Before starting I should probably point out that the last two updates, while months apart, took place within 24 hours of each other. After driving to mount Washington we went to the world’s sketchiest hotel. I point this out because after eating breakfast and escaping death we went to the ocean. Because for Veronica that is simply the logical conclusion.
Interestingly, you can’t go into the app on your phone and say, “hey google, can you take me to the ocean?” because that isn’t really a reasonable request to be made of a computer. So, considering that we had officially become directionless after waking up –mainly as Veronica did not want to return to Bar Harbor this trip—it was mildly interesting picking a point to go to.
Somehow, probably through some Harry Pottery grade magic, she was able to find a pier and get directions to that. It was fun, and tourist-y, and I can’t complain about it. Much. I am going to complain about it a little.
Veronica likes to do things in the fall, which is wonderful because it is when nature decides to put on a fashion show. This makes driving fun and entertaining. What it doesn’t make is the beach, in Maine, a warm place to be. The weather in October peaks around 50 degrees on an extremely hot day, which this was not. Then you have the fact that beach sand enjoys the luxury of retaining all the coldness of the previous liquid nitrogen based tide. I have dozens of pictures of her running around happily; all I could think about was that I was getting wet from the waves misting and likely to die of hypothermia, or some strange King Triton disease. In hindsight I might have been kind of a downer from the hotel the night before.
Somewhere between being asked what I wanted to do, and responding with, “this is a boardwalk, so there must be an arcade,” there was a conversation about what the next leg of our journey was going to be. Purely on a whim, and not to push any agenda I looked up how far away from us FunSpot was, because I had heard from several friends that it was completely amazing and I am a terrible judge of how far states are away from each other.
I mumbled something about, “never mind, it is a couple hours away,” to which Veronica basically told me, whatever, she was done planning the rest of the trip and just to drive. I tried to respond with her having further plans, to which she said she no longer wanted to do and kind of wanted to leave this state. After several minutes of me prodding her that we really didn’t have to go, and trying to act like a good human being she simply replied to me with:
“Daniel, drive the damn car,” and we were on our way.
I would love to tell a roundabout story about finding a place to sleep that night, and the battle about finding a cheap hotel vs a nice one, but the truth is that after having one of the worst nights of sleep in our lives both of us were ready for someplace nice. At this point in the trip Veronica looked at me and basically told me to figure the rest of it out, because she was ready to just relax and have a good time.
After stopping at FunSpot to confirm that they were indeed open, I jumped on my phone and tried to figure out a highly rated and well-priced hotel/motel in the area that both of us could agree on. It literally took me five minutes of looking and sifting through reviews to find something that looked good. Oddly the place we stayed kind of jumped out, like it was meant to be.
This is by far our favorite place that we have ever stayed. Ever.
The people that own the hotel have the world’s second friendliest dog (second to mine, of course), and the entire hotel is recently remodeled. They are also insanely kind, happy to point out whatever is happening locally, and have bonfires every night on the property overlooking the lake. Calling the entire experience the exact opposite of what the night before was doesn’t even do it justice. I was half concerned I might have lost my wife to the place and she might have tried to call squatters rights in the room. I am pretty sure that if the dog had been there she might have.
Being the bargain shopper that she is, Veronica managed to find a discount coupon that would get us a handful of extra dollars in tokens when we did the entire money exchange thing at the FunSpot Arcade. The instructions stated that we should present it at the bowling alley –because aside from an indoor miniature golf course, and indoor child bumper car place, they also have that too—and a which she proudly marched up to and did. The person behind the counter was clearly more interested in talking to his friends than us. After weighing the risk/reward of not doing his job and finally deciding to respond he just waved his hand, “All those machines there just dispense more tokens. You don’t need the coupon.”
I know Veronica was chest fallen because she was proud to use the coupon and that kind of didn’t work out. For me I was more broken that there was literally a large-ish sign that said the same thing the teen and smugly informed us of. We had walked right by the sign. Although I did find out that the easiest way to lift her spirits is to put a couple 20s in a token machine and let the change dump out. That seemed instantly turn her into a giggling child again.
I could go through a blow by blow highlight of every single arcade cabinet that I played while there – like the NeoGeo machine needs to have the player one stick replaced and some of the buttons are sticking, and I would honestly only ever recommend putting in the minimum required tokens for a given machine to make sure it is working correctly or the version you were expecting – but that would bore more people to tears. The one thing that I do want to talk about is how insane someone else that I arrived with went. I am a huge nerd. It is expected for me to enjoy three floors of video games. Veronica, it turns out, goes totally insane for anything that gives out tickets of any kind.
So, I am going to judge her on this as it is kind of funny, but the combine length of time and amount of cash she dumped on the games I was half expecting some display of skill. No display ever happened. After acquiring tokens I was told that we were going our separate ways as I “cramp her style,” or am unlucky or something. We would randomly bump into each other, she would acknowledge me as required by marriage, and I would watch her run off clutch scores of tickets in one hand looking for the next machine.
I was happy to hang out and play one game on a token for several minutes, or as long as a credit would take me. This is not to say I wasn’t happy to spread the fun around, as they had a good selection of pinball machines too. I was at an arcade buffet, there was no reason to go insane at any one place. That would be silly.
Between half an hour and 45 minutes Veronica had blown through her end of the money. I had barely spent the bonus coins that we had gotten for using a 20 on the machine. I gave her a literal handful more and told her to slow down. She was back in less than a half an hour. I love her, but I really wonder if I should sit down with her and teach her some basic gaming skills.
At this point I decided it would be best to not leave her unsupervised and decided to go with her on these near gambling exploits. Not to brag; but to totally brag, I ended up getting more tickets than she did. I would also like to think that when we started playing the games together we legitimately started to have a better time that we did when we were wandering around alone, but that could just be me being super sappy about things.
Even though I was told I would be deciding things from that point forward the choice of dinner was taken away from me and we went to a, “well regarded local establishment,” according to Veronica. It was kind of interesting because for locals from Jay it was basically Steinhoff’s on the weekend, but with implied class.
When we went in there were very nice leather couches that we were allowed to sit at, and our names were taken. Then anyone who was a local who came in was promptly seated before us. As was anyone who showed any interest in going to the bar. So basically, we got to sit and wait for a table for about 45 minutes, speak to the hostess if something was going to happen twice, contemplate leaving several times, almost run out of phone battery, both become overly hungry and annoyed at each other as a result, and then finally be seated. As a side note I think it is important to say that there was one entrance/exit, and not as many people entered as exited. This basically means that they were never at capacity, they were just being jerks.
When we were seated, we were surrounded by drunk people. They were drunk enough to make Boris Yeltsin appear as a pillar of sobriety. Veronica ordered a single drink which was mixed strong enough that it raised concerns about her driving back to the hotel (don’t worry, I did). I was raised correctly, so I know enough not to complain about a strong drink, but this was mixed so poorly I kind of wondered if the person behind the bar even knew that other things go into drinks than pure paint thinner.
All that said we did manage to find a thrift store on the way home. I would call the last part of the trip a success.