Haven’t you always wanted to simply show up at the airport and take the next flight out, no matter where it’s going? Well, I’ve wanted to do this forever – it’s a true test of my free spirit. For now I’m keeping things a little bit more simple though. So, the version of spontaneity in this instance was embarking on a last minute road trip to upstate New York. There’s a method to our madness – there always is. We’ve chased our friends around the US for the past 10 years; from Ottawa, to Springfield (Missouri), to Memphis (Tennessey) to Miami (Florida), and now Saratoga Springs (NY). I think they have finally found what they’ve been looking for all along – a beautiful home, tons of land, a growing garden, a coop of chickens – it’s the Adirondack Farmette! We were driving there to visit because we love them and they are our very best friends (obviously), but we don’t generally set a destination without some sort of side goal in mind. That’s when I found Mount Marcy. It seemed perfect – she’s almost exactly halfway, with a cute name, and I saw some really rad photos of the summit. But, I probably should have researched the more important facts because the hike is a total of 12 HOURS. And it isn’t recommended for beginners or families. I should have known since it’s the highest mountains in New York and the Adirondacks. It’s definitely something to work up to as our fitness levels increase, especially since we love to get our hike on! So, we scratched the whole hiking plan, and instead decided to get lazy on the river, experience the Saratoga foodie scene, and knock another adventure off of my Bucket List. Regardless of the Mount Marcy disappointment, we did experience some really amazing things in Saratoga, so here are my top three.
Generally, I have multiple resources in front of me to help me choose which activities/experiences, dining, hotels, etc. we’ll choose while we’re staying…well…anywhere – even Ottawa. But, since I was so focused on the Mount Marcy climb, I realized that we still had a ton of ground to cover. So, I turned to Groupon (a little reluctantly – I have mixed feelings about it.). I was not disappointed this time though, because, as I was browsing I found Tubby Tubes. I was in right away – I love being lazy and I love the river! We signed up for the following day. The operation is really well-equipped, with river guides who outfit each participant with a life jacket (you don’t have to wear it, but have it with you) before shuttling us to the Upper Hudson River (yes, the same one that’s in NYC). We took in scenic views of the Adirondacks, floating along in 3 feet deep water, with an average temperature of 72 degrees. As the weather warms, the park shifts its focus to its four downhill tubing slides. We just simply took our time to float down to the Lower Hudson Gorge along flat waters, tree lined banks, alive with the spirit of adventure.
We aren’t nearly hardcore foodies, however we do enjoy trying new restaurants, different types of food, exploring cultures through food, experiencing the different atmospheres – in our own city and others when we get the chance. Whenever we travel, I’m always researching different cafes, restaurants, diners, lounges, and I usually know exactly where we’re going, or I at least have options. This time I actually left it in the hands of our friends, who are similar to us in regards of foodie style. Stacey is way better in the kitchen than I am, so the first night we gobbled down her amazing dinner. The next two nights, we decided it was obligatory that we go out. So, after our fav type of shopping (thrift!), we headed out to Comfort Kitchen. It was a total cheap eats type of place, hidden in a little shopping mall. But we were up for whatever (as usual), and, for us, expensive meals are reserved for once a month only anyways. I have to say that we found a definite hidden gem (aren’t those the very best?), and the grilled cheese was so good – and affordable. They serve exactly what they convey – comfort food, like macaroni and cheese, tacos, brussel sprouts all sauced up (yum). Great service and no complaints. Pretty straightforward if you’re looking to grab a quick bite. Our last night was pizza night (because the wait for Lake Local was crazy – next time!). So we scurried over to Harvest and Hearth, where we were able to sit by the water anyways. Pizza is totally and completely my absolute favorite food, so as an informed judge, there were a perfect amount of different combinations to choose from, you had the option of ordering half and half, and the thin crust was a nicely added touch to my pizza rotation. The service was once again great, we discovered the best ginger beer, and we had a wonderful view from the patio on a perfect summer day. The verdict is out. We’re comin back for some more grub after Mount Marcy.
Bobsledding on an Olympic Track
There have been so many opportunities pop up lately that I’ve wanted to try, experience, and check off my bucket list – some go all the way back for years. After finding out that we weren’t going to be climbing Mount Marcy I was pretty bummed, but then I remembered something else – something just as exciting and adventurous. We decided to go for the bobsledding experience at Lake Placid, which was in one of my amazing resource books. Whiteface Lake Placid is the two-time site of the Olympic Winter Games and host to countless World Cup events. Even though the snow has melted and the ice is off the track, the sleds change out their steel runners for wheels and the action moves to the historic 1932 and 1980 Olympic track. We were shuttled up to the half mile point on the track, and, with the help of a professional driver and brakeman, we wound through Olympic turns known by sliders around the world. All I can say is that it was super fast (under 40 seconds) and you’re completely “living in the moment” – there’s no way around it. This allows you to experience what it’s like to be an Olympic slider from an athletes perspective, if only for a (very) short amount of time.
Six years ago, we pitched a tent on Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks. There was a majestic lake, a magical forest, and we could just “wallow in the beautiful scenery”. Waking up early to take a morning hike, we then made our way into the city of Saratoga Springs specifically to soak in one of their famous mineral baths. This time we skipped out on all that for a completely different experience. But we had the chance to collect mineral water to fill our own bottles. Don’t forget to do it! These waters have real health benefits. Chalybeate springs contain salts of iron, which are good for your blood, especially if you have a no meat diet. Some springs are highly alkaline , making effective antacids for an upset stomach or heartburn, not to mention decreasing acidity in your body. Overall, though, they can help you maintain a healthy, hydrated lifestyle, so grab as much of it as you can while you’re there – Mount Marcy or not.
Originally posted 2017-10-05 07:00:28.