163 Tap Room Lake George

Formerly known as Judd’s (technically, I believe it was Judd’s Tavern) in Lake George Village, 163 Tap Room has great beers and atmosphere. 

  

I have to be honest, I was a little worried when I found out they were going to remodel. I did think it was an awesome business move, especially the name, but I was a little nervous the atmosphere would change. 

So far, I think it’s better. 

Love the custom wooden bar, the outdoor patio, and the seats against the wall instead of the pool table. 

   
 

It really takes it up a notch class-wise, but also keeps the local feel. 

They do still have a great beer list, including more than a dozen on tap.  

   
 

Overall, I think 163 Tap Room is a welcome addition to the village. 
Plus, the chef and bartender … They were super nice. Totally understood my dietary issues and made me a kale, onion and mushroom quesadilla with a side of salsa. 
 

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Early Father’s Day at the Adirondack Pub and Brewery 

My dad was very upset it was the middle of June and he wasn’t to the brewery yet this season. So, we did an early Father’s Day dinner there the other night. 

First off, the new patio? Love it! There is a lot more room and it just overall looks nice. The various fire pits add a nice touch. 

 
I finally got to try the new tangerine summer dream. I really liked it. It tastes like what you think a Blue Moon should when you see the orange slice on it, in the commercial, but doesn’t come close when you sip it. 

  
Minus the fact that they took his favorite sandwich off the menu, he was a happy dad on an early Father’s Day. 
  
 

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Dear Grandma: Flowers in a Vase 

Flowers.

It wasn’t until a very long time after you passed away that someone in the family told me you didn’t like flowers.

Did you really not like them? Is that true?

I guess I will never really know if it’s true or not, but in my head, I refuse to believe it. We used to go walking in the grass and woods behind your house all the time and I would pick various flowers, usually these little purple wild ones, put them in a special vase you always kept in the China closet, and then set them on the table.

You always made a big deal about it, and said how much you loved them.

That vase I used to put the flowers in? It has been sitting on my dresser for longer than I can remember. I’ve always been afraid to use it, because “what if it breaks?”

But, the other day a group of snap dragons, one of my favorite flowers, broke off from the plants while I was planting them. Because I’ve decided to listen to Aunt Dee and  “use the good stuff,” I pulled it out and put the flowers in there.

The vase now sits on  my windowsill instead of my dresser even when there are no flowers in it. I’ve come realize that Aunt Dee is right, why am I saving all these items? Use them and enjoy them.

Dear Grandma is a tribute to Michelle’s great-grandmother, who inspired her love of the Adirondacks while visiting here since she was a baby. Her great-grandmother, now an eternal resident of Lake George, would always write her letters. These are the letters Michelle would be writing to her great grandmother about her life in the Adirondacks now. 

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Breakfast at Smokey Joe’s in Lake George

Since I have been eating mostly vegan as part of my experiment to cure my digestive issues, going out to eat for breakfast has been a bit challenging.

After seeing a veggie wrap on a menu at a dinner in New Jersey, which would have been vegan except for the eggs, I have learned this is my saving grace.

Most restaurants already have breakfast potatoes, and they usually have a variety of veggies. Put them together in a wrap, which most places have, and boom, you have a vegan breakfast. Maybe not the healthiest, but it’s still good every once-in-a-while.

  
I picked Smokey Joe’s because I really wanted to eat outside. Plus, I had a great dinner there last year and I just like the place for some reason. I explained to the waitress I was vegan and asked her if they could make it, at first she said she didn’t think so, but would check. She came out and said the chef agreed to it.

Dear Chef, Thank you! It was fabulous. Not one complaint from me. And, cheers to it coming out correct. Many times I end up still with eggs or cheese in it and have to send it back. This time, not at all, just veggies and potatoes.

It was perfect. I may have found my favorite new breakfast spot at the lake.

   

 

 

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My First Concert at SPAC

This is just my opinion, but I think the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, or, SPAC, deliberately schedules concerts on Sunday nights so more locals can go to them and it doesn’t turn into a crazy tourist mess.

When I had to drive back south for work every Sunday night, this annoyed me, but now that I don’t have to do it, I think it’s a lovely benefit. It also explains why for someone who likes going to see concerts, it was recently my first time at SPAC, even though I have lived in the area for 6 years and have been visiting since I was a baby.

