Mario and Shannon's Birthday

After the hot tub and breakfast on Saturday morning, we headed off to Philadelphia (or Belmont Hills, as I believe the neighborhood was called.)  We were staying with our friend Mario and Nicole, and the live in the one of weirdest and most unique houses that I've ever been in.  I don't have any pictures, but let me tell you about it.

It's actually really similar to a Pittsburgh house - literally built right into a hill where houses probably don't actually belong.  You walk in on the top floor, into a long and wide hallway, which probably could also serve as the dining room.  To the right of the front door is the kitchen, and at the end of the long hallway is the bathroom.  Even further back from that is the 1st of three bedrooms and the stairs leading down to the second floor.

The second floor is where most of the "living" occurs - it holds the living room and two other bedrooms, as well as the laundry room. There is a huge wrap around porch that is completely enclosed, which is great for dogs.  Then there's a basement below that.  

Perhaps the most curious thing about this house is the fact that all of the incoming and outgoing water is routed on the top floor.  This is why the kitchen and only bathroom are on that upper floor, even though it would make a ton of sense to have a bathroom down where the majority of the bedrooms are.  For the laundry room on the lower floor, the water from the washer has to be pumped up to the outgoing water pipe.  The house was cute, and had a lot of character, although now that I'm spoiled with two bathrooms and everything on one level, I'm not sure if I would love living there myself.

Anyway, onto the celebration.  We started off by going to a Belgian restaurant in Philadelphia called Zot.  It seemed very overpriced to me (at least by Pittsburgh standards) and the food was only so-so, but I had a wonderful beer called Fruli Strawberry (which was also overpriced) that I enjoyed enough that I might look for it at other bars now in the future!

After dinner we walked to a German restaurant that was just PACKED.  Uncomfortably so.  It's October, after all, and since much of Pennsylvania has at least some German heritage, it makes sense that people are out getting their Oktoberfest on.  Nonetheless, it was a little too crowded for our group to be able to stand and converse comfortably, so we moved on to our final destination - O'Neals (spelling may or may not be correct.)

At midnight, we toasted the birthday boy - Mario.

Me, with the birthday boy

And, Dave with the birthday boy. Notice how much happier Mario looks posing with me

 And finally, a not-so-flattering but hilarious nonetheless photo of Mario with his girlfriend (and our co-hostess), Nicole. 

Umm.. not sure.  Birthday boy and Nicole. That's all.

Noteworthy is that we were really only celebrating Mario's birthday that night, since through some sort of agreement Shannon's birthday was celebrated on the preceding Friday night and not to be mentioned.  I dont' pretend to understand.  However, since we were not present on Friday night, I like to think that we were celebrating Shannon's birthday as well!  Happy Birthday, Shannon!!!

Not sure what face this is...

But THIS is a birthday face!!! 

 Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mario and Shannon!!!


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