Tag Archives: Trenton

I Get My “Top Contributor” Badge At “Tripadvisor” With My 50th Review.

by Anura Guruge


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Click to ENLARGE and read here. My 1st and ONLY ‘1 star’ review — ‘Acadia Sunrise Motel’ in Trenton, Maine.


Kind of amuses me that “tripadvisor” managed to cajole and pander me to write 51 reviews! They have one heck of a system and scheme, mainly relying on ones ego, to write these reviews. It is the ultimate in ‘frequent flyer’ type loyalty programs (as introduced by American Airlines in the 1970s) BUT the catch here is that the ONLY rewards you get is ‘recognition’! They give you nothing back — as far as I know — for writing these reviews. I definitely haven’t go anything other than these virtual badges. But, I will confess, that it can be satisfying to share your opinion.

I only went on ‘tripadvisor’, in September 2013, because I wanted to tell the world about the dreadful experience we had at the ‘Acadia Sunrise Motel‘ in Trenton, Maine — our first visit to Acadia. I was venting and ranting. We were mad. But then ‘tripadvisor’ sucks you in, very cleverly. They ask you about the “Visitor’s Center”, restaurants in Bar Harbor and the next thing you know you have written 3 reviews. And that is how it went.

I am by know means a regular or committed contributor. I haven’t by a long chalk reviewed all the restaurants we have been to since that first review. After a trip I typically feel compelled to review the hotels. Then they get me to comment on local attractions and restaurants. Soon I have all these badges and they keep on cajoling me. Once I passed 40 review I did want to do 50 and get ‘Top Contributor’ status. Not sure what is next. It is a harmless lark.


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by Anura Guruge

Anthony Melchiorri Of “Hotel Impossible” Informs Me That He Took Measures To Have ‘Woodstock Lodge’ Closed.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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>> “Hotel Impossible” — ‘Woodstock Lodge’.

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** Now for SALE ! **


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I received the above e-mail, from Anthony Melchiorri, on Tuesday night.

He has done the RIGHT THING. This was what I expected and wanted him to have done. Now I know and now YOU know.

How we got to this point is that the show did not at ANY POINT inform us that Anthony contacted the authorities. Deanna makes a point of carefully reading the closing credits where Anthony talks about how things progressed after the show and there was NO mention that Anthony had contacted the authorities.

Well, Anthony Melchiorri has put me right and I am going to update my original post to reflect this. I have no axe to grind in this. I just wanted, as ever, for the right thing to be done.

I e-mailed Anthony back that while I will update my post, he, at a minimum, should put something up on their Website so others will know that he did what we expected him to have done.

As would be said in the Tintin comics “All’s well that ends well” — though I have to believe that the Lodge owner is livid.

Mr. Melchiorri’s stock is no longer in negative territory when it comes to me. I am actually impressed. Well done.

After Anthony’s e-mail, and after I finished bit more on my book, I did some Googling on “Woodstock Lodge”.

Yelp has quite a few posts that talk about the “Hotel Impossible” episode. Thanks to a link on one of the Yelp posts I found this newspaper article that confirmed, 100%, what Anthony Melchiorri stated:

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From the Kingston, NY “Daily Freeman”. Click to access.





Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” ‘Woodstock Lodge’ Episode Was Disturbing.

0081227985080Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Refer to November 12, 2014 UPDATE.

I was informed by Anthony Melchiorri, by e-mail,
that he did indeed contact the authorities
and that 3 buildings at the Lodge were closed down.

Please refer to UPDATE.

I am amending this post in view of this new information.

** Now for SALE ! **



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Click to access Travel Channel’s Web page for this “Hotel Impossible” episode.


This was aired in October but we just got around to watching it (from a DVR list) this evening during ‘family TV’. I am not a great fan of this show, it is NOT a patch on the seminal “Hotel Inspector” show that used to be on BBC America, but Deanna likes it — and it reminds us of some awful hotels we have encountered in our travels.

