Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Memories at Lisa G's

Selfishly, I have been putting off writing about Lisa G's because it is our favorite restaurant in the area and am always afraid that if too many people know about it, it might ruin a good thing. Alas, here I am blogging about it for the world to see.I have been going to Lisa G's for years and have had so many great memories here.  At this restaurant I have had some of the best dinner dates with Drew, drinks with good friends accompanied by fits of laughter, having our rehearsal dinner, and also a short lived career as a waitress.

Tonight we got together to share drinks and dinner with our great friend Jen before she leaves for graduate school out West.  Here is the guest of honor with the delicious Toni Basil.  
We tasted her drink of vodka, crushed basil, and lemonade and all agreed it was awesome (sipped with our own straws of course)!

I am confident in saying that Lisa G's has the best burger in town.  Jen and I both ordered Le Burger.  She ordered hers with a side of sweet potato fries, but I went for the regular fries with a side of horseradish mayo. 
Have you ever seen a more scrumptious burger?  Jen said it was, "Gooo-oood!"  Although we ordered different fries, we both thought they were addictive.

Amy ordered My Big Fat Greek Salad.  This is a dinner for one or a salad to share amongst many.  It comes with grilled chicken, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, and a side of creamy feta dressing.
Amy said, "This is great, very fresh and delicious, but it's not the Isosceles Salad."  The Isosceles Salad hasn't been on the menu in a couple years, but it is still missed by many.  We asked Ms. Lisa G herself why the Isosceles Salad ever went off the menu and she said it wasn't that popular and it was very difficult to make with the spanakopita as the feature ingredient. It might not have been popular to other customers, but with my group of friends it was a favorite and always made an appearance at the table.  Another friend that sadly moved away loved that salad so much she has tried to re-create it in her kitchen.

Drew was the brave one out of the group tonight and ordered a couple new items.  He started with Carrot Ginger Soup and then had the Kielbasa and Polenta Plate.  Drew said the soup was "really good" and the grilled kielbasa with creamy cheddar polenta topped with onions and peppers was "spicy and creamy!  Also very good."
Ruby, my favorite five year old, ordered plain pasta with shaker cheese.  For those of you that aren't familiar, that would be parmesan.   Ruby must have really loved her dinner because never in all the years that I have known this child, has she ever been part of the "clean plate club."

We had yet another good dinner tonight at Lisa G's and recalled some great times shared here. Rest in peace beloved Isosceles Salad, we all loved you.  Courtesy of Drew, we have a picture of us wearing our sunglasses because we got a little teary eyed.  The tears that were shed had nothing to do with the salad, they were all for Jen and her upcoming absence.
We love you Jenny and can't wait to share dinner and drinks with you here again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ironman Signs

I left for work earlier than usual this morning because of road closures for the Ironman triathlon. Driving in, I passed several signs that fans made. The time I was allowed to be on the road was closing in on me and was not able to pull over and take pictures, so you’ll have to just trust me that some of the most memorable signs were, “Lions Eat Cheetahs for Breakfast”, and “Ninja’s Wear Weird Bike Shorts.” I admit I was a little confused by these and thought maybe the sign maker was just trying to give the triathletes something to think about for the rest of the bike ride. Another sign said, “Do It For the Bananas!” Personally, bananas wouldn’t motivate me.

For those of you that do not know, a full Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and ends with a 26.2 mile run. Volunteer and spectator support is crucial in an event of this caliber and the signs from friends and family can get you pumped and sometimes help you push through the hard times. 

Fans write with chalk on the roads in hope that their athlete sees their personal message to them. 

There are many signs that say, “Go Mom!” or “Go Dad!” 

Some do a play on the athletes’ name for inspiration. 
Other signs might have more of an inside story to them, like this sign for Elaine. I asked Elaine’s fan what was up with the sheep and he said it was a cartoon that he’s been drawing for years and that they were from Wales where she trains alongside sheep. 

The sign “Iron Crabs” made me wonder if their athlete started with a “handicap” and they were wishing the fan wasn’t announcing it to the world. 
Alas, it is just the name of their Triathlon Club down in Maryland. Phew! 

Whether or not the athletes even notice the signs is another question. I guess it depends on how fast or slow they are moving. For a slower paced gal like me, I definitely notice the signs!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mystery Spot #7

I came across this old magazine at work today and thought it would make an interesting picture for you all to guess the location.  I am a bit fuzzy on the exact location myself, however the inside cover gave me a rough answer. At first I noticed the structure in the top right and thought it was the Covered Bridge, but upon further inspection it looks like a barn.  Any guesses?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Exception to the Rule

When I started this blog, I had one rule, it has to be "Along the Ausable" in order for me to write about it.  Friends have suggested that I break my rule and write about things like the Ice Palace in Saranac Lake, camping at Fish Creek, a funny ceramic "Dutch Boy" that I noticed under a road bridge on I-87 coming back from Plattsbugh.  I always said, "But, it's not along the Ausable."  Tonight, I will break my rule.  

Over the weekend, my husband ran the Vermont 100.  Yes, that's right he ran 100 miles and did it all under 24 hours!  By breaking 24 hours in this race, he earned himself a belt buckle.  Oh, and no he is not insane, he is awesome! 

Here is a picture of us 6 hours after the finish with our friend Jan, who paced Drew the last 30 miles through the night.  

Technically, I haven't really broken my rule because this runner lives with the Along the Ausable blog lady!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic at Valley Grocery

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy for me and I haven't been spending much time along the Ausable.  This past weekend we were in Vermont and stopped by a couple General Stores.  I couldn't stop thinking about how quaint everything seemed in Vermont.

