The Best Years

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Sorry I pulled a bit of a disappearing act this weekend – I’m back on normal blogging schedule now!  We had an absolutely awesome weekend back in our old college town, and the bachelorette had a blast.  In fact, I think we had a little too much fun.  🙂


This morning, everyone pulled their life together and went their separate ways.  Only my friend Bethany was left, so we decided to do a University of Pittsburgh tour.


PITT is an open campus, which means it’s integrated into the city.  This is one of my FAVORITE things about PITT because there’s so much more to the school than just academic buildings.


We started with brunch at one of our favorite places, Fuel and Fuddle.


Ironically, F&F has not changed one bit – the decor is the same, the menu is the same.  In fact, not much has changed about PITT since I graduated in 2006; some of the same bartenders are still at my favorite bars!


I opted for the egg wrap with wild rice, sangria salsa, and onions:


And a HUGE salad – my body was craving vegetables!


Following a long gossip session, Bethany and I walked a few blocks to the main part of PITT campus to the Cathedral of Learning, the centerpiece of PITT.


Yes, the Cathedral is a REAL academic building, and I actually had many classes inside.  It’s a really cool building!


Facts about the Cathedral:


  • It’s the tallest academic building in the Western Hemisphere.
  • It’s 42 stories tall.
  • There are 2,000 rooms and 2,529 windows.
  • It was built during the Great Depression and partially funded by donations from Pittsburghers and alumni.


It is also beautiful on the inside, too!  I studied for many finals in the Great Room:



Bethany and I toured the Nationality Rooms of the Cathedral (funnily enough, we NEVER did this when we were actually at the school).  There are a couple dozen rooms on the 1st and 3rd floors that are ‘specialty rooms’ donated by cultural groups in Pittsburgh.  And YES – real classes are held in all of these rooms!


The Austrian room:


The Japanese room:


The Indian room:


The Armenian room:


The African Heritage room:


I actually had Nonfiction Writing II in the African Heritage room… the seats were as uncomfortable as I remember.


After our tour, Bethany drove me to the airport, and now I’m waiting for my flight back to Orlando.  I actually just had a really good cry session all alone in the waiting area.  I miss PITT and my girlfriends so much.  Those years were truly the best years of my life… I guess I feel like nothing will ever really compare to college.  It was just such an awesome experience for me, and life is so different now.  Life is great, but it’s just different.  :( 


Can’t believe that 8 years have passed since I moved into the 16th floor of Tower A (the one of the right). 


Times flies!  At least I get to see everyone again on July 3 for Sarah’s wedding.



  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs May 30, 2010, 3:46 pm

    Wow, that building is gorgeous, inside and out! I love massive, dramatic buildings like that – my uni is just grey blocks of square concrete; it’s horrible!

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 30, 2010, 10:28 pm

      Yeah that would be SUCH a cool building to have classes in!!

      • Ange June 3, 2010, 5:25 pm

        I think the Cathedral looks like a exciting place to take classes in too! 😀
        This is a great post Caitlin!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances May 30, 2010, 3:48 pm

    I actually just graduated from college and have been feeling really sad about it… But I keep reminding myself that there are other good things to look forward to, and that change is good! I know you’ve definitely experiened tons of awesome things since college 🙂 so I’m hopeful… Also, LOVE your campus! Seriously beautiful.

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner May 30, 2010, 3:48 pm

    Yes, definitely the BEST years with some amazing people. Glad you got to go back and had such an awesome time 🙂

  • eatmovelove May 30, 2010, 3:49 pm

    Wow that Cathedral is insane.
    Sounds like a great time!

  • alex May 30, 2010, 3:50 pm

    I wish I could say the same, although I didn’t really give college that great of a try. Went to San Francisco State University, and having moved from Southern California to SF, the weather was a bit of a shock! Who knew that only a 6 hour car drive away and the weather could be completely different! But I still live in SF and absolutely love it! I’m totally jealous of your experience… it’s great to see that you are still close with all of your college friends! Thanks for sharing!

  • rebecca lustig May 30, 2010, 3:50 pm

    I WAS JUST ON CAMPUS 5 minutes ago! haha thats soo funny.

    fuel is SUCH a fun place, ahh i could have totally given you a LEGIT tour.

    hope youre enjoying this weather 🙂

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope May 30, 2010, 3:51 pm

    About college? Not really. It was nice, but a lot of freakin’ work and i didn’t have the typical college plan of leave home, live in a dorm, be on your own, etc. I had some great times, but always remind myself that whenever I look back on something, i probably blow it up to be much more awesome than it was. I would say my life right now is pretty sweet and I’ll take it:)
    Glad you had fun on your trip and remember that even bettttter times are around the corner for you…for sure!