Woodstock Lodge” in iconic Woodstock, New York, was by far the worst hotel/motel we have ever seen in life or on TV. It was disgusting and scary. We would have walked out even IF we had paid a deposit.

It was unhygienic, unhealthy and dangerous. As you can see from the image above it had toilets that were not properly seated. There was mold all over.

Anthony made a point of stating, categorically, more than once, that the cabins were not safe and should not be sold for occupancy.

BUT he never made an attempt to have the place shut down. In the post-show briefing that is shown at the end of each episode it claimed that the Lodge was still open.

That is NOT right. IF the Lodge is as dangerous has Anthony claimed, and it sure looked that, then HE should have called the proper New York safety and health authorities!

Simple as that. I don’t care what agreement he had with the owners. IF a customer gets hurt at the Lodge, especially a kid, then Anthony should be help responsible.

PLUS didn’t anybody in Woodstock or NY see this episode? Why is this Lodge still open. It, as Anthony claims on air, violates numerous building codes.

This is NOT right.

We could be wrong BUT it also appeared, on air, that the owners were not reporting all of their income. Of course we all know that is not surprising in the hospitality business. But, unless we misheard it, there is a sequence where the owner gives Anthony a profit/loss statement that says that they made $19,000 from the restaurant in 2013 — but then admits that it was more like $100,000! That is a bit of a discrepancy. Why hasn’t anybody checked on that?

This not right. In this episode the owner accuses Anthony, multiple times, that “this is all TV”! Well that would appear to be the case.

Shame on Anthony for not going to the authorities with this. Well his stock was never high in my book and now it is in negative territory.

Yes, we recorded and watched two episodes of the spin-off series “Resort Rescue” — albeit with another host, one with slightly more charisma that Anthony — but did not like it at all. Boring. 





Acadia National Park (ANP), Maine: Schoodic Education and Research Center.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013...
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Anura Guruge


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Refer to index above for other posts and pictures of Acadia including the Schoodic Peninsula side.


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Click to access the ‘National Park’ Webpage for the “Schoodic Education and Research Center”.


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Click to access the “Schoodic Institute” Website. This aerial pictures shows the location of the beautiful John D. Rockefeller building relative to Schoodic Point (“X”), the road to the Point and “Little Moose Island”. See Google Map below and refer to post on “Little Moose”.

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Click to ENLARGE. Refer to above image. You don’t see the LOVELY, imposing building from the road. So easy to drive by. We did, a couple of times before we decided, late in the evening, to go exploring before leaving the Park for the night. Glad we did.


This spectacular John D. Rockefeller donated building, once part of a large U.S. Navy base, just off the rather well known “Schoodic Point” on the Schoodic Peninsula part of Acadia National Park is delightful, unexpected gem tucked away, out of sight from the road. It is part of the National Park and as such open to the public and DEFINITELY worthwhile visiting, IF just to enjoy the exquisite building from the outside, as we did — since we didn’t get there till past 5pm, having missed it on our earlier tours of that section of the Park. So glad we went.

Here is the pithy, 2 sentence Wikipedia description of this facility: “In 2002, the National Park Service acquired the former naval base located in the Schoodic Peninsula District of Acadia National Park, and renovated it into the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC). SERC is one of about 20 National Park Service research learning centers in the United States, and is the largest of all these facilities. It is dedicated to supporting the scientific research in the park, providing professional development for teachers, and educating students to become a new generation of stewards who will help conserve our natural and cultural treasures.”

That, however, misses out, inexcusably, as does as I notice the ‘National Park’ and even the ‘Institutes’ descriptions, the fascinating deal brokered by John D. Rockefeller (who loved this area and was so instrumental in creating the Park and its famed ‘Carriage Roads‘) to free up some land on the Mount Desert part of the park. My last picture up top provides a bit more detail.

But check it WHEN you make it to this part of Acadia.


Click to access MORE pictures, by Anura Guruge,
in the form of a photo gallery.

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“Little Moose Island”, Acadia National Park [Schoodic Peninsula], Maine. Well Worth A Hike At Low Tide.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013...
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Anura Guruge


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Refer to index above for other posts and pictures of Northeast Harbor.


