Wild & Wonderful West Virginia

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weirton Rennasiance Festival

Today we drove up to the house in Weirton, West Virginia. I am trying hard to learn my way around up here, through all the hills, valleys, mountains, etc. When we got to Weirton, Main Street was blocked off for a Rennasiance Festival. Don and I stopped and got a taste of the local flair....greek food, some of which I loved and some of which I hated. We did meet some of our neighbors and some of the local folks, all of whom were very friendly and seemed genuinely happy that we were moving into town.

We met our neighbor Marge Grieco, who volunteers at the Weirton Area Museum & Cultural Center. Yes, she asked if I would be interested in volunteering some time, of course I said I would. I also met Pam, who is in charge of the local Library. She is looking for volunteers to teach people to read. Yes, I told her I would come and talk to her. You know me....Don once said he is going to buy me the t-shirt that says "Stop me before I volunteer again". LOL

We were excited to learn that the vote today resulted in the passing of the local casino to put in table games. The Mountaineer Gaming Resort is about 14 miles from our house. It is a horse track with slots. But, after the vote today they will be putting in table games...poker, blackjack, etc. I remember when the casinos came in to Biloxi Mississippi and the real estate market exploded in value. Hopefully this will happen in Weirton as well.

Weirton, West Virginia is connected to Stuebenville, Ohio by this bridge over the Ohio River that reminds me of the bridge in Savannah, Georgia.

I was delighted to mapquest the directions from Don's parents house to our new house...514 miles..just about 8 hours! From my parents house it is 800 miles and 13 hours. Still not to far to travel in the right weather! Can't wait to get my house all decorated and get the family up to visit. Would love to take Macy Kate to the children's science center and the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium!

Not sure what the plans are for tomorrow just yet. Don and I celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary tomorrow, and the only plan so far is to have dinner at "Jerome Bettis' Grille 36" which is a new restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh. We are having dinner with the Squadron Commander and his wife. Don nor I have ever met them before. Should be fun.

Okay, finally...lower level of the house pictures! I think after this post, I will have posted a picture of every room in the house....can't wait to post them with all MY STUFF in it!

The door in this picture leads to the driveway and backyard...it is currently never used:

The door in this shot goes into the two car garage:

Real woodburning fireplace:

The downstairs bath is completely tiled..walls and floors:

There is also a large laundry area, storage room and the wine closet on this floor. I dont have those pictures on my computer, so I will post them another day. Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog. It sure is nice to be able to post all this information for my family and friends to keep up with our busy lives!

Pirates Win!!! 3 to 2 in the bottom of the 9th!!

What a great game and a beautiful ballpark. PNC Field sit right on the river across from downtown. This was the view from my seat.

Pic of me and Don outside PNC Park:

PNC Park has the same Ivy as our new house growing around the outside fencing:

We met a great couple from Reading, PA, who came over to visit Pittsburgh for the weekend. I have to tell everybody....I LOVE THIS TOWN! The people are friendly, the land is beautiful and there is so much to do. I love to hear the northern accents....reminds me of old mob movies. LOL My kids called/text messaged while we were in the ballpark. My son was so excited to hear that I was actually happy to be in Pittsburgh. Can't wait until they can come visit and experience this place. I had another Primanti Brothers sandwich at the ballbark (actually I ate about 1/3 of Don's). But, guess what I did get to have? Banana's Foster - made by a real chef right before your eyes! It was so good and Don beamed with pride when he handed it to me hot right from the skillet. It was terrific.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MACY KATE & MOM, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! Today is Macy Kate's 2nd birthday and my Mom's....uhh...well, I dont think she will mind, 62nd birthday! Hope you both have a great day and enjoy your birthday gifts. I love and miss you both very much!

Okay, bedroom pictures from upstairs in the house. Love Bedroom number one. It is 14 x 14 and has windows to the west where you can see the same view as from the sunroom and patio of the Ohio River. Still have to talk to my Mom, but I think this would make a great studio for my paints/scrapbooks. The paint and wallpaper is very nice and practically new in all the rooms! Remember, if you click on the picture you can see it bigger on your screen and see details better.

Bedroom two is actually suppose to be the master. Love the cornice board window treatments. This room is 15 x 14 and I think would make a great guest room! The wallpaper boarder reminds me of Dewberry flowers.

