Monday, April 12 2021

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Dear Journal,

Good evening, everyone. Happy Monday. I'm pleased to report that all dogs, babies, boys, and adults have returned home. I count four extra tiny feet in the fray. Our house feels a little more full than usual, but our new puppy Minnie is so well behaved you would hardly know she's there.

"I think our puppy is broken," said Marissa. "Minnie hasn't pooped or peed in the house at all! Who has ever heard of such a thing?"

Minnie is a fast learner. It only took her ten hours living in our house to get quality face kissing time with every member of the family. She learned the ropes when it comes to peeing, pooping, and eating, and she's also called dibs on the biggest dog bed in the living room. Maybe Ollie and Ziggy are just letting that slide on the count of this being her first day.

Sip. I left off yesterday's entry with when we picked up Minnie from the dog agility facility in Lewisberry. The drive there was long, but scenic. Besides gushing over the puppy, we gushed about how beautiful everything seemed in Pennsylvania.

"We drove by an abandoned barn on the way here," I said to Susan. "It was so charming I almost just wanted to pull over and stare at it. It's like everywhere you look is a scene right out of a Robert Frost poem or something."

As much as we enjoyed the drive to Lewisberry, the drive back wasn't so charming. Darkness fell. The rain poured. While Minnie purred in the back seat, I squinted at dark road ahead, carefully following the lane markers for the entire three hour drive back to Pittsburgh. To keep my spirits up through the bleak drive, I thought about dinner. We would already miss last call at the hotel bar. We would be getting in too late to sit down anywhere. Our selection would have to be quick.

"Hey, can you do some research?" I asked Marissa. "Are there any fast food places specific to Pittsburgh?"

Marissa took out her phone. She found a reddit thread bragging about a place called Primanti Bros. "They do sandwiches and stuff," said Marissa scanning the menu.

We found a Primanti Bros just outside the city. We parked in a dark corner of the parking lot that overlooked the empty suburban strip. Marissa returned from inside moments later with our food. We each ordered a sandwich, along with some sides - but if we knew how big the sandwiches were, we probably wouldn't have felt the need.

"This thing is a behemoth," I laughed, carefully fishing it out of the box. I ordered the New Yorker - a monstrous mound of pastrami and roast beef slathered in slaw and mustard, all sandwiches between two flimsy pieces of white bread. Oh, and there were also several french fries poking out.

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We silently ate. We both gave up long before we finished our sandwiches.

"That was an experience," said Marissa. "Not my cup of tea, but I'm glad we tried this."

"This sandwich is ridiculous," I laughed. "If we lived here, I would be enormous."

Marissa began to chortle.

"Seriously, why does all the food in Pittsburgh make me feel so dainty?" I continued. "I don't think I've finished a single meal here."

After letting our food settle, we made our way back to the hotel. My Primanti bros. sandwich was rolling around in my stomach like a bowling ball, but that wouldn't stop me from snuggling with Minnie. It was a good, quality snuggling session with all the dogs.

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The next morning, we packed up our hotel and schlepped all the dogs back into the car. We left Pennsylvania with Minnie.

2021 04 12 heading home

Our first stop would be Ben and Beth's house in Toledo. We let all three dogs run laps around their backyard while their kids tottled behind them. After the pit stop, we pressed on. I was starting to feel sleepy, so I pulled over at an exit to switch with Marissa. To our disappointment, there was no gas station or rest stop to be seen. I continued down the barren country road. We noticed a brilliant rainbow directly above us.

"Look at that," said Marissa. "That's the prettiest rainbow I've ever seen."

"Oh look, and I think we just crossed into Michigan," I noted.

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Once we got our bearings, we noticed that the rainbow extended perfectly over the state line, joining Michigan and Indiana with two ends of a rainbow.

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We made one more drive with Minnie to Sparta to pick up Rodney and Miles. It seemed like Minnie didn't leave Rodney's lap from the time we got home to when it was finally time for bed.

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And that closes out our Minnie saga. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.