Awoke to heavy rain, lowering skies and a chilly wind.
The free breakfast was rather odd, as it was reasonably extensive, but everything was disposable. All cutlery, plates, cups, etc, were just chucked in the bin when finished. Makes sense at one level, but hardly classy.
This place has a guest laundry, so what else could we do? The washing, of course! These things are important, you know….
The breakfast may not have been classy, but the guest laundry was. And I speak as an aficionado of guest laundries around the world! Proper modern gleaming washing machines, not the old agitator style that I associate with my childhood and has been the predominant technology in launderettes we’ve experienced in our travels. Fascinating, huh?
The washers and driers each required $3, but the only coin applicable was a quarter. Therefore, 12 quarters had to be input. Bear with me on this…..
Fortunately, there was a change machine, so by inserting paper money into its maw, change would hopefully be dispensed. Muggins here inserted a $20 note as that was all I had, assuming I’d get some quarters and some notes in exchange.
Nope. I got the whole lot in quarters. It must have sounded like winning the jackpot on a slot machine. Well, at least we were able to get the washing done with no fear of running out of change….
I sheepishly took all the remaining coins down to Reception, who laughed, but changed the coins back into paper money for me, much to my relief.
Other similarly boring but important admin tasks were also completed. Good to get them out of the way. So we are now officially validated for our train journey from Boston to New York, and checked in for the transatlantic trip on the Queen Mary 2 from New York to Southampton. Result.
At this point, we really needed to get out of the hotel room, so we drove down into Bar Harbor to have a look around, as at least it wasn’t actually raining.
Finding parking was at least as stressful as last night – the place is rammed with tourists – but again we managed it on a meter. There is no free parking anywhere here.
The tourist office was unhelpful. I asked about driving up Cadillac Mountain, one of the highest points in the eastern USA, but a) you had to buy a national park pass b) you had to reserve a parking slot up there. The minimum for the former for a private vehicle was $30 for a 7-day pass! A complete non-starter for us, obviously.
So we went for a stroll along the shore path and then walked back into town. It is a pretty place, but almost totally devoted to tourism.
We’d identified an Italian restaurant for tonight’s meal, so we called in to reserve a table. Sorry, sir, walk in only. Bugger.
It looked nice enough, so we resolved to turn up for an early dinner to maximise our chances of getting a table.
Back to the hotel via a pharmacy to get stuff like toothpaste, shave gel, and other essentials just to confirm the admin mundanity of the day. Wow.
There is a free shuttle bus service from the hotel down to the town, so we took this at around 5 p.m. to get our dinner.
Fortunately, there was a table free, and we sat down to a very nice meal. Great ambience, even at that time in the evening, and it filled up pretty quickly after that, so justifying our decision to eat early. Service was OK. The dessert was spectacular.
Caught the shuttle back to the hotel to prepare for our next destination in Portland, Maine, about 120 miles further south down this very complex coast. We have a whole 3 nights there, so let’s hope it repays our time. I’m sure it will, and the next post might be a tad more interesting than this one. I hope you will be around to agree (or not, as the case may be).