I’m in Pittsburgh for the NEH summer faculty institute on Afro-Latinx and Afro-Latin American Transnational Dialogues. It’s fascinating, career changing, and I’m learning so much!

Over the weekend, Patrick brought the kids up for a fun weekend so we could not have to go two weeks without seeing each other. I could have driven back home, but that would have just led us to the usual weekend runaround without being super present with each other. They arrived late Friday night, and Saturday morning, we headed to Pamela’s–the diner with the stuffed pancakes that the kids have been dreaming about since we were last in Pittsburgh in January of 2020. They did not disappoint, and the kids were able to finish their breakfasts this time! Then, we checked out the remains of Forbes Field, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1909-1970. It has the old back wall visible, and it’s very close to University of Pittsburgh, where I’ve been doing my institute.

From there, we walked over to the Dinosaur Playground, observed the panther statues, and enjoyed the nice weather. We headed back to the hotel for an hour and a half of swimming. Then, we took the boys to see Jurassic World in IMAX 3D. It was really scary for Harlan, but he persevered, albeit in my lap. Afterward, we all agreed it was a pretty terrible movie, but enjoyable in 3D. Dinner at our favorite Burgurtory and everyone was ready for a mellow evening. Porter was very excited about his trident that he got from the restaurant, and was playing Poseidon in the pool. He’s very into Greek myths right now. Gilbert broke the trident, and Porter was really upset (“It’s only a souvenir,” he tried to remind himself).

Sunday, we were watching the weather pretty closely, because we wanted to go paddling in the Youghiogheny River. Breakfast, another long swim, and we headed to Ohiopyle for kayaking. It took a while to blow up all the boats and get on the river, but everyone was excited. The middle Yough (Yawk) is class I-II, but it starts out with a bunch of fun rapids 2-3 miles. The next section is pretty flat, and we did get some wind, so we tethered together so that the big yellow boat didn’t float backwards, which is about 3-4 miles. The last 2-3 miles are fun bigger rapids as you get close to the falls. The last one is Elephant rapids and the rock in the middle looks very much like an elephant. An earlier rock looked like the Minotaur. We didn’t miss the takeout! We had a quick dinner of pizza and ice cream, and parted ways–the family back home, and me back to Pittsburgh until Friday. Whew.


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