Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rude Valentine!

Yesterday was just one of those days where I needed to go to my friend Nancy's cubicle to get a little sugar pick me up and hope that it would turn my day a little sweeter.  I debated on taking a dark chocolate Dove heart, but in the end decided on a pouch of Necco Sweethearts.  

I decided that the Universe was indeed against me.  Amongst all the other normal hearts like "Be Mine" or "True Love" I got a heart that said, Fok You!  
It really made me wonder how from the Necco factory in Revere, MA where I'm sure it was stamped "For You", this heart traveled all the way to the Adirondacks and made a ride in Nancy's car Along the Ausable River to arrive in my hands on an already bad work day telling me Fok You!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mystery Spot

A few of my readers have suggested that I post pictures of the Ausable River from time to time. 

In order for me to do this and make it interesting to myself and others, I triple dog dare you to leave a comment with your guess of where the picture was taken from.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lake Placid Pizza Company

A few years back someone started quite the project renovating an old garage on the corner of Wes Valley Road and Saranac Ave in Lake Placid.  For what, I was never really sure of.  Ever since the renovation, signs have been in the windows advertising rental space available. Every time I would drive by, I would wonder when or if someone was going to turn this place into something.  Well, I am excited to report that the Lake Placid Pizza Company, formerly known as Mountain Valley Pizza has taken up residence in the back of the building.  I'm not really sure why they changed their name, but I won't get into that.  I was getting together with some coworkers and we thought we'd give them a try and take them up on the free delivery on a freezing cold night.  The gals decided to order up some garlic bread sticks and of course, a pizza.

We had ordered the bread sticks with pizza sauce and garlic butter for dipping.  You can order it with nacho cheese sauce, but we passed on that.  We all really liked the bread sticks, but thought they could have been a bit more garlicky, but that is coming from a group of garlic lovers.
We preferred the pizza sauce over the garlic butter sauce.  H thought at first the garlic butter sauce tasted a bit like mayonnaise. Unfortunately after further tasting it, she noticed a clump of flour in the bottom.  This was definitely not a pleasant addition, but we decided to let it slide since the breadsticks were so good and thought of it as a positive proving that their food is homemade. 

L, our pepperoni lover, had us order a pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese.  
We all really liked their sauce.  I personally thought the pizza was cooked perfectly since the bottom was not black or loaded with flour, it didn't taste like cardboard to me like another popular pizza place in town does.  However, H prefers her crust to be crispier and likes the cardboard taste of the other place.  

Overall, we gave the pizza a 7 out of 10.  We all decided that we'd order from Lake Placid Pizza Co. again and help keep the back space of the building in business. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mountaineer Pit Stop

As a child, I had an odd fascination with bathrooms.  My family would go to restaurants and even if I didn't have to go to the toilet, I had to check out the facilities.  In elementary school, many of my essays had to do with the bathroom. 
So as an adult, I am thrilled to share with all of you the ever so popular bathroom at the Mountaineer.  The Mountaineer is located in Keene Valley and one of the first places you can stop to use the bathroom after leaving Interstate 87.  Many hikers and climbers stop here not only for their wonderful retail store and helpful employees, but also to use their facilities before heading out on their adventure for the day.  

This is a place where you don't have to feel guilty about asking to use the store's bathroom. The employees here have no problem pointing out where the bathroom is.  
Upon entering the bathroom, you can see that it is a bathroom for the people. A bathroom where customers send in pictures of themselves, not on the toilet, but of themselves and their outdoor adventures.  As you sit on the toilet you see people on summits with a Mountaineer bandana, others at the end of a race, some just hanging out in the woods. 
 If you feel guilty about using their bathroom without buying anything, might I suggest a thousand some dollar guide boat or maybe a five cent fire ball for the road.  If you go with the Atomic Fire Ball, just make sure you wash your hands after using the bathroom before popping it in your mouth.  

P.S. There is a second bathroom in the Mountaineer, but I am told it is used only by VIP's and in a top secret location. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Questionable Sign

I noticed this sign in Wilmington and was wondering if it is supposed to caution drivers to where Pedestrians walk across the road and the sign has been bumped OR if it is a sign cautioning Pedestrians of a potentially icy road where they might fall flat on their back.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Village Bookstore and Gallery

I had always driven by The Village Bookstore and Gallery in Ausable Forks and wondered about it...I suspect that from many of you as well. Anyways, Drew and I finally stopped and I can report that it is definitely worth the visit!

We first went to the Bookstore's door, but it was locked so we tried the Gallery. It was open and it turns out that the couple working in the Gallery, Bill and Karla own both fine establishments. Bill is very friendly and likes to chat so he gave me the scoop for my readers. The gallery has about 35 local artists and artisans displaying their work for you to view and/or buy.
They had everything from artwork, pottery, hand knit scarves, and even Drew's book! We were pleasantly surprised by that find (notice blue book with red figure in foreground).

After I bought a couple small prints, Bill brought us over to the bookstore to look around.
The bookstore is a great comfortable space for browsing and reading the books they have for sale. They carry gently read books and also some antique books as well.

