Vacation Destination: Lake George, N.Y.

I’m back!  That’s right, we all deserve a vacation sometimes and that’s exactly what I did!  If you read my post about Rachael Ray and upstate New York then you may already have guessed where I was.  Sure, there’s internet access up there (not at our houses though) and it’s not the boonies by any means.  But nevertheless, when we go upstate (and as it should be on any vacation!) we try to appreciate the place we are visiting and squeeze in as many activities as possible; so blogging wasn’t even an option.

Now that I’m back, let me share some of my favorite things about the Lake George area in this “Vacation Destination: Lake George, N.Y.” post.

1) The house that we stay at.  Sorry, but this is one thing you won’t be able to experience but I have to say it first and foremost because it’s a great house!  It’s built right into the mountain so neither story feels like an upstairs or a downstairs.  Patrick’s parents did a great job when they bought this house two years ago, and his mom has a great HGTV-like eye for decorating.  The house has a cozy upstate feel without being too overly/commercially “Adirondack”.  The yard is huge – there’s a firepit way out back, and a smaller patio with a chiminea where you can sit and be near the house.  Bonus:  The bedroom that Patrick and I stay at is on its own floor so it feels like a little apartment.

2) The LAKE!  Here on the south shore of Long Island, I get to enjoy both the bay and the ocean but taking a dip in the fresh water lake is the most refreshing feeling ever.  Plus, it’s huge… and absolutely gorgeous!  There are so many things you can do on the lake – swim, rent a boat, kayak, canoe or row, jet ski, go tubing, just lay on the shore on a rock or on a beach.

Sharing a canoe trip on the lake with my love!

Sharing a canoe trip on the lake with my love!

3)  The laid-back feeling.  We never really pay attention to time or keep a tight schedule when we are up there – whether it’s just me and Pat, with his entire family, or even when I used to go up with my family!  We know the activities we want to do and may designate a day for them but for the most part we go with the flow.

Believe me, there are plenty of activities in Lake  George so there’s no way you can fit them all in but that leads me to the next thing I love about Lake George!

4) There’s lots of activities besides the lake for when you decide to stick to dry land!  For example, you just have to play a round of mini-golf while you are there.  Whether it’s at Pirate’s Cove, Around-the-World, or at Hillbilly Fun Park (where we went this time around), there is nothing like a little sport and friendly competition.  (PS – Click Hillbilly Fun Park for a coupon!  Also, if you play there – you MUST try their ice cream.  It was delicious, fresh, huge portions, and inexpensive.  The best of every world possible.

This is at the "Around the World/Around the US" golf course.  This hole is for Maine!

This is at the “Around the World/Around the US” golf course. This hole is for Maine!

Another must-do activity, or at least worth a visit is the Adirondack Winery.  I love going to the tasting room in the middle of Lake George Village where you can sample SEVEN of their wines for $5, and keep the glass too.  You can shop for their homemade cheeses, have a wine slushy, and shop their novelty gifts.  We love trying the wines every time and bringing some bottles back home with us – and represent the Adirondack wines here on Long Island!  *One disclaimer:  It is a tasting room which therefore has no chairs or public restroom.  Plan some time to stay and check out all the goods but not too much time!

There are so many activities that I haven't even mentioned hiking yet!  What beautiful views from the top!

There are so many activities that I haven’t even mentioned hiking yet! What beautiful views from the top!

5) Shopping!  Not that Patrick is ever happy with this one at all, but right off the NYS Thruway are a bunch of outlets and if the weather’s bad, it never hurts to check out the sales!  I also like checking out the stores in Lake George Village where you can get a nice piece of sterling silver jewelry, a souvenir t-shirt (I’m a sucker for souvenir t-shirts… especially tie-dye or a cool women’s cut), or any trinkets that will always remind you of your trip!  Or, hop in the car and go to Bolton Landing just north of the Lake George Village (be sure to visit the Indian Teepee gift shop!), or go exploring and stumble into some other small neighboring towns where you can go antiquing, or cities such as Lake Placid to learn about each town’s uniqueness!  🙂

Overall, there really is so much to do upstate that I could go on and on about… and I haven’t even gotten into the historical aspects of the land up there, or where the good places to go to EAT are!  I’ll leave more discovering up to you and but of course, feel free to comment if you are planning on heading there and have any questions such as advice on where to stay, etc.  I’d love to help you out!

