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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fake Cordon Bleu

Recently a new restaurant opened in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Hofbräuhaus. It is related to the Hofbräuhaus in Munich and boasts real German food, beer and atmosphere. When I studied the menu I was immediately drawn to the Cordon Bleu, one of my favorite dishes.
Today, I accompanied Guido and a couple of friends to the Hofbräuhaus to celebrate the end of classes for the Spring semester. Of course I ordered the Cordon Bleu. When it arrived I was rather disappointed:
From Pittsburgh March

The ham and cheese was on top instead of inside the Schnitzel... It still tasted good but it just wasn't the same. The one thing that positively surprised me though was the German potato salad. It was awesome!
Overall it's a nice place with good food and good atmosphere, if you sit outside that is, unless you really like German Octoberfest entertainment, then you can sit inside as well ;).

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Plymoth Plantation and Mayflower II

A historically very important site is located just under one hour south of Boston. Plymouth: The location the Mayflower landed and where it's passengers established the first successful and lasting settlement in the US in the year of 1620.

Nowadays, Plymouth offers many interesting sights for historically interested visitors. Just next to the landing place, called Plymouth Rock, sits the Mayflower II a recreation of the Mayflower, giving visitor's an impression of how horrendous the crossing was back then (no space, no sanitary facilities, bland and repetitive food).
Three miles south of Plymouth is Plimoth Plantation, a living museum featuring a 1627 English village (where re-enactment is a full-time job!) and the Wampanoag Homesite (the native Americans originally living in the area).
From Plymouth

It was a terrific experience and a pure joy to discuss politics (the Habsburg problem in Helvetia, for example) and religion with the townspeople.
Fortunately the area was big enough that I could evade the busloads of school children who were there that day ;).
Many more pictures can be found in my online gallery.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Six Flags New England

Six Flags New England is a short trip from Boston (105 minutes by car ;)) and so it was only a matter of time till a visit to Boston also brought me to this amusement park ;).
It was a perfect day to visit Six Flags, it was nice and sunny day, there weren't that many people and so queues were mostly nonexistent (the maximum I waited was about 10 minutes because I wanted the front seat for a ride). The only bummer was that the biggest and supposedly best ride (Superman: Man of Steel) was currently being refurbished and thus closed for visitors. The park featured three interesting high speed roller coasters (Batman, Mind Eraser, Flashback), two old wooden roller coasters and a couple of cute smaller rides.
However, after my visit to Cedar Point, the rides in Six Flags were lacking in the high speed adrenaline kick area.
On the whole, however, it was a nice day and I went on 32 rides (6x Batman, 4x Mind Eraser, 4x Flashback), so I do believe I did get my money's worth of entertainment :)
From Six Flags New England

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Settlers of Catan Tournament

Yesterday I participated in CMU's Settlers of Catan Tournament. 30 people were present and two rounds of Catan were played to determine the winners. The first game started bad for me. Even though I hand first placement, my numbers never came up. But then two things happened: First, the guy who was miles in the lead was more interested in hurting us than ending the game, which gave everyone more time to expand and second, the dice turned in my favor in the second half of the game. And so I managed to scrap a slim victory.
The second game was the reverse. I was in the lead for a long time, but then my numbers stopped coming up and so I had to let someone pass me. I still managed to hold on to the longest road and came in second.
Finally I ranked 7th, which made me eligible for a prize! :)

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Friday, April 10, 2009

World's Greatest Burgers and Monsters vs. Aliens in Imax 3D

Yesterday we indulged ourselves in a real American evening. First we went to Fuddruckers, a burger chain which claims to serve the "World's Greatest Burgers".
From Pittsburgh March
That was my dinner, a 1/2 pound burger with a Cookies & Cream Milkshake!

The evening was rounded off by a visit to see Monsters vs. Aliens in Imax 3D. The Imax 3D experience was great and made up for the sometimes lengthy storyline. The Imax we visited, part of Loews cinemas in Waterfront, was originally a regular movie theater and it shows. The screen is not as big as in newly built Imax theaters such as the one I visited in Boston.

All in all it was a very entertaining evening.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

McConnell's Mill State Park Dayhike

Last Saturday we ventured into McConnell's Mill State Park, about 45 minutes northwest of Pittsburgh, for an easy day of hiking. The days before it had rained quite a lot and so we were glad to see the sun come out that morning. Nevertheless, Slippery Rock Creek had a lot of water and the trail was submerged in a couple of places, which meant we had to take smaller detours. But it wasn't that bad and as a bonus we saw a couple of nice wild flowers.
From McConnell's Mill State Park

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

At the Movies: Donnie Darko

SouthSide Works Cinema shows a Cult Movie once a month. Today it was Donnie Darko. I discovered this movie a couple of years back on DVD and was enthralled by it's mysterious and disturbing story and was overjoyed to get the chance to finally see it on the big screen. It was a terrific experience and intensified the fantastic visuals and oppressive soundtrack. If you have not yet seen this movie, do so immediately! ;)

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Wild Turkey Chase

Leaving campus tonight I spotted something curious coming towards me from the parking lot: A wild turkey! I quickly grabbed my N95 and gave chase, taking pictures on the way. Unfortunately, the results aren't thrilling, however, you can still see recognize the turkey:
From Pittsburgh March
After following it halfway across campus it decided it had enough, and flew away... (my gallery has a couple more unclear pictures)

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Fun with Google Maps

Enter this into Google Maps: "from: Pittsburgh, PA to: Honolulu, HI" and check out direction nr. 20!

Do you know of other fun directions?

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Last Read Sideboard updated

Librarything published new fancy widgets, one of which found it's way into my blog's sideboard, where you can see the last five books I've read including rating and review (if available). A good reason to sometimes stop by my blog ;)

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