The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!
Did someone say ROADTRIP!!!!!
And it was, the roadtrip of a lifetime.
Back in January Sue and Rick asked me if I would like to go to Lake George, NY in June for Americade. Americade is the largest touring rally for motorcycles in the US. I had never been to a Motorcycle Rally so I said YES! I had been to Lake George in the fall and it was beautiful. The fall colours were out, the weather was cool enough for a sweatshirt but not too cold for walking around. Sue and Rick have been going to Lake George for over 20 years and the last 5 or 6 have been staying at the Lake Haven Motel. We left Brighton on June 1, 2009 on our way.
Crossing the border was a non event really. We had thought it might be as June 1 was the first day of the new law that ANYONE entering the US had to have a valid passport. Additionally, the next bridge down from Ivy Lea (Ontario) was closed so we figured it would take some time to cross. Nope, it took mere minutes…however, it could have been a lot more ‘comical’. We were asked the standard questions – where are you from, where are you going etc. And of course, anything to declare, liquor, tobacco and then he asked if we had any fresh fruit. Sue immediately said NO. YIKES, sitting on top of a pile of stuff directly beside me and in plain view of the Border Guard was a bag of cherries – yep, honest to goodness real live cherries. I just sat there with my mouth shut all the while wondering what I was going to look like in prison stripes. So, either he didn’t see them or he wasn’t for tossing some Canadians into interegation hell that Monday and let us in. As soon as we were far enough away from the crossing I asked Sue if she wanted some cherries. LOL I wish I had a picture of the look on her face when she turned around and looked at me. It was priceless. Needless to say the cherry story was repeated over and over again during the course of the week. We did eat some of them, but in the end I think a dozen or so went in the garbage the day we were leaving to come home. I get the feeling that Sue will never take cherries into the US again. LOL.
Trenton, Ontario to Ivy Lea border crossing – 1.10 hours.
Sue and Rick’s friends MaryJane and Adam also joined us. So, 2 cars and we are on our way.
We didn’t stay on I-81 too long. Just north of Watertown we headed to a secondary road. It would take a little longer but it is much more scenic. The road winds through Tupper Lake, Cranberry Lake, Lake Placid – each very scenic places on their own. We made one stop for lunch and then continued on our way to Lake George. NOTE: McDonalds in the US has the best Iced Coffee. It is much better than the slop they serve here in Canada. Additionally the McD’s staff stateside was much more pleasant to deal with and were focused on the job at hand. Unlike the kids at the McD’s that we go to in Trenton. But this isn’t about my beef with McD’s, so I will move on.
We pulled into the Lake Haven Motel in Lake George, NY around 5:00 pm. It was a total of 7 hours travel time and 553 kilometers (343 miles) but it really didn’t seem like it at all. I think I might have taken a nap for an hour or three LOL, so time really did fly for me.
By the time we unpacked and settled in it was time for dinner. A short 5 minute walk away from Lake Haven is a restaurant called Mario’s. Mario’s has been in Lake George for over 25 years, owned by the same family. It is an Italian place and they certainly live up to their reputation of good home made food.
As a sidebar let me just state for the record. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to eat. In fact, before I was diagnosed with cancer I lived to eat and it showed. I was morbidly obese by all medical standards. However, since having half my insides removed eating now is more of a chore than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my food, however, now I eat to live not live to eat. My adjusted insides do not allow for over eating. What I used to eat as an appetizer is now usually my main meal. I do eat breakfast for the most part but it is not bacon and eggs, toast, hash browns etc everyday. That may be once in a while, but not the norm. I don’t usually have “lunch”. I graze for the middle of the day and then try and eat a meal at dinner time. That being said…
The meals that we had in Lake George and the surrounding area were very good. I tried not to order what would seem to be a lot of food, but even the appetizers on most menus were more than a meal to me. ( It’s not that I mind paying for the meals, it just seems too wasteful to order an entire meal and then send most of it back. I spend alot of time reassuring wait staff that there was nothing wrong with the food. They kind of look at me funny as if to say “Uhuh – right”.) Buffets have become more of a favourite of mine now. Not that I can pile my plate high 2 or 3 times but rather I can put together a plate – a little of this, a little of that – and if I find that I can’t get something down, I can get something else. Readjusted insides have a mind of their own sometimes and what I could eat yesterday no problem could cause major problems today. And with a buffet I can scope out the dessert table and decide if I am going to eat dinner or dessert first LOL.
The food at Mario’s was excellent and the plates piled high. Sue ordered the spaghetti and it could have fed 3 of us. It did take a little long to get our food, but when it came it was well worth the wait. ( And as someone who has worked in a restuarant I can say that great food takes time. If your meal takes a little longer than you are used to and you are at a well established eatery with a good reputation you can be pretty sure that what you are getting on your plate is indeed home made to order and not something frozen tossed into the microwave. )
The bread on the table came warm and my Ceasar Salad was very good. Homemade dressing and croutons, just the right amount of real bacon. It was very yummy. Everyone agreed that the food was fab and reasonably priced. Mario’s gets a 9/10. They also serve a great breakfast buffet which we visited the morning we were leaving – but more about that later.
After dinner it was time for a walk. Lake George is a great walking town. It is kept very clean and there are a lot of neat little shops that line both sides of the main street downtown. It is a bout a 15 minute walk from the motel into town, but it is a nice walk . There are a lot of little cafe’s with patios that were not open in October when we had been there but now that it was summer and Bike Week, everything was open for business. There is a Christmas Shop in town with every Christmas Decoration imaginable. There is an Irish Linen Shop, a micro Winery, the list goes on and on. There are also scads of t-shirt and souvenir shops – almost every second place sells something to remind you of your trip. The other big difference from October – the streets were lined with Motorcycles. Lots and lots of Motorcycles and it was only the first day. Harley’s, Honda’s, Kawi’s, Victory’s – you name a bike company and it was represented. I loved the Harley’s of course, but my favourite bike is a trike. A Boss Hoss trike at that. It is hard to imagine that a bike can cost more than a luxuary car but they can and do. The trike that I like so much was a mere $55,000 US. Not a small drop in the bucket that is for sure. The roar of the bikes was amazing and a sound I will not soon forget. Sue had warned me about the noise, but not about how noisy it was going to be but rather how when it stopped and got quiet you noticed it. And she was right. As soon as it went quiet my ears perked up LOL. I had also been told that the display of bikes on Monday was nothing compared to what it would be later in the week. Not everyone has the luxuary of having the entire week of. Additionally many people travel from farther away than we did so they had to add in travel days as well.
We decided that we would pick up some things at the time, the stores would become more and more crowded as the week went on. The deals were incredible – heavy duty sweatshirts 3/$20. T-Shirts 3/$10 – definately not like Disneyworld LOL. I think the most expensive shirt I bought was a Lake George Fire Dept tee and that was $20 but it was for a good cause.
Remember how I said it was a nice walk into town. It was, but walking back to Lake Haven was another story. It’s all uphill LOL. It takes a little longer but it is still a nice walk. I would guess that over the course of the week I logged between 10 and 15 miles. Not bad for a person who is not used to walking more than a block or two with the dog.
After a Bailey’s nightcap on the deck it was time to sleep. The roar of the bikes was actually quite soothing. The view from the deck was great. We saw anything and everything that came into or left town.
Tomorrow is Day 2…