Obstacle #1: The weather
In our minds, Saturday would be a nice day. Instead, it was a bit gloomy, rainy, and pretty much just gross - making us not want to just wander around for hours on foot. So, after a delicious brunch at Pamela's (which happened to be in an adorable little area with lots of fun shops!) we said goodbye to the fam, wandered around the street's boutiques for a bit, and decided to get back to our car. We had been in Pittsburgh the year before for a wedding that the hubs had been in, so he wanted to take me to the park where they took pictures - Schenley Park. It was a very pretty park, with a big hill overlooking a portion of the city. We walked around and took pictures, but again, the gloomy weather made it less than ideal. Next we wanted to check out a place we passed on the way to brunch - Church Brew Works. This leads me to...
Obstacle #2: Traffic
Living in a city that you can get pretty much anywhere in 20 minutes or less, we tend to forget that driving in other cities is not so easy. Not to mention not really knowing where things are makes us dependent on a GPS. Getting everywhere on Saturday took longer than expected. We waited in traffic a lot. We took wrong turns several times and had to turn around. We just felt like we spent more time waiting than actually being anywhere.
Anyway, we got to Church Brew Works, were wowed by the stunning interior and awesome idea of turning an old cathedral into a brewery and pub. We shared a flight of beer and enjoyed sipping, chatting, and admiring our surroundings. By then the weather was only getting more wet and gloomy, so we decided to head straight to Southwide Works, REI, instead of downtown and look for my pack.
Obstacle #3: Too many people, too little help
We arrived in the backpack area that was taken up by a tent that some woman was testing out. Another woman inside the tent said she would be able to help us in just a minute. She was super helpful, knowledgeable, and great, however, clearly she should have had some extra help in the department. Not only was she helping this lady figure out her tent situation, she was helping a young family find the right baby backpack (if that's the right term I'd be shocked), and now helping me figure out what backpack would be best for me. After an hour or so of trying on backpacks, walking around the store with what would end up being "the one" (almost) on my back, and scoping out a few other things, I decided to use my RedLaser app to see if I could find the Gregory Deva 60 for a better price than the $269 that REI was charging. Yes! e-OMC had it for only $198 and free 3-day shipping. Score! The power of the internet :) That was it - we left the store frustrated, but satisfied, feeling that hey, we finally won today!
We did a few more things, and then it was time to meet up with our hosts for dinner at Hofbrauhaus. We had to wait about ten minutes just to put our name in for a table. "45 minutes to an hour" they told us, "we'll text you when your table is ready." We were still waiting for hub's sister and husband, so we thought we'd get a drink to finally sit down and relax. The bar in this place was PACKED so we walked over to Claddagh Irish Pub just across the way. We each ordered a beer - I was so looking forward to the Strongbow I ordered. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, came out, and...
Obstacle #4: Unreliability/Surprises
Hubby said "they just texted us - our table is ready!" :( What? We were there literally 10 minutes ago! So, long story short, we had to chug our beers (still sad about this b/c it was so delicious and perfect and I couldn't even enjoy it!) and get to the restaurant before our table was given away. In the end, dinner was delicious and the day and night all turned out well, but we talked about how we were both frustrated with how the day turned out. It was nothing like the day we had expected. But...
Lesson Learned (once again): Travel, along with life of course, really doesn't ever go as planned. Some days will be better than expected, others not as great. But if you can say at the end of the day that overall it was positive and meaningful, and you enjoyed the company of the people you were with....that's all that really matters.
I know that we will face countless obstacles on our trip around the world, which in all honesty, is part of the fun and excitement. It's important to remember these things and not let the obstacles frustrate us, cause us distress, or ruin our time doing what we love. The whole point of our trip is to go with the flow, which I suppose is sometimes easier said than done when we're so used to having to plan our our weeks, days, and even minutes.
Really looking forward to embracing that change...