Hula Hooping With The Seagulls

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Where I stayed
Crow's Nest

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Doors slamming, people talking, bumping into my car, I awakened; 5:50 am.

I was in some parking lot in Essex, MA.  It was pitch dark when I arrived last night.  Turns out it is the meeting place for a runner's club.  And they all were parking around my Aztek.  They had no idea that there was a dude sleeping in the car next to them.

I waited for them to leave, then began my drive to Gloucester.  I followed my GPS locater on my I Phone 4 and took the road to the water. 

I parked next to a house right on Pavilion Beach.  I got out, the cool, crisp air woke my senses.  Piercing blue sky, multi-colored round rocks framed the blue green horseshoe shaped beach.  Sailboats passed by, a women walking her dog; and the seagulls.  The seagulls were talking to me, I swear it.  Not like the lazy, bread begging gulls from Florida.  These gulls were huge, strong and had a real vocabulary.

This place is magical, I just knew it.  I thought how wonderful it must be to grow up in a place with as much beauty and character as this.  We are not all born equal.  If you get a start here you will be something special.

I saw a small park to my left and decided to drive there and check it out.  I pulled into a spot overlooking a full court basketball court, and playground, right on the water.  Whoever in this government decided to build this here is a genius.  Imagine that, a town council spending tax money on something really great.

A bearded guy in a Red Sox cap was enjoying the solitude of the morning when I interrupted him, while wearing my Tampa Bay Rays cap, "How bout' them Rays'" I joked with him. We started talking and he was cool.  A chef at Passport's, a local restaurant on Main Street.  He told me he likes to start his day off here and get his mind right.  A smart move.  He then told me about the town and invited me for lunch.

I worked out on the different contraptions of the playground then played solitary, bare foot, full court basketball, all with sailboats passing by, gulls squawking, and locals having a morning stroll.  I said, "good morning, great spot," to all that passed by.  Everyone smiled back and agreed.  

I was ready to leave and head out to find a hotel.  Started talking to an older couple from Rockport.  They listened to my stories and I listened to theirs.  Slowly a group of women starting arriving to the basketball court, with hula hoops.  They formed a circle and started hula hooping.  How cool.  

I said hello to them and they invited me to join them.  How could I resist.  They instructed me on how to do it properly, and after several failures I got the hang of it.  I went way to fast but got a great core workout as well as a serious big toe blister.  My abs are on fire this morning. I was invited to stop by for some sushi at the instructors waitress job at Latitudes on Rogers Street later that night.  

I logged into my GPS the address of a local hotel in order to get to Gloucester so I punched it in and drove to the Crow's Nest on Main Street.  It was a rustic Inn right on the waterfront with the real old time fishing ships I was hoping for, right in front of it.  I walked into the bar at about 11:00 am and it had a small crowd.  The cute, vibrant, bartender named Terre greeted me.  

Please tell me you have a vacancy, I pleaded.  It was Saturday and was sure she was gonna tell me it was full.  She looked in the book, compared notes from the other entries.  Yes, we have a room she stated.  "I'll take it".  $75.00, I was in.

After unpacking I headed to Passport's for lunch.  This cute server brought me this huge cadiwompus looking thing called a Popover.  It was the crispiest, crunchiest, butteriest, most delicious thing I ever ate. No kidding. I told Jeremy to make me something special and he sent out a huge Reuben with fries.  Not exactly the nutrition I wanted but wow was it good.  I cherry picked the best parts of the sandwich and had just a few crispy, hot fries.

This place was busy.  I sat at the bar and watched one huge plate of goodness pass by me over and over.  These two cooks and the staff were cranking it out.  What a great place.

The server sent me to the Lone Gull coffee shop for my wifi connection.  With a full stomach and ready for sleep, I ordered a huge cup of coffee, plugged in my computer, attached my I Phone 4, and prayed for a good connection, not like the McDonald's in Gloucester the night before.  

Perfect.  The wifi was a fast connection, allowing me to catch up on all uploads.  The place was a non-stop entry point for happy locals.  I enjoyed the banter and shared some tales with many customers.  This beats the hell out of any Dunkin' Donuts, or Starbucks. The employees here really cared and I will call this my morning home while I am here.  Hurray for the small business entrepreneur.

Once done with my story and uploads I walked back to my room at the Crow's Nest, gulls talking to me as I walked.

At my quaint but clean room I got to talking to the in-law of the owners, Brian.  A real Gloucester character.  He told me the history of my hotel,  His mom was the bartender that was featured in the movie The Perfect Storm.  Mark Walberg stayed here for three weeks during the movie's filming.  Perfect.

After showering I collapsed on the bed for a peaceful three hour nap. 

Popping out of bed about 6:00 pm I wandered the downtown streets, talking and having my two beers.  I stopped in at Latitudes and said hi to my new friend.  I wandered for hours and then went down for sleep at about 10:00 pm. 

What a great day. 
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