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Little Moose Island” is off the southernmost tip of the Schoodic Peninsula part of Acadia National Park. It is part of the park and just off the 6 mile, one-way Park Loop Road. I am not sure if it is signposted.

Jim Chase, the co-owner of the delightful “Acadia View” bed & breakfast (on Route 1, just prior to the Park turn-off) where we stayed, who also told us about how to get to “Raven’s Nest“, gave us detailed directions including an annotated nap. So we were in good shape. Hard to miss, especially with Jim’s map. Basically the first thing, off the coast once you have visited Schoodic Point and taken in its wonders.

The island is only accessible, by foot, via a causeway which is only (safely) passable during a 6 hour window centered on low tide. There is a Park Ranger book when you get to the island with admonitions about getting stuck on the island and a sheet that you have to sign in case they have to come looking for you. I looked around for any skeletons but didn’t see any. Actually we only saw a total of 5 others during our 90 minutes or so on the island. So it is not crowded.

Low tide on the Friday that we visited was around 1:30 pm. Jim had checked that for us. So I knew what our window was. Though I wasn’t timing it that precisely we did happen to park opposite the island pretty close to 1:30 pm. So we knew we had 3 hours.

Interesting island. Some parts are not wooded. Just straight rock. There is a mini-Thunder Hole that is pretty easy to find. Nice views. Lots of ground vegetation and flora. Didn’t see any fauna per se. Lobster boats at work all around. Very peaceful. Tranquil. Glad we went. There are walking trails. They [i.e., Park Rangers] want you on the trails to avoid damaging the ground cover vegetation.

We enjoyed it. It was fun. We thanked Jim. So if you are in Acadia, and the tide is with you, give it a spin. On a nice day, when the tide times are favorable, I wouldn’t mind getting stranded on that island for 4 hours if I had some cheese, ham, nuts and red wine — and maybe a book. it would be cool. What can happen?


Click to access 5 minute photo-montage YouTube video with music.

Click to access 5 minute photo-montage YouTube video with music.


3 Very Different Views Of Northeast Harbor, Maine — Just Outside Acadia National Park (Mount Desert Island).

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Anura Guruge


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Refer to index above for other posts and pictures of Northeast Harbor.


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“Ruth & Wimpy’s” Restaurant In Hancock, ME (Schoodic Peninsula) — On The Way To Acadia National Park.

Deanna, the daughter of a Maine lobsterman, with “Wilbur” the giant lobster. Click to ENLARGE.

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Click to access their, ‘captures their essence’, Website. Check out the “Gallery” tab to make up for the pictures of the interior which I could not take.


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A delightful eatery. My, actually our, kind of place. Kids loved it — and that I why I picked it.

It is on Route 1, in Schoodic, about 10 miles (I think) east of Ellsworth. Can’t miss it [but note that they are closed all day Sunday].

We went there for dinner Saturday night during our latest trip to Acadia.

The enchanting “Acadia View” bed & breakfast at which we stayed, true to their spirit of attention to details, had a big, thick binder of all the menus from the local eateries. After another day of strenuous (even by my standard) clamouring about in Acadia I sat on the deck, with its tranquil vista of Frenchman’s Bay, and leafed through the menus while sipping a glass of red and eating some nuts. Life, to me, does not get any better.

I chose “Ruth & Wimpy’s” because I saw that the menu would appeal to the kids.

I was right. They loved the place. They have all sorts of provocative signs, from the Internet, printed on letter size paper, pinned to their ceiling — such as one that talked about “natural airbags”. These signs appealed to the kid’s sense of humor though some, to be fair, begged the question whether they were appropriate. But, it was fun. I didn’t take the camera in because it was bucketing down with rain by the time we got there — around 7:45pm. I wish I had. We stopped by on Sunday, which is when I took the above pictures, but they are closed all day.

We had a selection of appetizers. I had the chicken cordon bleu while the girls had a quesdilla and chicken fingers. The food was good. It wasn’t affordable — it was downright cheap. That was a bonus.

