been a little more sensitive to grease than I usually am.
After a filling breakfast, I walked over towards Frick Park with the help of Google Maps. It took me a bit of navigation but I did eventually find it! Why Frick Park, you ask? Firstly, it’s 644 acres of land in the middle of a city. That’s crazy to me! Obviously, coming from San Francisco, I’ve seen and walked through Golden Gate Park. In New York City, there’s Central Park. While Frick Park shares the similarity of being found within city limits, I found it to be completely different, in that it feels like I left Pittsburgh and went camping somewhere.
Secondly, I’ve been feeling a bit down for the past couple of weeks for various reasons (life, am I right?), so I was looking for the “healing power of Nature” as mentioned by John Muir. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” A nice hike or camping trip always cheers me up when I have too much on my mind, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that!
Of course, since I went on a Tuesday morning, the park was relatively empty, which is a great way to experience this place. I always enjoy the sounds of nature undisturbed, and Frick Park really makes you feel like you’re not in Pittsburgh anymore, Toto. Safety tip–if you decide to go on hikes like this by yourself, please make sure someone knows where you are. I don’t mean to freak anyone out, but there’s always that crazy story about some hiker dying because someone kidnapped them or because they fell off a cliff and no one knew about it for days. I don’t want that to happen to you. Easiest thing? Send your location to a friend (or several) via Find My Friends or a comparable app. I always tell my friends when I head out to places like these so they know when to expect me back (online/text message) since these places can have spotty reception.
There are a lot of different trails in this park that all kind of connect to each other in one way or another. You can download a map here, or check out a slightly more interactive map here. I walked along the Tranquil Trail, the Riverview Trail, and the Falls Ravine Trail. All of these trails are pretty walkable, so no crazy fitness needed.
I spent a couple hours just walking around on the different trails, and once I felt like I started running into the same ones again and again, I made my way out of this oasis in a concrete jungle. Next stop? Obviously another food stop 😉
My Airbnb host’s boyfriend mentioned the other day to me that one of his favorite dessert places is Waffallonia, a place that serves liege waffles. What are liege waffles? These tasty bites are made with a yeast-risen batter with little pearls of sugar mixed through and cooked on a Belgian waffle maker. The result is a crispy, fluffy waffle that’s lightly sweet and can be topped (or not!) with the toppings of your choice. I went for just a simple choice–whipped cream and strawberries because I wanted to taste the waffle.
Verdict? Pretty good, and worth trying if you haven’t had a liege waffle before. The waffle batter was pretty good, and the toppings are just classic toppings. This place was pretty empty when I went, probably because it was on Tuesday during early afternoon, but I heard this place is pretty popular so it gets pretty busy.
After my snack here, I went to a French bakery to buy some bread. I wanted to eat the fresh feta I bought the other day at the farmers’ market, and baguettes are always my bread of choice. This bakery was the closest one nearby.
Their desserts were rather beautiful, but after a whole sugary waffle, I couldn’t stomach another sweet. After I bought my baguette, I took the bus to head home.
And that way my day! Not too exciting, but I had a lovely time leisurely wandering through Frick Park and munching on sweets. I have some plans for tomorrow, so I expect it to be much more eventful. Until then, good night!