Back From a Well Needed Break

Hi everyone!

Sorry I have been gone so long but I took that much needed vacation this past week. While I love Pittsburgh, there are times I get “Pittsburgh fatigue” and need to get away just to see what another city looks like.

I made two quick stops in the space of five days. They are both very special places but for very different reasons and … I warn you in advance … I forgot my camera again. One of these days ….

First stop, Chicago. It’s both my hometown and where most of my family still lives including my mom and dad. While the years have moved on, it’s still the same relationship with my parents. My dad, always the experienced and well-read one, offering advice on everything from marriage to how I should invest my money in this difficult market. My mother is always the quiet one, but has an inner strength that someone I have never been able to find. Together, they are probably more in love now than ever before and it’s nice to see that as they start to enjoy their 70’s.

I also went to see my brother who lives in a part of town called “Wrigleyville”, named for the fabled ballpark which resides four blocks down the street from his place. It seems as the years move forward, we spend more time together than we did during our younger years. We had a nice dinner at Harry Carey’s tavern while we caught up on our lives and I continued to ask the burning question: When are you going to marry your girlfriend and have a child so the pressure can finally be off my back?

Two days in Chicago … which did include shopping on the main strip known as Michigan Avenue … and then it was off to my other haven: Fort Myers, Florida.

I have been going to Florida since my college days, but my second family resides in North Fory Myers: the LaPlantes. Bill and Thea have been like family since 1991. Bill, for lack of a better word, is my agent but I think of him more as my partner as we navigate this crazy industry called TV news. Along the way, we have become more than business partners, we have become good friends. Sharon and his wife, Thea, are good friends and it has been fun to watch their kids grown up … and now start to have kids.

During my stay with the LaPlantes, I got in at least one round of golf, an afternoon of boating on the inter-coastal waterway, and then came the highlight of my trip: We went to game 6 of the Red Sox-Rays championship series in St. Pete. It was a unique experience for me for two reasons. First, it was the first post-season baseball game I had ever attended in person ( Pirate fans can relate ) and, second, I got to pet an actual shark. They have a shark tank in center field for fans to pet “very friendly” sharks.

Getting away for a couple of days is always nice … and it makes the final portion of my trip even more special. That flight home when we hover above the city of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania as we make our way to the ground. I love trying to guess what town I’m over based upon the markers and buildings and there is nothing like going over downtown from the air.

Well, thanks for indulging me and it’s good to be back … and now I think I’m rested and ready for the fall ahead. I just need to remember my damn camera next time ….

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