Bar Harbor, Maine - The last day that I could make contact with the outside world before the end of the cruise. And it was nice to know that again, I'd be in a town in which I was marginally familiar.
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The first thing Lili wanted to do getting off the ship was to look for gifts to bring back to her family and her boyfriend. I should have known that this would be a problem later on. And the second thing she wanted to do is to eat another lobster. How could I know (yeah, right!) that this would frustrate me again.
Walking uphill from the pier, Lili stopped into every T-Shirt shop looking for something her son and daughter in law would wear. Once she found something good, she continued to shop for price - as if the savings of a couple of bucks would break her. (For me, once I found something meeting my price point, I buy it - and move on to the next thing I'm looking for. I value time much more than she does.) And then she went into her "Can you tell me where a good restaurant is?" routine - which was beginning to grate on me. I could tell that many of the people she asked didn't have a clue, or they were saying that they all were good. In many ways, I think that her routine of not respecting me for my memory of directions and locations, and her continually asking people for help when none is really needed, is a unconscious desire to be helpless. Sadly, if I am right, this seems to explain why she avoids social connections with many people - to interact with people, it means that you strengthen yourself by associating yourself with others in similar situations. This may explain why she doesn't want to use Meetup.com to find gatherings she could participate in - she would have to expand her horizons a little....
(Lili with her new crustacean friend.)
While exploring, we finally found a lobster shack where we enjoyed a nice meal (for which I treated), and then found a place where I bought an unusual pocketbook in which I could stash my goodies. But next door was a shop under whose sign I had to get a picture.
(It's a ME thing!)
Too bad that I don't have the body to find much of what I'd like in many shops catering to women. And looking at the picture, I know that in harsh light that my masculine facial features show too clearly. This will mean that I will need to pay a visit to a plastic surgeon some time in the future.,
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As usual, Lili began to forage for pretty little things again. And I decided to let her go into a T-Shirt shop while I went next door to a wonderful Ice Cream shop. YUM! When they say LARGE they mean it! I could have gotten away with a small and still sated my craving for good ice cream. I then met her in the T-Shirt shop, and we continued our excursion along Main Street - where I found a box of local honeys that I will give to the Cat Lady when I see her next. When we hit the end of Main Street, Lili realized that she didn't have another gift for her boyfriend - sun glasses. So while I sat at the end of the street, she wasted another half hour trying to find something that would fit the boyfriend. (This annoyed me again, as she loses connection to time - and we didn't have much time left before the last tender would leave for the ship.) Eventually, she made it back, with only a half hour to spare.
One of the things that frustrate me about shopping in tourist spots is that there are way too many T-Shirt shops, each selling the same quality shirts, all emblazoned with the town's name, or with something closely associated with the town. There is nothing unique about these shirts, and nothing that makes me want to wear any of them. Most of the tourist goods are cheap items made in China, none of which have any value except to serve as a dust collector on someone's shelf. And then, there are the common items, such as sun glasses, which one can get anywhere - but are not true souvenirs of a trip. I look for unusual items such as my handbag that are not souvenirs, or for items such as local honeys that are associated with the town. In short, I'm tired of tchotchkes - I want things of significance and that have real meaning.
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When we finally made it back to the ship and sailed out, we dined at the on board French restaurant. This is where I noticed that service on the ship is getting a little sloppy. If one normally pays extra to go to a specialty on-board restaurant, one should expect both better service and food. This was a little lacking, as Water/Ice Tea service was slow at best, and that they gave me the wrong dessert. (I ordered a second, so that Lili could have a taste.) I wouldn't have thought twice about this, but something similar had happened in the ship's Churrascaria the night before.
After dinner, Lili went off to gamble, while I paid a short visit to the slot machines before going up to the stateroom to read. And this might have been the most relaxing part of my day....