Thanks for discovering Lake George with me, one of my favorite places to vacation.  I hope you get to visit soon!

Random Adirondack chair in a random town.  What's more Adirondack than this? lol

Random Adirondack chair in a random town. What’s more Adirondack than this? lol

Not your normal ice cubes :-)

Standing on the line at our most recent grocery store trip, Patrick was flipping through a magazine.  When the magazine ended up on the conveyor belt along with our other groceries my first instinct was to say, “do we really need that?”  I mean, I’m no sucker to all of those check-out line temptations that stores strategically place there to bump up your bill. 🙂 But, let it be known… I didn’t scold him.  Instead, when I saw the magazine choice I just looked over at him and smiled.

It wasn’t like it was a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition (okay, so I did catch him reading that one in CVS once, but anyway…) it was none other than one of our favorite chef’s magazines, Rachael Ray Everyday.  I let the $5 magazine get scanned and put in a grocery bag despite the fact that the purchase would completely negate my strategic $4 worth of coupon savings that I brought with me.  (Two .75 cent coupons for paper towels and toilet paper that would get doubled to $1.50 each for a total savings of $3.00 and a $1.00 off the purchase of three Lean Cuisine coupon.)  Oh well, I guess my careful savings just about bought us a magazine. 🙂

So anyway, some background info on my slight obsession with Rachael Ray.  First off, I just think she’s great – chef, businesswoman, brought herself into the spotlight with hard work and dedication…  I hope my hard work pays off one day too!  Plus, Patrick and I also feel this sort of “upstate” connection with her.  Rachael was born in upstate New York in a town called Glens Falls, which is just south of Lake George. Then, she eventually moved to the village of Lake George.  Ready? Here goes our connections: My mother’s side of the family has vacationed up there and owned a house in Bolton Landing since way before I was born (my aunt/Godmother also lived, worked and raised a family in Glens Falls and got married in Lake George).  Patrick’s family vacationed there year after year as well at many different hotels and lodges and recently purchased a beautiful home on the east side of the Lake in a town called Fort Ann. Okay, that’s about it, but hey it’s enough.  We love Rachael! haha (oh I guess I should also mention that some people think I resemble her that my voice is also a little raspy like hers).  Hence, we are big fans.

Anyway, onto the recipe! So I found these suggestions for flavored ice cubes in this particular edition.  Some cube recipes weren’t my type at all, but I did try out two (simple) varieties. My choices were: “Inside Job” and “Bee Delighted.”  Here are the recipes, my photos, and the reasons why I chose these two options!

1 – Inside Job – I chose this ice cube because I looove dirty vodka martinis, but lord knows drinking them straight up can put you, well, on your butt!  I usually order my dirty martinis in a “tulip” glass with ice.  WELL, well, well… imagine my excitement when I realized I could make ice cubes with olive juice for my martinis on the rocks.  I instantly had to have it!

Directions:  Place an olive in each section of your ice cube tray.  Top with water and olive brine (olive juice) and serve in your martini. 

In the words of RR: "Yum-o!"

In the words of RR: “Yum-o!”

2 – Bee Delighted – Another beverage I love is hot tea.  I grew up drinking regular Lipton tea with milk and sugar, but also crave a nice green tea with honey and lemon sometimes.  The problem is, without milk the tea is SOO hot for so long that it’s hard to drink!  These ice cubes are awesome – they provide sweetness and cooling in one!

Directions:  Dissolve one part honey in three parts hot water.  Let cool, then pour into a tray.  (You know I did more than a 1:3 ratio, right? Of course…)  😉

I use store brand honey on the regular... works for me!

I use store brand honey on the regular… works for me!

TIP: As you see below, I used only one ice tray.    I think Patrick would have been very mad if I used all of the ice cube trays to make flavored ice cubes.  My only suggestion is to just be careful when putting it in the freezer to not tilt the tray and mix them!

Perfect example of "A little bit of this... a little bit of that!"

Perfect example of “A little bit of this… a little bit of that!

Additional side note:  You will notice there are 9 olive cubes and only 7 honey cubes.  FYI, olives should always be served in an odd-number (I kind of stick to the same rule with cherries too).  I have no idea why, it’s just something I learned along the way.


❤ Jessi

PS – We have since subscribed to Rachael Ray Everyday magazine for two years, for only $20.  Woohoo!  Get the deal here!