Having settled in at home and needing an afternoon snack, we stopped by the Valley Grocery in Keene Valley. 
Some might think of the Valley Grocery as "quaint" with the old floors, retro counter, and a corner that smells like mothballs.  To locals, it is a place to get a sandwich for lunch or a store where you can pick up a few necessities that can't wait until you go to a bigger grocer.

Today, I noticed a bunch of jarred items that had a country store feel to them that made me nostalgic.  At Valley Grocery, there are Mason jars full of pickled things, every type of jam you can imagine, and a variety of salsas.  

We picked up a jar of the Peach Chipotle Salsa to buy and after inspecting the label, we noticed it said "Made for Valley Grocery."  

I couldn't believe that I never noticed these jarred goods before and thought about how quaint they looked on the shelves.  Upon check-out we asked the woman at the counter where it was made and she said, "Louisiana."  

I have to be honest, I was relieved that she didn't say Vermont, but sad to discover that it wasn't a local jarring it up along the Ausable.  I can however appreciate the Louisiana love that went into canning the jar of salsa we bought, because it sure was tasty!  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Santa's Workshop

For months, I had been looking forward to taking my two year old nephew and family to Santa's Workshop at the North Pole. I had not been there since I was a kid and thought it would be a little weird if I went by myself, so my nephew's summer visit would be the perfect excuse to go.

The last time I went to an amusement park, the rides made me sick. Santa's Workshop is the perfect fit for someone that is prone to motion sickness. My nephew, Paul, is a very smart two year old and can look at gravity defying rides and know that his lunch hot dog in his tummy might not stay there. He didn't want to have anything to do with the Peppermint Swing or the mini Ferris Wheel. Even on the Christmas Carousel he decided on the fixed sleigh rather than the reindeer that went up and down. He thought the stationary reindeer was more his speed.

He wasn't completely opposed to moving rides though, we were lucky enough to board the Candy Cane Express twice!
Honestly, I never understood why families got sucked into the "boring" train ride at parks. For boys obsessed with trains and parents needing some down time, the Candy Cane Express totally rocks! The conductor blows the whistle and rings the bell several times throughout the ride, you go over bridges and even through a tunnel.

Even though Paul wanted more train, we were able to check out the other activities at Santa's Workshop. We saw Santa's Reindeer resting inside their little barn, fed the calves some milk, kept the elves busy putting Paul's name on a hat, and even witnessed them making some toys.

Paul waved to Santa's helpers in the Santa Claus Parade, had lunch from Mother Hubbard's while watching Sam and Sandy's show, and witnessed the dramatic appearance of Santa during the Christmas Capers. Paul was very excited to see Santa and said, "Hi Santa" and waved at him and he even waved back!

Paul was all ready to see Santa and tell him he wanted cake for Christmas, but when he got in there, it was a different story.
As you can see, he was a little frightened by Santa and his Mom and Dad had to join him for the photo opportunity.

I recommend a visit to Santa's Workshop for anyone and if you don't have a kid of your own or a niece or nephew to take, maybe a friend will let you borrow theirs for the day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Root Beer: Worms

When I saw this at Devin's the other day, I thought the placement of the Saranac Root Beer next to the worms made perfect sense to me.  
The analogy, Roots: Dirt would definitely be paired with the answer A) Root Beer: Worms.  

On second thought, this might be a clue to why I didn't do very well with multiple choice tests and why I have mentally blocked out my score on the GRE test.  

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Greased Pole

Every year for the 4th of July, the Jay Volunteer Fire Department hosts their largest fundraiser for the year.  They start the day with a parade and then people move behind the fire house to enjoy activities and food until the fireworks at night. 
I love that I can buy fried bread dough less than a mile from my house, but my favorite thing about the 4th of July in Jay is the Greased Pole!  The Fire Department takes a twenty foot pole, greases it up with crisco or something, places money at the top, and then sticks it in the ground.  

How much money you ask?  Last year it was $100, this year with the economy like it is, I was told $80.  I could sit for hours watching people trying to climb up the pole for money. Unfortunately the weather was drizzly and not ideal to wait for someone to reach the top and claim their money.  

Here is a pictorial rundown of the kids attempt at getting the cash.  

The Beginning
 Adding the Next Stander 
Things are starting to look promising.  

He didn't have the calve muscles to remain standing, so he came down and a girl went up. 

I was happy to see a girl join in on the fun, but she didn't last either.  Just when no one was looking, the smallest one out of the group decided to go for it all by himself.  

He only made it about twelve feet up and I'm kind of glad because it is all fun and games until someone cracks their head open.  I guess to end this on a positive... at least he wasn't playing with fireworks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Share the Road

'Tis the season for athletes in training which means it is also the time when locals start complaining about dodging athletes on the roads.  Triathletes ride their bikes on the Ironman course through the narrow stretch of road in Cascade Pass on Rt. 73 and Wilmington Notch on Rt. 86 and drivers try avoid them.   

As a driver, it can become problematic when cyclists don't stay single file along the white line. You don't want to slam on your brakes because that could cause an accident behind you and you don't want to swerve into oncoming traffic and kill yourself, but it would also really ruin your day if you hit a human being.  I have several friends that are bikers and would agree that it would ruin their day if they were hit or if they were the cause of an accident. 

As a runner, I have had several close calls myself.  I always run facing oncoming traffic and when I see a vehicle, I get over to the left as much as possible.  Unfortunately, when drivers pass another car, it puts them in the lane that I am running in and oddly enough, I was not born with eyes in the back of my head.  It is frightening when you have a car that comes up behind you and is only arms length away traveling at 60 mph. 

Please take caution when training as an athlete and also as a driver.  I did not want to create an accident by taking a picture to show an example of bad cyclist etiquette.  Instead, I will share with all of you a bumper sticker that sums it all up, Share the Road.  

p.s. On this Fourth of July holiday weekend, please do not drink and drive/bike/run.