Tag Archives: new york

Mini Trip to Upstate New York

Last week, my husband and I went on a mini vacation through Upstate, New York.  Those who have been reading LOLZ blog long enough, know we both went to college in Upstate. While we have both been to New York since neither of us had been that far north since graduation. When we left last Sunday, we had no plans and played everything by ear.  After getting home from the Run the Bridge 10k, we just packed the car and drove north.

First, we drove to Lake Placid.  I hadn’t been there since January of 2011.  Last time I went to Lake Placid, it was -30 (not an exaggeration).  This time it felt like the Caribbean and was between 30-40.me running lake placidLake Placid and the Adirondacks are beautiful.  My husband and I both miss it so we spent a day hiking.
hiking in the adirondacksWe went to the Adirondack Loj and spent time hiking there.  It was much colder in the mountains, and I was glad to have mittens, a hat and winter jacket.  We even saw snow on the ground.  hiking in the adirondacksAfter spending a couple of days hiking in the Adirondacks, we headed west to our alma maters in Potsdam, NY.  It’s crazy to think over five years ago, I started LOLZ blog in Potsdam.  potsdam new york

A day in Potsdam was enough.  Honestly, I’m four years out of college, and my friends have graduated, so there isn’t a whole heck of a lot up there for either of us.  A day was enough.hiking in the adirondacks tim and i

We headed down to Syracuse and spent the day enjoying that and meeting up with one of my closest friends (and well known “interneter” (is that a word?) Heather.  We met up at one the local breweries, Empire.  I’ve been to Empire several times and have had a positive experience every time.Heather and IFrom there we relaxed and ran in one of my favorite Upstate, NY parks, Onondaga.  I’ve run several races there, most noticeably, the Lake Effect Half Marathon where I was able to raise 2500 dollars for Ophelia’s Place as well as win.  That race still holds a lot of memories for me and is one of my favorites.  I’ll eventually get back there to do it one year.

The trip was such a great time.  My husband and I enjoyed visiting.  Upstate New York will always have a special place in my heart. It’s where I went to college, met my husband, began to love running and made many of my adult friends.

It feels like such a blur since living in both Potsdam and Oswego.  Even though it has only been three years, it seems like a different lifetime ago!
Questions for you:
Where did you go to college? Have you been back to visit?
Has it snowed yet where you are?

Hiking Bear Mountain Part 2

As I mentioned last week, my husband and I have been enjoying hiking.  After getting lost last week and spending several hours on the trails, we wanted to go back, retrace our steps and conquer the trails.  There are hundreds of miles of trails at Bear Mountain, so it’s hard to run out of options.

The Appalachian Trail goes from Maine to Georgia...so plenty of Hiking
The Appalachian Trail goes from Maine to Georgia…so plenty of Hiking

Right now, I enjoy hiking because I’m able to be active without the worry of being injured.  Hiking doesn’t use the same muscles as running, and I’m able to hike completely injury free and “not worry about it”.   Even though my running is currently injury free, I still worry. During my injury, I’ve discovered a new and exciting hobby to be active.  Plus, it allows me to see various local areas from a whole new view (and of course new diners too).

We started off near the lake and hiked upwards.  The first 2 miles were nearly straight uphill to get to the top of Bear Mountain.  Fitbit told I climbed 100+ flights of stairs and two days later, I’m extremely sore.

At the bottom of the mountain
At the bottom of the mountain

We made it to the top and were able to see several different views including the lake we started.  It’s hard to believe how high we climbed.

bear mountain hiking 2

After that, we worked our way in a large loop around the mountain and to the opposite side.  We were able to see a faint view of NYC about 50ish miles away.  If you look close towards the center, you can see the New York City skyline about 50 miles away.

bear mountain hiking 1

Of course, we had to take a selfie as well.

hiking bear mountain

Finally about four hours later, we got back to the bottom of the mountain.  To be honest, I was more sore and tired than any run I’ve ever done. Hiking is a lot of fun and a serious workout. bear mountain hik

Other Hiking Posts:
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking the Hollywood Sign

Question for you:
What is the most tiring workout you’ve ever done?
For me, I believe it’s cycling or hiking.

Hiking Bear Mountain (New York State) Part 2

Hiking Bear Mountain (New York State)

As I mentioned last week, my husband and I have been enjoying hiking.  After getting lost last week at Bear Mountain in New York State and spending several hours on the trails, we wanted to go back, retrace our steps and conquer the trails.  There are hundreds of miles of trails at Bear Mountain, so it’s hard to run out of options.

Between Bear Mountain (New York State), Harriman State Park, the Hudson Highlands, you can’t run out of things to do. From hiking up Perkins Memorial Drive to Perkins Memorial Tower, to cross country skiing, boat rentals, to ice skating, to trailside museums and zoo, there us a lot to do.  At the Trail trailhead for Bear Mountain State Park, there is Bear Mountain Inn. I think it would be fun to stay at Bear Mountain State Park and day hike sometime.

Bear Mountain State Park is one of my favorite parks in the Hudson alley and Rockland County.

