Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Road Trip: Morgantown

Jim and I recently took a road trip. We drove to Morgantown WV; Columbus OH; home for a day; and then to Chicago IL.

The first installment: Morgantown! We drove down last Thursday. The trip was uneventful, and we arrived in the late afternoon and checked into the Clarion Hotel Morgan.

Hotel Morgan, behind the red building
The building to the left is some sort of art gallery
Hotel Morgan is a historic building in downtown Morgantown. It was built in 1925 and renovated in 1999. We found it pleasant and comfortable, and convenient to downtown.

Thursday evening, we enjoyed pizza at Lori's house, and let her win at Scrabble. ("Let her win" - Hah! She is the Scrabble Queen.) The pizza was from the New Day Bakery, just down the hill from her place. Apparently she orders from them often - when she called to place our order, she gave her name, and the fellow on the phone immediately offered, "we do have fresh tomatoes today!" And I should have taken pictures of Lori's new porch swing (of which I am now jealous...)

After breakfast on Saturday (Jim appreciated that the breakfast room did NOT have a TV blaring), we walked to the library and met Lori. (Lori's comment about the Morgantown library made me laugh: "It will make you really appreciate the Kalamazoo library.")

From there, we walked to the PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) station. WVU has 3 campuses, and this system connects them, and downtown Morgantown. As many times as I've visited Lori, I had never riden the PRT, so we made sure to check it out. It was great! Many students had already finished the term and left the campus, so there were no crowds and we could enjoy talking and gawking. We also enjoyed trying to figure out how the cars operate, and how the track is kept clear in winter - our engineer father would be proud of us! 

Those metal bars, at wheel height, provide power.
The cars are small - there are 8 seats, and 

room for a few people to stand as well.

At times, we had the feeling of being on a 
roller coaster, though of course we didn't
achieve amusement park speeds!
And we were right about dealing with 

weather: embedded piping contains a 
solution to melt snow
The view was gorgeous - spring is further along in WV than in Mich, as these photos show.

Lori & Robin - not really scenery...
Back in Morgantown, we stepped off the PRT and Jim pointed across the street and said, "Look, a yarn store!" Indeed, he was right (he is always right): there was The Needlecraft Barn, and we stepped inside to take a look. It was a lovely store, with a lovely owner, and we enjoyed ourselves, while supporting the local economy.

The yellow-green yarn will likely become a sweater, and the blue yarn (a gift from Lori) will be a shawl. But more about those in another post...!

We walked through town, and visited a coin store - but Jim didn't have as much success there: apparently there was a trade show in Pittsburgh, and most of the interesting stock was there, instead of waiting for Jim in Morgantown. :(

We lunched at Maxwell's, a quiet little restaurant that I think we would never have found on our own. It was located on a little side street, down some stairs (in a basement?). The food and ambiance were wonderful! If I were a more diligent blogger, I'd have pictures of the food. But at least I have pictures of the people.

Lori and Jim, playing nicely
After lunch, we stopped at the Appalachian Gallery (another of my favorite Morgantown spots), and then made our way to the car, and back to Lori's place. We used our time there productively (!), looking up shawl patterns to knit out of the newly purchased yarn. Lori & I finally tore ourselves away to walk Misty (who, at some 10 years of age, is finally slowing down a bit).

In the late afternoon, Jim and I climbed back into the car & headed for our next stop. Stay tuned for Road Trip: Columbus!

Thanks Lori, for a great visit!

Edited 5/25 to fix labels - they've been driving me nuts, since Blogspot had their issues a few weeks ago...


  1. In my visits to M'town, I have never seen one of those cars on the PRT. They're tiny!

  2. According to Wikipedia, the cars can hold 20 passengers - 8 seated, and 12 standing. They also said that WVU has an annual PRT Cram event, where students see how many people they can pack into one car (a "modified" car - whatever that means!). The record is 97 people - glad they weren't doing that when we were there!!!

  3. It was a nice visit, Lori is a charming host. I was quite pleased with myself for finding the Yarn store. Of course, me being pleased with myself is not a particularly rare event.