Definitely going back even if we are staying in “Bar Harbor”. Will be worth the drive.

Check it out. You will love the entire experience. Guaranteed. Actually I can’t wait to go back.


Three Different Views Of Schoodic Peninsula, Maine, Around Acadia Park.

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Anura Guruge


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Just trying to share some of the 890 pictures
I took during our latest visit to Acadia.


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Giant lobsterman at a lobster processing plant in “Prospect Harbor” on Route 186 just outside of Acadia National Park (Schoodic). I gather this sign in various forms has been around for decades and started off with him holding a large can of sardines — that being what the original processing plant did, i.e., sardines.


Quintessential “Down East” Maine humor. Saw this on Route 186 heading north to Route 1. I had to turn around and go back to take the picture. Cracked me up. Clever.


Wonderful MAGICAL antique store cum stunning photography gallery. It is owned by a famous photographer named Dean Kotula — who has just come back from a 3 month photography tour of India. I must write about him, this enchanting store and his gob smackingly amazing photographs. This was in Prospect Harbor.


“Acadia View” Bed & Breakfast, Just Outside Schoodic Peninsula Turnoff For Acadia National Park.

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Anura Guruge


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I found “Acadia View” bed & breakfast in the very well done “Downeast Acadia and Schoodic Peninsula” brochure produced by the “Schoodic Chamber of Commerce” that I had picked up during our June visit to Acadia. It sounded nice and I pulled up their Website. It sure looked my type of place BUT then I found this in their “Rates/Policies” page: “Children over twelve years of age, who are well supervised, are welcome”! That was a problem. Teischan is eight and I am not convinced that she can be well supervised. But I took a chance and called. Got co-owner Jim Close on the phone. Explained my dilemma. He understood. I promised to do my best to keep Teischan under control. We made a booking and made arrangements for a late arrival and two ‘blow up’ beds, for the girls, in the 1st floor “Frenchman’s Bay” room — with views over the Bay towards Bar Harbor.

We were delighted when we got there. My first thought was that this was indeed ‘First Class’. By far the best accommodation that we have enjoyed in Acadia, possibly even all of Maine (and that is counting the “Samoset Resort” in Rockland that we have stayed at), though it was also the most we had payed for a room. But it was worth it. Very elegant and classy. It was like staying at a museum (and we are not exactly strangers when it comes to being around objet d’art. This the first time I have stayed at a bed & breakfast in probably 15 years. It was different, in a good way. The owners, Pat & Jim Close, are very nice and helpful. See what I say in the YouTube description.

We will definitely go back again.


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Click to access photo montage as a 3:36 minute YouTube video. Some of the pictures aren’t great but this should give you a feel as to this delightful b&b. The outdoor scenes are mainly from the walk to their ocean front. The night view is that of Bar Harbor from our balcony.


Two Pictures From Acadia National Park — September 2014

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As I mentioned yesterday I took 890 digital pictures with my (new) refurbished Canon Rebel T3i on this our latest trip to Acadia — though most of the pictures did not come out well, and I hope that that is due to my lack of understanding as to the real workings of this camera. But I want to share some with you mainly because I think Acadia is blinking beautiful and that we, in NE, are so lucky to have such a scenic treasure so close to hand. If you don’t like the pictures close your eyes and think of the Queen. [That is a British joke.]


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Anura Guruge Acadia National Park September 2014 Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor and MS Grandeur of the Seas

Bar Harbor, directly in front, from the summit of Cadillac Mountain on Sunday, September 7, 2014. The big cruise ship is the Royal Caribbean MS Grandeur of the Seas. The Veendam, that visits near weekly, was also there but I managed to hide it behind the cairn — and NO we did not build it.


Anura Guruge Acadia National Park Cooksey Drive Overlook.

Quintessential Acadia but from outside of the Park. This is from “Cooksey Drive” overlook. Check my post on this very scenic and rewarding overlook. Teischan and I did it on Sunday, September 7, 2014 around 11:30 am. We were the only ones there. Great place. Just minutes from the road.