Archive | June 2014

‘Cirque Du Soleil’ “Varekai” At The Verizon In Manchester (N.H.) On June 29 Was Awesome. Brilliant.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by
Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ Varekai
>>Feb. 8, 2014.
>> ‘Dralion’ in Manchester
>>— May 30, 2013.

++++ Search ‘Cirque‘ & ‘circus‘ for other circus related posts >>>>


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Deanna couldn’t stop gushing during the intermission or at the end. She said that it had her stomach in knots. It sure was brilliant.

Phil Spector, in the 1970s, gave us a ‘Wall of Sound‘. Cirque gives you that too — their music haunting and pulsating at the same time. That they had a piper, way up on the roof, right after the intermission was a bonus. It was good. We bought the CD — Devanee asked for it!

It was our 3rd Cirque Du Soleil and the second at the Verizon Arena in Manchester; the other two having been Mystère in Las Vegas in April 2012 and Dralion, a month later, in Manchester. The goal is to see as many Cirque performances as we can in addition to our yearly dose of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey at the Verizon. Last year we also saw the breathtaking CIRQUE ALFONSE ‘Timber’ At The Dartmouth (N.H.) Hop — they too from Canada.

A couple of weeks ago when I said that Gordon Lightfoot, indubitably, is the best thing that had ever come out of Canada I had FORGOTTEN that Cirque — Soleil and Alfonse — are Canadian! My fault. My bad. I think of Cirque du Soleil as Las Vegan THOUGH I know better. My fault. I will fix that. Both Cirques and Gordon are the best things that have ever come out of Canada with ‘Soleil’ at the top.

Magical. Breathtaking. If I try to analyze each element, e.g., juggling, aerial, tumbling, magic, clowns etc., we have seen, over the years, as good at other circuses — BUT somehow Cirque du Soleil manages to AMP it up — add another dimension. Make it way more special. The juggling. The speed was phenomenal. I have seen lots of good juggling BUT never at this speed. And I have never seen, as far as I recall, anybody juggling ping pong balls from their mouth like we saw yesterday. The aerial acts — the Cirque du Soleil signature items. Wow. Wow. Wow.

And then you have the Canadian element — the irreverent, slapstick, British pantomime humor. So you get the fat and underwear jokes and in this case a fat girl continually exposing her underwear. Everybody loved it THOUGH you would never get an American company doing it because it would not be considered ‘Politically Correct’. But Cirque, as they should, gets away with it.

Total, sheer sensory overload — but in a lovely way. So much to take in. Yes, some very provocative, revealing costumes — mainly on the men! The kids noticed, but that is OK. The human body with all its parts.

Since I am very familiar with the seating configurations at the Verizon I managed to get decent seats for not that much money — though Deanna still thinks I pay too much. But, to be fair, the seats costs HALF what we paid in Las Vegas to see Mystère in Las Vegas and these were better seats. Folks, at the Verizon, getting the very expensive floor seating isn’t worth it for the circuses. The floor seating has no banking. It is all flat. For these shows you need a bit of elevation so you can see the whole stage. Plus the Verizon is steeply banked. So from the banked seats you get a good vista. Get tickets in the ‘1xx’ sections. You will save $20 – $30 a seat and get a better view! PLUS, and Deanna wants me to do a separate post on this, please don’t pay $10, $15 or $20 to park, at the Verizon, for a weekend show! Street parking is FREE and there is plenty around.

So, bottom line: what can you say other than it is superb. Breathtaking. Magical. Wow. A gift. If you can catch a Cirque performance. You will remember it for life.

They didn’t have a DVD of the show. That was a bummer. Teischan likes DVDs of such shows. We typically get her the DVD of the Barnum circuses — because she will watch it. They had a CD of the music. Devanee wanted that — to play in the car. Got that. We also got the program ‘packet’ though at $20 it was a bit ‘rich’. But Deanna and the kids have already looked at it, more than once — and to me that is ‘OK’ if they ‘read’ it. 

So now already planning for the next Cirque — most likely the next one in Manchester. Seeing a Cirque, in a tent, in Boston, does not appeal.


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Cromwell Harbor Motel, Bar Harbor, Maine For Acadia National Park — It Is Good. Very Clean.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.1395803_525669160856643_1860634123_n

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by
Anura Guruge


Related Post:
>> Acadia: June 2014
>>June 28, 2014.

>> Acadia was fabulous —
>>Sep. 9, 2013.

>> ‘Thirsty Whale’, Bar Harbor
>>Sep. 10, 2013.

>> Grand Canyon
>> Experience — Apr. 27, 2013.


Click to ENLARGE.

