Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Journey Back in Time

This might be a stretch for a travel blog, but I wanted to recommend taking the short drive to Proctor's tonight to see their showing of The Complete Metropolis, a 1927 black and white silent film.
I've probably lost your attention now, after you read that the movie is 83-years-old. Yeah, that's about as old as my grandmother....and, like my grandmother, time has been kind and the movie has aged well.
Accompanied by a brilliant organist (I have to give him props for being able to play the instrument for about 2.5 hours straight), the movie has themes that we can still relate to today: good vs evil, the love of a father for his son, the power of love, religion and revenge, man vs machine, and the strife of the everyday working man.
From the first scene, I had a feeling this film would be brilliant. It showed the shift change at a machine center, the core of a big city. The workers, with their heads down, are wearing drab gray uniforms. Some are walking from the machines at a slow, dragging pace and some are just starting their shift. I don't think a modern day director could have captured that moment any better.
Yes, there was overacting and you had to laugh a bit at the male actors' mascara. And, yes, the main theme of the movie (that the hands of the workers and the brain of the executives need to find a common ground which can only be accomplished with heart) was emphasized again and again on the title cards in between the scenes at the end of the movie to make sure we knew what moral of the story we needed to walk away with.
That was just how movies were done in that time period.
Along with the entertainment of the movie, it was so cool experiencing a movie that was seen 80-plus years ago. I tried to pretend that we were back in that time again and I encourage you to do the same at tonight's showing.
The Fritz Lang sci-fi movie, complete with 25 minutes of footage that was discovered in Argentina in 2008, shows tonight at 7:30 at Proctor's. It's $12, not much more than a Regal movie ticket. But, unlike Regal, popcorn is only $3 for a large.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Resort Revelry

Staying at the Blue Water on the Ocean, one of Red Jacket Resorts locations on Cape Cod, was my first experience at such a resort lodging.
I've stayed at hostels, at motels, at hotels, with foreign host families, slept on the decks of ships, napped on planes, and suffered a bit of insomnia on one 23-hour bus ride in Eurasia. And, of these, I think my favorite was probably this beach side resort in South Yarmouth.
The price was very reasonable (with taxes, about $150 a night), especially since we went in mid-September and I've heard the tourist season for Cape Cod is allegedly lasting until October now instead of the traditional Labor Day.
The facility included an indoor pool with jacuzzi, an oceanview outdoor pool, a large deck with tables and chairs, a lounge, an arcade (for those big and little kids out there) and access to their private sandy beach. Our room was large, clean, and came with a fridge. I was pleasantly-almost-surprised that it did not smell - since some of the reviews I had read said the place was about as classy as an overpriced motel.
But, honestly, it was everything I could have hoped for.
Even making the reservation was easy. I called their 1-800-CAPECOD number and a live person answered the phone and found an appropriate room (since most of the rooms have double beds, but I wanted a queen or king).
I wanted to share the info in case there were any people out there looking for one last ocean holiday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vacation Leftovers

My boyfriend has now given me the nickname "Leftovers."
I guess this is his way of embracing the fact that I tend to not eat all of my food when we eat out. This fact was made especially apparent on our trip this weekend as our small hotel room fridge started to be crowded with styrofoam boxes (along with wine and local beer).
I just can't bare to waste food, even on vacation.
As a kid, I always wondered why hotels had ice machines. I thought it was so I could have ice to put in my vending machine sodas. But now I realize, it's for people like me who run out of room in their fridge for their leftovers and have to fill bags with ice to keep the food cold until the time they can finangle some help from the hotel clerks to use their employee microwave - which I did so I could eat on the beach with my Huevos Skillet I got at the Pancake Man in South Yarmouth. It may not have looked appetizing - a stew-like sight of homefries, eggs, and green chili all mashed together - but I thought it was a lot yummier than my boyfriend's breakfast of two McGriddles and hashbrown's from McyDs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bono vs Obama

