Monday, February 19 -- What I'm Missing II

Phil Keaggy, ďFind Me In These FieldsĒ
Chicago, ďChicago XIĒ
I had an entry a few days back about the few things that I actually miss from San Diego.  After this weekend, Iím prepared to add a few more.

Friday night, we went out to dinner at a TGI-Fridays-ish place Ė Iím dying to actually mention the name of the restaurant, just to dig into them a little, but for various reasons, I wonít.  We were seated Ė with seven-month-old baby in tow, remember Ė right next to the door, so every time someone entered, a blast of 25-degree air would hit us.  I was prepared to tough it out, but my wife complained, so they moved us.

Our new table was just on the edge of the no-smoking section.  The smokers were sitting right next to us, separated only by a railing, and even worse, they were on a ledge above us, so you could literally watch the smoke pour out of their cigarettes, waft down and land right on the baby carrier.  The rest of the evening at that place wasnít much better, but after having to deal with all of that disgusting smoke, I would have been hard pressed to enjoy any meal from anywhere.

In California, they have the strictest anti-smoking laws Iíve ever seen.  You arenít allowed to smoke in restaurants, shopping malls, stadiums, bowling alleys Ė not even bars.  Unfortunately, in Pittsburgh, smoking is as much part of the culture as the Steelers and sandwiches with French fries on them, so I donít see any laws like that getting passed here for a long, long time.

We spent Sunday driving around western Pennsylvania, visiting any and all relatives we could find.  And based on that, Iíll tell you that I miss 8- and 10-lane freeways that arenít full of potholes and that go anywhere you need to go.

Iíve found a few more things in my travelsÖ.

I miss having a good used-CD store to go to.  There are no Wherehouses around here, and I havenít found anything yet that comes close.

I used to walk at lunchtime at my old job.  There were nice trails all around the office park where I worked.  Here, thereís nowhere to go Ė especially when it feels like the wind is going to rip your ears off.

I miss a little bit of the feeling of freedom we had out in San Diego.  We didnít have to revolve our lives around the weather or having to visit people or having to get our house in order.    Baby or no, weíd just pick up and go, wherever and whenever we wanted.  Here, itís not so easy.  Though Iíd have no problem taking our little one to downtown San Diego to go to Horton Plaza, I couldnít see me doing the same thing in the Strip District.

Iím writing all of this because I donít want to come across like San Diego is a horrible place or anything.  I still think itís a great city, with a lot of character, and of course that amazing weather.  But when you have a chance to rekindle the flame with your first love, you donít turn it down.


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