With Friday being a holiday here in the U.S., K and I decided to go on a drive to a lake nestled in the mountains in the upper reaches of New York State. Having decided to drive, we also decided to visit friends on our way to Lake George and back. Maps and directions in hand, bags packed, we set out Thursday afternoon courtesy early dismissal at work. Barring very little traffic issues we reached our friends’ place for dinner. After a simple but filling dinner we stood on their little balcony watching the sky explode into beautiful bursts of color. The fourth of July fireworks started a day early in their town. It was magical, feeling the breeze and watching the fireworks go off from the comfort of home.
Up early next morning, we set out for Lake George. For a little history check this out. In the middle of the Adirondack mountains, this jewel of a lake was huge. The shore provided little beaches and clean sand for kids and adults alike to cavort in its clear water. Reaching around noon, we found a delightful homey sandwich cafe that served delicious tomato soup and veggie hummus paninis. After a light lunch, we set out to explore the town. The whole place had a touristy look and feel. Motels everywhere you turned. Snatches of blue water peeking from in between buildings. As we walked leisurely trying to find a public beach we saw people walking with kids, ice cream cones in hand. Wide straw hats, strappy tops, flip flops and bikinis all around. It was like the whole town was about the lake and nothing but the lake.
K and I sat in the shade of a tree watching the waters of the lake lap up to the shore. People sun bathing, parasailing, children diving off the pier and bright colored beach umbrellas. The scene was postcard perfect. We then walked around till we found a shop selling soft serve cones and walked back with one for us. The sun was bright and the atmosphere very holidayish.
Checking in to the motel, we picked brochures from the information desk to help us decide what to do that evening and the following day. After much debating we decided to drive up a nearby mountain called Prospect Mountain. The brochure said it had three overlooks giving different views of the lake and a shuttle that would take us to the summit of the mountain. After refreshing ourselves from the long ride, we set out again. We found the place without trouble and wound our way up. Stopping at each of the overlooks we snapped pictures to serve as memories and caught the shuttle to the top. Once there we took in the scenery and the panaromic views before settling down at a picnic table to enjoy some quiet time. We watched squirels and birds meander around unaffected by the groups of people intruding on their space. An hour later, dinner done we returned to the mountain for fireworks.
Finding a flat boulder to perch our behinds we sat with a crowd waiting for the fireworks to start. As the sun set and the surroundings got darker we were enamoured by the twinkling lights from the shore below. Kids around us chattered away asking numerous questions about the fireworks and just about everything. We sat silent enjoying the view and the murmurs from all around us. At precisely 9:30 the magic began. For 20 minutes we sat wowed by the beauty of it all. The place we had picked was perfect giving us uninterrupted view of the lake and the sky. With occasional oohs and ahhs we got caught up by the moment. The collective feeling in the crowd was something you could almost reach out and touch. After the grand finale K and I scampered to our car to get a head start before the crowds made the trip back to the motel longer than it was to be. In all, a fun start to the weekend.
The next morning we decided to skip the commercial end of the Lake George and drove out 10 miles south to a place called Bolton Landing. This was another part of the shore that was relatively less crowded but afforded scenic views from three sides. There was this nice wooded gazebo right on the pier where we could sit and take in everything around. On one side was a little beach with markers showing how much was safe to play in. On the other side we could see the bright colored dots in the air that were the folks parasailing. Motor boats and water scooters criss crossed the entire span of the lake. It was a beautiful day again. After playing in the water for a bit we left to have lunch. Found an extremely good Indian restaurant umimaginatively named “Deshi Masala”. We went in expecting lousy food but left feeling amazed by the taste, freshness and the presentation of the food. Food in our tummy we were all set for the drive to Long Island to visit my school classmate. As we stopped at the first light before we saw signs to the highway we noticed friends from home crossing the road as a group. Discussing how small the world was we hit the highway and four hours later found us in our friends home.
The next morning we set out to a nearby beach called “Kismet Beach” near their place. To get there we needed to drive out to Robert Moses State Park and park at Field Five. The place looked deserted. Wondering if it was the right place we found the sandy path to the beach and set out. We were a good group of 6 adults and two babies. Trekking till we caught the first sight of the ocean we stopped and took the sight in. It was amazing. The clear sand, the waves crashing on the shore. The trail of white surf all around. We braved the waves and got wet and in all had a fun morning. Spying a lighthouse further down the whole group walked along the beach till we ran into a strange situation. There was a nudist camp we had to cross before we could get to the lighthouse. Stopping and debating for a minute we turned back and focussed our energies on collecting shells and pebbles instead.
An hour later we decided it was time to head home and reached the car with hands full of pebbles and memories that will probably last a long while.