My friend and I saw Lady A with openers Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt. It was a wonderful show. Coming from New Jersey, where you are not allowed to bring anything side anywhere, it was so nice to be able to bring in umbrellas, ponchos, a bottle of water, and most importantly a small lawn chair because we had lawn seats.


Besides the concert being great, because all three of them put on a fabulous show, it really is a such a great location. Although it’s really big and there were a ton of people there, it was controlled, organized and I could still see the show. You feel like you’re in the middle of the forest watching a show, because, well, you kind of are.

Another thing I liked about this venue? They had a bunch of vegetarian options. I didn’t have any, because we had eaten before we got there, but the selections were great. Usually, vegetarians are stuck with just pizza or pretzels. A vegetable rice bowl? Yes, please!

Actually, I did have a pretzel, because it was sourdough, which was different, and wasn’t ginormous like most of them.

 By the way,  Hunter Hayes is a damn good musician. At one point, he kind of just jammed, very Dave Matthews-ish, and it was super impressive.

My only complaint? It was soooooo cold! At least the rain held off until almost the end of the show.

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Boca Bistro in Saratoga Springs

The Boca Bistro in Saratoga Springs had me as soon as I looked at their lunch menu.

Warm Spanish olives marinated with garlic, thyme and rosemary, citrus and bay leaf. Yes, please.

Grilled farm bread, pan sauce, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, marinated olives. Yes, please.

The taps menu has so many options that I was tempted to just order off of that, but since it was closer to dinner time, I opted for the vegetable sandwich — roasted garlic hummus, arugula, poblano peppers, piquillo peppers, pickled shallots, sundried tomato pesto served on ciabatta bread.


It was perfect. And, huge. I always buy arugula, but for some reason never put it on my sandwich. Now, I will be. I also grow poblano peppers, but never through to char them and stick them on a sandwich. Again, now I will be.

There were hints of spiciness, but it wasn’t crazy hot. It also wasn’t just loaded with hummus, which sometimes happens. Instead, there was a perfect flavor balance.



It comes with hand-cut chips, but for $3 extra, you can get a side salad or fried potatoes. I ordered the salad, and it included large leaves of butter lettuce that were at their peak.

Oh, and those olives, I still got to try them, because they brought them and fresh crispy on the outside, soft on the inside bread to the table.

My one complaint is they have no non-dairy milk options. Normally it wouldn’t phase me, but one, I watched my friend drink a cappuccino while I had black decaf coffee, and it is such a cute, trendy place I assumed they would have something like that.


Overall, the place is really nice, and I am looking forward to going back to try other items on the menu – especially their dinner menu. They even have vegetarian paella — Calasparra rice, cauliflower, red & green peppers, peas, tomato, mushroom, saffron, paprika. How good does that sound?

They have an outdoor patio, which I hope means that I can bring one of the dogs the next time I enjoy a meal there.

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Fort William Henry Ghost Tour

The ghost tour at the Fort William Henry Resort in Lake George was so much fun. Despite living here for the past 6 years, I had never done the ghost tour until last weekend when my friend Amy came up.

Let’s start out with saying that I was super freaked out, as you can see in the photo. Although I find it all very interesting, it also freaks me out a bit. OK, a lot. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to run into an angry ghost!

I don’t want to reveal too much, but they take you inside different areas of the Fort, like the dungeon, and explain the ghosts that live there. Unlike other ghost tours I have been on, the guides don’t just tell you the history of the ghosts, but instead give personal stories of experiences with the ghosts, or other weird things that have happened. It will give even the biggest skeptic a bit of doubt. For me, it was those stories that made it unique and interesting — and scary!


  
The tour is also very kid-friendly. It’s just scary enough that they will enjoy it, but will hopefully not keep them awake all night. Well, unless they spot a ghost! I tried to take a picture with one, but he just wasn’t cooperating.

Rain? No worry, you are inside most of the time. It was pouring before, during and after our tour,  so as long as you have an umbrella, or are dressed for it, you’ll be fine.

 

 

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Dear Grandma: Six Years Ago Today

Dear Grandma,

I wasn’t expecting to write another one of these this week, but six years ago today I closed on my house and officially became a Lake George homeowner, so it seems appropriate I write it on the actual day.

What a ride it’s been. In those six years, I’ve had 6 different jobs, 7 different job titles, worked in the news, pet, financial, TV, pharma and packaging industries and had some lovely freelance clients in the tourism industry. It sounds a lot worse than it is.

