On Saturday night we made our way over to Crane Beach in Ispswich MA. The Trustees of Reservations was hosting a Family Night Hike and viewing of the meteor shower. We arrived at the gate around 9:30 p.m. and were directed on where to park. After parking we had a few minutes wait while the beach area was being set up.
Finally we walked up the light path over to the beach. The staff provided a fire, lemonade/Iced Tea, s'mores and cookies. On a side note toasted marshmallows between Oreo Cookies (in case you didn't know Oreos are my weakness) are oh so yummy! We put our mat down a bit away from the fire and settled in. Luckily we brought sweatshirts with us as it was a bit chilly even though it was about 65 degrees.
The sky above us cleared and we were able to see 2 meteors easily. About a half hour after relaxing we were enjoying the sounds of the ocean and all of the sudden we got a perfect view of a large meteor that was bright and almost an orange color which left a bright white streak afterwards. Very cool.
Sadly after that the clouds continued to move in and all we were able to see was the moon trying to shine through. The evening was a success for us though. We got to see a few meteors, sit on the beach, enjoy a fire, eat toasted marshmallows, and relax to the sounds of the ocean.
The 3 1/2 hour drive from Boston to Lake George took us about 4 1/2 hours. We hit traffic coming out of Boston and then we hit several spots of heavy rain causing major slow downs. Once we got into Lake George we met our friends at the Courtyard by Marriott Lake George. We had two rooms and our room 505 was ready when we arrived. The hotel is clean, modern, offers a bar, has a restaurant, and is in a convenient location. Our room offered two queen size beds, a good size bathroom, a mini refrigerator, and a boring view of the parking lot. During our stay we stopped at the lobby bar a couple of times. The staff was very friendly however it wasn't the best service. One our first visit the bartender didn't know off the top of her head how to make the hotels signature drinks. The bartender had to refer to a printout for the recipes. The bartender also ignored our money on the counter after handing us our bills. A few minutes later we had to finally ask for our change. Our 2nd time there and she was pretty overwhelmed. There was a wedding in the hotel that evening and the guests were also using the lobby bar. The hotel really should have been better prepared and had more than one bartender.
The 6 of us were walking to a restaurant we found online for lunch. When we got near the restaurant we noticed it was pretty small and since we had two toddlers with us we needed a little more space. We decided to give 163 Tap Room a try. We opted for an inside table and our waitress quickly brought us waters. We ordered drinks, jerk chicken wings, french fries, boneless wings, and burgers. The food was good although the chicken wings could have been a bit crisper.
After lunch we walked along the lake taking in the beautiful views. Lake George is a bit of a contradiction to me. On one hand you have this beautiful lake surrounded by lush green hills and then you look left and it's arcades, shops, and restaurants. For some dessert we stopped and tried some Shave Ice. My first experience with Shave Ice (odd I know). I opted for pineapple and coconut only. The dessert was tasty and refreshing although once it started to melt I threw it out since it ended up being too syrupy.
After a quick cat nap at the hotel it was time to get ready for dinner. During this trip we were on the toddlers time schedule! The kids love Italian food and a couple staying at our hotel recommended Mario's Restaurant so we made a reservation for 6:00. We were seated right away at a nice round corner table. Our waitress Page was perfect for us! Page is lively, funny, offers great suggestions, and made sure we had everything we needed. We started with the fried calamari which was lightly breaded (dairy free) and was very tender. With our meals we all opted for the salad option. We received lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a piece of raw onion with our chosen dressing. For entrees we ordered the chicken piccata, sausage peppers and penne (dairy free), penne with meatballs, seafood fra diavalo, and the . Being Italian, cooking Italian food, and living so close to some of the best Italian food in Boston we were nervous about the restaurants sauces. We were thrilled that the food was in fact delicious. All of our dishes were tender, seasoned perfectly, and offered a nice balance.
After dinner we stopped for a night cap and turned in for an early night.
The next morning we woke up early and decided to try Flapjack Pete's for breakfast. Depending which review website you checked the restaurant was either hit or miss. For us it was a hit. We were seated right away (although we had to thoroughly clean the high chairs). The staff were friendly but leaned more towards efficient. We ordered waffles, corned beef hash, pancakes, and poached eggs with bacon and a bagel (dairy free). The food was fast and delicious.
We walked through town and decided to take the kids on the carousel. The first carousel ride definitely didn't leave a great impression on them. We then walked up to Fort William Henry Museum but decided the timing and the entrance fees weren't what we were looking for. Instead we opted for a cruise aboard the Minne - Ha Ha. We purchased our tickets, sort of waited in line (made a faux pas) and opted for the first level since we were with a stroller for the kids. The hour long cruise was filled with pretty sights, friendly locals, and views of lots of Parasailing.
After our cruise we stopped by the craft market along the lake. We purchased some delicious lavender products including lavender honey, lavender jelly, and culinary lavender. Our next stop was for our friends to buy some fresh made lemonade. Our friends ordered one with fresh strawberries added while the other opted for fresh pineapple. Then we made a stop at the hotel for a quick change for the kids.
Lunch time brought us next door to Giuseppe's Pizza and Restaurant. We ordered two medium pizza's for the 6 of us (yes the kids love pizza). Our friends ordered a cheese pizza while Greg and I opted for a pizza with their cheese free sauce (have to ask for it as their usual has Parmesan in it) topped with sausage and spinach and held the mozzarella. Everything was delicious!
After our lunch it was time for some shopping. We visited Lake George Distilling Company for some Rye Whiskey and Lemonade Moonshine. We bought some wine at Adirondack Winery. Finally we bought some salt at at Lake George Olive Oil Co.
It was now around 3:00 p.m. and it was time for Greg and I to get back on the road to home. The drive home wasn't too bad until we were near Sturbridge MA that's when traffic back up again. Finally we picked Fred up and the three of us went home and unpacked.
For the upcoming wedding in Paris we decided to finally apply for Global Entry. The idea of traveling with our whole family is a bit overwhelming so every way we can make things easier on us the better. Unfortunately, our local office wasn't available for interviews. We made appointments at the closest office....Derby Line VT.
We made the 4 hour drive north and actually made really good time. We arrived an hour earlier than our appointment time. The staff were wonderful and saw us right away. 15 minutes later and we were on our way back down south.
We decided to do make a full day of our errand and do some exploring! Our first stop was to the Mount Washington Auto Road. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share of this experience. I had a major panic attack on this drive. Between the rain, fog, heights, and narrow road I completely freaked out. I was gripping my seat with one hand and gripping the door handle with the other. Greg was just fine and enjoyed the drive.
I am determined to try it again! Now that I have experienced going up and down the road I am hoping I will be able to enjoy it and photograph it next time!
Once my blood pressure was back to normal we drove to Lincoln NH and decided to do some hiking at Flume Gorge. We purchased our entry tickets and walked up to the start vs waiting for a shuttle. It was a beautiful day for getting out in nature. I love listening to the water, smelling the fresh air, and being surround by beauty.
Sadly, we only had a short amount of time since we had to get back home and pick up Fred from my parents house. Next visit we will definitely hike the rest of Flume Gorge, The Basin, The Kancamagus Highway, and more.