The third bedroom upstairs is currently being used as the guest room. It is 13 x 14 and has a huge closet. Again, love the wallpaper and boarder.

I think today's plan is to drive back up to Weirton, West Virginia and try and get familiar with the streets and the local businesses. I also want to take a picture of the bridge from Weirton to Steubenville, Ohio. Hope you all have a great day and check back in tomorrow to see what we got done today!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Crash Course on Pittsburgh History

Yesterday Don took me to the "City". It is amazing up here. There is a big mountain called Mount Washington. To get to the City you have to drive through Mount Washington in these tunnels. You absolutely can not see the city skyline until you exit the tunnels. It is an amazing thing to see! It was overcast and rainy, but here are some of the pictures:

Heinz Field where the "Steelers" (pronounced "Stillers" by the way :o) play football:

Pittsburgh has a lot more than just steel going on up here. Did you know that Heinz Ketchup is made here in Pittsburgh? There are also lots of glass houses where they make beautiful glass.

We spent yesterday afternoon at the John Heinz History Center and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Here are some fun pictures we took:

I ate my first "Primanti Brothers" sandwich for dinner last night! It is a local favorite...cheese steak, coleslaw, french fries and a tomato slice all loaded on a piece of italian bread! It was fantasic and a fun place to eat:

Okay...check this out! "Wholeys" grocery in downtown Pittsburgh. I have never seen a grocery store like this that I remember. It was a fish market/butcher shop/grocery store/bbq restaurant and had a Sushi bar in the middle of the frozen food section! Hey Ellen - if you are reading this blog this is the commissary for the Pittsburgh Reserve Base! LOL

Today we are busy working with the Closing attorney on the house and tonight is baseball night...I am so excited and can't wait! Pittsburgh Pirates v. Washington Nationals, and after the game is a big fireworks show over the river. Will blog about that tomorrow.

Okay, a few more house pictures:

Had to post a picture of the huge black walnut tree in the backyard...I think the smaller tree underneath looks like a peach tree, but I got to wait until my father, the master gardener, gets here to tell me:

This bookcase is built in just to the right of the front door when you come in. The door on the otherside of the bookcase leads into the guest 1/2 bath:

Here are some pictures of the cool light fixtures in the dining room, living room and sun room:

My sister-in-law Darla has agreed to let me have the light fixture that belonged to her Grandma Richey. It reminds me of the lighting in this house and I would love to hang it in the foyer. Thanks Darla!

Also, please keep Don's father, Jay, in your prayers. He had a thyroid biopsy yesterday and has a pretty good size tumor. They are waiting on the biopsy results, but he is already scheduled for surgery on Monday of next week to remove the tumor and possiblly the thyroid.

Have a good Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Take Me Home, Country Roads, To The Place I Belong..West Virginia!

John Denver sang this song when I was a kid...and I am singing it now!

Don got an accepted offer on the Ivy House yesterday! Since we had all our homework done and Don purchased from a motivated Seller, we should be able to close on the house two weeks from today and the Sellers have agreed to give us possession on Monday, July 23rd! Now we can do a door to door move and will only have to spend one night in a hotel when we get here. Hopefully TMO will pack out and leave with my household goods on the 20th or so and can deliver them to me on the 24th. Looks like things are going to work out perfect with our time line. We knew it was a sign when our lender called yesterday morning to let Don know that the mortgage rate dropped a quarter of a percent over night and reduced our monthly payment by almost $200! I know some of you are probably tired of seeing pictures of the house, but my kids and my parents have trouble opening pictures sent via email, so I promised I would post them on here. My Mom will be glad to know that the rooms in the house are bigger than I orginially remember and so is the closet space.

