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.