For Christmas this year we decided to visit Lake Placid. There is so much to do there, and we weren’t disappointed.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza and decided to buy our lift tickets through Liftopia. When we booked the hotel, there weren’t any stay and ski packages and we had no clue how much snow would be on the hill. It worked out well, because later on I discovered that you could do the bobsled and SKELETON! We’ve already down the bobsled once, at Igls in Austria. But skeleton was new. So we booked those for Boxing Day, and bought lift tickets for Christmas Day, thinking that everything else would be closed.

We drove down Friday afternoon. When we got to Adirondacks light snow began to fall. Main Street was all lit up, with Christmas trees adorning most store fronts and lots of fresh evergreen boughs in window boxes. We spent Friday evening wandering up and down Main Street, going through the outlet stores. It seems odd to find outlet stores in the middle of an old town. I’m so used to seeing them in farmer’s fields. One of the restaurants even had a wood fire on its patio, where you could stop to warm up your hands.

Then we made our way over to the Lake Placid Brew Pub. There are two brew pubs in Lake Placid, and we chose this one based on the recommendation of the girl working at the front desk. We weren’t disappointed. The food was tasty and reasonably priced. The beer was pretty good too. I opted for the pub kabobs, which included a skewer each of beef and chicken, with onions, peppers and tomatoes served on a bed of greens. Nosy Neighbour had the pot roast, which he said was even better than the Diner’s (and that’s what he usually measures all other pot roasts against!) We took my leftover supper (the beef skewer and half the greens), plus two growlers back to the room. That’s one of the perks … our room came with a mini fridge and mini microwave.

About an inch of snow coated the trees on Christmas Eve morning. Yippee! we were going to have an official white Christmas. Then it was down to the restaurant to investigate breakfast, which was included in our package. Breakfast was full of options: a cereal bar (including hot oatmeal), a continental bar (with muffins and danishes), hot breakfast (including pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, cinnamon pancakes), the egg bar (complete with an egg chef to make your order), and then another area with fruit salad, yogurt and boiled eggs. And if you couldn’t find what you wanted, they said to just ask. At least the hotel was up the hill so every time you went for a walk you got a workout climbing back up the hill.

On Saturday morning we walked around Mirror Lake. It was quite peaceful, with just a few joggers out for a morning run. Some of the houses were amazing. There’s even a toboggan run made out of an old ski jump that drops you on the lake. It wasn’t open yet because the ice wasn’t thick enough. Once we got back from our walk, we decided to go for a drive. We stopped at the ski jumps first, then went to the Olympic Park. From there we went over to Wilmington. Whiteface Mountain is actually in Wilmington, not Lake Placid. There wasn’t really much in Wilmington, so we turned around and went to the new Price Chopper in Lake Placid to pick up some healthy munchies to have with my leftover supper.

Saturday evening we went to the Palace movie theater. I’d looked online before we went to see what movies were playing. Let’s just say they’re really old school, and Internet isn’t really there thing. Neither are credit cards or debit cards. So bring cash. On the up side, they do have real butter for the popcorn and the price was much better than local theatres. We opted for the latest Mission Impossible sequel. Not great, but it got us out of the hotel room. It was shown in the smallest theatre I’ve ever been in. It must have held only 20 people. After the movie was over, we poked around to see how big the other theatres were. There was a decent sized one with a balcony and all the old style decorations. I’ll bet Sherlock Holmes was being shown there.

One of the great things about the hotel was the large Great Room/ bar. It had a fireplace (gas not wood) and huge picture windows that overlooked the lake and town. We sat in front of the windows watching snowflakes fall and sipping on beers for several hours during our stay. It was also a great place to people watch.

Christmas Day we drove over to Whiteface. There is a shuttle that comes to the hotel, but it takes time. So unless you want to get drunk after skiing, I’d say take the car. We were able to get parking in the lower lot and it was a short walk from there. Despite only 19 runs being opened, we had a great day of skiing. Lineups were rare. It was only the odd time at the gondola, and you didn’t have time to get impatient. The conditions were what I expected for Christmas in the east. It would have been nice to have more snow, but it just felt soooo good to be out on skis again.

The Christmas Day dinner at the hotel was fantastic. The selection was huge and the prime rib was to die for. There were four serving areas. You started with the salad and bread table, then moved over to a large table that had a grated squash dish, two types of pasta, stuffed sole, broccoli and cheese casserole, and shrimp. Then there was the meat table, with a chef waiting to slice your preference. You had a choice of prime rib, turkey and ham. After that you visited a long line of tables for dessert. All that food made me wish I’d skied longer!

Our last day was the adrenaline day. We drove back to the Olympic Park, signed our waivers, picked up our beeper and waited to be called to the truck. Skeleton was up first. They drive you up in groups of 4 to 6 to the start of the skeleton at curve 12. You get the obligatory photo, 30 seconds of instruction, and you’re pushed off. You need to keep your eyes open and look around the corners. This is literally how you steer. I had a clean run, but was so dizzy when I got up. They help you up when you eventually stop, have you climb off the track. The wood at the side is slippery so you have to hold on. Then you walk down one side, then cross the track to the exit. Once you’re on this side, they ask for your helmet back. I waited there to cheer on NosyNeighbour and his run. Unfortunately we didn’t hear our times so I don’t know who had the fastest run. Next time!

We didn’t do the whole track, but this video will give you a taste of the experience. And we didn’t do the running start …

Then we walked back down the hill and picked up our bobsled tickets and the beeper again. Then we were paged and driven up to start 5 for the bobsled. NosyNeighbour got to go ahead of me in the bobsled, which sucked for me because I couldn’t see anything. They told me to hold on to him, but when the g-force started to get really strong I could feel my hands slipping. I did manage to keep my eyes open this time. And you’re not nearly as dizzy as we were after the skeleton. They also pull the bobsled off the track so you’re not climbing on the ice. I wish they offered videos of your experience, complete with times. Then I could prove to Nosy Neighbour that I was faster!

So that’s why you didn’t see much on the blog … having too much fun. Hope you had a merry Christmas too.

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