Monday, August 18, 2008

Moving Down Across the Border

To finish the Ottawa farewells (from the last post), here are the girls:

Bye Ottawa! See you next time!

Off we set on our next destination: the Canada/US border. Ottawa being in one of its 2 road (the other being winter) I got temporarily lost, heading west and had to backtrack. Road signs were missing at crucial arteries so I listened to my gut and pulled off to check the map. Curses!!

It was a beautiful day for driving and within an hour we drove over the bridge linking Canada with the U.S. We sailed through the border and entered the U.S. The first thing that hit me was the change in speed from kilometers to miles per hour! Then I noticed the price of gas in gallons not litres! Which then made me realize that I had not changed any money to US funds!!!!

Oh great.

I decided we would head for Lake Placid. There were no major arterial road heading west-east in that neck of the woods so we meandered on secondary roads the whole way. It was quite scenic (would have been MORE so if not for the low clouds on them thar' hills!) as we twisted and turned and drove up and down valleys. We were good and ready for a pit stop at Lake Placid! The weather threatened to get us wet but for the most part held off.

The lake itself is not very big. The entire lake is pretty much within the pictures you see below. Lake Placid earned its place in history because the Olympics took place there back in the 1980s...and yes, kids, some of us ARE old enough to remember them!!

This is the left half of the lake or to the northern side.

This is the right half of the lake or the more southern part. There were houses or cottages dotting the landscape and they are not cheap.
One real estate company on Main Street spotlighted a few lakeside properties for close to a million dollars or more.

Here is daughter encouraging Alberta friend to smile.
Daughter found those psychodelic socks in the pyschodelic 70s shop. I swear we entered a horrible time warp when we stepped across the threshold of that hippies place! I did note I still looked like my 44 year old self though....

Daughter didn't realize the significance of this bobsled sitting out on the sidewalk but was game to hop in. Alberta friend simply REFUSED to get in the thing even with our coaxing. While I took this photo I told them that it was the WINTER olympics held at this location and who knows, perhaps that very bobsled careened down the local mountain in a race!!

This is one shot of Main Street, Lake Placid. It actually reminded me very much of Banff or Jasper in the Rocky Mountains (in Canada, folks. In my homeland!!). If you took off the "Lake Placid" signs and stickers on the souvenirs and stuck on "Banff" or "Jasper" instead, why you'd think you hit a weird time warp.

Here's another portion of the street. Very pretty isn't it? Perhaps the town/city wants it to look this nice so you won't gasp at the prices of accommodations or meals. Or souvenirs.

This next photo is the outside of the restaurant we ate supper in. The front area had a couple of couches and a very small bar. You walked through to the back half where the dining part was built. It is quite narrow; either 2 or 3 tables wide. What sets it apart as wonderful were the huge glass windows at the end overlooking the lake. What an absolutely wonderful view to enjoy while eating good, but pricey, food. The girls are smiling because their tummies are full. These two were like Jekyll and Hyde when they got hungry! In fact, they got downright chatty for a while after eating and it was the only time they'd carry on a full and legible conversation with their chauffeur (me).
As evidenced by the bag(s) we managed to fulfill our tourist duty and purchase some souvenirs and books.

The girls do not appreciate the very fine things in life yet; such as the beautiful scenery. Little spots tucked to the side of the stores were nicely decorated, such as this walkway up to someone's apartment.

While souvenir hunting, we wandered out of a store and into a mini-mall when what did we see but an enormous bear! Daughter was game for a picture with our fuzzy friend but geez...Alberta friend.... relax! Get goofy girl! We had to pull her almost kicking and screaming to just get her to stand beside the bear! It was a huge stuffy, HONEST. It wasn't going to eat you!

Our brief stay in Lake Placid over, the ladies posed with the town clock on our way back to the car. We decided against spending the night here and headed on. That might not have been the best idea though...

I spent the next 3-1/2 hours driving on winding secondary roads, often being the only, lonely car on a dark road with nary a gas station in sight. It was an awfully long day of driving and it seemed to take forever to get to the next town that had a nice looking hotel.