By Chrysa Smith

A friend once told me that he doesn’t get disappointed because he has no expectations. That’s one way to avoid the blues, but being bereft of expectations seems like a numbing experience. So, I revised it a bit and try to keep my expectations below the 500 level—leaving room for anything more than mediocre to thrill me beyond belief.

So it was today.

I was headed for a book reading up in Bethlehem. It’s a great program and it was a beautiful day. So note to self: probably not a lot of kids there due to the weather. Well to my surprise, after I got lost and found the right location, I found a full room of kids and parents waiting to hear me tell my dog tales. Afterwards, I was invited to the Cops ‘N Kids reading festival held down the block. Wow—what a great event, complete with entertainment, free food, give-a-ways and lovable mascot figures. So far, so good. So then, off to meet my husband for lunch in Saucon Valley. We had a gift card for Shula’s—an upscale steakhouse located in the Promenade, off Rt. 309 and 78. Opens at 4pm. It was 12:30 and I was hungry. OK, onto plan B. How about we eat somewhere else and skip the movie we had considered, since the skies were bright and the sun, warming beyond belief.

So, I killed some time walking through the shopping complex, and I stumbled upon dozens and dozens of dogs—large and small, cute and wrinkled, bare and costumed. It was a special Paws Parade sponsored by the shopping center and some of the businesses there. What a hoot! It tickled my day and even got me to meet a gentleman with a unique dog store. I walked further and found Francesca’s,a great gal’s boutique with funky clothing and chachkas containing irreverent and retro talk that I happen to adore. (Check out their dorm selections under the gift tab. I happen to think they apply to women NRFGP more than teens–especially love their tin banks) While shopping, a call from my husband got me to check out and head over to MELT—a trendy and good Italian restaurant with a diverse menu and wine list. It’s got a bit of a European techno vibe—feels like the big city among the rolling hills of Lehigh. We ate outdoors, sat in the sun, nibbled on calamari and salads and drank some wine (well, I did). Check it out someday. In cool weather, I do like their pasta dishes—including a bolognese that’s pretty darn satisfying.

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry, leaving room for more than mediocre adventures to transport you to new places, at the spur of the moment. Now, if I could only figure out how to plan more of these!!