Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton
ralphmelton

Serendipity

A planning mishap and two wrong turns contributed to making Saturday a great day.

We had no advance plans for the day, because there had been such a high risk that I would be at work that there was no point in making plans. But hard work over the week paid off, and we were spared. So in the morning, I found a fix for a bug that was on my mind, because I knew that it would prey on me until I found a fix.

Then we talked about plans for the day, and I decided that I really wanted to play miniature golf. But we were slow getting off, and we were not sure that we would have time for miniature golf before Lori needed to be at church at 4. This was the first instance of our plans going off-track in a good way.

So we turned to another idea and visited a home theater store in Shadyside. (We have considered buying a new TV, and I wanted to know what we would wish for if money was no object. One particular thing that attracted me: they had a TV with a frame and a piece of special glass, so that when the TV was off, it looked like a framed mirror.)

So there we were in Shadyside, and we had discovered that the Shadyside Arts Festival was happening on Walnut Street. We dithered a little about whether to go, and I decided that if a parking space opened up, I would park and we could consider whether to visit. As I stated that intention, a parking space opened up in a stroke of good fortune. (I later saw a stretch limo parked in Shadyside. Since it happened, it must have been possible, but I still regard it as highly implausible to park a limo on those crowded streets.)

We walked among the booths a bit, when I saw a dazzling booth of beautiful metal leaf sculptures. Lori agreed that the offerings were gorgeous, and we quickly decided to buy one. I took Lori to church and went home to measure the space above our mantel and come back to buy. Here's a picture of our new purchase (not in its final location):
IMG_4233


The maker was torchcut.com (the website stinks, but the art is nice). The only down side: he had both this maple sculpture and an elm, and they were both good in incompatible ways, so we couldn't get all the virtues we wanted. I think I would have been happier if I had not seen the elm and so not had to choose.

Once we brought the sculpture home, we went out to play miniature golf. We went to Forsythe's Mini Golf in Carnegie, and really had a nice time; the course had lots of challenging elements (accentuated by a gradual disrepair).

From there, we went to Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza, which we had been curious to try. Cons: dark and noisy. Pros: very tasty wings and pizza. It had lots of TVs showing sports, and it was a good evening to watch sports: we got to see both the Pirates winning against the Brewers and the Steelers winning a preseason game against the Bills. The baseball game reminded Lori that there was to be a fireworks display after the baseball game - but we couldn't identify a place where we felt confident of being able to park. I suggested that we just drive along Fort Duquesne Boulevard and see what we could see from the road.

I missed a turn to get onto the Parkway, and we ended up driving through Carnegie before I managed to get onto the Parkway at last. This was a very fortunate wrong turn, because the fireworks began as we drove along Fort Duquesne - had we been a minute or two earlier, we would have missed them and driven on by. We slowed down and opened the sunroof, but the view was blocked by trees. But we saw other cars parked in the left turn lane, so we parked behind them and crossed Ft. Duquesne to get a good view.

The fireworks were really awesome, in a league with the fireworks at Disneyland. And we were very close and got a great view. It was really a splendid firework experience.

As we were driving home after the fireworks, I made another fortuitous wrong turn: I assumed that I could turn from 579 onto 376, but construction made that assumption false. But at this point, we were trusting in serendipity, so we drove down through the Liberty Tunnels and worked our way through Carrick back to the South Side. And that led naturally to thoughts of ice cream at Page Dairy Mart. At Page Dairy Mart, our eye was caught by the "Yinzer Sundae", which does not include french fries and coleslaw:
IMG_4239

This was a really great sundae. The warm blondie topped with soft serve ice cream and caramel made Lori say "this is cosmic". It's one of the best things we've had at Page Dairy Mart, and we'd love to have it again. (It was definitely sized for sharing.)
IMG_4240

So that's three mistakes, and every one a winner; without them, we would have had the mini golf, but we wouldn't have had the art, the fireworks, or the sundae. Some days things just work out.
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