As I was in New Hampshire I had a solid moment of looking ahead to see if I could lock in some lodging for a night or two. I recalled my friend who I stayed with in Kansas said he had some connections in Maine. When my phone died I had lost his number. I did have another buddy’s number, the same one that put me in touch with my Kansas friend, so I asked once more for the number and he came through.
Through a group message, I had lodging for Thursday night. As It turns out, my Maine friends had lived in southern California too! Within 30 minutes of where I grew up. Talk about a small world. They said they were going to a Shakespeare in the Park event and said I could tag along. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a play type, but felt it would be a fun, growth type experience, perfect for the trip.
Thanks to CrossFit New Hampshire and a connection of a connection I had a gym owner for CrossFit Casco Bay. I drove by but was early and decided to go to a library first. Upon arriving at the library, I noticed I was close to the ocean. I have never been in the Atlantic Ocean! It reminded me of some relatives I had from Illinois who had never seen the ocean and the excitement they had when visiting us and seeing the ocean. As a kid from California, I thought that was fun but a little silly too. Now I get it! I swapped my shoes for sandals and detoured to the ocean. It was cool, appreciating touching 2 different oceans. For some people, it’s not a big deal, but for others, they haven’t had such an opportunity.
After some time in the ocean and library, I went to my first meeting at CrossFit Casco Bay and heard how an opportunity led to the purchase of the place. It is a joy to spend time doing what you love with people who are your friends.
My next meeting was with CrossFit Hack. Props go to them as they were one of the few that volunteered to be part of this journey from my first post to a CrossFit Coaches Learning Community on Facebook ( a public group that you can join). I went there and heard about the purpose they place in their programming, but not just in the workout of the day (WOD), but each movement. They also had an adorable video with a kiddo giving the tour. I appreciate the shirt they gave me!
Leaving the gym, I told them I had a brewery scheduled, but needed one more. They told me about Dirigo. I shot over and found the owner was behind the bar. As it turns out, there was another person doing an interview at that time. He was writing for a local publication. Luckily Tom didn’t mind fielding both questions and the other gentleman was kind enough to work with me and found my questions interesting as well. I heard how a passion drives a decision and sometimes things are simplified when you have complete ownership in the vision you want.
A side bonus was meeting a few kind patrons while the owner was helping other customers. Two of which liked my idea of the opener and decided they could add up their cash and get one. Through some chats, I heard I needed to get a lobster roll and I said alright.
It was a solid day of 3 meetings! I had the fourth one scheduled for the following day and a place to stay for the night. I went over to the place and had an awkward type moment as I got out of my car. I kind of looked in the house, with a hesitant type movement. Then I heard, hi! I said hi I’m Jeremy. They told me to come in and I met my new friends. They were super welcoming and showed interest in the journey which made it fun. They had made a nice dinner with some pesto pasta and salad. I enjoyed it and happily had the seconds offered.
We went to the event, Shakespeare in the park. In candid fashion, I wasn’t really great at following the details. The Shakespearian language was tough in school and still tough today. I did get the overall gist though and it was a fun experience. We went home and my friends offered I could stay another day if needed. It was quite kind of them. I stayed the night, had a good shower with some nice snacks in the morning. Before leaving, I made sure to get a picture of us and my friend took some high-quality pictures of my bottle opener. Those will be handy later.
I then said my thanks and goodbyes before heading to Baxter Brewing. It took me a moment to get inside due to the tap door being locked and no one around as it was prior to opening hours. I wandered around until I found an open door then talked to some people saying I had a meeting. One escorted me up the building and I could meet and heard how they liked the craft beer scene on the west coast and knew the people of Maine would enjoy a quality beer they could take with them anywhere. As I was leaving, I was kindly offered 18 beers! I happily took them, took some pictures and told people. I later shared the wealth, giving some beers to others to experience.
Leaving Maine, I was chatting with my Mom telling her about the kindness of my new friends and the owners I met. I had talked about a lobster roll then saw a sign that looked like a good spot. It was chowder and roll in a hole in the wall. I walked in and discovered I could get a bigger roll but it was more expensive. I went for that option to really take in the experience. It was solid. When later chatting with a friend about it, I said it was good but I’d rather have the 2-3 carne asada burritos for the same price in a southern California taco shop.