One of the many perks of Albany is it's convenient location to everywhere else. I decided to skip the traditional New Years eve festivities and head up to Lake Placid for roughly 27 hours. I left Albany at about 6am on Monday morning, hiked a mountain, and then proceeded to a local hiker's hostel. Sadly I didn't take any pictures while I was there but their website has a bunch if you are so inclined.
When I checked in, the owner was very kind and gave me the grand tour, the common area was large with 3 full sofas, a few tables, and an impressive kitchen (rumor has it, it was previously a restaurant) Once checked in I crawled into bed to warm up and rest. I was hoping for a nap, but other guest began to trickle in, and I felt a bit ridiculous sleeping at 3:30pm on NYE. Instead I got up, showered and went upstairs to be social.
I chatted with the other guest, everyone else there was apart of a hiking club from Ottawa, Can. I'm terrible at guessing ages, but if I had to guess I'd say 40s for most everyone. They had planned a long weekend get a-way with a pot luck new years eve dinner. I tried to stay out of the way, sitting on the couch reading, but was eventually spotted. It started out with a glass of red wine, and another and then being invited to their table of a dozen people. They were very friendly and being in a hiker's hostel made it easy to find conversations topics.
There was a lot of food, and despite being a vegetarian I ate most everything. I hate to seem rude, so when someone offers me a family recipe dish, I'll still eat it, even if it does have chicken or shrimp. After dinner, we continued to enjoy wine and chatting about different hikes and trips we've taken. I really enjoy meeting new people and had a blast hanging out with these perfect strangers.
I am very envious of their ability to flow from French to English easily within the conversation and I am now convinced than that I need become fluent in French. We watched the ball drop in Time Square and hugged and kissed (both cheeks) one another. The dance party started shortly after. After some dancing, I made my way down to the bunk room and to get some rest.
The beds were comfortable (but it could have been the wine). They were standard twin size bunkbeds. The room temperature was very low, I was thankful that I had packed my sleeping bag, because I would not have slept comfortably with just the blankets that were provided.
I didn't sleep soundly, but I slept well enough. I woke up around 800 and immediately decided against doing a second day of hiking. As badly as I wanted to continue towards my 46er goal, I wasn't organized enough to get on the trail at an appropriate time. Instead I enjoyed some breakfast, packed up and left.
I should have said a more formal good bye to my new friends from Ottawa but all 11 of them were enjoying their breakfast and it seemed silly to interrupt their trip. Instead I snuck out and headed in Lake Placid to wander around main street for a bit. I've been in town once or twice and probably would have done some shopping had my funds allowed. Instead I went to Starbucks and enjoyed my favorite coffee and read my book for an hour or so. After, I walked along the street, window shopping before walking to the Lake Placid Brewery.
I very much wanted to stay and try their sampler, but a 2.5 hour drive home after a sample seemed like a bad idea, so instead I bought a growler to enjoy. As I walked with my growler, I got many nods of approvement. It seems, I would fit right in in Lake Placid. It was cold out, about 10 degrees with a nasty wind chill, so I quickly walked over to the Olympic Center (home to the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics
I couldn't have asked for a better New Years Eve or Day. I'm glad I went for it, the one night in a hostel was just enough to hold me over until my next trip.