I’ve been itching for a get-away……anywhere…..just to go on an adventure…..this year has been driving me nuts! But, with the Covid risks, I was not about to get on an airplane or bus or train to go anywhere and then there is the whole quarantine requirements if I were to travel to a state that is on the list of states that have to quarantine for 14 days after returning. So, I finally decided to check out going on a short get-away within New York State. I looked at the Catskills and didn’t see anything in particular that interested me. So, I looked at the Adirondacks and set my sights on Lake Placid!
Mom used to take us to the Adirondacks when we were little. We’d stay in cheap roadside motels and go to all the wonderful attractions in the area – Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole, Land of Make Believe, Frontier Town, Land of 1000 Animals, and others that I can’t think of their names! We’d drive to the top of Whiteface Mountain and just have the best time! What great memories! But, I’ve never actually stayed right in Lake Placid. So, Lake Placid it was……and off I went! I drove up on Monday, September 21st, spent three full days, and drove back on Friday, September 25th. Perfect!!!
The first sign that I’d made the right decision was when I turned the radio on about 1/2 hour into my 6 1/2 hour drive and Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” came on…..woo hoo……that set the tone for the entire drive!
The drive up went fast……I sang the whole way, alternating between Classic Rock and Classic Country and the time just flew! I was about 1 1/2 hours away from my destination before I realized I hadn’t stopped or got out to stretch even once! So, about Cranberry Lake, I pulled over at a parking area and got out to walk around the car a few times and stretch my legs and got back in and went the rest of the way.
My next clue that I made the right decision about the trip and the hotel I chose was that they put me in room # 333…….like they just knew I had a “thing” about the number three…..PERFECT!!!
I looked at several places to stay while in Lake Placid and settled on Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa overlooking Mirror Lake. My room was huge and had a terrace which was more like a sun room off the main part of the room with ceiling to floor windows and sliding glass doors with views of the lake and the mountains……simply stunning! I would not have been one bit bored or disappointed if I had to stay right there and do nothing else the entire time I was there! WOW!!! I did spend quite a bit of time enjoying my view, but I also got out and did some other things, as well.
It was a beautiful inn and location – right in the heart of downtown Lake Placid!
The room was amazing and so comfortable! I slept like a baby and adored my terrace and view!
Views from my terrace……I could get used to seeing this at all hours of the day and night……I even left the drapes open while I slept and when I woke up, this was the first thing I saw from my pillow! So awesome!!!
It was a tad frustrating that some of the things I wanted to do were either not open or not fully operational and some of the restaurants were closed or take out only and those that were open for dine-in service weren’t accepting reservations, so some were really hard to get in when I wanted to – all due to Covid restrictions. But, it actually turned out perfect……it forced me to do what my bottom line goal was….to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains!!!
On my first day, I went to Santa’s Workshop for “old time’s sake”! It is the only one of the old attractions my family went to year after year that is still there – the others have all closed down some years ago. The workshop, itself, was not open, but I got to see the place and go in the gift shop. It looks exactly the same as I remember it! I told the lady that my Mom brought me here when I was a child and she said that so many people come through there and say exactly that and it made her smile! I bought myself a t-shirt, some Christmas ornaments, and a beautiful angel for my collection.
I drove around a little for most of the morning and early afternoon, just looking around the area and checking out the scenery. I loved seeing all the river and creek beds with clear, cool water flowing over rocks and ledges.
In the afternoon, I took a boat cruise on Lake Placid. I learned a lot about the area and got to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors. It was just starting to reach peak leaf color – I watched the colors explode over the course of the few days I was there – they predicted they would reach peak by the end of the week and I’ll bet it did cause it was amazing!!!
The next day, I took the Essex Ferry into Vermont for the day. I didn’t have anything specific in mind to do – just whatever caught my eye – except I really wanted to visit the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, VT. Just the thought of going into Vermont made me feel like a rebel……I know – we can go wherever we want and I was only going be there a few hours, so quarantine rules didn’t apply, and Vermont isn’t on “the list”, anyway….BUT…..leaving NY for the first time since January still made me feel like a rebel!!! hehehe
The drive from Lake Placid to Essex was really beautiful, too!
I’ve been on car ferries before, but never as the driver. I was a little nervous about driving onto the ferry, but it was a piece of cake and I really enjoyed the almost 30 minute ride across Lake Champlain – it was beautiful and a perfect day for it – sunny and 70 degrees!
The first thing that caught my eye on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain was the Vermont Teddy Bear Company! When I saw the sign, I knew it was somewhere I needed to check out! So, I stopped in and boy, was I glad I did! I could have taken a factory tour, but decided to just enjoy the gift shop to save time.
