We just returned from our Pittsburgh area vacation. The trip was planned to celebrate my daughter’s 8th grade graduation. I traveled with my mom, my daughter and my daughter’s friend. My daughter is interested in becoming an architect someday, loves the arts and SHOPPING! I thought this trip would be a great match for her interests. Thanks to everyone on TripAdvisor for all the great recommendations and advice. You all really helped us to have a wonderful vacation!
Day 1 6/28-We left Connecticut at approximately 7:30 a.m. and arrived at the Flt. 93 memorial at approximately 2:30. Along the way we stopped for gas twice and also for lunch at Arby’s. I would highly recommend getting gas before you exit the highway. The memorial is really in the middle of nowhere. The roads are twisty, turny and desolate. There are no signs leading to the site until you are within a mile of it. It is a very eerie drive knowing what the passengers must have been going through during the amount of time it takes you to find the site. Of course, for those who were not aboard the plane, it is fortunate that there was so little built up around the crash site. Although the site consists only of a small outbuilding, a chain link fence, benches and memorials left to the passengers, it is a peaceful, thought provoking place and I would recommend taking the time to seek it out and pay respects in your own way to the victims of the crash. During our visit there was a local resident who is part of a group of volunteers that did an informative presentation about the victims, the crash and the crash site. There is also a book to register your thoughts and visit. As far as facilities, there are portapotties (sp?) but there are no other bathroom facilities, food or items for purchase. If it is raining, there is no shelter except for the little outbuilding.
After we left the site, we headed for Somerset where we had reservations for two rooms at the Holiday Inn. At this point it was raining rather heavily. I reserved the hotel based on reviews here at TripAdvisor and the fact that it had a pool. When I went to check in, I was told they only had smoking rooms available. I am very sensitive to smoke and really didn’t want to stay in a smoking room. Kristina at the desk was very helpful and called around to a few hotels to try to find us non-smoking rooms. A couple of the hotels were booked but the Super 8 motel had rooms available. I must say that I was not too thrilled with the idea of staying at a Super 8 motel. She said she would hold the smoking rooms for us in case we did not like the rooms at the Super 8. The girl at the Super 8 hotel was super nice and was happy to let us check out the rooms. Although the rooms were dark and the furniture had seen better days, they were clean and smoke free so we decided to take them. We had reserved the rooms at the Holiday Inn for a special internet rate of $65.80+tax. The rooms at the Super 8 were $49.99 (AAA rate). However when I was checking in, I noticed that they had a king deluxe room with hot tub at the rate of $105.88+tax. I decided to book this for the girls since this hotel did not have a pool (the one at the Holiday would have been closed anyway since it closes when it rains) and there was absolutely NOTHING to do in Somerset. While researching where to stay, I noticed that an outlet mall was listed. Both hotel clerks told me that there are basically no stores left there. There are no movies, no mini golf, no bowling-nothing for miles around. They did say there was a Wal Mart a few miles away but that was all. There were however a few restaurants. We ate at Eat ‘n Park that night which we all enjoyed. It is not fancy at all but has a wide variety of food and a nice salad bar. The bill came to $39.25+tip for the four of us. Since there was nothing else to do, we headed back to the hotel for the night. The girls had fun watching TV in their own giant hot tub. There was also a microwave and refrigerator in both of the rooms so the girls made some popcorn and enjoyed that too. I was so exhausted from all the driving that sleep wasn’t much of a problem.