It’s been exactly one year since I chose Bono over Obama.
I had planned to see U2 for months and the concert was on Sept. 21, 2009 in Foxborough, Mass., at the New England Patriots Football Stadium. Just days before the concert is when word came in that for the first time in decades, the current president of the United States was coming to Troy.
I thought it over. If I stayed, I might be one of the few able to meet our country’s first black president for a few minutes and then write about the reaction. If I left, I would be guaranteed an amazing show by some of the best musicians in the world.
My father, an American History and Government teacher, may have been a bit disappointed, but I chose the latter.
The weekend prior to the concert, I went with a friend of mine visiting from Germany to Cape Cod where we drove the Cranberry Highway, went to a winery, ate our meals on the ocean, and saw three seals in the process at two different beaches.
It was actually the first time I had been to the Cape and it was magical. It was probably one of the reasons I decided to bring my boyfriend there this past weekend for his birthday. And he said this was the best birthday he’s had in 15 years (I think the only year that compared was when he got a G.I. Joe and went to Chuck E. Cheese’s).
The way I see it: If I had stayed to cover the Obama visit, I would not have gone to Cape Cod. If I hadn’t gone to Cape Cod, I might not have decided to go there this year for my boyfriend’s birthday. And if I hadn’t gone there this year for my boyfriend’s birthday, I might not have had such a great time this weekend. (And I definitely would not have sat next to Britney Spears having dinner with her possible fiancé – check out my prior blog about this.)
So, I think everything worked out for the best.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seafood with Britney Spears....

I am the worst quasi-member of the paparazzi ever. Let me explain…
Once Jon realized where we were going for his birthday - Cape Cod - he wanted to get seafood. We must have had seafood for nearly every meal while there. And I was OK with that because I love seafood too.
That first night, we drove down the main drag near the Blue Water on the Ocean resort and we found the Riverway Lobster House in Yarmouth. We could not have found a better eatery if we had researched it.
We had the choice of eating in the tavern or the dining room and Jon chose the more-casual tavern ambiance. Maybe, subconsciously, he wanted to see the Cap Cod-ites squirm as the Boston Red Sox lost to Toronto that night.
Just around the time Jon got his Lobster and Crab soup (yeah, it was amazing), he noticed the couple next to us. I had my back to them but eventually I too looked over and saw a pretty blonde with bangs and her apparent dark haired boyfriend. I didn’t think much of it.
Jon, however, was suspicious, especially when the woman stood up. She had an almost unnaturally-nice body for the east coast.
He tried to say something quietly to me. But, the men drinking martinis next to us were being very loud and I couldn’t quite make out what he said. Eventually, I made out: “Britney Spears.”
I turned around as nonchalantly as possible again. “Noooooo.”
I really didn’t believe it at first but the more I turned around and the more I thought about it. It made sense and it did look a lot and sound a lot like her.
According to the tabloids, she was in Boston that weekend shopping and we were only about an hour or so from that area.
The kicker was that she was wearing the same diamond ring as pictured in the tabloids. (*for the record, I don’t normally read tabloids but I had brought some along that weekend because I have been mysteriously receiving “Us” magazine for free for the past month and I figured it would be good beach material*)
My first reaction, was probably the reporter in me – to take her picture and maybe even sell it. But, the more I thought about it, I felt kinda bad. She obviously does not get a lot of privacy as it is and it did not seem like anyone else in the tavern had noticed it was them. I did not want to be the one to giveaway their secret.
It was the respectful thing to do.
So, I enjoyed my grilled seafood and rice, Jon had his seafood pasta dish, and we got our chocolate chip canolis to go.
We went to our hotel’s private beach, drank our Mayflower beer, and watched the moonlight on the dark, calm water. And I knew I had made the right decision. I mean, would I have wanted someone to disrupt my boyfriend and I as we sat on the beach that night?
A “Privacy Please” hotel room sign would definitely have been appropriate.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taking the pressure off....

The only thing I enjoy more than planning a trip (and then spending weeks looking forward to that trip), is planning a trip for my significant other and looking forward to spending that time with them.

I've spent the past month or so planning a surprise birthday getaway for my boyfriend. I narrowed down a location, figured out activities he'd like to do (ie anything movie, music or beer related), and then came the fun part of finding lodging that was the best bang for my buck.

I chose a rather touristy-location to travel to, so everything is overpriced...even though it's the offseason.

What I was looking for were: a place with an indoor pool (in case the weather sucked) and preferrably somewhere as close to the ocean as possible. The search was frustrating and I was going to settle for a bed and breakfast (it was cute, included complementary wine, and the price was right). But, after I had made that decision and the pressure was off to find a place, I thought I would keep looking...this time more for the fun of it and to see what else was available.

I'm glad I did, because I found a beach-front resort for my price range. Now I'm Super excited!

