We stayed last night in Wells, Maine. One thing we definitely wanted to do was to see the Atlantic ocean before leaving Maine for Massachusetts. We've learned that in these northern states, parking is dang near impossible- double that if you have a big trailer like ours. We found a nice beach but in order to park, you have to pay for a day, month, or yearly pass. We did, however, find a very rare "30 Minute Free Parking" spot, which we promptly took advantage of. Their parking spots were arranged in such a way that I was able to get everything in there just right.
So, we walked over to the beach. It was cold enough outside that Eli needed a big fluffy blanket:
After driving around the station several times (remember, parking is impossible), I was able to go in and speak to the police receptionist at the counter. I explained that we were a traveling family of illusionists who were just passing through town, and that we were completely in the dark as to what this ticket was for. She asked where our show had been in Maine. We talked for a bit about the show and I offered to show her what we do. I performed a quick two minutes right there in the station and she smiled from ear to ear! She agreed that the ticket didn't make sense and wrote VOID across the front in big red letters. She said that I was all set and to have a good day, and even asked for our website as I was walking out! Folks, trust me, you don't have to be a magician- just find something that you can do that makes people smile, and you WILL make someone's day. You'll also get better tickets at the airline counter, upgraded seating at restaurants (and sometimes free food), and it might get you out of a parking ticket or two (ask me about the incident in the middle of the night with the officer and the straitjacket). Making people smile really goes a long way in this world!
One other thing we wanted to do was to try the local seafood that Maine is famous for. We found a place called "Lobster Cove"- definitely check them out if you're up this way! They have the same big tank of live lobsters that we have at Red Lobster restaurants in Cincinnati, but here, they couldn't be fresher. The kids were thrilled when our waitress showed them a lobster up close:
Just as the food was about to arrive, Eli needed his pacifier from the Jeep. I reached for my keys... and... nothing. A check outside revealed that my keys were on the front seat, securely locked inside the car. Great, just what we need! Thankfully, Paula signed us up for Triple A just before we left home. That membership has paid for itself so many times over by saving us 10% on almost every hotel, and now, it got a locksmith to come out and retrieve my keys! Yeah, a magician should be able to open his own car, right? Well, I can- and I have- but in this case, I had no tools of that sort. I packed quite a few tools but can't bring the entire workshop! The locksmith got the door open quite easily. I showed him some magic and he said it was the best tip he'd received in a long time. Remember, it's a great thing to make people smile by doing whatever it is that you do!
So, after those two adventures, it was time to head for the show. Today we performed in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is very well known as the site of the "Salem witch trials" and upon driving through town, you'll see that reference everywhere. Even the police officers have a silhouette of a witch on their uniforms and police cruisers! Despite that, Salem is a town with very nice people. We were very well received and had a great time. In this town where the history is that people were burned for "magic", it was neat to do a presentation where people can see that a magician these days would be better described as an "Illusionist"- one who uses perfectly natural means to create the appearance of something really cool. I always tell the audience to think of a magician as a storyteller. When a storyteller begins their story, is it always a true story? No! But- often there's a reason to tell that story, such as teaching a lesson. That is why the art of illusion can be such an effective tool for sharing a message!
After the show, we headed South. We're spending tonight in a Comfort Inn and had a great dinner from Papa Gino's pizza. Tomorrow we perform in Rhode Island. That's yet another place we've never been, but can't wait!