Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Invaders

Since this was our first Halloween in our new home, we weren't really sure what to expect.  We don't really live in a typical trick or treating neighborhood.  We kind of thought...if we carve it, they will come!  
Just before dusk we got our very first trick or treater and I was thrilled!  
I don't think the Princess was happy that a stranger was taking her picture.  One year my friend and I dressed up as a two headed clown and I remember thinking as a kid how weird it was going to a strange person's house and them grabbing their camera, I mean they didn't even know me. Well, I totally turned into that person!  

Shortly after the Princess visited, Drew called out, "We're about to get invaded!"  We prepared with a bowl full of Snickers, Reese's, and Butterfinger Crisps.  
I told the kids how excited I was because we never had trick or treaters before.  Spot the Dog (probably 5 yrs old) said, "Really?  You've never given candy before?"  Me, weird lady taking pictures and wanting to talk to every kid, "No, this is our first night doing this and I love it!" Spot the dog, "Wow!  You're really lucky then."  
Having just under 20 trick-or-treaters we are left with a bowl full of candy, lucky indeed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cedar Run Bakery

This morning called for a warm beverage before work since it was the first real snowfall we have had at low elevation.  So, we stopped at Cedar Run Bakery in Keene.  I was happy to see that they had Hot Mulled Cider (my favorite).  I usually prefer this as an afternoon or evening drink, but I just couldn't pass it up.  
(sorry the picture is so blurry - I was a little excited)
Today was not a normal day for me, I was going to be helping Drew and his coworkers at the Mountaineer with annual inventory and it is known to be cold there.  It was absolutely necessary for me to have something warm in my hands to start the morning.  It was a slow morning at Cedar Run and we had to wait several minutes before Drew had to grab someone from the back so we could pay for our drinks.  

We finally got service and we were headed to work, just enough time for my cider to cool down enough that I could drink it without burning my tongue.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until taking my first sip that I noticed a strong coffee flavor to my mulled cider.  Either they didn't wash the urn from having coffee in it previously or Cedar Run adds coffee grinds to their mulling spices.  I was definitely disappointed.

I'm not trying to be mean spirited, I usually really like Cedar Run.  This summer we had a great breakfast with our bff's Amy and Chris when they were visiting.  I also can't say enough good things about the Carrot Cake (blog will come later). 

Turns out it was a Cedar Run day.  It was my friend Lori's birthday and she works at the Mountaineer.  She had requested Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins from Cedar Run for her birthday treat. When she told me she wanted muffins for her birthday and not a cake or cupcakes I was a little puzzled.  Apparently there was a mix up with the birthday order (they forgot to make them) and had to deliver them mid morning.  Problems aside, the chocolate chip pumpkin muffins made for a great birthday treat.
Lori had tried this muffin flavor last year and patiently waited for them to be in season again, just in time for her big day.  A box of muffins was requested and upon finally seeing them Lori noted, "This is the most beautiful box of muffins I have ever seen."

After trying one of these chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, it was love at first bite for me. We all felt that the amount of chocolate chips in each muffin exceeded our expectations.  

Chuck pointed out, "maybe because they screwed up this morning, they gave us an extra rich batch." When he took his first bite, he simply went, "Mmmmmmm....."  Jan said, "smells really good.  Amazing!"  As for Drew, he quietly devoured his muffin and silently went for another half.  

Never underestimate the power of a good muffin, it can erase ones mind from all the problems of the day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Gargoyles

I had a hard time finding the Gargoyles, must be because their costumes are so good!


I hope everyone including the Gargoyles has a fun and safe Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Driving home tonight in the rain, I came across a hunter in a bright orange vest walking along side the road.  I thought it might be interesting to stop and take his picture because he could potentially give me the scoop on the beginning of hunting season, but then my non-blogging mind kicked in, "What the hell are you thinking Alison?  You're really going to pull over in the middle of nowhere and have a conversation in the pouring rain with a strange man carrying a gun?"

Thus, no picture or scoop on hunting season.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wood Stove Inside!

