Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mid-August Lament: Tourists, Go Home!

Lines at the beaches, lines at the restaurants, lines on Route 6, lines everywhere.
There's even a regular line outside town hall to use the restrooms. I don't remember such lines in the 1970s and '80s, when my kids spent their summers here. Sometimes we had to wait in the car at Newcomb Hollow, but if a day was planned right, you could avoid delay and spend your time at the beach, not WAITING to get ONTO the beach.

No, really. Why does everyone want to come here at the same time? Notice the sign above blocking the access road to Cahoon Hollow Beach this afternoon, a mediocre weather-day if you ask me. The extra S indicates both the town parking lot and the Beachcomber parking lot are full. It's not even a weekend!

The worst lines of all must be at PB Boulangerie, which opens at 7. Apparently, the line starts forming at 6:30, rain or shine. I went for bread today at 3 pm and turned right around once I got there. The line snaked up to the door, indicating a half-hour wait to get into the shop. What's more, tourists send their kids to hold a place in line while the parents park, so six different people got into the line in front of me. Forget it, Boris! I'm not buying your baguetttes if I have to wait half an hour. I can make guests homemade bread myself. Oh, and I tried to get a reservation for the bistro by phone this morning. Boris had told me I could be squeezed in anytime and would even receive a complementary glass of champagne. It was possible to have dinner at 5 or at 9:30 two weeks from now, Valeria said. Excuse me. That does not compute. Local person who promoted the bakery way before it got mentioned in the Times, unable to get a reservation? I'm really glad the Frenchmen are so successful, but they need to rethink a few things before next year. For instance, anyone buying bread gets in one line. Anyone buying anything else gets in another.

The phone has been ringing once an hour all week here at Chez Sven as people seek accommodation. There is none. Since we do not post our telephone number online, I know they found it in the Wellfleet Chamber Guide and are calling around to all the bed & breakfasts. No one has room. Much more sensible to call the Chamber of Commerce and see if there have been any cancellations. Hopefully, the Discover Wellfleet site will some day deal with this type of unnecessary aggravation. In the meantime, the locals are all beginning to sour toward the tourists. Beginning to sour? A euphemism. This situation is complicated by the fact that the major industry in this town is tourism ....

Heh-phew, heh-phew, heh-phew. Sorry. That was me, hyperventilating. Okay, I feel better now. Remember, only two and a half weeks until Labor Day. I'll raise a glass of champagne to THAT!