Nothing says “vacation” like a trip to The Adirondacks–home to countless sleepy vacation villages that come alive with family trucksters and zinc-oxidized tourists once the upstate New York weather turns a little less frigid. Separating itself from the crowd, with more arcades, two-dollar t-shirt shops and tchotchke stores than any other is the world famous village of Lake George.
Not growing up around any lakes, I was unaware there was a huge difference between lake vacationing and, say, any other vacationing on earth. While most people from New York City go to The Jersey Shore, The Hamptons or Florida, Western New Yorkers,Canadians, and the generally land-locked folks of Upstate New York flock to these mountain oases for a week of fun in the sun, salt water taffy and a couple rounds of miniature golf. While this picturesque postcard may give you the sense that Lake George affords vacationers white sandy beaches and that lovely 50’s aesthetic we came to enjoy in movies like The Flamingo Kid, our “beach” was actually about seven feet of trucked in sand. While there was no beach to speak of, our resort did have its share of shorefront docks and nice rolling hills overlooking the lake.
Sitting by the lake listening to all the motorboats zoom by is actually quite relaxing. Going to town is a whole different thing. Stuffed with skee-ball joints, backscratcher and paperweight shops, and even The Alien Encounter, Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House, The House of Frankenstein Wax Museum and The Great Escape. There is also your share of fudge/ice cream/candy stores and your obligatory small-town pregnant teen. As with every tourist town whose population multiplies exponentially during the high-season, the locals seem to just be hanging on until the cash flow once again starts streaming in. Some of the businesses were flush with cash from the thousands of Americade bikers that rolled through town the week before we did. The leather outlet looked especially picked-over. It also looked as though several of the businesses in town didn’t make it through the off season. It must be a tough road only making money three months out of the year.