Driving by Station Street Bar and Grille in Lake Placid, I noticed a nicely drawn Wood Stove on the chalk board out front.  
I am not really sure if having a wood stove inside a restaurant would bring in customers.  If people were guaranteed a table right next to the wood stove on a really cold day then maybe people would flock here.  Some of my friends have wood stoves in their homes and I can't imagine that this advertisement would lure them in.

On another note, they have a chiminea on their outdoor patio.  
This might be nice on a summer night when it is a little chilly.  One might think this could potentially be romantic, getting cozy with a loved one and sipping some wine by the chiminea. Apparently, the cinder blocks that it sits on turns my husband off.  Who knew cinder blocks could be such a turn-off?

I apologize if I might be coming off a little bit like Andy Rooney, but I just have mixed feelings about Station Street's "special" stoves.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I never thought I was a fan of using the scarecrow as a fall decoration, until today!  I came off of Springfield Road in Upper Jay and was faced with a scarecrow right in front of me sitting on the bridge.  I wasn't expecting him to be there.  Of course I immediately fell in love with him.  When getting out of the car to take his picture, I noticed another scarecrow on the other side of the bridge. Maybe decorating with scarecrows isn't such a bad thing after all.  

It gets better, across the street in the little garden park next to the post office was another one!
Continuing on 9N towards Jay, there was a scarecrow in front of the fire department.  Only a mile later there was another one perched on the guard rail.  How fun!

The big finale was at the Village Green in Jay.  There was a scarecrow for each post on the North side of the park!  Unfortunately, that picture didn't come out very well.  But, here's a picture of the last one I saw from Upper Jay to Jay.  
I think I must have counted at least 10 scarecrows and one miniature one in just this 4 mile stretch.  Please forgive me boy and girl scarecrows of the world for ever doubting you.  I guess scarecrows need a break from busy summers tending the gardens. Happy Fall and enjoy your freedom from the restraints of the garden!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ho Jo's

A couple weeks ago, my friend Ann and I went for lunch at Howard Johnson's in Lake Placid. This Ho Jo's is one of the few remaining, if not the last.  We decided on Ho Jo's because I thought I wanted some soup and then I felt like breakfast instead, even though it was noon.  

I remember being a kid visiting Lake Placid with my family and coming here often, probably because all I ate were grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate milk.  On occasion I would pick off my mother's Food Bar plate.  
Amazingly, this Howard Johnson's really hasn't changed much.  There's still that "old school" feel with the vinyl booths and neon buffet sign.  The big window in the back of the restaurant still looks out on a nice garden.  I had gone to Ho Jo's a couple years back and wasn't that impressed, but then Drew and I met my sister and her family there for breakfast this summer and we all had a great meal.  

Anyways, once we were seated I ordered myself a chocolate milk.  I was thrilled that my drink arrived with a bendy straw!  I couldn't decide on soup or breakfast so I went with one of the lunch specials, Cup of Chicken Noodle Soup and the Western Egg Sandwich.  
Ann commented, "Those noodles look like you could build a log cabin with them."  The noodles were definitely not flimsy, they were nice and thick.

Ho Jo's Western Egg Sandwich is an egg fried with peppers and onions with some ham and melted cheese.  The menu tells you that it comes with a side of fruit for your health.  What a bonus! 
 Ann ordered herself some breakfast for lunch.  She had a combination of pancakes, meat and poached eggs.  
I love pancakes but usually don't order them at restaurants because I'm a bit of a maple syrup snob and need the real thing.  Ann isn't bothered by this since she rarely uses syrup on her pancakes, just butter.  I asked Ann how her breakfast was and she said it was good except that she didn't like that there was some water in the bowl the eggs came in.  She did say that happens almost everywhere.  I guess Ho Jo's isn't the only one to blame for slimy eggs.

We both left feeling satisfied after a good inexpensive meal.  I have to be honest about one thing though, my chocolate milk was almost the same price as my lunch special.  Do you think it was the fun, flexible straw?  If so, I should have brought it home with me to get my money's worth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

High Falls Gorge Adventure Center

Today was an adventure day with the family.   No one had ever been to High Falls Gorge before and so we decided to take advantage of my free passes.  Drew mentioned that this was just one of the perks in marrying me along with his free ski pass and health benefits.

