>Take Me To The Ball Game

>Just a quickie (as the actress said to the vicar)
Been to the baseball tonight. That’s a new experience for me. Saw the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2. Got to say thanks to Phil for explaining the game to me. Its 20/20 rounders I think.

 Too drunk to type more tonight, so read the full story tomorrow

>Let’s Go To Bed

>this about sums up how I feel. The effects of jet lag and yesterday’s nearly 400 mile drive are catching up with me. Not to mention, last night in the bar, then free beers today at the Association of Iron & Steel Technology Exhibition where I was official an exhibitor! That says exhibitor not exhibitionist!

Today brought an early start and after breakfast I was at the AIST exhibition as Phil set up the stall he had there. I was accredited as an exhibitionist to allow me in to the show! I spent most of the rest of the morning wandering round Pittsburgh along the rivers. Yes plural. Pittsburgh is at the convergence of 3 rivers.

Phil’s wife Tiffany came down from Cleveland today and took me for lunch in the Grand Station Restaurant which was in the old station building. It was worth it just to see the magnificently restored building. A real architectural gem. Bonuses were the good company and the great food. Good call Tiff.

After lunch and a bit of a look at more of Pittsburgh we joined Phil at the AIST exhibition and sampled the free ales on offer. It would have been rude not to have tried them wouldn’t it?

Then this evening all 3 of us went to a glorious restaurant at Mt Washington which overlooks Pittsburgh. The views were magnificent. Pittsburgh is a truly lovely place to see. The food and company were equally good.

So, now I am all pigged out and tired, its time to say “Lets Go To Bed”

>What a Wonderful World

>I went here today

Saw these on sale

Came away with these

What a Wonderful World!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woke up after about 4 hours sleep and had a good chat with Tom using modern technology. Its fantastic to be able to see and hear the person you are talking to even though they are 4000 miles away and in bed. Also spoke to other friends via face book.

Then after breakfast in the hotel in Newark, it was time to go and collect my hire car. I did try to get the car changed from a 4×4 to a catamaran or submarine. Yes, it was rather wet in New Jersey today. The worst rain I have seen in a long time. There were weather warnings on the TV and roads closed by flooding.

My hire car, a small 4×4 turned out to be a 4×4 the size of Rutlandshire. A Jeep Laredo that is huge. It does nearly 19 miles to the gallon – if you drive carefully! It is a luxury vehicle, air con, cruise control, satellite radio, electric everything etc. It is a rather nice vehicle, if rather huge.

A slow start to the day caused by accidents in the rain outside Newark. I stopped at lunchtime somewhere – when I stopped, I hadn’t a clue where it was apart from on the I78 road. A bit of web surfing in McDonald’s thanks to their free wifi identified I was in Hamburg.

Next stop was Hershey and a bit of shopping. That’s the essentials sorted – 24 boxes of milk duds chocolates. Tom, that is 24 boxes for me and none for you. They won’t last till I get to see you next.

I eventually arrived in Pittsburgh around 1900 EST after a 380 miles drive and lots of jet lag. Met my mate Phil at his/ our hotel (well, I’m crashing in his hotel room for 3 nights). I am ashamed to admit, I’ve not been to America to see him since his wedding in 1992 when I was his best man. There is no excuse for this delay. It was good to have a beer or two and some food and try to roll back the years.

I saw a little bit of downtown Pittsburgh. It looks a rather nice place. A (former) industrial port that has regenerated . It is the home of Heinz and our hotel is opposite the Heinz museum.

 More pics etc to follow tomorrow after I’ve met Tiffany (Phil’s spouse) and been to the exhibition he is at. Hopefully also will get to see a bit of the town as well.

>New York New York

>Come on, what title did you expect for this post?

I’ve just arrived in the USA at Newark Liberty Airport and after an incredibly quick and friendly passport and customs check, I am in my hotel in Newark. Flight over was incredibly empty- only 100 people on the plane. The in flight entertainment consisted of about 15 cr*p films and a series of unfunny comedies. No problems, I’ll listen to my ipod – oh  no I won’t, its not working. So I had to read the newspapers I’d bought oh and sleep. Lots of sleep to catch up on as had a hectic weekend.

Friday, I drove over to Crawley after work. Its always a joy to drive the M25 in rush hour, especially across the Dartford river crossing with its attendant queues for the toll booths. Saturday morning brought a trip back from Crawley, last minute shopping, packing and the grass to cut etc.

Then it was off to see Orient v Wycombe in the afternoon. A poor performance, but Orient won to ensure their survival in League 1, but at the same time relegated Wycombe. Sadly ironic, but the 2nd goal scorer for Orient was an ex Wycombe player.

Saturday night was a night out in Kings Cross and The Angel Islington with old friends and also a night time drinking debut for Tom. For a newcomer he did well and survived ok, although he did have a severe attack of the munchies by the time we got home at silly o’clock.

By the time the Chinese had delivered to my home, and we’d eaten the same, it was late. A six am start on Sunday morning was not what the doctor ordered but was needed to enable us to drive to Heathrow to drop off my luggage and the car before heading back into London to Kings Cross, the Shepherds Bush for a few drinks before the Newcastle game at QPR. Getting into the game was difficult as mine and Tom’s tickets had been cancelled and reissued to someone else!!!!! QPR initially said not their problem, but after a few choice words they gave me 2 new tickets at no cost.

After the game, Tom put me on a tube to Heathrow whilst he went to the pub with my mates. He’s only 16, shouldn’t I be putting him on train whilst I go to the pub?

I had time at Heathrow to speak to those close to me on the phone – it makes me think people are not expecting me back …… Not that I am paranoid or anything.

Right, its gone 0100 here in Newark, or 0600 in UK, so I have been up for 24 hours and am going to bed now