Along with excitement, traveling brings out OCD Danielle who wants to make sure I have directions printed out, addresses, phone numbers, and confirmation numbers. Check. Check. Double Check!

The trip is this weekend and my boyfriend reads this blog occassionally so I can't say where it is (I'm still kinda proud he doesn't know since I guess he's never been surprised before). But I'll let you know how everything goes when we get back...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Being Lazy near Lake Luzerne...

I love being around water in the summer….or the fall, or winter….or really anytime. But, especially in the summer. So, when I was invited to go tubing on a Hudson River tributary I was really excited.

It was for my friend Danny’s birthday, and he and his wife had decided on having the get together at the Tubby Tubes Company in Lake Luzerne.

The beau and I had some issues getting there because I had apparently written down the wrong address and it took us a couple miles further than we needed to go. I guess, we probably should have suspected as much when we passed the Tubby Tubes park (which is basically across the street from the tubing operation).

They have a couple changing rooms and a couple restrooms, which is good because I forgot to put on my suit beforehand.

What I did not know was that water shoes are required since there is a point on the trip where you walk around on very slippery and annoyingly small river rocks. I decided to just use my sneakers and my bf had to rent shoes for $5.

Next was waiting in line for a lifejacket and then for our guide, a bearded Wildman named Phil, to hop on a colorful bus and make a few announcements. The buses are all named and I took Gus. I don’t really know why. It just sounded fun.

For a family-friendly experience, the guides on our bus were a little raunchy with their jokes (some about Jesus and poop). I, personally, didn’t mind. I really did not have a right to be since we had Labatt Blues in our cooler in the back of the bus, which we drank as we waited in line to get in the water.

The laidback company allows you to bring snacks and drinks. The tours range in length from two to three hours. Prices also range from $22 to $33.

The Buttermilk Float, as our tour was called, included some lazy tubing in some small water currents and minor rapids. There was also a break where we could go in the currents without the tubes for fun.

All of the guides were really fun and helpful and the experience – we lucked out and went on very hot day – was great. Tubby Tubes: 1372 Lake Ave in Lake Luzerne (this is the right address, I promise), and phone 696-5454.

I’m thinking about doing it again, but investing in my own tubes so I can explore the Adirondacks waterways and find a faster-moving place to tube.

A Tale of Two Breweries

After the blog about the wineries and now one on breweries, I’m sure there will be a cyber rumor that I’m a bit of an alcoholic. And I won’t entirely deny it. But, I especially love going to places like that when they offer food, which both of these Glens Falls breweries did.

Davidson Brothers has a great ambiance. It’s in an old brick building in downtown Glens Falls and has a nice outdoor patio area for diners. There are pieces of Americana throughout the two-story structure and there was a band playing in the background.

On a closer look, the menu is a bit pricey ($19.99 for a pasta dish!? As an Italian, I can’t help but take offense) but it is diverse with elaborate entrees and inexpensive sandwiches.

My boyfriend got the buffalo chicken soup which he loved, but, unfortunately, he said that was the highlight of his meal. (He opted for one of the over-priced pasta meals)

And our friend was not too happy either with his $27.99 Lobster and Filet Mignon meal. Oh sure, you expect to pay that much for a meal like that. But the portions were ridiculously small, with maybe two filets an inch in diameter, and two small lobster claws.

I was, overall, happy with what I ordered. The nacho-like appetizer, on the specials list, was very good and you can’t really go wrong with sweet potato fries and a wrap that has hot sauce and avocado (Spicy Avocado wrap ~$8.50).

Still, the experience left a bad taste in the mouths of at least two in our group and we needed a palate cleanser.

So, we tried the other brewery that my boyfriend and our friend had heard about: Cooper’s Cave Ale Company. This is also located in Glens Falls, right on a bike path.

I have to say the brewery/pub/ice cream stand saved the day. I had their Fudger-Nutter (peanut butter and chocolate milkshake) which was delicious at around $4.50 and my boyfriend had the strawberry cheesecake ice cream in a cone. Our friends opted for two of the many soft serve choices since the business has a soft ice cream machine that can make a wide variety of flavors other than the traditional chocolate, vanilla, and twist. I want to go back and try the chocolate mousse soft serve.

We also tried several of their beers and sodas inside. Any place that has a strawberry soda called Dracula’s Blood gets an A in my book.