As soon as we left the building and were on the bridge over the Ausable, everyone reached for their camera.
After crossing the bridge you can turn left to the "Ausable River Mining Co."  where you can let the mud and water run through your purchased bag of mining rough to see if you might find a gemstone.  This didn't really look like it was in operation, maybe they turned the water off in preparation for winter.  
From here we went to check out the 700 feet of waterfalls.  There is an easy trail you can take where you don't have any inclines or any stairs.  We were all in pretty good shape so we figured we could take the scenic trail along the river.  
We knew this wasn't going to be Niagara Falls, but it turned out being pretty impressive.  We took a casual walk back to the picnic area and had lunch.

The day was still young and we all wanted to take full advantage of what High Falls Gorge Adventure Center had to offer so we went for a hike.  There is a "loop" hiking trail that takes you through the Climax Forest.  
The trail is definitely a little more rugged than the walk along the falls, but not difficult by any means.  Although, it can get a little tricky in the fall when the leaves are covering the roots and rocks.  
On the way back to the car, I asked everyone what they thought of their High Falls Gorge experience.  My father said, "I'd give it an 8+ out of 10."  Drew had a few comments: "About what I expected, quite nice.  I wish there was a vending machine on the trail, I'm really thirsty."  My mother thought "it was very pleasant."  

High Falls Gorge advertised at their counter that it was $10.50 for adults.  Living in the Adirondacks, we all agreed that it would be a good and convenient place to send people that aren't hikers or tourists that don't like going "off the beaten path."  We did enjoy our day here, but we probably wouldn't have paid $42 as a family.  That might be because we know of waterfalls in the Adirondacks that you can see for free.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gas & Grocery Conspiracy

I know I have mentioned The Little Supermarket in Wilmington and also Devin's in Jay, but I usually go to Price Chopper in Lake Placid, the only large grocery store in my commute to and from work and really the only option unless you live in Saranac Lake (opposite direction).  If I am making a trip to Plattsburgh I will do my shopping there because it is not as expensive with at least four different grocers to choose from.  

I have to say that I was excited to have Price Chopper partner with Sunoco Gas in providing discounts on gas when using your Price Chopper Advantage Card.  This was definitely a reward and an incentive to do more shopping at Price Chopper rather than going all the way to Plattsburgh.  With every $50 you spend, Price Chopper gives you 10 cents off a gallon!  You can let your "gas cents-off" accumulate for 90 days or so.

Last night the cashier informed me that I had 50 cents off a gallon!  Great!  Here's the catch, the Sunoco in Lake Placid has been closed for a week or so.  
If I were headed to Saranac Lake (out of my way), it would be no problem and I could fuel up in Ray Brook.  There is a Sunoco station in Wilmington on the way home to Jay, but for some reason they don't take the Advantage Card there. 

I think Sunoco in Lake Placid timed their closing with gas prices going down.  Up the street it was only $3.35, very close to my 50 cents off that I would have gotten with the LP Sunoco price of $3.83 two weeks ago.  If they were open now at $3.35, my gas would only cost me $2.85! Unheard of right? I think it is all just one big conspiracy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin with Gargoyles

I must admit, it took me a couple weeks to capture the Gargoyles.  The gargoyle on the left had a pumpkin, but the right one did not.  I kind of thought it was a work in progress and that any day now there would be more.  So, this morning I stopped to take their pictures and I brought a small pumpkin for the "Right Gargoyle" to call its own.  After doing this, I unfortunately stepped in some poop.  I quickly wiped my shoe in the ground and drove to work.  

During my 20 minute drive to work, I realized no one would believe me since I hadn't taken a picture of my foot in dog poop and my last blog post was all about poop.  Before entering the building and hosing my shoe off, I took a picture of the bottom to prove it.  

