We stayed three nights in Lake Placid, and the time just flew by. The first day was burned up by the drive from hell, and the last day — well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Our extended family convened for breakfast each morning at Charlie’s Restaurant, adjacent to the hotel. (If you go, by the way, I highly recommend eschewing the in-room coffee for the coffee shop in the Alpine Mall attached to the hotel. Great coffee and a lovely balcony view of the sunrise over Mirror Lake. I have happy memories of waking up before the rest of my crew and creeping out for an early-morning coffee, consumed with greedy unencumbered glee in the morning’s early light.) Our challenge was finding suitable entertainment for six adults and five kids ranging in age from six years to six months, one of whom napped in the afternoon and one of whom had a raging case of diarrhea. Did I mention the forecast was for rain with a side of thunderstorms?
On the first day, my dad suggested a trip to the top of nearby Whiteface Mountain. You can drive up, or you can take a cable-car ride up. We opted for the latter.
The gondola brings you to the top of “Little Whiteface,” the secondary peak of Whiteface Mountain. At the top, there’s an observation deck where you can look down on Lake Placid some 10 or so miles away.
It’s just a short little scramble up the bedrock from the observation deck to the peak. (We’d brought our jackets for protection against the rain, but it was a good 10 degrees cooler on the mountain than at the base, and the day only warmed up to 70F in the first place!)
Simon found a penny at the top of the mountain, and Granny told him to wish for sunshine on the way down. Turns out it was a lucky sort of penny, and by the time we’d made it back to the hotel, the intermittent drizzle had given way to the threat of sunshine. We made the most of the break in the weather and spent a few hours playing on the beach at the hotel. The boys and I even went for a little canoe ride — a much calmer and shorter tour than our last canoe trip!
The next day promised yet more rain, so we opted for some indoor adventures. We headed to Avalanche Adventures, which promised indoor and outdoor mini-golf as well as inflatable bouncy houses, a climbing wall and indoor “caverns” for exploring.
Kids (of all ages) had a great time!
The intermittent drizzle continued through the afternoon, but the big boys had fun with a hotel-sponsored “make yer own tie-dye t-shirt” craft while Lucas napped in his car seat in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on and Brooke chose Granny’s lap for a snooze.
We rounded out the afternoon with some shopping on Main Street. Beloved was delighted with the candy store, the kids bought new Webkinz, and I indulged in the Gap outlet store. Ah, nothing like a little retail therapy to shelter your soul from the thunderstorms.
We had great luck with dinners in Lake Placid as well. Aside from the fact that the woman in the little pizza joint we walked into on the first night snickered as if we were joking when we asked for a table for eleven, we had great service and great food the whole trip. If you go, you simply must try The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery on Mirror Lake Drive. Best nachos I’ve ever had, bar none! My only regret is that I didn’t get the chance to try their house specialty, make-yer-own ‘smores served right at your table. And for lunch, you simply can’t beat the sandwiches and the friendly service at the Saranac Sourdough Bakery. If we’d found them earlier, I would have eaten there every day. They have a home-made slaw with zucchini and other fresh veggies that’s making my mouth water just remembering it! In a lull, the owner wandered out from behind the counter and was nice enough to comment on how well-behaved the boys were — something I desperately needed to hear at that point. She mustn’t have been looking when Simon spilled his lemonade all over the table.
Next up — the trip home, by way of the North Pole…