Sunday, June 18, 2006

Vacation planning

With everything going on with graduate school and work, I was avoiding digging into our vacation, which starts mid-July. But, fortunately, my in-laws were paying a visit in mid May and you know what that means! I cleaned, cleared out the Goodwill clothes, and bought 2 books on the Adirondacks. My MIL is a travel agent and will be taking care of our son while my husband and I are on our week-long trip to NY State. I felt the pressure and could hear her say, "All the good places will be already booked!" The weekend they visited from Long Island was also our 4th anniversary and I brought the guidebooks to dinner (so me and my husband, Keith, would have conversation fodder, if you're wondering). Well, it happened that our server's grandparents were from the Adirondacks and he gave us wonderful suggestions on where to go and what to see. We had a focus now and the trip wasn't just a green blur on the map.

Keith studied the map and I studied the places that had historic interest like Saratoga Springs and Fort Ticonderoga. We finally had a gameplan of sightseeing and hiking. Maybe a day trip to Montreal was in the mix. Keith said, "We're so close to Canada, why not?" I could see we would be moving around a lot, but that's what we do on our vacations -- we're active people.

I easily booked our room in Saratoga Springs on Expedia and our first B&B in Jay, NY was also an easy booking. Jay is a very small town 17 miles east of Lake Placid and it has a broken covered bridge. This B&B is called the Book & Blanket and the owners include their Basset Hound Zoe in every correspondence. Many B&B's only have 2-3 units, which makes me wonder 1) how did they house people for the 1980 Olympics and 2) how do these B&B owners make any money? I called another place while waiting to hear back from our first choice (the Forest House B&B) at Blue Mtn Lake, owned by Ann LaForest ("the forest" in French) and it turned out Karl's B&B was little more than a basement apartment serving cold cereal and coffee. Bev ran the outfit, while Karl is disabled. I spoke with Bev (very nice lady) and later when our first choice emailed me back (the Forest House B&B), I called Bev again to let her know not to pencil us in. Bev asked where we were staying instead, and I told her. Then she informed me that Ann's brother had gone missing in late April and no one had seen him since. Shocking. His body still hasn't turned up. We're still staying there, though, because it's the best (and only) B&B at Blue Mountain and we plan on hiking 2 long trails there. So sorry, Ann.

Next post -- my new friend, Jerry Mason, from Shubuta, MS gives me the scoop on the Hanging Bridge and the lies told around his town.


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