I was 28 when I closed on my house. My goal was to be a Lake George homeowner by the time I was 30, because I always thought my life would end at 30. That’s around the age mommy was diagnosed with MS, so I just assumed that’s when my life would start to fall apart, too. Clearly, I’m still alive, but I’m not sure if I am any better off than I was six years ago.

Although I have become more experienced in some areas, I feel like life was a little easier and more fun six years ago. Since I bought my house, my friends have dwindled, my depression has gotten worse, my self-confidence has dipped to new levels and I overall don’t feel well. I patch up my emotional wounds with things like dog training classes, constant work and redoing the backyard, but at the end of the day, I am still fundamentally sad most days for reasons I cannot explain. No amount of therapy has helped, and medication caused more problems than cures.

When I work with clients it’s all about managing expectation. Under promise and over deliver. I wish I could figure out how to do that with my own expectations. I wanted to live here because it was my happy place. It was the only place I can ever remember as a kid where there was no flighting, and everyone wad happy. You would say, “Grandma Tess” or “Lake George” and everyone’s face would light up. Still does.

I guess, I thought by living here, those happy feelings and good times would automatically happen again. It’s like buying a home where you vacation — it’s not a vacation anymore.

Last year, I toyed with the idea of selling it. The thought of it made me sick to my stomach. But, realistically, it wasn’t making much sense financially, geographically or just in general. Then, I was presented with an opportunity that allowed me to work remotely, and my dream of living here not just on the weekends became a reality.

It’s not been easy, but it is a whole lot better than before. When I travel someplace, whether for work or pleasure, I always wonder what my life would be like if I lived there instead. But, I like having the Adirondacks as my home base. If I feel happiest anywhere, it is here.

Despite everything I wrote above, the past 6 years haven’t been so bad.

Through various avenues, I’ve gotten to meet people and see places I maybe never would have been to otherwise. I’ve met some people during this time that I look up to and have learned so much from. I’ve grown my career, and have had professional opportunities I never even knew existed. I’ve learned a lot about myself, friendships, love and life.

Of course, there are always more things to learn, which I think, I  have learned, is my passion. I used to think it was writing, then I thought it was the pet industry, then I thought … well, you get the idea. But, in the end, I think my passion is really, learning.

I don’t know if I will live here for the rest of my life. It’s partly why I started Life’s Always An Adventure, but for right now, I feel like it’s where I am supposed to be.

Cheers to another six years … maybe.


Dear Grandma is a tribute to Michelle’s great-grandmother, who inspired her love of the Adirondacks while visiting here since she was a baby. Her great-grandmother, now an eternal resident of Lake George, would always write her letters. These are the letters Michelle would be writing to her great grandmother about her life in the Adirondacks now. 

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Dear Grandma: Waiting Up for Family

Dear Grandma, 

It’s funny how much I remember even though I was so little. Sometimes I wonder if I only remember things because of all the photos mommy took, but there are no photos of this, so I know it’s a real memory not triggered by a  Polaroid. 

Last week daddy decided very last minute to drive up and help me with several home project I decided to finally do. It was late. He didn’t leave New Jersey until after 10 pm, which meant he wouldn’t be here until about 3 am. 

Remember all the times mommy, daddy and I did that, especially on a weekend, to come see you? It was always so late and usually daddy would carry me inside straight to you. You were always awake waiting for us. 
  
My memory gets a little foggy after that, likely because I was so tired, but I do remember sometimes we would stay up and talk for a bit before bed. Poppy was usually sleeping and it was always exciting to go to sleep knowing I’d get to see him in the morning. 

I tried, but couldn’t stay awake until Daddy got here, so I fell asleep on the bed with the dogs. But, I did, still half asleep, wake up for about 10 minutes when he got here, at 3:30 in the morning. 

How did you always stay awake for us? 

Dear Grandma is a tribute to Michelle’s great-grandmother, who inspired her love of the Adirondacks while visiting here since she was baby. Her great-grandmother, now an eternal resident of Lake George, would always write her letters. These are the letters Michelle would be writing to her great grandmother about her life in the Adirondacks now. 

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Live at the Lake: Post Memorial Day; looking ahead at Lake George events

Welcome to Live at the Lake, hosted by Michelle Maskaly aka The Adirondack Chick, and focuses on things in and around the Lake George region of the Adirondacks.

This was originally broadcasted live on Periscope and is unedited. Follow @theadkchick on Twitter to for links of future live broadcasts.

 

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