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My vacation in a New York minute

by Joe Eats World
Historic hotel situated on an island at Lake George New York

I took a vacation the other day. Well, to be honest, it was a couple of weeks ago. We went to New York to visit family and have some downtime. We really did have some downtime because I didn’t do a damn thing (work-related) while we were there. I cooked once. ONCE. I couldn’t believe it. It was a nice reprieve.

My husband flew ahead of me because he was attending a conference. When I landed, he and my brother in law picked me up from La Guardia and we drove through the city. My first stop was literally in Little Italy to pick up some cannolis from Ferrara Pasticceria Bakery & Cafe. These beauties are just amazing and Ferrara is one of THE BEST bakeries in Manhattan. Not a bad way to start my vacation right?

Italian pastries in a Ferrara Pasticceria Bakery and Cafe box

Of course, no trip to New York is complete without a few trips to the diners. We ended up hitting 2 of them (not on the same day mind you). Both are my favorites! The I-84 Diner in Fishkill is my number 2 spot. I was trying to watch what I was eating since I was also taking a break from the gym so I opted for a salad. A cheeseburger salad with ranch. haha!

The other diner is my very NUMBER 1 top of the list diner, The Alexis Diner. I could eat there probably every day. I also seem to collect the placemats; I still have one from 5 years ago. How can you not keep them when they give you the recipes to so many different cocktails?

Alexis Diner Placemat which shows different cocktails and how to make them

Thanks for reading all the above…my vacation story isn’t over yet, I just had to give you an idea of what it’s like for me in New York. Food. It’s about food.

The rest of the vacation goes like this: 

My brother in law decided the family should get together for a day trip so he rented a pontoon boat on Lake George in Upstate New York. The day was beautiful, the lake was gorgeous, and there were 8 people and one very large chocolate lab onboard.

Marinas and pontoon boats for our vacation at Lake George New York

If there was ever anything called foreshadowing, this would have been it…When we arrived at the marina, the boat was loaded with provisions and the boat rental rep was going over things when they noticed the boat was sitting funny in the water. They realized something was wrong because it was slowly sinking??? Yes, sinking. So we transferred all the provisions to another more seaworthy vessel.

You don’t know my in-laws, but suffice it to say, they ALL have very strong personalities and opinions. There was a lot going on as we motored out of the marina, out of the channel, and into the thoroughfare of the lake. One person had been there before and she wanted us to go north but with so many captains on the boat, it was difficult to focus.

We finally ended up heading north and were motoring along having a great time. Everyone was laughing, talking, catching up, and well, some weren’t paying attention. That’s when it happened. We found ourselves outside of the channel and onto shallow rocks. I’m not sure if you know what the sound is like or what it even feels like when a boat motor hits rocks but let me tell you, it’s bumpy. It’s loud. It’s heart-stopping.

Islands on Lake George where you can camp

We trim the motor and turn it off. We see 2 of the 3 blades are now missing chunks from them. Here is where some panic moves in. Comments like we’re F’D! We’re screwed! OMG. We can’t get back. We don’t have a radio…etc. After everyone calms down, we manage to CAREFULLY motor out of the area and realize there are marker buoys for the shallow spots.

The next bright idea was when they wanted to gunk-hole in a cove to just regroup and relax. Problem is, it was in shallow water. The lake bed is not sandy but full of rocks. So the trick is to set the anchor but catch it on the rocks. Mind you, 6 of us have boating experience. Yet when we were trying to set the anchor, half the boat was ready, the other half was distracted and the anchor dragged. 

Now, here’s where it really gets interesting. My husband (one of the experienced boaters) says he is going to set the anchor. My sister in law (also an experienced boater) and I were next to him watching. When all of a sudden, I see the anchor fly out over the water and plunge into the water…along with the rope line…I yelled but it was too late. The anchor and line were in the water sinking fast in 15 feet of clear, cool Lake George water. I look up and my husband has his hands over his mouth saying something inaudible. And that is when I lost it. I couldn’t stop laughing. 

Mind you, all of this. Every single bit of water sporting adventure that has happened thus far, has happened in a span of 25 minutes of leaving the marina. TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES! So for the next 45 minutes, my husband and my brother in law’s girlfriend were diving to grab the anchor. They ended up using a very long tree branch to grab hold of the line and bring it to the surface.

Lake George Island New York vacation

Meanwhile, back on the boat…we were in shallow water, this time on purpose. We ended up running aground on a rock, thumping and bumping with the waves. People were upset that we were hitting rocks but there was nothing we could do without the rope or the anchor.

Finally, success! The anchor was on the boat. The next decision? I said let’s just head out into the channel where it’s deep. We’re on a pontoon boat. We can just float around and do nothing. People will go around us. We aren’t in the way. So, that’s what we did. We stayed in the channel and drove up and down the lake. 

After a full day of fun and sun on Lake George, it was time to head back to the marina…and fess up to the motor damage. As we were motoring back in, the rental company greets you and boards your vessel to dock it for you. As a safety precaution. haha. It’s something they do for everyone. Then my brother in law spills the beans and the rep says it’s all good. Happens all the time (which is what I said to begin with). Problem is, it does happen all the time but at $300 worth of damage. YIKES. OUCH!

It was an expensive and memorable vacation on Lake George that none of will ever soon forget. Especially since I tell the story every chance I get!

Yes, we are lucky nobody was hurt. Yes, I know what the consequences were. We all did. Fact is, there were too many captains. We were all safe and sound and happy. The only thing hurt was some pride. It’s not like that never happened to any of us before.

Life is an adventure. Be careful and enjoy the ride. I can’t wait for next vacation time!

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Joe Morales is a passionate traveler, trained chef, and culinary instructor. When he isn't off exploring the world, you can find him in the kitchen working on his latest recipes. You can read more about Joe's easy to follow recipes and how to's by visiting his website, Joe Eats World.

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