The Appalachian Trail goes from Maine to Georgia...so plenty of Hiking
The Appalachian Trail goes from Maine to Georgia…so plenty of Hiking

Right now, I enjoy hiking because I’m able to be active without the worry of being injured.  Hiking doesn’t use the same muscles as running, and I’m able to hike completely injury-free and “not worry about it.”   Even though my running is currently injury-free, I still worry. During my injury, I’ve discovered a new and exciting hobby to be active.  Plus, it allows me to see various local areas from a whole new view (and, of course, new diners too). Bear Mountain State Park gives beautiful views to Orange Counties, Hessian Lake, Hudson Valley, and Iona Island. Apparently, it’s possible to see bald eagles at the Bear Mountain State Park summit.

We started off near the lake and hiked upwards.  The first 2 miles were nearly straight uphill to get to the top of Bear Mountain.  Fitbit told me I climbed 100+ flights of stairs and two days later, I’m incredibly sore.

At the bottom of the mountain
At the bottom of the mountain

We made it to the summit of Bear Mountain and were able to see several different views, including the lake we started.  It’s hard to believe how high we climbed.

bear mountain hiking 2

After that, we worked our way in a large loop around Bear Mountain and to the opposite side.  We were able to see a faint view of NYC about 50ish miles away.  If you look closely towards the center, you can see the New York City skyline about 50 miles away.

bear mountain hiking 1

Of course, we had to take a selfie as well at the summit of Bear Mountain.

hiking bear mountain

Finally about four hours later, we got back to the bottom of Bear Mountain State Park.  To be honest, I was more sore and tired than any run I’ve ever done. Hiking is a lot of fun and a serious workout. bear mountain hik

Other Hiking Posts:
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking the Hollywood Sign

You can see more hiking posts here.

Question for you:
What is the most tiring workout you’ve ever done? 
For me, I believe it’s cycling or hiking.

Have you been to Bear Mountain State Park?

Welcome to New York…

This weekend my husband and I made a short trip up to Syracuse, NY. I did not realize how short until I plugged it into the computer, and Mapquest said it was only a 4.5-hour drive. It’s funny because that is only an hour longer than when I went to college in Upstate NY.

welcome to new york

After I had got my stitches out on Saturday morning, we traveled north. The weather was 45 degrees and pouring rain so I can’t say I minded leaving the area. We got to Syracuse with no issues.

When we entered the state I, of course, played this song:

I was lucky that Heather was in town, and we got to hang out all weekend. Heather is a great friend of mine and was a bridesmaid at my wedding. It was great to finally catch up after a whirlwind summer.

We decided to go to Modern Malt and then walk around Syracuse…so much excitement!

Heather and IObviously Saturday we went to the 5k and then hung out for a bit after that.

On my drive back we stopped at the Woodbury outlets. They are doing more construction, but I can honestly say I could have spent an entire day there. Luckily for my wallet we were on a mission to get home, and I couldn’t stay too long. I plan to take a vacation there soon.

A vacation to outlets? Sure…why not.

woodbury outlets

After the outlets, we drove home. It was a great weekend sometimes it’s fun to just get out of town a weekend!

Questions for you:

When was the last time you got out of town?

Are you an outlet shopper?

The Spot

Flashback time: One of the first diners I ever went to was in Binghamton, NY. The Spot in Binghampton showed me how great diners could truly be. Every time I drive through Binghamton I make a special effort to stop.  Despite not being in NJ, this is one of my favorite diners to date.

Atmosphere: A
The outside is a very casual vibe and is made out of cobblestone. It can easily be seen from the 81 highway. The inside has plenty of light and booths. I always try and get a booth next to one of the windows.   You walk in next to the bakery so get to sit within view of that most of the time.

One of my favorite parts of this diner is the friendliness of the staff. I have eaten at the diner alone and with family and friends. The staff is always so polite.  I don’t have a problem eating at restaurants alone and have done it a few times.

Coffee: B
Each time I go, the coffee is always refilled quickly. The whipped cream isn’t my favorite but plenty of coffee is always a positive thing.

Super old school coffee shot.  Dates back to LOLZ drinking to 2012.
Super old school coffee shot. Dates back to LOLZ drinking to 2012.

Food: A
The diner has everything you can imagine. The Spot has pancakes, seafood, dinner, sandwhiches…everything.  Keep in mind I’ve been going to this diner for the last 5 years (way before I knew the glory of NJ diners).  I was always overwhelmed with the possibilities!

This diner Greek Salad is one of my favorites. The salad comes with pita bread, anchovies, grape leaves, feta cheese, onions and I always add gyro meat I like that the gyro is cooked in oil so it’s very juicy.  I don’t post a lot about it but I really like Gyro meat, but oddly enough it’s hard to find at diners!

gyrosalad

Cost: $
The cost for the salad (with gyro) and coffee is 12 dollars. It’s a really good deal and I can’t ever complain.

Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back?
Whenever I am traveling through Binghamton, I always try and hit up the Spot. It’s one of my favorite diners and a great stop along I-81. I always recommend it.

