Tag Archives: microwave

Why I Am So Glad I Stopped Having Restaurant TAKEOUT During Coronavirus COVID-19 ‘Stay-At-Home’.

by Anura Guruge


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From my Facebook (timeline). You can SEE the NAME. 


Click to access my April 2, 2020 post.


They might be within CDC Code.

Doesn’t matter. Made I feel queasy and OUTSIDE of this virus I have never really worried too much about how food got prepared — coming from a third-world country and having bummed around quite a few other third-world countries.

This just did NOT sit well with I.

SADDEST THING. The SUPREME IRONY.

They were preparing this for ER personnel at the local hospital.

People taking care of other people!

If one person in ER gets it …

Ahhhhhh.

This has to be happening all over the place.

YIKES.


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by Anura Guruge

I Am NOT Going To Do Restaurant TAKEOUT During The ‘Stay-At-Home’; I Did, But NO More.

by Anura Guruge


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I am SORRY. But, this has been bothering I.

Yes, we ordered a LOT of takeout, recently — Sunday, March 22, to be exact — and we enjoyed it for the next 3-days. It was good. It was from our favorite restaurant.

Some of YOU know that I am friends with AT LEAST 4 restaurant OWNERS — and countless folks that work at restaurants.

I sure want to help them and support them.

But, ordering and eating takeout seems counter-intuitive.

Yes, I checked the online reports that claim it is SAFE.

That Sunday we got takeout we ate it — OUTSIDE — WITHOUT first microwaving it. That was a mistake.

If you do get takeout MICROWAVE it — ZP IT GOOD — for a few minutes.

Just imagine. Somebody, asymptomatic, coughs on YOUR takeout as they are packing it.

Yes, microwaving will help. Yes, that will kill the virus (I am sure).

OK. I checked with a DOCTOR. Honest. I did. I do have cousins (who still speak to I) who are doctors. SMILE.

She, who lives in the US, tells me that she will NOT get takeout. That is good enough for I.

I had been thinking about Easter, April 12, 2020.

Where to get takeout.

Now … NO.

SMILE.

Sorry.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Wonder View Inn’, ‘Bar Harbor’ (Maine) — Where We Always Stay When We Go To Acadia National Park.

by Anura Guruge


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Wonder View Inn Bar Harbor Acadia National Park Anura Guruge






Click to access my post from 4-years ago.


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A wonderful place. We wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere else (unless they are closed for the Winter, as was the case when we went up in March last year). That we have stayed there 8-times and are already planning to go should be endorsement enough. It has a palpable, upbeat but soothing atmosphere. You feel ‘on-top-of-the-world’ and it isn’t just that you are high up. That helps.

You can’t beat the location. You can be within the Park, on the famous Loop Road, in less than 2-minutes! Ditto for the Hannaford’s in Bar Harbor. Extremely friendly, obligingly and pleasant staff. We now consider many of them friends, and they us. We look forward to seeing them.

It is not the height of luxury and parts of it show its (considerable) age. But the three rooms we have stayed in have been very comfortable, more spacious than normal and commanded compelling views. And all the rooms, moreover, come with a fridge and microwave. But, you don’t have to worry about making your own breakfast. A ‘buffet’, DIY hot breakfast is included. We always start our day with that. Oh, did I mention the HEATED swimming pool that I make use of, much. Plus. this year they have upgraded their Wi-Fi (which was never that bad to begin with). So, that was an added bonus. Fast, reliable Internet.

You have to check it out. Yes, we have only stayed in the more (maybe most) expensive rooms — but they have, nonetheless, still been affordable and competitive.

Unreserved kudos. Stay in one of the refurbished rooms and you will love it.


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by Anura Guruge

‘The Island Inn’, Monhegan Island, Maine — The Ins & Outs (But All Good).

by Anura Guruge


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Attribution WILL be enforced.








Our Room; #27 on the 2nd floor.

