Hi there! Matt and I are still in Pittsburgh visiting with his parents (read about our adventures from last week first if you missed it!), but heading out this weekend to make the drive back to DC in anticipation of school starting up on Monday.
Here’s what we’ve been up to since I last checked in!
Matt and I have had two fun date nights over the last week and a half (a big thank you to the grandparents)! The first was a trip to the movies last weekend to see the Barbie movie.
We realized we haven’t been to the movie theater since before Riese was born – 6 years ago – crazy! It feels hard to justify paying a babysitter to watch a movie when we could do that for free in our basement once the kids are asleep, you know? But it was really fun to actually see a movie in person and have movie theater popcorn, too. 🙂
And the Barbie movie was SO good! If you’ve seen it, what did you think?
It made me laugh so much (Will Ferrell as the head of Mattel was perfection, as was Ryan Gosling as Ken – too good) and also get a little teary eyed at some points! Really enjoyed it. The ending wasn’t 100% perfect (how about getting some women on that Mattel board, at the very least?!) but it was just fun to watch something really entertaining and to have a night out together.
Our other more recent date night was a really fun and unique adventure: we went to see Hamlet! It was put on by Quantum Theater, and the location was crazy cool – Carrie Furnace National Historic Landmark.
Carrie Furnace is a former blast furnace, built in 1884 and operational until 1982, located along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh. What a unique and cool location for a play to take place – especially one like Hamlet with all the paranoia and revenge!
Here is the stage area with the blast furnace lit up behind it once it got dark out – creepy right?
This was our first time seeing a Shakespeare play and while we enjoyed it and the acting was excellent, Matt and I did both agree that Shakespeare-era language is not our favorite – it just makes it a little hard to connect to the characters and the plot because it can be hard to follow. Luckily we had read a thorough synopsis beforehand so we knew what was going on. 🙂
Before the play, we also had a really unique dinner – I stumbled upon a spot called Mary’s Vine on Google when looking for a restaurant near the play location. It’s a wine lounge and restaurant located in an old church!
The ambiance inside was unique and beautiful, with tables all set up with comfy lounge-y style chairs.
The food was fantastic (fannetastic!) as well. We ordered drinks (Prosecco for me, red wine for him) to start and three appetizers to share.
We had the farmer’s market salad, which was delicious:
Plus the deviled eggs (good but didn’t blow our minds – beautiful presentation, though) and a small cheese and meat board. The bread was made in house and it was really yummy.
Since we went hard on the appetizers we shared one entree between the two of us – the pork chop. It was absolutely delicious and I was wishing I had it to myself after all!
Highly recommend Mary’s Vine if you’re in the area and looking for something unique and delicious! It’s in Rankin, PA, a little south east of the main city.
Matt took this week off from work for the most part which was really nice so we could have some end of summer adventures – and also extra hands with the kids!
My favorite adventure of the week (besides our Hamlet date night) was Matt and I took Riese to the amusement park Kennywood!
Wes stayed home with the grandparents because it would have been too complicated with his nap and such, and it was a really nice treat to get to both spend some time together with just Riese.
She absolutely LOVED the park! We spent most of the time in the little kid area, but at the very end we went on a legit roller coaster that Riese was JUST tall enough for and she was obsessed! I was a roller coaster fiend as a kid and I think Riese is following in my footsteps. This trip got me really excited about future big kid stuff like amusement park trips!
Another fun big kid adventure was my father in law took Riese for her first real bike ride! She just learned how to ride a pedal bike this summer and we practiced every day going back and forth to camp, but that always involves lots of stopping at stop signs and such. It was fun to take her on a legit trail and just let her go!
She did great – I was proud! We made it 3 miles total – did 1.5 miles out and then back. So fun.
We were on the Montour Trail which is the country’s longest suburban rail trail. It goes for 47 miles and even connects to the C&O Canal Trail, so we could have ridden all the way back to DC!
I will leave you with a few homemade dinner highlights from the week. First up, my father in law’s famous maple mustard salmon (cooked on the grill on a cedar plank) – always a hit!
He made some ratatouille to go with it which was also delicious, and we told Riese that rats made it so she tried a bite. 😉
We also had a grilled chicken and veggie kabobs night which is always a win.
And another night, my father in law made ribs! YUM. It started pouring as he was finishing them off on the grill (they were also in the smoker as well as the oven for a bit – quite the effort!) – dedication!
Delicious! Two thumbs up. Plus corn, baked beans, and salad.
In case you’re wondering, yes, cooking for ourselves again when we go home is going to be a bit of a bummer… 🙂
Matt and I are off today on one last adventure before we head back to DC: an overnight canoeing/camping trip (with friends – no kids)! This is the first time I’m going camping in legit 20 years (since study abroad in college) – should be an adventure. I’ll share a recap soon!
Have a great weekend!