New York Road Trip plus Minnesota

Justin took a week off work and we (along with Jessica) took a road trip up north to the state of New York. Outside of the fact that I drove all but about one hour of the NY bit of the trip, it was quite enjoyable. Let’s begin.

As we passed through Pennsylvania we stopped at the Indian Echo Caverns in Hershey and the Tröegs Brewery for a giant pretzel and beers. The brewery is set up very much like one would find in Germany with lots of packed community tables and a wonderful menu with lots of traditional fare. Past Pennsylvania’s capitol building and onward towards Ithaca and finally to a hotel by late evening.

The area surrounding Ithaca is full of parks and waterfalls, some of which you can swim in…though there had recently been some rain and they closed most of the swimming areas, sadly. After a few hours of waterfall sights we drove north again through the finger lakes region. We knew of a woolly mammoth sculpture someone made and put on a plot of land near one of the lakes, which we found without too much trouble. We drove some more to Syracuse where we attended a Polish festival and ate some brats and streudel and drank some beer. We drove a bit more north and found a hotel to stay at.

We drove to Boldt castle on Heart Island in the Thousand Lakes region of NY. We had to take a ferry to the island, which houses an in-progress renovation of this castle Mr. Boldt made for his wife around 1900. They let you explore the entire property and every room, which was pretty nice. Ferried back to the mainland and continued our journey, now east, through the Adirondacks towards Lake Placid. Now, I chose Lake Placid due to the movie, which I know was not filmed there. Apparently it was also the location for two winter Olympics, which Jessica particularly enjoyed. We walked along their main stretch and enjoyed views of the lake adjacent. It decided to storm so we swam in our hotel’s indoor pool and later went out for ice cream.

The next morning Justin and I hung out at the lake’s beach area while Jessica went to the Olympics museum. Then we headed to Ausable Chasm where we harnessed up and did an obstacle course over the rushing waters of the chasm and later hiked. The obstacles included a rope ladder, a couple of zip lines, tight rope, bridge with few planks making it tricky to get across, and some chasm wall climbing. It was pretty neat. After a few hours of that we drove to Saratoga Springs for dinner and then a long drive back to Maryland. We returned to our apartment around 2:30 in the morning and slept in and took it easy the next day.

On Wednesday we hopped a flight to Minneapolis. We nearly missed our flight as the taxi never showed up. We barely made it. When we arrived in the Minneapolis we took the metro to downtown and met up with Justin’s sister in law Erin, who then drove us all to her house. Most of our few days in Minneapolis consisted of hanging out with family at the house. Deb and Rick drove up with Coleden (Jerrod’s son). We did take a day trip to go up to Duluth, where we visited their maritime museum, walked the pier to a light house, and picnic’d on the yard. After wandering their downtown a bit we headed back to Minneapolis. Justin flew back to Baltimore while Jessica, Coleden, and I hitched a ride back to KC with Deb and Rick.

Lots of pictures, so sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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