  • Emily @ The Front Burner Blog May 30, 2010, 3:52 pm

    I just got back from a week at the beach with my friends and my sister, and spent the entire morning SOBBING because it is over. Not because life isn’t great now, but like you said it’s just…different. It’s hard being so far away from all the people I love!

  • Caroline May 30, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I’m actually finishing up my junior year at OSU right now .. two weeks left till I’m in my LAST YEAR of college .. I just can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it! I’m studying abroad this summer than planning on soaking up every football game, mirror lake jump, laying out on the oval, and trying to do and see as much of Ohio State as I can before I say goodbye next year!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 30, 2010, 3:58 pm

    Wow the campus is so beautiful! GWU, where I want to school, is also integrated so it’s right in downtown DC and I looooved that about it. I also miss it so much, but I’ve stayed around DC so it’s kind of weird to know the city now in such a different way. A lot of my best girlfriends have also stayed around though, which makes it pretty cool.

  • Melissa Cari @ Miles for Markets May 30, 2010, 4:01 pm

    Yes, so nostalgic. I went to University of Maryland and haven’t been back in years. I’m not sure I would want to go back unless it’s with the same group of people I spent all my time there with. We are all still super close, but being there alone would just make me sad. I absolutely loved college.

  • Helen May 30, 2010, 4:08 pm

    That building looks absolutely beautiful inside and out. It’s amazing that you had classes in there. The rooms are much more inspiring than the plain white rooms I studied in!
    I hope you are ok after your cry. Sometimes a good cry is what you need make you feel better. I do miss uni, the studying surprisingly and the partied, but the experience has been somewhat tainted by my final year housemates who all turned on me.
    But uni was the happiest time of my life as I met my bf there! I always smile when I remember the great times we had with our friends.

  • Lisa (leeses peeces) May 30, 2010, 4:10 pm

    ah thank you so much for this.
    this def makes me appreciate being in college but i know i will absolutely cry my eyes out at graduation.
    time really does fly!

  • Hedda May 30, 2010, 4:11 pm

    I am in love with your old University, Caitlin.
    Such massive, impressing, beautiful architechture. Someone else who got a bit Harry Potter- feeling from the Great Room?

    Looking at these pictures made me miss my University. Allthough it is nowhere near as impressing, I can not wait till fall comes and for me to once again dive into Polish and Anthropology.
    Glad you had a terrific weekend gorgeous!

  • JessicaR May 30, 2010, 4:13 pm

    I’m sorry about the cry session! 🙁 If it’s any consolation (not really!), my college years were the worst of my life and I would rather jump off a cliff than repeat them. Hah!

  • Rachel @ Balance and Blueberries May 30, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Yes! You’re absolutely right. Some of the best years with some of the most amazing people. College years are so formative, I think we all just get super attached and invested in the places and people that we lived in and know.

  • Kellie May 30, 2010, 4:20 pm

    I sometimes miss the freedom of college. No husband, kids, responsibility. But then I remember how blessed I am to have them, and know that these are going to be my best years.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 30, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Wow the Cathedral is such a cool building. I love the architecture!

  • Koko May 30, 2010, 4:21 pm

    Oh my gosh. I LOVE that building!! It’s like HARRY POTTER! I can’t believe all the special rooms though, what an awesome place to learn! I’m still in my ‘college years’…I better make the most of them!!!!

  • Camille May 30, 2010, 4:21 pm

    That is one of the most gorgeous, creative buildings I have ever seen!
    I can’t believe that is a college! Mine pales in comparison…

  • Meg May 30, 2010, 4:22 pm

    Fuel and Fuddle is my favorite restaurant in Oakland!! So happy you had a good time in Pittsburgh!!!

  • Cat May 30, 2010, 4:26 pm

    I went to the University of Washington in Seattle and it’s also an amazingly beautiful campus. I often miss it too! One of my good college girlfriends moved nearby to me 2 years ago (in the Bay Area) and last night I realized I was hanging out with all people from my college (we had some friend from out of town)! And it made me SO HAPPY! I graduated 7 years ago and I definitely identify with your feelings on many occassions!

  • Lisa @ Early Morning Run May 30, 2010, 4:27 pm

    what an absolutely gorgeous building! I love exploring old, ornate buildings like this one. It just amazes me how people were able to build these incredible places.