That is Teischan waving at me from the window …




THE VIEW


The interior …


Some of the art.


Staying at ‘The Island Inn‘, on the waterfront of Monhegan Island, Maine, is, without caveats a glorious experience.

We stayed there for two nights, July 26 – 27, 2017, and loved every minute of it.

The setting, the service and the sense of serenity is exceptional.

It is not the most luxurious hotel I have stayed in, but it is hard to beat in terms of what it offers in terms of views, coziness, comfort and laid-backness.

There are really NO negatives about this ‘Inn’. The only thing that maybe they should do better is catering for kids during dinner — but then, again, I have to confess that Teischan is a fussier/pickier eater than most.

As far as I am concerned it is all good. I would go back in an heartbeat. Would love to stay there longer (but at over $400 a night (with taxes) it is quite an indulgence).

It is different, not in a good or bad way, but in interesting ways. So, my goal here is to share with you some of these interesting differences.

>> There are no TVs in the hotel, in the rooms or in the public areas. Yes, no TV. Not a problem, and quite cute — just different. [Yes, they do have TV on the island via satellite.] The Wi-Fi, despite what they say on their Website, is NOT BAD at all, at all. I have had worse, much worse in hotels — just even in the last year. So, you can, of course, check the news and watch the stock market. But, as I was chatting with a few, it must have been strange and difficult on 9/11 (since they did not have Wi-Fi at the time). It appears that that was indeed the case, especially with some New Yorkers staying at the hotel at the time.

>> The rooms have NO balconies. I should have noticed that on the pictures of the Web. But, I didn’t. The view from the window was amazing and they do have a fire escape that you can go upon to take in the scenery and take some pictures.

>> There is no coffee machine or microwave in the room, but they do have complimentary coffee, in the lobby in the morning. I did not see an ironing board, iron or hairdryer BUT I was not looking for them.

>> There are no clocks or alarms in the rooms, and the clocks on the mantle downstairs were ornamental as opposed to timepieces. Time is not meant to be of consequence while you are on the Island, though, alas, this is no longer possible since everybody (I the lone exception) is permanently tethered  to a mobile phone.

>> Our room was big enough, even with three of us and a cot. The attached bathroom was spacious, airy and had a million dollar view. [Some rooms do not have a full bathroom. Given that freshwater is scarce they send most of their laundry, in large hampers, to the mainland, daily. That is expensive.]

>> The included, full breakfast, with à la carte eggs and pancakes, in addition to a very good buffet is excellent. Really good.

>> The dinner menu is sophisticated and the food was wonderful. Would eat there every night. A bit limited for kids.

>> The service is impeccable, extremely friendly and helpful.

>> The freely available water, from their private well, in very congenial glass tumblers was always welcome after hiking around the Island.

So, now you know what to expect. IF you can you really should spend a few nights at this Inn. It will change your life, for the better.


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by Anura Guruge

Novotel Times Square, New York — Good, BUT Poor Room Design Choices.

by Anura Guruge


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You can’t beat the location. Just a couple of blocks north of Times Square. [The hotel is to the top left, if you haven’t spotted the vertical sign as yet.]

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You can’t beat the view either. This was our views from a “Time Square View” room on the 31st floor.

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This is what I could see, from our window, with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 at 400mm zoom.

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At 800mm zoom it was just like being down there with ‘them’.


We spent 3 days in New York City, prior to 2016 New Year’s Eve, staying (2 nights) at the Novotel Times Square Hotel. I booked and paid for a ‘Times Square View‘ room with 2 Queens. When we visit New York City the kids and I like a room with a ‘Times Square View’ (notwithstanding the higher cost). Deanna always says that it is a waste of money but then again always agrees that the view is ‘wonderful’ once we get to the room. In previous visits we had stayed at the Marriott and DoubleTree, both in Times Square. Having lived in Paris and with my adoptive parents having lived there from 1978 to 1992, I was no stranger to Novotel. I first stayed in a Novotel, as it happened in Paris, in 1983 when I was over there to do a seminar and my adoptive parents were in Sri Lanka.

