Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Uniontown, PA Day 3

Uniontown, PA Day 3: Sunday CANADA Day

***Warning: Photo heavy post

Sunday we woke up closer to eight because breakfast was going on until ten, but we still needed to get out in decent time because our tickets for the tour of Fallingwater was just after eleven and we had absolutely no idea where we were going. The breakfast at the Fairfield was decent. It was in a tiny room chuck full of people (rather surprising in the middle of nowhere). The variety of breakfast goods was pretty good. There was a waffle maker (had one both morning we ate here), cereal, yoghurt, muffins, bagels. Pretty much all the basics of a hotel breakfast bar. Once we had finished we left to go find Fallingwater.

Now if you don't know, Fallingwater is a gorgeous summer house designed for the Kauffman family of Pittsburg by Frank Lloyd Wright. If you are a design/architect nut or simply appreciate good art/workmanship then this is for you. Also, if you don't know, Fallingwater is in the middle of nowhere. And I mean nowhere. We went up further into the mountains (which I loved) and the roads became very curvy. We were going 25 MPH (not sure what that translates to in KmPH) around the curves and that still seemed too fast. Keep in mind we were also driving a rather massive silver pick-up truck down these roads, not the best for handling those curves. I rather loved the experience because we were surrounded by trees up in the mountains and all you could hear was the birds as the wind blew past. Finally, we did arrive about half an hour later. Now we were not allowed to take pictures inside during the tour, but I did get some nice ones of the exterior.

The sign in the parking lot leading to the visitor centre.

A tour group ahead of us.

Water beneath the stairs.

The carport. 

Peek a boo!

Such a gorgeous waterfall!

Little stone bench near the viewing area.

My brother and I.

These rhododendrons were blooming everywhere.

Another peek a boo picture.

On our way back to the hotel we went through Ohiopyle (pronounced Ohio-pile). It was such a cool little town. I was reminded of Kennebunkport, Maine, although there were a lot more mountains here than on the east coast. A huge, but shallow river and rapids were next to the town and lots of people were in the water cooling off as it was a very hot day. Also, there had been a massive storm that went through this area and power was out EVERYWHERE. We were so lucky to miss it. Unfortunately, power was out in this town and at Fallingwater. Both places were running off of generators. When we stopped to use the washrooms in Ohiopyle there were tea lights and votives lighting the bathroom. Clearly not a very good idea, but what are you gonna do?
A rare clear view of some mountains in the distance.

A bridge leading over the river in Ohiopyle.

A man ruining the view of the river.

It's so pretty!!!

We grabbed a bite to eat at a hot dog stand in Ohiopyle and ate that before wandering across the bridge into the woods to see if we could get closer to the waterfall that was next to the town. Unfortunately we couldn't, but it was still a nice walk.

We then decided to go check out this place in the Laurel Highlands called the Laurel Caverns. I had seen a brochure advertising this place in a visitor's centre when we first entered Pennsylvania and thought it would be cool since there are no caves near where I live, as far as I know. And it's a living cave system that's well lit so it was not as dark as I thought it would be.

View from the parking lot at the Laurel Caverns.

A Christmas tree. Can you see the bunny at the bottom? Look closely!

Hercules' Pillar. It doesn't touch the roof of the cave.

Reflecting pool with flash.

Reflecting pool without flash.
The caverns were very interesting. I was thoroughly pleased. The tour was only an hour long, but you could also take a three hour tour that took you down even further (really, really deep) and for that you would require hard hats with lights because it's not lit up in the way that the one hour tour is. We also went through a place called the Hall of the Mountain King. My brother and I were both like "MORIA!" because we're nerds like that.

After the caverns we headed back to Uniontown and ate at Ruby Tuesday. There we had very good food and service. We were served immediately, there was not wait for our food, and we obtained biscuits rather than bread prior to our meals. I ordered a Parmesan peppercorn Asiago steak with broccoli and sliced tomatoes (which my father ate because I don't like them). My steak was really good and well priced. I am a self-professed steak connoisseur and so I always appreciate a good slab of beef that's well seasoned, cooked and priced. For dessert my brother and I got a carrot cake cupcake and a red velvet cupcake. I have never tried red velvet cake before, but it was pretty good. I know some people claim it to be heaven, but I thought it didn't taste much different than a good chocolate cake. The carrot cake had a weird texture to it, but was also good. I hadn't had carrot cake in a while so I was well pleased with it. 

After our dinner we went back to our hotel. The Help was on TV so my mom and I started watching that. My brother and dad didn't want to watch it so they went swimming while we watched the movie. It had only just started so we hadn't really missed anything and we saw it in theatres so we already knew what would happen. I thought my dad and brother would miss Minnie and Hilly's pie part (I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the movie) but THEY DIDN'T. My dad thought it was hilarious, but my brother missed it as he was in the shower. After the movie we watched a bit of the news. We found out the power was restored to Ohiopyle at three, minutes after we had left the town. Then we went to sleep.

Quote of the day: Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste. - Charlotte Bronte