As Joseph and I traveled south out of Maine, we started listening to a book on CD. It was James Patterson’s Sundays at Tiffanys. By around 9pm, we had checked into a hotel and were on our way to Newburyport MA for dinner. At the desk clerk’s suggestion. we went to a place called Michael’s. It was on the dock by the water. We found the place easily and parked. However, from the moment we walked into the place, I didn’t feel good about it.
As soon as we walked in, a cellphone-distracted hostess greeted us. Some small chat revealed that she was bored because that it was a slow night. Not encouraging to me.
Still, she sat us at a very nice table by the water. The lights dancing on the water was a happy sight. We were so close to the boats we could have had a conversation with the people in them. I started to think I was wrong about the place.
Then we waited. And waited. No server. No water. No nothing. If it was such a slow night, why didn’t a server come by and at least let us know s/he knew we were there.
After ten minutes without even a single acknowledgement, I got really itchy and agitated. If that’s what the service was like, I wondered about the quality of the food.
Joseph and I got up and left. I don’t’ think anyone noticed…or cared.
Just a few minutes later, we were pulling into the heart of Newburyport. It’s a cute little town that reminds me of a cross between West Chester PA and Alexandria Virginia. And, like many of towns with 1700’s Revolutionary War ties, it’s steeped in maritime history.
There were so many places to eat that it was a hard choice. I pick the 17 State Street Cafe because it looked nostalgic, relaxed, inexpensive and interesting. Once upon a time, through most of the last century, this was called Fowles, a local all-purpose store. It sold sodas, cigars, magazines, etc. The current owner has maintained that historical feel of the place. It was kind of kitschy but I felt like it was a place with good history.
It was a good choice. Yes, the food and drink were both very good. But it was our server, a very cute thirty-something woman, who made my night. She was so personable that she sat down with us to explain the specials, take our order, etc. We got chatty with her. When she heard about our trip, she told us that she wished she could do what we do…
Of course, I couldn’t help myself. I asked her if she’d ever done a vision board…and she hadn’t!! So I told her about the radio show that aired yesterday (taped before I left). I told her that I was going to do a free teleseminar on vision boards soon. She’d never heard of vision boards and was so excited! I didn’t have any business cards so she went to the back and got her journal, asking me to write down the info. “I was meant to meet you tonight!” she exclaimed with a delightful energy in her eyes. Frankly, I had to agree. There were so many other places we could have eaten and I chose this one.
I’m amazed by how often I find myself in the right place at the right time to meet interesting people or make meaningful connections. Sort of reminds me of that Humphrey Bogart line…”of all the gin joints…”
After dinner we went to The Thirsty Whale. It’s a bar and, a few years ago, Joseph and I met a “Cheers” kind of crowd there – all interesting people. We had a good time then, but the crowd had changed…very young. We were out of place. A sign that it was time to go back to the hotel and rest up for the drive home.