I finished up Maine on a Friday and finished Vermont as well. I had been in touch with a friend about staying with him outside Boston during the trip. I realized I didn’t have any strong connections to Rhode Island and maybe a possible one for Connecticut. Almost happenstance, I was talking with a friend through Facebook who I’ve had some, but limited interaction with since high school. I thought she had moved at some point and asked on a whim if she had connections. As it turned out she had one by Boston!
I then decided I could try to crash with this connection for two nights, then my other friend for two nights. The first two I’d try to finish Rhode Island, which was about 1-hour drive away and then complete Massachusetts.
A side note is the silly feeling I have when trying to spell Connecticut or Massachusetts. That sentence I spelled it perfectly the first try, but overall, I’ve realized I know how to spell those states, but there is still some uncertainty as I do so and I still mess it up at times. It should be easy, and each is one of the states, but perhaps it’s all the letters and my lack of familiarity with the state. Luckily for me, word has that little squiggly red line to tell me it’s wrong and spell check can usually fix it for me. As I’ve written more about each and gained more repetitions I’ve improved.
There may be some wondering, what about Connecticut. We haven’t gotten information on it yet. Well, I had planned (very loosely) on going to Connecticut after Rhode Island and Massachusetts, but I had a day and a half before then. I had all of Saturday and a chunk of Sunday before going to New York City to meet a friend and pick up a package that had my title for my old Volkswagen for the buyback. My brother had been helpful again which really is nice.
I decided I could try to finish Connecticut before moving on to my more formal plan. I drove into Connecticut thinking I could get lucky with a gym or two in the morning then work on breweries as they started to open. I went to a CrossFit gym and it was closed even though there was a car out front. As I was about to leave, I saw a garage door roll up. I quickly popped out of my car and went over, feeling some excitement that this would work well. As it turns out, the person there was just a coach and the owner was out of town for the weekend. Bummer. I thanked him for his time and retreated to the car to look for another location.
I found Bell City CrossFit and they had some open gym going on. An owner was there and he said sure to a meeting, but that Sunday would be better as his co-owner would be there as well. He said morning worked well and then I headed out happy making some steps.
I found CrossFit Cheshire and made my way over. As I was parking I saw a garage door roll down. I thought Nooo, that’s not good. I hope they aren’t in a rush to leave. Then figured I’d walk around back to see them. I had to press the issue since I was already there. I walked in and as it turns out, the owner had just arrived before me in the back. A coached relayed the gist of the story and the owner was in. I was happy at his kindness to take time and chat with me. I heard how the community was such a great place that he decided to purchase the gym from the founder to keep the community alive. During the chatting, I heard how he and another coach enjoyed beer and the coach would brew some as well. I had some beers in my car from Baxter Brewing in Maine and gave them a couple. It’s fun to share the goods with others.
With one gym done and another scheduled for the following day, it was time to head to breweries. I heard from CrossFit Cheshire that Kinsmen Brewing was a new and cool place. I walked in and found a spot at the bar and shared my story with one and sort of another bartender. They were both quite welcoming and encouraging of the journey. They said there was an owner in and they went to find him. He would be available in a little while and I was treated to a beer.
While waiting, an older gentleman came up and sat by me. He was from Seattle, visiting his sister before starting a European trip. We had a common fondness for beer and had a few good chats while the owner attended to the tasks he had to finish. I was then able to meet with the owner and heard how they had a vision for the spot and were excited to have a key point in the community for people to come and socialize.
After Kinsmen, I tried another place but without luck. I had heard the owners were nearly always there but apparently, those people who shared that information hadn’t been on a Saturday because I was told he does not go in on Saturdays. Was a bit of a shame as I had felt confident about that location then had a small bubble burst upon hearing that information.
I came across Witchdoctor, brewing what ales us. One of the owners was working but was somewhat busy. As I often try to do, I suggested I could come back at any time and he said in two hours it would be good as the other owner would be in. Sounded great to me. I was currently quite hungry. I hadn’t been eating anything great for a while. I had noted there was an Asian buffet nearby. I decided to go there as it was before the more expensive dinner pricing. I went through 3.5 plates, trying to eat enough without being uncomfortable.
I chatted with my brother a bit which was nice. I heard about various bills that had arrived which were less than nice. At least I’m fortunate enough to have someone willing to look through my mail and filter out junk from stuff that needs my attention. As we chatted I told him that due to the order in which events have played out, I had essentially been going back and forth through town for each meeting. 10-15 minutes one way. Then back. And back to the first area. I was gaining some familiarity with the town but also feeling a bit silly. Such is a product of the pop in approach. A plus was having a nice scenic drive at times, reminding me of a stretch in Fresno, CA. A few of us would say it was like Connecticut, even though we hadn’t been. Luckily I found a stretch to validate that claim all these years later.
Meeting with Witchdoctor I heard how the blend of engineering and creativity from one owner meshes well with the industry experience of another owner. It was through a few questions I was offered up a flight of beer upon which I happily accepted.
At the end, it was the evening and I hadn’t had a solid place lined up so earlier I had reserved a hotel. I have this small cloud over me with things I need to do. I always need to try and schedule more meetings. I need to write up blogs which I’m always behind on. I should write up some meetings which I did for the first 10 or so but have been awful about. Sometimes I get a hotel thinking I’ll get in, write, work out, write, sleep well, write, workout, and grub. Reality often means a version of that, but the time allocation for writing is much smaller than I’d like. More like 1-2 hours rather than multiple.
The fitness center was far from good. A broken treadmill and some multi-purpose machine. No matter as I know enough regarding the principles of movement to get work done. Apparently, there were limited hours so I used that time and got some solid work in.
In the morning, I had my final meeting, this one with Bell City CrossFit and heard how two members loved the community so much and when they heard the owner was looking to sell they took a chance. They have made adjustments but realized it takes longer than anticipated.
The rest of the day was driving and fun! I was heading to New York City. I have a friend from my Fresno days that moved to the city. More of those details in another blog, such suspense!