We just completed a four day road trip with our Cayman friends.
We departed Ottawa and traveled down Hwy 416 to the Ogdensburg crossing. No problem with customs and proceeded towards Potsdam then down through the Adirondacks. The scenery was very nice, though the trees have yet to start changing colour in any meaningful way. Traffic was light and the roads were very good, but the speed limit in NY state is absurdly low.
One sight that brought back smiles and memories are the number of old fashioned motels (ie independent, small rooms, and many with tiny individual cabins). We passed through many hamlets and small towns. We stopped in Lake Placid for a late lunch. Very nice scenery at The Cottage and the food was good. Did a walk through and a bit of shopping before pressing on to Elizabethtown.
We stayed at a B&B there and ate at the Deer’s Head Inn – the food was good but not spectacular; the portions were generous. The wait staff were friendly and efficient. It’s a small historical town but there isn’t much choice.
The next day we headed south along the west shore of Lake Champlain, crossing at Whitehall into Vermont. Same mountainous scenery, but much better speed limits. Lunch was in Bennington. If we’d done better research we would have found out that Hennings was having a car show! The weather was dreary and drizzly so the top was up for most of the day unfortunately. The scenery throughout the weekend was very nice, but the trees were really just starting to turn, so in a couple of weeks it would be spectacular.
From Bennington we went north and west to Saratoga Springs, famous for its race track. The general store foto was taken at a crossroads about 20mins outside Bennington - it would seem that the local Holstein bulls have a wandering eye - every critter was wearing black and white camouflage!
Again we stayed in a B&B on Union Ave just a couple of blocks from the track. We walked downtown for dinner. Along the way we stopped in the town park and chatted with some Civil War re-enactors – one chap was very well informed about the use of submarines which thrilled Mr Cayman (former Naval person).
The main street is very posh and full of nice shops and restaurants. Choosing which and whether we’d brave the cool night air were the biggest challenges. Finally settled on Circus – food (ridiculous sized portions) and staff were both very good. The town and the old mansions that line Union Ave are stunning. The architecture of the track is impressive – turn of the century I believe. A wonder it is still standing. We watched some of the horses exercise (proxy from our oldest daughter). Next time we’ll take in the Racing Museum.
From Saratoga we sea-sawed our way back across the southern end of the Adirondacks through Utica and finally to Lake Cazenovia. We stayed in an old resort hotel whose original owner (when it was a summer mansion) had made his fortune on Standard Oil stock. It is now known as the Brewster Inn. It is a bit quirky but the staff was great and the food outstanding. The view from the restaurant was very nice. We spent a pleasant afternoon on the balcony/deck off our room sharing a glass of wine and chatting.
The last day was simple – shopping for bargains and the drive home via I81. We did treat ourselves to one last supper on the way. Brigadoon restaurant in Oxford Mills ON, fantastic old general store, dating to 1852, run by a delightful expat Brit lady. Place if full of Brit nick-knacks and fotos. Her granddaughter waited on us – she was fantastic - and the food was incredible, but necessarily not cheap!