Last few weeks in Pittsburgh

It was a long proess to try to get an internship in Singapore. I was rejected by Microsoft twice and finally found a place in Burpple and hence can return home. In the meantime, I was trying to explore every possible inch of Pittsburgh until there was no where else to go haha.

One of the more exotic places to go was Fallingwater, which is a famous house museum built by a famous architect over a a stream and waterfall. The architecture as interesting with many cantilever structures, but I think the one hour tour wasn’t worth the $20 admission fee. Compared to the other house museum The Frick which I visited earlier, the Frick was more interesting as the house is older (about 100 years) and has many Victorian era stuff, including a Orchestron, which is like a giant mini orchestra device consisting of organ, many brass pipes, a triangle, a few flute pipes and a few drum pieces. Feed it with a ticker tape like roll of scores, and it magically starts playing. It is amazing to watch the machine play, like an ancient live jukebox, better than your mp3 player lol.

After Fallingwater, we drove to Laurel Caverns, passing by Ohiopyle Falls (which is NOT in Ohio). Laurel Caverns is a place which I found on the Fallingwater website under nearby attractions. After visiting it, I think it is more interesting than Fallingwater! It was a one hour $11 tour through a system of natural caves inside a mountain. The tour guide is a funny little old guy who kept using the words “folks” and “gee” along the way. The caves are artificially lighted, and due to the rock features and the orange lighting, some parts of it look similar to grand canyon. We also saw some boy scouts hiking inside, and there were also rappelling and rock climbing opportunities in the cave. One of the more “ETC moments” was when they switched of all the lights and then the lights danced to the tune of “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah. It was pretty cool.

Over the past four days, I rented a zipcar to drive 1.5 hours to Youngstown, OH for a Miracles, Signs and Wonders conference with Jesus Culture and Georgian Banov, Patricia King and Lance Wallnau. The church was Victory Christian Center, which is an aog megachurch in the middle of nowhere. The highlight was of course Jesus Culture, it was my first time experiencing life worship with Kim Walker and Chris. They are very good at dragging a song into a very long spontaneous free worship, and will never get tired of singing the same refrain over and over again. That’s why most of their songs have simple choruses that just keep repeating. They sound longwinded on the CD, but better experienced live. Georgian is a funny guy who preaches the new covenant based on being co-cruxified, co-buried and co-risen with Christ. There was an amazing emotional moment when he asked people on stage to reenact the co-cruxification, with someone wrapping you in his arms. Patricia King preaches that we are the righteousness of God too, while Lance Wallnau is more of Christ in the marketplace preaching. I was alone most of the time, as Joel only joined me for one evening. I made friends with one or two ladies sitting beside me.

In between, I went for lunch in Youngstown which is a small university town. Yelp led me to a nice ribs place (Charlie Staples) and an awesome pasta place. (MVR), and the Chick-fil-a chain, which is the best chicken burger with their own honey mustard sauce. I also found a traditional Diary Queen in the middle of nowhere near the church, which is not labelled as DQ which is usually the case. Their blizzards (like McFlurry) is super awesome!

On the last evening with the car, I drove to McConnell Mills State Park because I wanted to hike and experience a bit of nature. It was a small river with a mill and a dam, and various trails around. I actually got a bit off-trail and was a bit lost, but managed to find my way back. I also helped a African American familly unto one of the trails as they didn’t know the rocks were part of the path, and to follow the blue markers painted on the trees.

On the second last day before I flew, we went to Kennywood Amusement Park, which is pretty old (since 1890). It is actually pretty good and impressive for something in Pittsburgh and it opens till 10pm at night. We took all 6 roller coasters they have, taking about one hour to queue for each one. There were like 3 traditional wooden based ones, 2 thrilling ones, one of which has like a 10-storey drop, and an indoor one. There was also rocking house called Noah’s Ark lol. On the way home, as the parking lot is up the hill, you can take a romantic ski lift ride up. Pretty cool.

And so now I’m finally flying home, typing this on board an A380 for the first time. It is pretty fat, and has like a stairs at the back to the upper deck. I wonder why the colour combination of the seats are brown and gold instead of the usual blue and purple for SQ.

What’s next?