Overall the Novotel Times Square is a great experience, modern, bright, very-hip and airy — with exceptionally friendly and helpful staff.

We could not complain about our Times Square VIEW from the room they gave us on the 31st floor (two floors from the top, in that it has 33 floors). Moreover, they gave us this room at 11:30 am when we turned up (with our baggage) though the nominal check-in is slated at 3pm. We fully expected to check-in our baggage and come back later for a room. Not so. VERY FRIENDLY. Very nice. They saw the kids. They chatted with the kids. They gave us a room on the 31st floor. Cool.

So overall NOT bad at all. We would stay there again.

The PROS
1. Great location. 3 blocks max. from Times Square and easy access to Radio City and Rockefeller Center. There is, furthermore, a McDonald’s and (discount) convenience store on the same block — which is great when you are travelling with kids.

2. The view from our “Times Square View” room definitely was of Times Square, and from the 31st floor it was quite spectacular. The view of the Hudson from the windows by the elevator was also cool.

3. Friendly, helpful and ever cheerful staff, some of them French and others that could speak French, which meant that there was a French flavor that permeated the lobby area because you would invariably hear French being spoken or that unmistakable French accent.

4. Very compelling, very modern lobby/bar/restaurant area.

5. Very fine breakfast buffet, with hot American fare and a delectable selection of European cold cuts and cheese. (Also see below.)

The CONS
1. No coffee maker (let alone a microwave) in the room. [Luckily the girls agreed that they could go and get us coffee from McDonald’s. That worked out well.]

2. The room, with two queens, was small, not cramped BUT with four of us you felt that you had to hunch your shoulders to make yourself small.

3. The lighting bathroom — from BUT one ‘low energy’ light frame around the bathroom mirror — was woeful and TOTALLY inadequate. See picture in gallery below. You can’t miss it. This was beyond a joke. It was DARK in the bathroom. You were constantly reaching out to see if there was another light switch. This was stupid.

4. The Wi-Fi was adequate BUT each time you signed-in (which was quite often) they tried, hard, to sell you an upgrade for $15/day. When I am paying $500/night for a room it kind of feels insulting to be asked to pay more to get better Wi-Fi.

5. Lobby is NOT on street level and one cannot get from room to street WITHOUT changing elevators. The Lobby is effectively 7 floors up from the street. 2 slow elevators Lobby <-> street. There were lines for these 2 elevators. To get to the stairs, you had to go OUTSIDE (in the rain) — and they were service/emergency stairs, badly maintained. That was a hassle (though I took the stairs, for the exercise, a few times).

6. Paucity of drawers, especially by the beds! Yes, very modern shelves BUT no drawers and what was infuriating was that there was clearly plenty of space, below the shelves, to fit in some nice, useful drawers. I like to have a drawer by my bed to put my wallet, glasses etc. That was again stupid. See the gallery below to see what I mean.

7. The breakfast buffet as mentioned above was very good, but at nearly $29 per adult (before tip) is expensive THOUGH the kids (under 16) eat FREE made it worthwhile for us (with our 2).

8. $1 an item check-in fee for baggage. Not unreasonable and I normally give this as a tip anyway, BUT seems ‘cheap’ to ask guests to pay this just after they have paid $1,300+ for a 2 night stay.


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Inside the room.


The Hotel.


More views from the room.


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by Anura Guruge

“Wonder View Inn”, Bar Harbor (Acadia), Maine: Hard To Beat For Value, Service & Upbeat Atmosphere.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>>  Cromwell Harbor Motel
>> “Acadia View” bed & breakfast
>> “Seal Harbor” — Martha Stewart …

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Refer to ‘Acadia’ master index page at TOP ↑ ↑


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Copyright might be enforced.




We spotted this deer, right outside our room, the first evening we were there. That was an unexpected bonus.


