As the leaves began to change, the University of Kentucky's first-ever fall break was approaching. I had no special plans for the break, so naturally, I decided to go home. I'm originally from Pittsburgh, PA and have lived there most of my life. While I hold no grudges towards Pittsburgh, I never felt especially connected to the suburbs I grew up in. I hadn't been back this semester due to this feeling in particular and because the idea of sitting through a six-hour car ride by myself did not seem too appealing. That was until my roommate decided to join me as I headed home over break.
Bringing my roommate to my hometown gave me a completely different perspective on the place I grew up.
During high school, I rarely ventured downtown due to my worries as a new driver. However, on this trip, we ended up spending most of our time in the city exploring new and old places. One of my roommate's conditions of coming home with me was visiting Frick Park, also popularly known as Blue Slide Park. She is a huge Mac Miller fan so this park holds a special significance to her and many other of his fans. I, unfortunately, never really listened to Mac's music until recently, so even though it was a short 30 minutes from my house, I had never been there.
When we got to the park we immediately headed to the slide. After you grab a piece of cardboard and experience the sensation of going down it, it's clear why Mac Miller decided to make an entire album around the park. It was a truly beautiful thing watching the park being adored by children, adults, and fans alike. I now understand the love for the park due to the youthful and almost magical quality it holds. Blue Slide Park is now one of my favorite places in Pittsburgh that I will be sure to visit each time I go home.
In addition to this, we ended up doing typical touristy activities like walking around the University of Pittsburgh and taking a ride on the historic incline. These are all things I haven't done in a while but they truly make Pittsburgh unique. We ended our weekend with simply standing on top Mt. Washington and enjoying the view of the city. The trip really put a lot of my feelings towards my hometown in perspective for me and I can honestly say for the first time that I will miss Pittsburgh.
I challenge you to take your roommate or a friend back home with you for a weekend. You'll never know what new discoveries you could make that will impact how you identify with your hometown!