    Glad to hear you’re having such a great weekend!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople May 30, 2010, 4:32 pm

    What a beautiful building! However, why would they have such uncomfortable seats? That seems completely ridiculous to me. They need to make them comfortable, STAT! =)

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches May 30, 2010, 4:36 pm

    That cathedral building looks like it would be a great place to explore! Very cool. Love the different room themes, and I’m amazed that you were able to study in that huge hall! It seems like it would transport you back to Europe where they have all those huge Cathedrals. Very Harry Potter-esque!

  • Sara G. May 30, 2010, 4:43 pm

    Yeah, I loved Pitt’s campus when I visited this year. I thought about going there for college next year, but I decided on University of Tampa. I know, they are completely opposite!

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 30, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Wow, that cathedral is gorgeous!!! The photos look like they are screen shots from a movie.

    That wrap looks yummy. 🙂


  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg May 30, 2010, 4:50 pm

    I’ve had cries like that…it really sucks realizing that you’re a grown-up, and you’re never, ever going to go back to those carefree college and high school days again. I LOVE my life now– my husband, my job, etc.– but it is definitely an adult life! Sigh.

    That cathedral is beautiful! I can’t imagine having class in some of those rooms!

  • Helga May 30, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Oh, how I understand you. I tend to be horribly nostalgic like that.
    And this is the craziest university building I’ve ever seen! So cool!

  • kirsten May 30, 2010, 5:05 pm

    That’s how I feel too about college, like nothing is ever going to be as good as it was!

  • Garrett May 30, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Haha i had a freakin writing class in that AH room and i hated those F-ing seats. U couldnt fall asleep in them cause they were too wide and hard as hell. You should of hit me up while ya were in the burgh for a beer or a quick adjustment.

    • caitlin May 30, 2010, 5:09 pm

      Are you back in Pittsburgh?? I didn’t know that. We ran into Causi at the bar!

      • Garrett May 31, 2010, 9:12 pm

        yeah im living in Mt. Washington workin full time as a chiropractor! You def need to hit me up when u get back into the burgh

  • *Andrea* May 30, 2010, 5:21 pm

    yummy wrap! one reason i could never go vegan..EGGS!

    what a cool building!! being armenian and all i love seeing the armenian room 😉

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 30, 2010, 5:27 pm

    The rooms in that building are amazing! I would pay so much more attention if I had classes in pretty rooms like those haha. 😉

    I know what you mean about missing a particular time in your life. Surprisingly I miss high school a lot!

  • Sarah May 30, 2010, 5:29 pm

    Caitlin I love this! I currently go to Pitt and had my Political Philosophy recitation in the African Heritage room, Soooo uncomfortable. I’m home for the summer and I miss Pittsburgh so much *sob*

  • Alison May 30, 2010, 5:38 pm

    You totally went to Hogwarts! That is all I was thinking when I was looking at those pictures:-)

  • Danielle May 30, 2010, 5:47 pm

    Thank you for showing us a mini-tour of the campus. My grandparents grew up in Pennsylvania and after WWII my grandfather went to Pitt on the GI bill.

    I have to agree with you about the “college years” – they truly are some of the most wonderful years of your life. It’s been a few more years out of college for me (I graduated with my M.Ed in 2004) and I miss my college friends and some of those life experiences more than anything. I think the more time that passes and the more “settled” we get in life the more content we become with the way things are now. Hugs!

  • Katy May 30, 2010, 6:16 pm

    P I T T let’s go Pittttttt!

    Oakland is GORGEOUS this time of year…

  • Megan May 30, 2010, 6:32 pm

    This post made me smile. I have the same feeling about campus and my Pitt girlfriends — they are the best and I miss them horribly. Guess you can never go back to college… (Did you see Avenue Q? So funny and so true!) I’m so glad you guys had a good time! The ‘burgh is always up for a bit *too* much fun.

  • jenny May 30, 2010, 6:48 pm

    Wow what a great building. It reminds me of Harry Potter ahah 🙂 Sounds like you had a memorable weekend. I’m going to cherish my last semester of college after reading this post!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) May 30, 2010, 8:09 pm

    Whoa, how awesome that you had class in the Cathedral! I agree about the college times. Life is so great now, but different. Reminiscing about college makes me miss it so much!!!!

  • Lisa May 30, 2010, 8:23 pm

    That Great Room is gorgeous! What amazing architecture!

  • Alexandra May 30, 2010, 9:27 pm

    Most of my classes so far have been on the 23rd floor of the Cathedral. I hate the elevators there.