So, next time you're passing through Ausable Forks, make sure to stop by the Village Bookstore and Gallery for a look around. Oh, and they even sell hot beverages. They are open Monday - Saturday from 11 am - 6 pm.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Full Moon Party

Last night Cascade Ski Center held one of their infamous full moon parties.  You can puchase a trail ticket to explore Cascade's trails in pursuit of hot dogs and beverages or you can just buy a ticket to hang out in the Lodge to drink and listen to music.  

Once we finally found Jen, we were off to explore the trails by moonlight.  It is really a lot of fun racing by people that have fallen on the side of the trail.  I wasn't really sure if they had gone down because they weren't great skiers, someone pushed them, or they were drunk.  

After skiing for a bit, you come to bonfire #1  where you can cook a hot dog and have some hot cocoa or get a beer from the keg.  
Drew went for some hot chocolate since the people at this bonfire were chanting, "We want the keg, We want the keg."  Right before we skied off, a snowmobile came to tap the keg and a crowd formed around to wait for their ice cold beer.  

I realize this might sound very high schoolish and all, having a kegger in the woods, but it really wasn't like that.  There were people of all ages hanging out enjoying themselves in the snowy woods.  I even thought it was a little magical skiing through the woods with only the light of the moon and some scattered lanterns.  You would pass people snowshoeing and I imagined that they were little Nordic gnomes.

We got to Bonfire #2 and Jen and I got right in there for our beer.  We enjoyed sipping our beer by the fire and listening to the crowd's antics.  I liked the vibe more at #2 because it was less fraternity-ish and these people had to do a little ski work to get here.

We definitely didn't drink our $15 ticket price in beer, but we were having a lot of fun exploring the trails.  As usual I was in the back, but made sure Jen and Drew could hear me by yelling, "WOO WOO, WOO WOO!" down the hills.  Occasionally, they would stop and wait for me.
I'm pretty sure they were having a good time too.

We headed back to the Lodge where it was packed with people waiting for the band to play their next set.  We didn't stick around for the music and didn't get drunk on the beer, but I definitely felt we got our money's worth.  When we parted, Jen said, "We'll be back next month."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ward Theater

Last night Larry Stone and Friends kicked off the 2009 Covered Bridge Coffee House program at the Amos & Julia Ward Theater in Jay.  It was the kind of night you just wanted to stay indoors because it was so cold, but we made plans with Elizabeth and Kevin to attend.  We met at our house and made the walk across the covered bridge and up to the Ward Theater.  The Ward Theater is a great gathering spot where classes, musical performances, meetings, and lectures are held.  Drew and I had been to a lecture on the Covered Bridge in late fall and remember thinking how great it is that our small town has a place like this where people can meet.  
Last night, the Theater was packed with people to see the first performance of the year and once we were seated Elizabeth said, "There's so many people here we know, it will be an exciting intermission."  People of all ages and walks of life were here to see Larry Stone and Friends.  Featured with Larry Stone was members of the Stoneman Blues Band, along with Annie Stoltie Sprague playing the violin with the group for a few songs.  Their music might be described as anything from country to blues.  I really enjoyed the music last night, but I must admit that I do have a soft spot for anything Drew and Annie are a part of since they played at our wedding and Annie was on my high school track relay team.

The crowd seemed to like the show also with people bobbing their heads up and down and tapping their feet.  As far as I'm concerned if the kids are moving around to the music and smiling, it's a good concert. The girl seated in front of us waved her hand in the air following the reflection on the ceiling of one the guitars and bounced up and down on her father's lap.  

It was a fun night and good to see so many people from the area out and about despite the cold temperatures.  I was glad we left the comforts of our warm, little home and ventured out. When we got back home and made some tea and cocoa I asked everyone what they thought of the night and Kevin said, "Makes me feel more excited about the Jay community."  Elizabeth agreed adding, "It's not about the concert, I just really liked seeing people in the community. But, the music was really good too."

There are many other performances scheduled through the winter and I really think it helps ward off cabin fever.  We all know living in the Adirondacks during the winter can be tough. Until the next show, keep warm and happy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lookout Mountain

Drew and I met up with our friends Emilie and Jesse at Whiteface this morning and were pleasantly surprised to find out that our friend Erica had a snow day and would be joining us as well.  We were all very excited to find out that today was also the first day that Whiteface Mountain would be operating their new lift, the Lookout Triple that takes you to a whole new trail area called Lookout Mountain.
Drew and Jesse rushed to get to the lift and ended up being a couple chairs in front of us, I think it's because they wanted to say they got to experience the new lift before us ladies.  At any rate, Emilie, Erica and I got on the lift smoothly and Emilie mentioned, "This is a really nice lift, good and quiet." I asked Erica what she thought of it and she simply said, "I like it,  it's good."  Emilie and Erica started discussing a television show that Emilie had been watching about ski area accidents and different chair lift rescues.  I quickly tuned them out because I wanted to enjoy the new lift without thinking, "What if this new lift fails on the first day of use?"  I decided to distract myself and take a picture of our dangling feet.
After reaching the end of the lift we were all anxious to check out the new "Wilmington Trail." As usual, I was at the tail end of the group with Emilie hanging back with me and we both really liked it, it was pretty mellow and the snow up there was great.  We caught up to Erica and the boys and everyone seemed to be digging it as well.  
This is a long trail that from top to bottom is over 2 miles!  Somewhere in the middle of our descent, the crowds started pouring in, probably because everyone wanted to try it out and it made me really thankful that I have mid-week days off.  Towards the end of the trail it kind of bottlenecks and I could see the potential on a weekend it becoming a little clogged when there's a bunch of people.  Drew thinks, "Lookout Mountain will change the way Whiteface is skied."  

