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A WINTER WEEKEND IN THE ADIRONDACKS (revisiting childhood vacation spots Lake George & Brant Lake)

For those of you that follow WonderfulWonders, you know that I very rarely go back to places I’ve already been.  Never really sure why, just never felt the strong desire to go back (with the exception of Plymouth, MA).  Well, this past weekend we set out to attend the Lake George 50th Anniversary Winter Carnival 2011 in Lake George NY.       Interesting that as a child I vacationed in nearby Brant Lake for much of of youth as we returned year-after-year staying with my aunt, uncle and cousins.  With Lake George being so close we ventured into the lake community each year to visit many of the area’s local attractions, shop and have dinner in some of the many restaurants. 

So while our initial intention was to attend the Winter Carnival, I must admit, I was looking forwarding to “going back” and revisiting the places I enjoyed so much as a child. Heck, I celebrated a milestone in Lake George – I turned 13 and my aunt bought me my 1st bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion!  Along with my bat-n-ball that I received every year as my birthday always seemed to coincide with our vacation to Brant Lake and back in the mid/late 1960′s and early 1970′s a bat-n-ball was about as exciting as it got in that community.  Looking back now, I LOVED every minute of those times!

We arrived in time for dinner Friday night.  Jack‘s American Bistrowas highly recommend by Ron (our inn keeper) so we headed over to headed over to Jacks.  We started with the Fried Calamari with the most delicious homemade creamy orange ginger sauce! That sauce was more than wonderful!  I enjoyed the Chicken Cordon Bleu ham, with swiss cheese, Japanese bread crumbs, honey-mustard sauce, and mashed potato while my honey enjoyed the Braised Short Ribs pulled off the bone, roasted vegetables, potato “ravioli”, and red wine demi.  The food was great and the service was perfect! Thanks to Ron our inn keeper we had a delightful dinner on our first night in the Capitol Region.

After dinner we went back to our B&B,    The Manor Inn located on Glens Street, Glens Falls.  Ron & Denise the inn keepers of The Manor Inn are great and previous “neighbors” both originally being from Connecticut.  This 1921 Victorian inn has 4 bedrooms 2 w/private bath, each decorated with warmth and style.  We stayed in the Black & White room with its luxurious antique bedroom furniture featuring a magnificent Queen size bed.  We couldn’t have asked for more!

Saturday morning we headed over the Lake George to partake in the Winter Carnival festivities!  We were disappointed that there was a high wind warning in affect throughout the day preventing the Hot Air Balloon Tether Rides in the morning, the helicopter rides, the Saratoga Skydiving and especially the hot air balloon moon glow.  While those events/activities were cancelled, we were able to completely enjoy ourselves at the remaining events/activities.  With those brisk/whipping winds the Chowder Cook-Off was not only tasty but the warm chowder was much needed!  The day was filled with car races on the lake, ice diving demonstrations, snowmobiles & ATV having fun on the ice throughout the day, many children’s activities and more.  We stopped to admire the various sculptures on display and available for sale.  What caught our eye immediately was the simply beautiful eagle by Sculptures by Frank.  Frank has been creating his cchainsaw art here in the heart of the Adirondacks since 1990.  His mission is to “provide quality hand crafted art at an affordable price.”  Imagine our surprise when we discovered him specializing in Bears, Moose’s, Seagulls and Eagles!  Well, you all know how much my honey and I enjoy eagle hunting during the winter months here in the Hudson Valley along the Hudson River so, we simply couldn’t resist purchasing the most amazing eagle sculpture!

To complete our Saturday we ventured over to the local park for a dog sled ride!  Okay, maybe they weren’t huskies but the thrill was the same!

                                                                                         

Sunday was spent trying to find my childhood vacation spot in Brant Lake.  Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I spent much of my childhood vacations at Brant Lake.  We stayed with my aunt, uncle & two cousins.  Every year, usually the last two weeks of July my aunt & uncle rented a cabin known as “The Martha Ray” at Mead’s Cabins.  Going back this past weekend was both exciting and a bit disappointing….while I absolutely found Mead’s Cottages, I can’t be certain that I found The Martha Ray which makes me sad.  I’m not sure if it is going back in the winter makes it look so very different, or if it’s time, 35+ years can make a difference.  I know that some sections have gone private since I was last there and perhaps that in itself has made the appearance different but it was sad none the less.  We used to walk straight downs the road past Martha Ray and right on to the beach, now, you can no longer do that from what I can tell, maybe I’m wrong, hopefully I’m wrong and I just missed it!  If by chance you too have vacationed at Mead’s Cottage at Brant Lake I would love to hear from you….please share your comments below!

To complete this day filled with reminiscing childhood memories, Sunday evening we had a nice dinner at Mario’s Italian Restaurantin Lake George.  What’s amazing is that one night when I was a child (maybe 7, 8 or 9) we had gone into Lake George to have dinner at this very same restaurant.  It was there that when my parents turned away from me for only a moment, I somehow wandered to the stairway and fell down what at the time, seemed to be a huge flight of stairs.  It was somewhat serious, the ambulance came, took me to the hospital and all I remember was having a bad headache!

And let’s not forget the all important art of shopping LOL! Yes, we all know that we are very good at visiting the local shops & boutiques on our many trips and this was no exception.  I love  the Indian Teepee Gift shop in Bolton Landing!          Be prepared because when you walk in the door you’ll be surprised at how much there is to see in this adorable half-century-old store.  Here you will find everything from edible goodies, crafts, toys, plush animals and novelties, plus cozy slippers and flannels to keep the adventurer warm on those Adirondack winter days. The snowy Christmas section will entertain kids even in summer. And there isn’t a better place to scoop up those all-important souvenir sweatshirts!  So I had to have a new fleece that proudly shows my love of the beautiful Adirondacks!  The Silo Country Store & Restaurant is another gem in the Adirondacks and not to be missed!    

  

As we made our way to Monday (President’s Day) we found ourselves waking to about 5″ – 6″ inches of fresh snow!  So what to do in this freshly fallen snow in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains – we decided on snow tubing!  Now, I’ve NEVER been snow tubing so we were in for an experience! 

We made our way to West MountainWe were so excited as neither of us had ever been tubing!  Our excitement took precedence over our frame of mind as neither of us read about the tubing trails – we didn’t know how many or how high they were.  After we purchased our lift tickets we soon discovered there are 6 tubing chutes, four lower 700’ long chutes with a 65′ drop and two upper 1000’ long chutes with a 100′ vertical drop – YIKES! Okay so this was about the time I thought hmmm, maybe I should reconsider.  But I didn’t reconsider; instead we started out on the lower chutes and after having “mastered” that, we eagerly ventured to the upper chutes!  We of course went down together, meaning we were each in our own tube but my honey was securely holding on to my tube.  Apparently going down together is very popular and a common practice (whew, lucky for me!).

Enjoy more pictures!

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder - take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

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One Response to “A WINTER WEEKEND IN THE ADIRONDACKS (revisiting childhood vacation spots Lake George & Brant Lake)”

  • Kevin says:

    Mead’s is there as is the Martha Ray. I think you may have gone down Goose Neck a neighboring association.

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