From the perspective of this blog, it’s been a quiet autumn thus far. Only two trips of note – a weekend spent at the shore in Cape May, and a trip up to the Adirondacks. From the perspective of my personal life, however, this fall has been anything but boring! My wife and I recently purchased a new home, and so much of the past few months have been spent packing our lives up into boxes, hiring movers, transferring utility information, shopping for items to fill our new home, corresponding with banks, and all the other tasks that go into buying a house.
After several weeks (and weekends) that were wrapped up with preparing for our move, we finally settled into our new house. Surrounded by piles of boxes to be emptied, paintings and photos to be hung, and small repairs around the house to be fixed, my wife and I did the best thing we could think of – we drove up to the Adirondacks to enjoy an early Thanksgiving meal with a favorite relative!
So come along, then, on a synopsis of our home buying adventure, along with a quick trip up to the mountains of upstate New York!
After years of renting, my wife and I decided to take the plunge and become first-time homeowners. We worked with a real estate agent to comb through countless listings, visiting numerous properties until we came across a house we loved – a two-story condo that offered a mixture of space, quiet, and a good location. After a tour, we decided to place an offer (our first!), which the sellers accepted. The living room and upstairs loft instantly sold me on the property… it just needs to be filled with decorations from the Jersey shore and from the Adirondacks to truly feel like home!
Our lives then took us on two simultaneous paths. The first was to secure a mortgage – a process that was time-consuming and exhausting, requiring us to send seemingly countless documents, forms, and files to the bank. Meanwhile, we began packing up our old apartment and readying for the move.
Once the mortgage was approved and our sale closed, we contracted with a local moving company to handle the transition to our new home. With some dear family members and friends pitching in to help, we loaded our life onto a moving truck and said goodbye to our old apartment.
The Accord has a new home! Move-in day went extremely well – the moving company was fast, professional, and careful, and our family and friends helped make sure the process went smoothly. Of course, there are countless small projects ahead of us – near the top of my list is to paint and liven up the garage!
Home! An Adirondack Thanksgiving.
After work on a Friday, my wife and I loaded up her Jeep and headed north, back to the Adirondacks once again.
Despite driving up in the afternoon, we encountered hardly any traffic as we breezed up the NY Thruway under beautiful blue skies.
Entering the Adirondacks, we left autumn behind and drove into winter. Cold temperatures and a recent snowfall meant that we could see a white coating on the ground, and our breath in the air in front of us. Brr!
On our first night, no one felt like cooking, so it was a trip to Screamen Eagle Pizza in the town of Inlet, to get dinner. Pro tip – Screamen Eagle offers excellent gluten-free pizza and phenomenal wings.
The next day, we headed into the town of Old Forge to run some errands. As I wrote about in the last post, the time between the end of summer and the beginning of snowmobile season is a peaceful time in the mountains. Many businesses are still open, but the only customers are locals. We had our pick of parking spaces in front of Old Forge Hardware.
Of course, no trip to Old Forge is complete without a stop at Blue Line Coffee House! That’ll be a Birch latte for me (right) and an almond milk cappuccino for my wife (left).
Later in the afternoon, a snowstorm rolled through the western Adirondacks. As the winds weren’t too heavy, I decided to put my drone aloft for some winter weather photos of Fourth Lake.
I was pleased with how well the drone performed in the inclement weather. I can’t say that DJI recommends flying its Mini 2 drone in a snowstorm, but the device seemed unperturbed by the elements.
With a range of over seven miles, my drone is capable of exploring decent distances – I flew it over to Eagle Cliff, one of my favorite quick hiking spots in the Adirondacks.
While my drone explored the snowy Adirondacks, I stood serenely beneath the roof of our relative’s garage, shielded from the elements. Not a bad way to see the park when going for a hike isn’t an option!
A few hours later, the skies cleared in time for sunset. Mark Twain’s famous line about New England can equally apply to the Adirondacks: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes.”
The improved conditions allowed a better view of Eagle Cliff.
The sunset was absolutely spectacular. There’s always something beautiful to see in the ADK!
That evening, we sat down together for an early Thanksgiving meal. Everything came out perfectly! Two Thanksgivings in one week? I consider myself a lucky guy!
The next morning, a lake effect snowstorm was forecast to hit the southwestern section of the Adirondacks and also hammer the New York Thruway near Utica. As that would affect our route home, we decided to instead head east, keeping the storm to our back, and join the NY Thruway near Saratoga Springs.
The storm was forecast to hit the area around 7:00 am, so we were on the road at 4:50 am. We had the drive almost entirely to ourselves – we didn’t see another car until 5:38 am! Our journey was uneventful and peaceful, as we encountered not a single flake of snow.
The same could not be said of the area where our original route would have taken us. The town of Old Forge operates a series of webcams on their website, and I grabbed a screenshot of downtown (where our Jeep was parked in the photo above) at 10:00 am.
We arrived in Saratoga Springs a little after 7:00 am, and made a beeline for SPoT, a cafe that offers a wide range of breakfast options. After subsisting on gas station coffee and granola bars, SPoT was an oasis for two weary travelers… an oasis with good coffee!
SPoT offers a range of gluten-free dining options, so my wife opted for a breakfast wrap of eggs and plant-based sausage on a gluten-free wrap. I thoroughly enjoyed a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Fueled up (and caffeinated), we were ready for the remainder of our trip home!
We arrived home shortly before lunchtime, Grace, our Jeep, transporting us safely once again. Along the way, the Grand Cherokee crossed another milestone: 90,000 miles is in the books! Onward to the big 100k! Wrapping Up
While this fall may not have been filled with road trips, it certainly has not lacked for adventure! My wife and I are thrilled with our new home, and now turn our attention toward making the house into our own. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t be getting back on the road for some more adventures! It was great getting back to the Adirondacks, and we have some more fun trips planned in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I hope you have an enjoyable, safe, peaceful Thanksgiving holiday!
And thanks, as always, for coming along on this latest journey down the open road ahead!
‘Til next time.