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 It was good. No question about that. And that is what the reviews had said. Spotlessly, immaculately clean (though I did find, to the great consternation of the three ‘girls’, a used, gray, discarded thong from a prior visitor, behind the dresser when I was looking for a place to plug in the coffee maker). Yes, we would stay there again.

It could be a very, very good, even outstanding Motel if the owners (who have owned it for 28 years) were willing to spend about $700 refurbishing the rooms. But that would be gravy. I will get to that in a second.

Great location. Definitely walking distance to ‘town’, i.e., Bar Harbor and we did just that both nights. We stopped a lot, but we are talking less than ten minutes. No hassle. The hotel is next to a large play ground. Kind of nice. First evening we were there you could hear the thud of baseballs being whacked and kids squealing. The triple, green wicker rocker on the porch, of our family unit, was a definite bonus. We used it a fair amount morning and night. Nice to sit there with a glass of wine or coffee. But it gets better. On the other side of the Motel is ‘Cromwell Harbor Road‘. That takes you to Route 233 (i.e., Eagle Lake Road) across the “Kebo Valley Golf Course”. We saw deer on two occasions on the golf course. The first deer we had seen on the Island. Route 233 takes you to the Park Loop Road. So you can get to Acadia or to the western side of the Island from the Motel without having to drive through Town and in the process get to see some deer. We took that ‘shortcut’ morning and evening especially since we would invariably finish the ‘day’ (prior to dinner) driving up to the summit of Mount Cadillac at the behest of the kids.

I picked the Cromwell (not for its British name) but because the 3-bed Family Unit they had, #117, was EXACTLY what we needed and the price was OK. The kids, this year, have started to get real fussy about hotel accommodation. They refuse to share a bed and neither will sleep on a foldout or cot! They both want ‘proper’ beds. At Disney we lucked out in that we could get the bunk bed option at the Disney Wilderness Resort. On this trip to Acadia, given that I had all the brochures and magazines from our trip in September at hand, I spent a few nights, during my 3rd shift, looking at hotels and motels to see what I could find. They can’t be trusted to be in their own room, even if it was adjoining, because they would kill each other after making enough of a racket to disturb the whole place. So they have to also be in our room. The Family Unit, with one Queen and two ‘standards’, was perfect. But, I still showed the online video to Teischan to get her “buy-in” before I made the reservation. It worked out well. Neither complained. So, yes, I can see us going back there again provided we can get that same unit — for a reasonable price.

So, other than the thong (which did not faze me), what could have made this better. Well we are all huge fans of the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible“. We watch it weekly now that BBC America, for reasons that defeat me, don’t show “Hotel Inspector”. So in addition to our own travels, and I have spent half my life in hotels, we know what to look for and what to expect. It was small things at this hotel. Stuff that ‘Anthony’ would call the easy to fix stupid stuff. The hook on the bathroom door that was coming off. Easy enough to fix. Not having a proper place to plug in the coffee maker — which is how I stumbled across the discarded thong since I was looking behind the dresser for an electrical outlet. They leave the coffee maker above the microwave BUT the cord on the coffee maker is NOT long enough to reach the nearest plug! Hence the peering behind the dresser part. In the end we had to move it to above the refrigerator. That was OK — if NOT for the fact that that is the ONLY place in the room where you can hang your clothes. The large closet, as you can see from the picture below, is LOCKED and has a very disconcerting and incongruous green sign that says “Maid’s Closet” — though I noticed, when I watched it again just now, that this sign does NOT appear on their online video. Naughty. Not a biggie but a bit annoying. You would expect a proper closet in a family unit. [They gave us plenty of coffee making stuff, though we had taken our own just in case.]

Then there is the TV and it is exactly as shown in their video. It has to be from the 1990s. Yes, you do get basic Time Warner but I haven’t seen such a bad TV image in probably 20 years! But, you could get CNN and CNBC and that is all that matters. As ‘Anthony’ would say it is an easy $300 fix that makes a huge difference. And then there was the cheap Alarm Clock, from the 1970s, that did NOT work. Whenever I see a working digital alarm clock at a yard sale or a consignment shop, for $2 or under, I buy it. I have a large stash of them to Deanna’s annoyance. But, we always have alarms clocks handy if we need one. IF I knew that these folks couldn’t afford $2 alarm clocks I would have taken my stash and given it to them and Deanna would have been so happy. I just unplugged the damn alarm and we used the Alarm functions on our phones and pads. Stupid stuff. That what I said at the start. IF they spent $700 refurbishing this room it would be a 4-star room. But, c’est la vie.

It was good. Very clean. [Did I say that before?] That is always important. So not bad. And we probably will start off checking their rates the next time we go to Acadia and we already have two trips planned for this year– though one is to the other side of the Park on Schoodic Peninsula. I already have a hotel scoped out for that.



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