When I was working in Hawaii, there was a duration of a few months where 6 of us were in a group we called Workout Warriors. There were two of us from Hawaii, two were in California, and two were in Georgia. We would take turns coming up with a workout, then we all had one week from the text announcement to complete the workout and post our score/time. The focus was to be positive and supportive of each other. We did have some epic competition at times as the level of fitness was rather high compared to the average. While in Georgia, I naturally thought of these fun times and hoped to leverage the connections for a place to stay.
As it turns out, one friend was away, traveling for work. The other friend was quite busy with his personal life and it didn’t quite work out, but he did put me in touch with another peer. This peer is someone I have multiple mutual friends with, just haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet myself. Luckily, things were smooth on his end and he was chill about welcoming me.
Now that I had a place to stay, I still needed my meetings. My buddy from the former Workout Warriors group belongs to a CrossFit gym and he was kind enough to coordinate with the gym owner an opportunity for me to meet with them. I went into CrossFit High Tide and heard how sticking to your vision over time is key. I enjoyed having that mutual contact.
Through some messaging, I had a response from Eagle Creek Brewing Company and headed over for the meeting. I had a couple minutes to wait and met a patron who was eating some lunch. He is a car salesman and we got to chatting a bit, with me telling my story of the journey. He said he knew a CrossFit owner and reached out to her on my behalf! It was such an unanticipated bit of joy for me!
I then met with the owner of Eagle Creek Brewing Company and heard how legislative changes have really had an impact on the industry and the ability to serve beer. At the end of our chat, he offered if I wanted to taste some beer, which I happily obliged. He then proceeded to give me half- to three-quarters full pints of various beers to try. It was like a flight but on steroids! They had a sweet tea amber that was unique and delicious. I appreciated the kindness sharing some stickers with me as well as a go pack of beer!
Through my new connection, I scheduled a final gym meeting for the following morning. I tried my luck at some breweries but to no avail. I decided to get a workout in and work on stuff until it was time to link up with my new connection at his place. Just as I anticipated, we got along quite fine and I could give away some of the free beer I had acquired. He told me him and a buddy were going to get some wings at a local joint and invited me. I accepted.
I had debated if I was going to eat any wings or not. On one hand, I didn’t need wings and could be fiscally responsible. On the other hand, I saw they had all you can eat wings and that is something that peaks my interest quite high! I went for it. I think I ate around 40-50 wings. A decent amount but not so much where I was unpleasantly, painfully, full. I had joked that one day my friend would tell a tale of this guy in town for a night, who just ate and ate and ate so many wings. I doubt it has been told like that, but it is more fun to think it has been.
That night I also had a new connection through a friend of a friend. I didn’t know about the timing since I thought I’d be leaving the next day, but as it turns out, she had the day off and we would be able to link up.
In the morning, I headed over to Down Home CrossFit and heard how they truly see fitness as a modality to improve the overall quality of life. The rest of the day was a mix of trying to find a brewery and having fun. The breweries were a bit rough to come by without heading towards Atlanta. There was another brewery, but I had decided I would pop in once they opened at 5pm. This meant it was fun till work!
I met up with my new connection and we hit it off fairly well. A nice lunch with a beer is a good way to start things off. I was surprised when she offered to cover lunch, but quite happy of course. I thought that maybe it for the day, but we chatted some more, and she was willing to still hang out and act as a quasi-tour guide for me in Savannah!
We decided to leave my car there and carpooled to a good walking spot and nearby a coffee shop as well. My friend wanted coffee and she didn’t have cash on her, so I happily covered it after lunch. We then walked around for a while, taking in the sites. I came across a Confederate statue that put me in a moment of awe. This was shortly after the Charlottesville incidents earlier and the topic of Confederate statues had been in the news quite a bit.
It was neat to see a piece of history, as the statue has been around for a while, yet it was disgusting to me to see it so prominent in display. It felt as if it was supposed to be in the banned section or in a museum with ample literature. I don’t mean to offend anyone here, and odds are I should avoid any potential hot topics but with knowledge, it brings light to the story. As it turns out, most of the statues were erected during the Jim Crow era and with civil rights becoming a hot topic. They were meant as a representation to blacks that they were beneath whites, something I passionately disagree with. We are all equal and should be treated as such. Here is one NPR article to provide a source on the statues. Much more could be provided, but I’ve digressed enough.
Getting back to the tour, we walked around, saw a lovely fountain and came across a cemetery and a location with a ghost story associated with it. As I often do in new areas, I shifted to “toddler mind” asking bunches and bunches of questions. My friend had an amazing attitude about it, was able to answer a good deal of them and others we just made a best guess.
We then headed down by the river where I heard it was legal to have a beer outside! What!?! I had only experienced this in Las Vegas and in Germany. I pushed for us to get beers and that we did. It made walking around the more touristy area more enjoyable. I even had a free sample of a genuine pecan Sandie! It was rather tasty.
My friend knew of a cool rooftop bar, so we checked that out for a while which was a great view. Continuing back on the walking, we encountered an impromptu rainstorm soaking us. It didn’t really matter though as the afternoon had been hot and quite humid, so the rain helped to cool things down and blended the sweat in to not look as bad.
Time was starting to come to a point where I had to try and get to my brewery and my friend had a work dinner to attend. It was quite an amazing day and a delight to hit it off so well. We said goodbye and went our ways.
I headed over to Coastal Empire Beer and had no luck getting in. It seemed it was still locked, even shortly after opening hours. I was a bit perplexed, but as I was walking down the ramp to my car, I saw someone pulling out. It was an owner and they said they lost power for the day. I told him my story and he wanted to help but had to drive out of town without any time to spare. He said his brother would be in the next morning and he could meet with me. I kindly asked him to verify and that he did. I told him thank you and drive safe. I had the last meeting locked up, yet uncertainty of where to sleep for the night.
I felt a bit odd reaching out to my contact that I stayed the previous night as I had already stayed once and said my goodbye. I then texted my new friend with the update and they said they had a spare room I could crash in. Talk about southern hospitality! I went to a Starbucks to get some work done until they were done with the work obligation.
It was quite nice to have some more hanging time, a beer, and a bed to crash in for the night. I headed out the next morning and talked with Coastal Empire Beer and it reminded me a bit of how my brother and I used to work together. I heard how changes in the law really helped them as a business and now they could make large and small batch beer. I was grateful to try some beers, including a delicious coco pina beer that instantly made me think of summer. I happily took a sticker too and then headed on down to Florida, hoping all the hurricanes would be done for the summer.