What a joy it was to see all those wonderful hand made teddy bears……just amazing!!! I bought myself one (duh – did you really think I’d leave without one???) and headed on my way!
Next up was Ben & Jerry’s……..I was disappointed they weren’t doing tours because of Covid, but I treated myself to a dish of Cherry Garcia and took some photos, and was just so very happy to be there! I’ll make the trip again sometime when I can do the tour.
There were a couple other things that caught my eye, but they weren’t open, so I just spent some time driving around Burlington and Shelbourne and headed back to the ferry to cross Lake Champlain one more time before going back to the inn and dinner!
On the way to the ferry, I spotted this cool clock on the side of an antique shop that also advertised pizza by the slice……didn’t go in, but had to stop to get a photo of the perfect representation of the phrase “time flies”!
On the ride back across Lake Champlain, this was my view out my passenger side window! Hahahaha!!!
My last day was pretty laid back……I just relaxed and explored around downtown Lake Placid and checked out some of the shops!
The first thing I saw was also my one and only “awe…..a critter” moment! I looked out my terrace door to see an adorable fox checking out the pool area below my room! He hung out there looking around for quite a while and I just stood there watching him! 🙂
OK, so those of you who follow my adventure posts are wondering where the FOOD pics are!!! Well, I deliberately waited till almost the end to add them……keeping the suspense going! hehehe
The food was amazing everywhere I went! Like I said earlier, a lot of the restaurants were either closed or take out only…….also, finding a parking spot in downtown Lake Placid was dang near impossible! But, I did manage to eat at a few really great places. The Mirror Lake Inn had two restaurants – an upscale restaurant – The View – and a more casual one – The Cottage! I ate at The Cottage my first night and had the best turkey sandwich – it was huge – I only ate 1/2 of it, it was so big! It was piled high with thick slices of turkey, apple slices, and a cranberry aioli……so good! I had breakfast delivered to my room twice so I could sit and eat with that amazing view from my terrace. I also had breakfast at the Dancing Bears and the Downtown Diner. I had dinner at the Dancing Bears twice — I had an awesome burger the first time and a perfect steak the second time! I wanted to eat at Smoke Signals – a BBQ place, but getting in there proved to be impossible – even getting a take out plate to take back to my room wasn’t in the cards. But, on my last day, I discovered the Pickled Pig and had the best beef brisket sandwich I’ve EVER had!!! So, here are the food pics I remembered to take before the food was all gone!!!
And, for my final pictures – here are the souvenirs I bought myself from Santa’s Workshop, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, and Ben & Jerry’s:
It was the perfect get-away —- the weather was great —- the autumn colors were incredible —- it was a great mix of relaxation and exploration —- and I really enjoyed every minute of it! I even read an entire book while I was there!
And……..I capped the trip off with an 80 minute aromatherapy massage at the spa in the Mirror Lake Inn the last night of my stay…….OMG…….perfection!!!
One thing I didn’t do that I thought I wanted to do was drive up Whiteface Mountain! I kept going back and forth about it……I wanted to, but you couldn’t use the elevator to the summit and the lifts weren’t operating and you couldn’t go inside the castle at the parking level……also, I kept hearing how rough it is on your car and brakes……but, when it came right down to it, I realized I didn’t really want to go, after all — I kept going back to all the things that made me question my decision to go – even though I knew they all weren’t really an issue at all – and just realized it was because I really didn’t want to go! So, I didn’t! 🙂
And, I must take a moment to say how impressed I was with all the Covid precautions……everywhere I looked someone was sanitizing something…….restaurants not only cleaned the tables, but they also sprayed and cleaned every chair at the table (even if not used) and anything within reach of the table……people were very cooperative about wearing masks – even walking down the streets (if someone was walking outside with no one near them, they may have had their mask under their chin, but pulled it up as soon as they saw someone approaching them) and no one complained or harassed wait staff or clerks anywhere about it……and there was hand sanitizer available EVERYWHERE!!! It was really impressive and made me feel comfortable about being there! Even my room — it had a tag sealing the door saying it had been sanitized when I arrived and no one entered my room while I was there – I was told ahead of time there would be no daily in-room service, but if I needed anything to call and ask for it – I was totally fine with that – I didn’t need it and it made me feel better that no one was in there touching surfaces while I was out……and, it was nice to be able to return to the room any time during the day without worrying about interrupting the cleaning staff. VERY NICE!!!
The drive back wasn’t as easy as the drive up — I struggled a bit and had to stop at parking areas a few times to refresh myself, but it was uneventful and I got home in plenty of time to pick up Megan from her little vacation at the kennel, so all was good!
All in all……a great decision!!! I am so glad I went!!! It worked out so nicely that I would not hesitate to do another in-state get-away if I get the adventure itch again before all the Covid restrictions are lifted!