The “Wonder View Inn”, at 50 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine, minutes from the Acadia National Park eastside Route 3 & 233 entrances will most likely, in the foreseeable future, be our base whenever we go to ‘The Park‘ — we already having made a reservation for later in the summer within 30 minutes of getting there last Saturday, June 27, 2015.

When you factor it all in, and some of the synergies that ensue, the “Wonder View Inn” is hard to beat in terms of value for money, location, views, SERVICE and overall ‘you are here to have fun‘, holiday camp atmosphere.

Yes, I am kind of sure we lucked out (but I can sure do with some luck these days). Last June I didn’t have much trouble getting a reservation in Bar Harbor, at the Cromwell Harbor Motel, for late June. So I had been lulled into a sense of complacency. This year I waited until a month ahead of our departure date to start calling. The difference between last year and this year was that last year we went mid-week. Ah! That, of course, makes all the difference when you are talking about the last weekend of June. The the ‘suite’ at the Cromwell we wanted (i.e., the one we stayed in last year) was booked. So I started dialing around. Teischan over the last 2 years has become very fussy as to where and how she will sleep when we travel. She has to have her own ‘big’ bed. She refuses to share with Devanee. So we have to find rooms that have (at least) a queen (ideally a king), another bed plus a third sleeping surface for Devanee — though to her credit she is not fussy and will sleep on a couch even if it is not a pull-out bed.

I called the “Wonder View Inn” mid-afternoon on May 26. I happened to get ‘Nate’, the HR Manager for both the “Wonder View” and the very fancy “Bluenose Inn” next door, since nobody else was picking up the calls. He was great. He understood exactly what I needed and said he had the perfect room for us — the “BIG room, with two brand new King beds and a couch, with a view — under the office”. We discovered that this room is “B3”. We got it for $99 a day (plus taxes). That was one heck of a great rate.

And it just got better and better.

>> Room was indeed huge. Plenty of space to stretch out.
>> Two new HUGE King beds which were super comfortable.
>> HUGE flat panel TV, the biggest I have ever seen in a hotel room.
>> Microwave, coffeemaker, fridge, iron and ironing board.
>> Deer outside the window.
>> View of Frenchman Bay across the trees.
>> Good coffee, hot water, orange juice and cranberry juice, in the lobby, all day & (I think) all night.
>> Decent, FREE, continental breakfast with boiled eggs and breakfast sandwiches.
>> Access (at least when we were there because their pool was not fully operational) to the ‘fancy’ HEATED pool at the adjoining “Bluenose Inn” — which is owned by the same family. Teischan and I used the pool and the very hot jacuzzi, with relish and delight, on two evenings, before dinner. Perfect way to get ready for a meal out.
>> Access to the bar and lounges at the “Bluenose Inn” (though we never got a chance to avail ourselves to this).
>> Beautiful views from the lobby area where you get breakfast and beverages. Well tended lawns.
>> Wonderfully friendly and helpful staff. WOW. Bravo. What a great bunch. Everybody is upbeat, huge smile on their faces and happy to help. It was a delight. Somebody, most likely I, left some lights on in the Jaguar XJ8. So we needed a jump start Monday morning. No problemo. “Brian” and one of the maids came rushing to our assistance. I was so impressed.

GREAT PLACE.

Yes, it is old and shows its age. Yes, of course, it could do with some major refurbishing and some heavy-duty cleaning. Teischan liked the room so much that she did NOT subject it to her Anthony Melchiorri, as in “Hotel Impossible”, test — as she did at the Wyndham in Philadelphia (to their chagrin). Yes, the housekeeping could be better! When housekeeping does not empty the coffeemaker filter and rinse out the coffee it always makes me cringe — but in this case I cut them slack. If you need to stay in an immaculate 3-star (or greater) hotel this is NOT for you. Try the “Bluenose Inn” next door — roughly $100+ more a night.

We are going back. We liked it. Hope you do too.