I really hope the days ahead are relatively poop free and that the Gargoyle owner isn't offended by my pumpkin offering.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poop Identification

Let me start by saying, I feel very violated this morning.
We had some kind of animal visit us in the night.  In trying to get my cat Mango in last night, I must have forgotten to latch the door from our "breeze way" into the mud room.  We had the garbage in the mud room because we are refinishing the kitchen floor and didn't want anything in the kitchen.  After waking up this morning and glancing into the mud room (excuse my language) I gasped, "Holy Shit!"  Here are some more pictures from the garbage poop incident:

Poop literally right inside my nice red fleece hat!

Poop on top of nails in breeze way!

Last but not least, poop patty on top of cardboard!
I would be really surprised if these poop patties belonged to a raccoon.  Could it really only be a raccoon?  Could it have possibly been a bobcat?  A skunk?  A bear!?  I'd like to say I would give out a reward for the person that can identify the poop, but I have no money.  Remember, we are renovating a house.  Please tell me this animal will go into hibernation soon and I won't have to worry about the poop bandit.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A & W

My friend Lisa and I ate at the A & W in Wilmington last night.  We try to make it an annual event for us in the summer.  We realized last week that we had to get our tradition in because they would be closing up for the winter after Columbus Day weekend.  This is not your typical restaurant chain A & W, it has a nice vintage feel to it.  If you are not familiar with A & W food, it is "Good, All American Food." 
At the Wilmington A & W, they make the root beer there on site where they mix everything in big vats downstairs rather than have the root beer shipped pre-made.  This insures fresh root beer, although ours came in 2007 mugs.  I ordered a Root Beer Float and Lisa had a regular Root Beer.  When they bring your float they make it a point to tell you to let it settle before drinking it. 
I took my time photographing the float for all of you and Lisa assured me that enough time had passed and it would be okay for me to put my straw in.  She used to work at this A & W as a teenager years ago and so I was trusting her.  

Alas, the float exploded anyways (notice the pool of root beer on the table).
This happens to me every single time I go.  I thought this would be the one time that I would not have a volcanic root beer float.  Lisa is not really sure what makes the combination of root beer and soft serve vanilla ice cream so volatile.  She thinks it is just one of those odd chemical reactions between the two.  I am definitely not a science brain and at times like this, I wish my brother in law was with me to explain.

Anyways, in addition to our tasty beverages, I ordered a Coney Cheese Dog Combo.  This particular combo comes with a beef hot dog covered in a meat sauce, onions, and cheese with a side of fries.
Yes, that is a fork and knife in my coney dog and one must use these utensils if they don't want a Coney dog explosion all over their lap.

Lisa ordered the Cheeseburger Combo with fries and a side of Coney Sauce.  She loves dipping her fries in the sauce and saves this process for last.
We both enjoyed our meals and I look forward to next year's artery clogging tradition at A&W.  I just hope I can figure out the float thing some day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

First Snow

Happy First Snow!  

see top of Whiteface in background.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Road Rage and Leaf Peepers

Living here in the Adirondacks, one experiences a different kind of road rage than city dwellers. Rage against tourists.  On my daily drive to work it is common to experience a vehicle in front of you driving between 25-40 mph while in a 55 zone, especially during leaf peeping season. 

I am not talking about winter driving, because I am known to be very cautious in bad conditions.  I understand that the drive from Jay to Lake Placid on Rt. 86 is gorgeous, it is a reason why I chose to make this area my home, but for some reason when becoming a tourist in a far away land, you become oblivious to those behind you that are trying to get to and from work.  

The other night after work, there was a vehicle from Minnesota in front of me that was literally driving 35 mph .  So I called on my cell phone (yes, illegally) my coworker behind me to tell her that this was going to be a long drive home.  The universe must have been listening to our conversation because the MN van pulled over!   Of course, two miles later there was a vehicle from New Jersey driving about 40 mph in a 55 zone and loved hitting their brakes every curve. One can really calculate how oblivious the tourist driver is by counting how many cars there are behind them.  This car had 6 vehicles in their rear view mirror and didn't even know it.  Not the worst case I've seen, once this summer I counted 9!  

So, I beg of you tourist driver, please please please pull over and take some pictures!  I did.