Cliffnotes:
The Spot
Binghampton, NY
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall thoughts: A

Questions for you:

Do you have a restaurant you like to go to while traveling? 

Have you ever had Gyro meat? 

The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY)

The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY)

Flashback time: One of the first diners I ever went to was in Binghamton, NY. The Spot Restaurant in Binghamton showed me how great diners could genuinely be. Every time I drive through, I make a special effort to stop at the Spot (Binghamton).  Despite not being in NJ, The Spot is one of my favorite diners to date.

The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY) Atmosphere: A
The outside of the Spot Resturant is a very casual vibe and is made out of cobblestone. It can easily be seen from the 81 highway. The inside of the Spot Restaurant has plenty of light and booths. I always try and get a booth next to one of the windows.   You walk in next to the bakery, so get to sit within view of that most of the time.

One of my favorite parts of this diner is the friendliness of the staff. I have eaten at the restaurant alone and with family and friends. The staff is always so polite.  I don’t have a problem eating at restaurants alone and have done it a few times.

The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY) Coffee: B
Each time I go, the coffee at the Spot Restaurant is always refilled quickly. The whipped cream isn’t my favorite, but plenty of coffee is still a positive thing.

Super old school coffee shot. Dates back to LOLZ drinking to 2012.
Super old school coffee shot. Dates back to LOLZ drinking to 2012.

The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY) Food: A
The Spot Restaurant has everything you can imagine. The Spot has breakfast items like pancakes, omelets, and waffles, but they also have an extensive lunch and dinner menu. You can get shish kebabs broiled on a skewer, tender chunks of marinated beef,  peppers served on a bed of rice, and of course, the typical sandwich choices served with french fries.

Keep in mind I’ve been going to this diner for the last five years (way before I knew the glory of NJ diners).  I was always overwhelmed by the possibilities!

This diner Greek Salad is one of my favorites. The salad comes with pita bread, anchovies, grape leaves, feta cheese, onions and I always add gyro meat I like that the gyro is cooked in oil, so it’s very juicy.  I don’t post a lot about it, but I really like Gyro meat, but oddly enough it’s hard to find at diners!

gyrosalad

The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY) Cost: $
The cost for the salad (with gyro) and coffee are 12 dollars.

Overall thoughts The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY): A

Would I come back to The Spot Restaurant (Binghamton, NY)? 
Whenever I am traveling through Binghamton, I always try and hit up The Spot Restaurant. It’s one of my favorite diners and a great stop along I-81. I always recommend it.

Cliffnotes:
The Spot
Binghampton, NY
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall thoughts: A

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

Do you have a restaurant you like to go to while traveling? 

Have you ever had Gyro meat? 

Real Life in New York

Last weekend I went to New York and Connecticut with my dad.  We were meeting with my brother Matt who attends the Merchant Marine Academy and an uncle.  My dad has two brothers and the other one was unable to attend due to a sudden medical issue with his wife.  We were all pretty bummed and hoping she makes a very safe and quick recovery.

Here is from last year
Here is from last year

Dad and I left for New York (not quite the city about 30 miles outside) on Friday morning.  We were lucky that we missed all bridge openings and train crossings (that is rare in Hampton Roads!) and made it up in around 9 hours.  I have never denied long drives are not my strong point.  In fact driving with me is probably some people’s worst nightmare.

Upon finally arriving in Terrytown, we ate at the El Dorado diner with my uncle (we have always ate here!) and I ended up getting the stuffed trout.  When they brought it out to me it was literally a deheaded fish (fin still attached).  I must say though it was some of the best fish I’ve ever had.  (Diners are seriously gems at life).

trout

Saturday was quite the day.  In the afternoon dad Matt and I ended up walking around New York City.  First we took the subway to the Staten Island Ferry.  I am extremely UNCOMFORTABLE with the thought of riding the NYC subway by myself to the Staten Island Ferry to get to the marathon and since we were in town, dad walked me step by step to get to this.  I do feel a lot more comfortable now.

Sunday we went to Montauk Point so dad and my uncle could go diving.  While they were busy staring at lobsters and sea animals, Matt and I went for a beautiful run in Hither Woods State Park.  We didn’t even make a dent in the miles of trails after running 16+.  It was absolutely beautiful though and probably one of my best runs of the summer.  I often forget that trail running is a completely different world and always much more challenging.

dad
Dad getting ready for his dive
running through the trails
running through the trails
The end of Montauk
The end of Montauk

Then Monday morning dad and I left bright and early but not without a stop to my parents second house and to see this lovely fellow.  If you are a new reader my parents own a donkey.  A living, breathing, kicking donkey.  The LOLZ blog wouldn’t be complete without him.

donkey

All in all it was a great minivacation.  I had a great time seeing relatives, becoming more comfortable with New York City and of course running.

Questions for you:

Do you have family reunions?

Are you good with public transit?

I know if I practiced and lived in a metro area I would be but  Upstate NY is quite different from NYC.  😉