Here is a picture of the sunroom from the outside:

Inside view..love the stamped concrete floor and the tiffany lamp:

View of Ohio River yesterday from patio:

Dining Room:

Guest bath downstairs just to the right when you come in the front door:

Full bath upstairs:

Wine Closet in lower level, and no, the wine doesn't stay...Don actually asked! The Seller, pursuant to the contract terms, is suppose to leave us a bottle of blush champagne to celebrate our move in day:

Cast Iron mailbox just outside front door:

Today will be spent opening checking accounts, selecting an insurance agent for our homeowners an car insurance, visiting Don's office and touring part of the City of Pittsburgh. The high today is 77 degrees and we might get an afternoon thunderstorm. Would love to do some shopping, but will wait on my Mom to get here for that. Better get moving on my day. Hopefully I will have some pictures of the sites to upload for you tomorrow. I keep forgeting to take a picture of the bridge in Ohio that looks exactly like the big bridge in Savannah. My Dad and I have an aversion to bridges that my Mom and Don just dont fully understand, huh Dad? Love and miss you guys!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pennsylvania was a Bust!

We spent yesterday looking at homes in three counties in Pennsylvania. Nothing we saw even came close to the Ivy House....except for price, of course! We were shocked at the condition and locations of homes in our price range. There were one or two that I thought we could be comfortable in, but they were so close to the price of the Ivy House that Don just couldnt see passing up the investment opportunity of having a house on the River in our price range. We are going back to West Virginia this morning to make an offer, and hopefully to take some more pictures.

Formal Living Room:


Kitchen Pictures: Awesome cherry cabinets, beautiful hardwood floors, corian seamless countertops, 6 burner gas stove, double ovens, track lighting, and the walls are papered with a butter yellow and light blue faux look and a small mural of a french winery. Mom, the curtains are not staying, but I am going to ask for the barstools.

Here is a newer 12 foot window on the landing going to the upstairs bedrooms. It is absoutely beautiful. I forgot to mention....all the walls and floors in this house are made from concrete! I had the realtor remove a picture from the wall just so I could see how to hang things up!

Hopefully it will be less hazy today and we can get some better pictures of the view. Today is "Air Quality Action Day"....they are advising people to stay inside in the air conditioning because the temperature might reach 90 degrees and it will be humid and hard to breathe!! Don and I laughed so hard. These people would DIE in 100% humidity and 100 degree weather we have in Georgia and Alabama. I asked yesterday how long this Pennsylvania "heatwave" would last...I was told less than two weeks each summer! Don is going to love this place! I think I will ask for electric blankets and sweatsuits for Christmas! OH YEAH...hey Mom - Don said to tell you he doesnt have a budget for you, but thinks Granny Miller's antique couch, chairs, lamps and tables in your living room would look great in this new house! You know....I think he is right! Have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Palisades...."The Ivy House"

We finally got to see the inside of this beautiful home today. We have looked at it over and over on the internet for a couple months. I cannot begin to tell you how awesome it is. Don knew immediately upon stepping inside that he was "home". I must admit I was leary, but really loved the inside as well. I think I was secretly hoping to hate it, but that just didn't happen. I will take more pictures in a couple days when we make our offer. Today was very hazy and the view of the Ohio River just didnt do it justice. The view is simply breathtaking. Click on this picture to pull up a full size view of the front.

I was asking Don about how my furniture and decorating taste was going to fit with the interior of this gorgeous home...he said "That's your Mother's problem!". LOL My Mom is an awesome decorator and he knows that no matter what after my Mom gets finished it will look great! I just received the most awesome gift from my BF Sandy, which will look fantastic in this home. I will have to get her to email me a picture of it so I can post it on my blog.

We have eliminated all the homes in Ohio, and will be looking at Pennsylvania homes tomorrow. Unless something else simply "knocks our socks off", we will make an offer on the Ivy House. I will update again in a day or two. This has been a tiring, but productive day!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Scar Face House??

I think my son Jimmy definitely watched too many mob movies as a child. Check out this house in Steubenville, Ohio. My son SO wants Don to buy this house.

It has a great Foyer!

And the living room isn't too bad. I love the mantel!

BUT...the staircase...can you say "Night at the Museum? LOL

OH..and did I mention the peptobismol pink walls? They are in the bedrooms, formal dining room, bathrooms etc!

Listing price of house - $285,000.00. New paint job to cover all the pink walls -$10,000.00. New banister on stairway to replace museum rope - $2,500.00. Knowing that I will NEVER live in this house - Priceless! LOL

Would love to stop by and see it though. I would just like to meet the lady that decorated this place! Have a good day! OH, and Jimmy? "Say Hello to my Little Friend" I love you!