05 September 2013

Labor Day Diary

This summer didn't end on quite the note I had hoped it would (with an especially harrowing past month), so when Keith suggested we go north for Labor Day weekend I hopped in the car as fast as I could. 

We spent Friday and Saturday nights in a scenic and cozy cabin in the Adirondacks. After a late arrival on Friday, we spent Saturday morning exploring the property which hosts ducks, a yellow lab and, in the words of the proprietor, "two mules we can saddle up for you, or you can just enjoy their sweet oddness."  Although there were a couple kinks (mostly involving online booking), we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and hope to go back. Jasper enjoyed himself too, as evidenced by the photos he took:

Photos of dog and mules by Jasper

On Saturday afternoon we made the 60-mile trek (back in the direction from which we came, but oh well) to Saratoga for some horse races. It took me a while to remember my patented winning strategy, but once I got into the groove I was able to come out on top based solely on skill! (Right?)

Immediately after my big win, we left the track for more verdant pursuits. We headed over to Saratoga Spa State Park, which brought back childhood memories of me being grossed out by my dad drinking the awful smelling water. Keith chugged a cupful of the fabled water, but Jasper and I could barely choke down a couple sips.

We also went on a little hike, which Jasper endured with varying degrees of enthusiasm...

Later we passed through the Village of Lake George, which seems like a dated and outrageous 10-year-old's paradise (think Jersey Shore meets Wally World). Just past the village, though, was a gorgeous sunset and some terrific taxidermy at Olde Log Inn. It wasn't exactly off the beaten path, but I felt like it was a true Adirondack experience.

Sunday was like a thousand days crammed into one. We raced up to Lake Placid to catch the early train to Saranac Lake for Hobofest. This is real. 

Saranac Lake was a cute place, although I think we were there on a quiet day. Jasper and I still managed to get some shopping in and scored, between the two of us, three tops, a new train and an evidently riveting magazine.

Jasper was losing steam by the time Hobofest (bluegrass performed by vagabond hipsters) got started, but the train ride back to Lake Placid featured a Steampunk Pirate band that we all enjoyed. 

Inspired by the drifters at Hobofest, we took an impromptu ferry ride over Lake Champlain to Burlington, VT, where we spent our last night. 

Burlington was more built up than any other place I've seen in Vermont, but it was quaint enough for me. We feasted on bone marrow and cider at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, followed by a luxurious and LEED certified sleep at Hotel Vermont. I would normally recommend a more rustic approach to lodging in Vermont, but if you've just won big at the races or you're feeling particularly fancy, go here. It plays into every Vermont cliché, but I was seriously impressed.

The next morning we had an excellent breakfast at Henry's Diner, followed by a scenic bike ride along Lake Champlain.

Keith and I enjoyed the lake views to our west, while Jasper focused on the old train tracks across the trail. He took several photos worthy of a 2.5-year-old, mostly of Keith's posterior, but snuck in a few good shots of his beloved trains.

Train photo by Jasper

We were jolted back to reality on our way back to New Haven when we stopped for dinner in Albany. Albany always makes it less sad to go home, because at least home is not Albany. 

The End


  1. I will read it in great detail when I get time (when exactly does that happen?) but I really loved the pictures and the skimmed version looked really exciting and so very family!

  2. Yes, the pix and commentary are wonderful. I love the pictures of Jasper reading the magazine. It looks like you all had a great time!