Lake Placid, New York
Flowers, blue skies and cool temps. That's what greeted us when we got out of the car, a couple summers ago.
Don and I met his sister and her husband for a few days at their favorite hotel in upstate New York. We hadn't been to Lake Placid, since Jane and Bernie had married there over 10 years earlier.
Nearly 90 years ago, Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Wikoff, retired on the wealth of Mr. Wikoff's "Fuller Brush" fame. They bought an old estate which they turned into the Mir-Lac Inn. Over the years the inn expanded and by 1932, the Norwegian Olympic team made it their temporary home for the Winter Olympics.
When we entered the main lodge (which has been rebuilt after a fire some years back) it made me wish it weren't summer.
Everything about the place felt cozy, even the mighty moose and buffalo looking down on me. I would love to see that big fireplace glowing on a cold evening... while someone played the harp nearby. Yes, there was a harp.
It would have been fun to have curled up with a book on one of the leather couches, in the winter. But then, I remembered what Lake Placid was like in February of 1980.
Don and I were spectators at the Olympics, bundled in bulky layers of scratchy flannel and lumpy down. I'm chilled just remembering the hours we endured in blizzards... only to to glance at the blur of a bobsled or luge flashing by.
Jane had made all the reservations, so we had a lovely room with a balcony and even a bottle of wine! The high ceilings gave plenty of room for the massive bed.
Even the bathroom was cozy with dark woodwork. But it's the bath products that I remember most fondly about the bathroom. From a young age, I was a big appreciator of the mini soaps in Howard Johnson's and Holiday Inns.
I had a collection. I still collect hotel toiletries, but I bundle them up for a local shelter. However, I couldn't part with these cute little bottles of lotions and shampoos. Each bottle showed the hotel name and a drawing of an Adirondack chair! In fact, I'm proud to say I still have and use the little round, refillable bottles.
The view from the balcony was the best part of the room. The first night we slept with the door open and I actually woke to the sound of a distant cry of a loon!
A View to the Side
There was more than lake and mountains to observe. We got to watch sailboats gliding by (no motorboats) and a wedding party preparing for photos!
In the evening Jane and Bernie swam laps. Don and I joined them and we ended up sitting around a table bundled in towels. Bernie told so many stories, that made us all laugh. The best ones included animals!
In the Morning
The next morning was cool and Jane did her swimming in the inside pool. I loved the painted clouds on the ceiling and the wooden deck chairs and even a wooden bridge in the very back.
And in the afternoon, when the weather warmed, we headed to the little hotel beach across the street and lounged on the lawn between dips. We've stayed at a lot of beachside hotels, but there was such a calm feel to this lawn & water setting. Sounds of the surf can be soothing, but maybe it was the lack of water noise that was so calming.
They had a wonderful old bar with a lively crowd in the evening. And there were a few dinner options in lovely dining rooms with great views. But breakfast was the big treat for me.
There was a rather splendid buffet of breakfast foods. They are known for their Adirondack Flapjacks. But even better than the food to me, was sitting on a screened in porch, looking down on the trees and lake. All was picture perfect. Even the gentleman dining in his spiffy beret, seemed photo worthy.
There were grassy chair spots and decks for chairs and of course a porch or two with rockers. I have a thing for chairs and I even posed my tiny Little Bear (used for photo ops) on a lovely Adirondack chair. That was right before he fell from my pocket and became lost... then later rescued and mailed to me by the tourists who found him!
I can't think about the Mirror Lake Inn stay without remembering how I lost that crazy bear and was forced to put out "Missing!" posters!
For the story : http://thebethlists.weebly.com/ongoing-list-of-bear-travels/little-bears-last-adventurewith-me
There is something old-fashioned and family-like about this rather cozy inn. Don and I were so lucky to share the experience with Bernie and Jane.
They helped us experience every nook and cranny. Sadly, Bernie passed away since our stay at the inn.
So, what has become "most notable" will always be personal. When I think of Mirror Lake Inn, I will always remember Bernie's laugh and his stories!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!