    Last semester, I was in class, and one of my classmates came in late, surprised that we were all in the room. As it turns out, there was a fire in a trash can, and everyone was evacuated…but we didn’t hear the announcement; apparently the PA system wasn’t working on our floor, and there were no fire alarms that we could hear. Nice, right? The Cathedral’s gorgeous, though. 🙂

  • Meghan@traveleatlove May 30, 2010, 10:02 pm

    I loved college but I feel like life just gets better with each stage. I do love my annual Cape Cod girls weekend with the roomies!

  • Jolene ( May 31, 2010, 12:40 am

    That is the coolest University building I have ever seen!!! I would love to tour some of the Colleges in the US!!

  • Amber May 31, 2010, 2:15 am

    That’s amazing! I wish my university had looked like that!

    I am actually JUST graduating from University THIS week and I’m already kind of missing it 🙁 Haha!!!

  • Little Bookworm May 31, 2010, 6:16 am

    The Cathedral looks amazing, especially the Great Room! 🙂

  • Emily May 31, 2010, 7:30 am

    I was just in Pittsburgh last year with OSU’s Symphonic Band. We performed a piece by a composer from Carnegie Mellon and also toured the Cathedral!

    Glad you had a great weekend!

  • Marissa May 31, 2010, 10:04 am

    I always have to pose on sculputures of animals whenever I see them! Its just so much fun. I know how to feel about missing what once was. I don’t think anything could possibly hurt more than that.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 31, 2010, 11:42 am

    Those rooms are so awesome. As a former educator I love the idea of learning in different environments.

  • Angela (ohsheglows) May 31, 2010, 12:10 pm

    I cannot get OVER that building. It is honestly my dream….I would live there if I could. haha.

  • Raya @ Raya Runs May 31, 2010, 1:56 pm

    I had pre-calculus in the cathedral of learning. Is there still a Chick Fil-A in the basement? That was the first Chick Fil-A I ever went to in my life.

    • Raya @ Raya Runs May 31, 2010, 1:56 pm

      Oops. It was business calculus, not pre-calc

    • caitlin May 31, 2010, 1:57 pm

      mmm i remember that chick fila!! i dont know if its still there though, we didnt go into the basement 🙂

  • John May 31, 2010, 5:39 pm

    That’s an awesome cathedral!

  • Annie June 1, 2010, 10:02 am

    I’m heading to my five year reunion on Thursday. I’m so excited to go back to DC and see all of my friends and old hang-outs. 🙂

  • Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby June 1, 2010, 2:47 pm

    awwwww, this is making me miss college, crappy food, cramped dungeons disguised as dorm rooms and all! this last semester i decided to take a british-style “gap year” for the next year, to find a transfer school, and get all things in order 🙂 can’t wait to get back to all of the college craziness though!

    did your husband take a gap year? if so, what did he do?

    BEAUTIFUL campus! my friend goes to pitt, and i’m fully jealous now!

    • caitlin June 1, 2010, 9:53 pm

      hmmm no, he pretty much went high school to undergrad i think. he might’ve taken a semester off.

  • Joanna June 1, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I graduated from Pitt in 2005 and was there visiting friends this weekend also! I ran from Shadyside to Oakland and sat on the Cathedral lawn and reminisced. Almost all of my classes were in the Cathedral (I’m also a nonfiction writing major!) It’s crazy what how much has changed (in my life) in 5 years. I loved Pitt and miss college life. But once I got back to NYC, I realized THIS is home.

    I could have sworn I saw you in Station Square on Saturday afternoon. Wasn’t sure if it was really you or not!

    Hope you get back to Pitt soon! (I also wanted to go to Fuel and Fuddle but settled for Mad Mex!)

    • caitlin June 1, 2010, 9:55 pm

      i bet that was me!!! hehe

  • JB June 4, 2010, 10:04 am

    Hi! Know this is delayed but thought you would be interested in this story…my grandfather attended Pitt for undergrad and grad. He used to tell me stories that he remembered students collecting pennies from other students in order to fund the construction of the cathedral! Can’t believe pennies helped to build such a beautiful building. Go Steelers!

  • Lan November 20, 2011, 4:39 am

    Could you do a post (or have I missed it in the archives?) about lessons you’ve learned from your college years that have carried over into your life since? Or things that didn’t matter in the end?

    • CaitlinHTP November 20, 2011, 10:59 am

      Oh this would be a fun post. I’ve never done anything like this. My lessons would be:

      love hard.
      don’t drink so much.
      don’t be stupid (see lesson #2).
      study hard.
      do as many internships as possible.
      don’t buy things you can’t afford.
      get counseling while it’s free 😉
      don’t stress so much about your major.

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