Personally, I enjoyed taking Wilmington Trail on Lookout Mountain more than taking the Summit Chair and going down Follies and Paran's Run from Whiteface's summit, this new trail seems way more relaxing and fun.  I look forward to the day when the Triple Chair's newness fades away, holiday break is over, and I can have Lookout Mountain all to myself on a casual mid-week day off!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mean mean ATM machine!

This morning I went to get money out from the ATM machine at Community Bank in Lake Placid and became completely annoyed when the machine's screen went blank and decided not to give me my card back!  I furiously pushed the red cancel button several times and my card remained inside. I know it is not often that I give a bad write up of something in my area, but this really sucks! My bank used to be Citizen's Bank, but then it changed to Community Bank some time in October.  When they made the change one weekend of painting the bank's interior from green to maroon, they allowed no account or debit access from a Friday to a Monday.  When that Monday came, I still hadn't received my new Community Bank debit/credit card in the mail and had to file some paper work to receive it and wait 7-10 business days.  It was two weeks before I received the card.  

I was pretty sure I would cancel my account and move my money over to a different bank.  Once the card got to me and the transition from Citizens to Community became easier, I decided I'd just stay with Community Bank and not deal with the hassle of changing banks.

I called the 800 number this morning to report my card being gobbled up and the nice lady in Fargo, ND told me I would have to speak to my branch on Monday morning to receive a new card.  I guess I'll have to wait another couple weeks to get my new card again and walk up to the teller and get some cash out the old fashioned way.

I'm warning you Community Bank, one more problem and I'll be exiting Community Bank for good!

Cascade Inn

Last night a bunch of us went out to celebrate our friend Mary Catherine's birthday and she decided to have her birthday party at the Cascade Inn.  I had asked Mary Catherine why she choose the Cascade Inn for her birthday dinner and she said, "because it's very homey, comfortable and good, home cooked food."
I had never been to the Cascade Inn on Rt. 73 just outside of Lake Placid and was curious to see how the food was.  The Cascade Inn calls themselves "a place where the locals meet and visitors are always welcome."  Apparently Saturday night is the night to go because they serve their "famous prime rib."  There were a lot of people there and our party of 10 just added to the crowd. Luckily, we had called the day before and had them reserve a table for us.

Since there were ten of us, I knew it was going to be hard to discuss what everyone ordered so I decided to concentrate on my own order along with those sitting next to me, Marcy and Kathy. I was surprised to see that all entrees include the homemade soup of the day, baked rolls and butter, a house salad, and your choice of rice pilaf, baked or French fried potato.  I wondered why they didn't just name the option french fries and Kathy informed me, "that is a fun way of saying french fries, they must take a potato and fry it the French way."  I don't think anyone at the table ended up ordering a French fried potato, but I would be curious to see if it is anything different than french fries.

At any rate, Marcy ordered the Petit Filet Mignon, which is cooked to perfection with sauteed mushrooms.  
I asked Marcy how it was after a few bites and she simply said, "This is very good."

I had ordered the Baked Cheese Ravioli Parmigiano.  I am a cheese ravioli connoisseur.  My family makes fun of me all the time because 9 times out of 10 if it is on the menu, I order it.  I almost ordered the Chicken Parm, but felt that my assessment of the Cascade Inn's Baked Cheese Ravioli would determine if I would come back.  
I thought the ravioli was good but, I must admit it was not the best cheese ravioli I have ever had.  However, it is hard to beat the ravioli I tasted in Italy and the same goes for their sauce which is also up against Italy and my favorite Bove's in Burlington.  I might put it in the top 10.

Kathy had ordered the Chicken Cascade along with three others at the table.  The Chicken Cascade is described on the menu as a succulent chicken breast covered with a rich cherry tomato and vodka cream sauce.  
Kathy said, "This is very delicious."  The other ladies that had ordered this also thought it was really good and there became a question over the secret ingredient in the sauce.  They weren't sure if the secret ingredient was dill or tarragon?  We asked Celeste, our most excellent server, to ask the chef and she came back with the answer dill.  I guess it wasn't really a secret after all.

We had a fun evening with lots of laughs and good food.  I know Mary Catherine won't be happy with this picture of herself, but this big birthday smile sums it all up.  

Happy Birthday MC, we love you!