Friday, August 16, 2013

An Adirondack Inspired Vacation

Last week, we packed up the family truckster and head up to the Adirondacks - specifically Lake Pleasant in Speculator, New York. My husband and I always wanted to visit the Adirondacks, especially after our very brief visit to Lake Placid for a wedding last Labor Day. The drive to Lake Placid was so pretty and we knew we wanted a closer look. So why not just return to Lake Placid you ask? Well, a few months ago I discovered a blog, Adirondack Inspired. It is a sewing blog full of lovely creations and photographs as well as a series called Explore With Me where Monica and her adorable family (seriously her kids are too cute!) explore places around where they live. One particular exploration caught my eye...a trip to a goat farm! You see my husband and I love goats. We think they are awesome and would love to actually have one as a pet - no joke. Anyway, after showing Kevin that particular post, we decided to plan our summer vacation to the Adirondacks using other trips in Monica's Explore With Me series as our guide. Thus, an Adirondack Inspired vacation was born:

I found a great hotel right on Lake Pleasant - The Lake Pleasant Lodge. It is right in the town of Speculator and had the most amazing view of the lake. Once our hotel was booked, I sent an e-mail to Monica and she gave us some great recommendations on places to go and to eat. We also planned to meet up one of the days that we were in town. I was so excited to meet a fellow sewing blogger! Someone who I could talk to about sewing and other blogs and not look at me like I had five heads because she would know exactly what I was talking about - ha!

view of lake pleasant from the hotel

Our first day was spent settling in and checking out the area. We took a walk down the Sacandaga Pathway, which was right across the street from the hotel. The kids had a lot of fun walking down the paths and asking us to read the different signs about animals and foliage that were along the way.

After some exploring, it was back to the hotel to change into bathing suits and jump in the lake!

The water was a little cold for Kevin and I but the kids didn't have a problem jumping and splashing around...ah to be little. That night the hotel owner set up a bonfire in the fire pit and brought out marshmallows for the kids to roast. It was such a relaxing evening by the fire with the lake right in the background. Just what we needed after a long trip.

Friday morning we rented a canoe from the hotel and took a little trip around Lake Pleasant.

 Then did a little more driving around. Finding dirt roads and old logging trails and rivers to explore.

Later in the afternoon, we met up with Monica and her two older kids at the park across from our hotel. I was excited and nervous to meet Monica. Despite "knowing" her through her blog and comments and emails back and forth, I was still nervous we wouldn't get along or have anything to talk about or she was actually a stalker (everyone else's concern not mine...some people thought I was a little crazy meeting up with someone I met on the Internet, *cough* Kevin *cough*) Well after two and half hours at the park of non stop chatting and watching the kids play, all concerns went right out the window! We had a great time talking shop and watching the kids run around like they had been friends forever. Monica really is so nice and her kids are just too cute!! Our daughters especially hit it off and had a lot of fun playing pretend and snapping pics with our iPhones.

only pic i got of monica and i - nice face meg!   when bloggers' kids meet: they take pics of each other taking pics ha!
It was such a great day and we all had so much fun hanging out! Erin is still talking about her new friend and asking when we can go visit her again :) After such a great day we had to have a great dinner. We went to one of the places Monica suggested, The Melody Lodge. This place was just what we were looking for - something fancy with amazing views. The food was ah-mazing. I had rack of lamb that was so delicious. Kevin had a perfectly cooked filet mignon. Even the kids menu was great - it was printed on a piece of paper attached inside of a Little Golden Book - so cute! They had a perfect sized steak dinner just for the kids but it was presented just like an adult entree would be, complete with onion strings and delicious real baked potato chips. I highly recommend this place for an excellent meal, atmosphere and views!

On Saturday, we headed to another Explore With Me location, Nettle Meadow. This was the one place that really sealed the deal on where we headed for our family vacation bacause it is a goat farm! On Saturdays, there is a tour of the farm followed by a sampling of all the wonderful cheese that they make there. We had a great time on the tour. The ladies that run the farm are so nice and very informative. You can tell they really love what they do and care about every animal. There is an old barn on the property that they are in the process of restoring. There is a lot of history in this place and we would love to come back to see more of the restoration process and of course all the cute goats! They had a sign up that they were giving away baby goats - for free! It was hard to resist but we left baby goat-less :( At least we bought some delicious cheese!

After the goat farm we headed to another Explore With Me spot, Kunjamuk Cave. This small cave (only about 15 feet long) is located right off a dirt road and is said to be associated with a local legend, French Louie. This has not been confirmed by historians but it is a rather interesting story. I read a little about French Louie and he seemed rather fascinating, the kids especially liked to hear that someone had possibly lived in this cave and started to make up stories of their own about French Louie and his adventures.

We also drove around a lot of the dirt roads in the area. Stopping to explore every so often.

As you can tell in the family photo above, the kids were so tired after our long day. We had some dinner and were in bed by 7:30 pm that night...all four of us! The next day was Sunday, our last day of the trip. We said goodbye to Speculator and headed up to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. The Adirondack Museum consists of 22 different buildings spread over a 32 acre campus. There was so much to see and learn here. An antique sale was going on that day as well so there were different vendors with their items on display. It was a truly unique museum and the kids had a great time running between the different buildings to see what was next. I highly recommend a trip here.

We really had such a great time! We loved all the outdoor things to do and see and really enjoyed meeting our new friends! The kids are already asking when we are going back - so cute! And I hope we do go back soon. I would love to see the leaves in the fall. I am sure it is amazing! What I find really amazing is that one weekend I can be down in the city, on a tiny island full of millions of people and places to go and things to do; then the next be in a vast area with millions of trees and beautiful lakes and forgotten roads all in the same state. I love where I live :)

You can see more pics of our trip here if you'd like. And for a chance to win Straight Grain's Tinny Pattern head over to Adirondack Inspired and read about our meet up and why this blogging community is so great!!

Thanks for stopping by!