What happens when things don’t go as expected on trips?

I have been on trips where I have gotten lost, didn’t speak the language, had ants in my rental car, smashed fingers in car doors all while traveling solo. What do you do when things don’t go as expected on your trip?  In all of these situations, I have tried to turn things around without getting upset, hysterical, or just plain panicked. One thing about traveling solo is that when the unexpected happens you have only yourself to lean on and figure out what to do next.  As I have gotten through each one of these and many others, I have gained even more confidence that whatever the world throws at me I can handle it and make it into something better.

On the most recent trip to Pittsburgh, our plan didn’t go as we thought it would. Before the trip, my mom asked me if I happen to find a local quilt shop pick up a kit that comes from that area. As my mom is a huge quilter I took this as something that we had to do. I asked my niece, Kayla, to find an address of a local quilt shop. Our plan was to do some sight-seeing and then head over to the quilt store.

I drove to the town where Kayla picked, “Fabric Place” in Mount Lebanon which is right outside Pittsburgh. She kept telling me that it is the best store in the area. We found a parking deck and walked across the street to the store.  As I entered the shop, I knew right away that we were not in the right store. It was a fabric store but, that is all it was – no quilting here. We walked out, and I asked her what she looked up, and she said sewing stores since Grandma sews quilts. Oops!

What did we do then? We made the most of our time in a new town! I already paid for parking so; we decided to set out and explore. Mount Lebanon’s downtown is small but filled with some nice local stores. We stopped into Potomac Bakery and picked up some breakfast. As we finished circling back through the downtown Kayla commented that “This was the best Cannoli that she ever tasted” and my blueberry muffin was top-notch, also.  We both agreed that if we have never checked out  Fabric Place, we wouldn’t have had that wonderful breakfast.

I let Kayla try again, and she picked Quilter’s Depot at 4160 Liberty. We punched the address into the Garmin and off we went. I ended up driving all over Pittsburgh trying to find this store. We spent an hour driving up and down Liberty and could not find the darn place.  We decided to call it a day and head back to our cousin’s place since it was looking like we were never going to find a quilt shop but, we did get to see another Pittsburgh neighborhood. Later that night I went online to find quilt shops in Pittsburgh. I wanted to see if there were any that we could drive by on our way out-of-town and guess what I found…Quilter’s Depot at 4160 Library. OMG! We couldn’t stop laughing about the mix-up!

What did I take away from all this? Make sure to double-check the address before you head out! If you happen to find yourself in the wrong place or can’t find it at all, try to enjoy the opportunity of exploring a new city. You will never know what you might find! For those of you wanting to know if we ever did find a quilt shop. We did! I found an excellent, beautiful little shop, Piecing It Together, a few miles from my cousin’s home.

Have you ever had something unexpected happen on your trip?  What do you do when things don’t go as expected?

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