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    > 18,000 Steps

    September 20, 2016

    Same breakfast for me:  banana nut bread and a cup of tea.

     

    Cindy and I were out of the house just after 8:30 a.m. taking a walk around Washington and Jefferson College and the downtown area.

     

    I learned about the Whiskey Rebellion and the big conflict between Washington and Canonsburg over W&J's location.   

     

    During our walk, we stopped at the home of a long-time friend (a couple) -- Joe and Jan.  

     

    I noticed New Yorker magazines scattered around the house as we relaxed in their sun-porch.

     

    Because I had on my 2013 Tough Mudder t-shirt, Joe asked me about it.  He, too, had completed one with his daughter.  

     

    During our chat, Jan asked me to take off my hat.  

     

    "I just want to see your hair."

     

    (Not sure why?)  

     

    She asked me if I was a natural blonde. 

     

    We all laughed -- everyone except Jan.

     

    Cindy shared what we had done the day prior while Jan suggested more options especially the Conservatory.

     

    Joe chimed in on Morcilla -- the restaurant I wanted to visit.

     

    Then, Jan brought up the police shooting of another unarmed black man (this time) in Oklahoma.

     

    Moments later, Joe talked about his friend who was injured and couldn't go on a long bicycle ride he and his friends had planned.  

     

    Multiple discussions were taking place at once and it was as if they were trying to figure out which topic would stick.  

     

    I was trying to keep up with all of them.

     

    Cindy decided it was time to go, so we left and finished up the last of our Washington walking tour.

     

    When we got back, she packed light lunches while I readied myself for our hike through Jumonville Glen.  

     

    There, I would see the Laurel Mountains and views of West Virginia and more of rural Pennsylvania.

    Back to the Pacifica for a gorgeous scenic ride along 40, then, we jumped on 43 to go around Uniontown and found our way to Jumonville.

     

    We had the sunroof open and the whole time I thought what a great ride it would be on the motorcycle.

     

    (Unfortunately, it was at Paul's undergoing examination.)

     

    Windy, rural roads guided us through a Methodist retreat center.

     

    Cindy parked.

     

    Together, we ascended to the top of the white cross to indulge in spectacular views of Pennsylvania.

     

    We walked back down to hike through parts of Jumonville Glen -- a place her son and daughter used to call "God's Place."

     

    Before our short hike, we sat in the back of the car and unpacked our light lunch -- leftovers from Angelo's.  

     

    Cindy grabbed her walking stick, and we entered the wooded forest.  

     

    Tall, lanky trees surrounded us.

     

    I touched the moss covering the rocks and stumps and the little fungi sprouting up in various places.  

     

    Texture is a thing with me:  I like how different compositions feel on my fingers and hands.

     

    We didn't see any other hikers during our walk.

     

    Cindy assured me that on weekends: "this place gets packed."

     

    I could have walked for several more hours; however, we had a few more stops.

     

    We got back to the Pacifica, cleaned up the litter (left by others) around us and headed for Nemacolin Woodlands.

     

    On the drive, we saw signs for a winery.  

     

    We went for it.

     

    We sampled a few varieties offered by the Christian W. Klay family in Fayette Springs.  

     

    Our favorite:  a sparkling infused with lavender.

     

    Back on the road -- this time to Nemacolin.

     

    It reminded me of just about any place on Disney property: subdued hidden music, coiffed landscapes, and overly friendly employees.  

     

    My only issue with Nemacolin?

     

    The juxtaposition of two extremely different architectural designs. 

     

    The older section housed a structure you might find in Kubrick's Barry Lyndon while the newer side looked like something you'd see in a Colorado ski resort. 

     

    Strange layout.

     

    On the plus side, we, groundlings, were allowed to wander the manicured property.

     

    During that walk, we examined a piece of the Berlin Wall salvaged and donated by Lord Peter Palumbo.

     

     

    An astounding, yet peculiar find in such a pristine space.

     

    We walked for a few more thousand steps -- the chapel, the miniature golf course, and the hangar.

     

    Cindy took me inside the Barry Lyndon-esque structure, and I sat on the luxurious round settee:  its taupe/beige leather felt softer than a baby's bottom.

     

    (I told you I have a thing with texture.)

     

    A security guard followed behind us as we quietly and expertly exited the property.  

    By the time we were back on the road, it was nearly 4 p.m.

     

    We stopped for coffee.

     

    When we got back, we showered, changed, and had a quick bite before visiting Cindy's son and pregnant daughter-in-law.

     

    Jeff and Steph live out near the airport, so the ride took nearly an hour.  I did not realize how spread out Allegheny County was.

     

    We visited the parents-to-be for about as long as our drive.  

     

    Really, it was just for me to meet them.

     

    I had heard about them for six-years and had not been introduced in person until now.

     

    Cindy and I drove back in the early evening and sang along to glam rock in the Pacifica.

     

    When we returned, we drank a glass or two of a 2013 pinot I found from Willamette called Solena; then, we called it a night.  

    Until we meet again, my friend.

     

     

     

     

     

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