Who knew that it would be warm enough to be sunning myself in upstate New York during the first week of October?
Ah… my gratitude is immense—you may remember that I’m the one who mourns summer’s passing. (It’s not like i haven’t paid my dues—having lived in the north woods of Maine for 7 years; I can split wood and build a fire with the best of them.)
But I’ve never been to the Hudson River Valley before and it is soothing to the eyes and a balm to the mind; I recommend it heartily.
The distant mountains remind me of the Smokies in height and hue—though Ellioto says they are not as high. And the trees are beginning to yellow, tinging the landscape with the promise of changing colors as the reds are now beginning to blush. I see what all the fuss is about.
Wineries prosper between N.Y. City and Troy, extending in full force near the Finger Lakes, due west of here. Fruity whites—particularly Rieslings—are the favored flavor, if a bit sweet for my astringent taste.
Saratoga Springs is a happening place—well suited for my shopping urge. Upscale resale didn’t let me down!
The restaurants are plentiful and creative as are the wine bars, trendy with their Indy beers.
Busking on the sidewalks, musicians entertain, a perfect setting for Ellioto’s birthday!
Saratoga Springs was named after the sparkling mineral water that feeds the soil and those who care to fill their bottles. In the early 1900’s, there was a movement to halt the over-consumption of the bubbly sustenance which was being bottled for its natural carbonation.
We dined at a tavern that has been in business since the early 1700’s at a time when the area was occupied by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican Indians before they were displaced by both Dutch and British colonists.
The springs were appreciated by the natives for their healing qualities. which they shared with their interloping friends (sorry, if I sound a little caustic).
Our deep-dimpled waiter told us that many report hauntings on the premises. The Inn is quaint and the food was delicious—I hope to copy the creamy, tangy tomato bisque recipe` which they were generous enough to promise to send to us, for the asking.
You may recognize Saratoga as being famous for horse racing which began in 1863, which greatly increased the city as a tourist destination. But did you know that the creation of the potato chip is purported to have been here? Legend has it that in 1853, a diner visiting Moon’s Lake House was dissatisfied with the fried potatoes that he ordered and sent them back to the kitchen multiple times. The chef sliced them thinner in response then covered them in salt and deep fried them—and that’s the beginning of America’s most unhealthy snack!
Soon, we'll be moving on to Germany--thanks for reading and may Peace be with you.
The Good Natured Traveler