October 5 Bar Harbor

Good morning. This is our last morning in Canada. But I’m feeling hurried and tired and not particularly nostalgic. We were allowed some input about our breakfast, finally. Everybody ordered fresh fruit instead of hash browns. I think so many potatoes are grown around here that they always end up on the menu. But the toast and juice were great.

So we piled into the bus again, and were joined by two older guys, a tag team of history buffs named, I think, David and Patrick. One cleverly said the other always told the truth, but he didn’t, so then I was thinking I should believe both of them, or neither of them. They drove us out to the reversing falls. http://new-brunswick.net/Saint_John/reversingfalls/reversing.html

Alas, they weren’t reversing at the time, and it had gotten so foggy it was hard to see anything. There’s a whole bank of buildings hidden by the fog in this photo:  P1010983They had a wonderful story about a Native American legend regarding the reversing falls, involving their chief god and the Giant Beaver. My money would be on the beaver. But the first residents portaged their canoes by land to avoid the falls, as they didn’t think they were safe. We then cruised around St. John, and heard about the Irvings, a local family that was very, very rich. Sounds like the Kochs. And the big fire in the late 1800s, after which a lot of wooden charred ruins were replaced with brick buildings. But the majority of the houses we saw were in the same style of so many that we’ve seen on our tour. So I just enjoyed them, but didn’t take photos. David was remarking about how high taxes were, but then he admitted he’d just spend a couple nights in the emergency room suffering from four kidney stones, and it hadn’t cost him a (Canadian bluenose) dime, so there is a balance.

There were a couple cruise ships parked in the harbor (we now make plans thinking to get somewhere before the cruise ship arrives and unloads its thousands of passengers.) David remarked that he avoids the downtown area when there’s a cruise ship docked in town. He obviously seemed to wish they wouldn’t visit, but also had to consider how much money they brought into the local economy.

We ended up at a very vibrant and bustling public market which had all kinds of cool stuff. Most of us bought some dulce, the seaweed Ranger Rick told us about. I got that and a cup of tea. Some of the group were making deals to spend the last of their Canadian money, and there were many good selections to be made.Then  I went to the nearby old graveyard and looked at tombstones. The ones of children were the saddest.

Linda had distributed the customs forms for when we crossed the border, and explained that the pumpkin stand was NOT a farm, and told us NOT to use the bathroom on the bus or take photos while near the border. So by the time we got to the border, everyone, of course, was frantic to use a bathroom and wanted to see if their cell phones worked again, as they hadn’t paid extra for them to work in Canada. And they wouldn’t let us use the bathroom until they were done searching the bus, and then they told us to leave without using the bathroom (which only had one stall.) So Joe took us to a place down the road a bit, and we all ran into the bathrooms. After which, we all started complaining about how hungry we were.

Lunch, thank heavens, was next. It was at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias, Maine. No, I’d never heard of it before, either. We had a small menu to choose from. But then we got to have a piece of pie! for dessert. And it included their famous blueberry pie. We checked out the display case, and were drooling by the time we got back to our seats. Of the six people at our table, five had blueberry pie with ice cream; one had blueberry pie without ice cream. wow. I couldn’t even stop eating long enough to get a photo until I was here:P1010984 I wish I had another slice right about now.

Then we waddled back into the bus for the ride to Bar Harbor (or as the t-shirt says, “Bah Habah.”) Everybody was busy with their cell phones, but Linda played an old 80s video about catching, cooking, and extracting the meat from lobsters. I got way too squeamish and had to stop watching, while vowing I would never ever eat lobster again.

We made it to our hotel outside Bar Harbor, and were welcomed by the sign:P1010992Much hilarity ensued. I headed off to town–it was just over a mile to the post office. I really wanted some exercise and wanted to get there before the post office closed, so I couldn’t wait until the bus went in at 5 PM. I got there at 4:25 (they close at 4:30) and the clerks were patient and helpful, and one was holding the bag of outgoing mail open for my package while the truck was waiting outside, and it all worked out. whew! Thank you!

Then I wandered around Bar Harbor. It kinda reminded me of Santa Barbara–lots of little dogs, lots of tourists, a sprinkling of 1%ers. Here’s a couple photos from the harbor:P1010986 P1010985 Many of the huge mansions built by the wealthy summer residents in the late 1800s have been converted to hotels or b&b’s. There seemed to be an incredible amount of car traffic for a small town, especially since the season was slowing down. I didn’t take photos, but enjoyed the architecture, as well as how good the houses looked in their settings–it was a perfect fit. There’s something called the Abbe Museum that has many Native American artifacts. Will try for that tomorrow. Found this place, where it looks like it’d be fun to stay. I wonder if they have resident cats?P1010987 Ran into Tim and Charlotte in the grocery store, which apparently used to be a stable. And the current municipal building, across the street, used to be the high school. On the way back to the hotel, stopped to photograph what may be as close as I get to wild life: P1010988 P1010989 and a couple of sunset shots from the little wharf by the hotel: P1010993 P1010994Talked to a couple from Missouri, and took a photo of them using their camera, and told them about Road Scholars. In my room, I discovered I had a walk-in shower, not just the tub with a curtain as at all the other hotels. Had a lovely shower, several minutes longer than my usual California shower. Then it was time to write a post.

Now it’s time for bed. Good night.


One Response

  1. So sorry to hear you did not see the Bush family compound in Bar Harbour.

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