Tag Archives: Lake Luzerne

Dillon’s bachelor party – An Adirondacks adventure! (Part 3 – GoKarts, games, and the journey West)

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Weekend from 30-Sept to 04-Oct

It’s been ages since my friends and I’ve had a good old fashioned get together.

COVID, living on the West Coast, tons of little things have delayed or denied getting to get together and catch up. But now, we’ve got a good reason to get together – one of the best reasons of all, in fact! A wedding! And what comes before a wedding? The bachelor party, of course!

Dillon had asked me to be his Best Man for the wedding in November, which of course meant planning and throwing the bachelor party itself – with much help from many people, a plan was crafted and a timeline put in place. A location chosen, a guest list compiled, and a date chosen.

Plane tickets were bought, rentals secured, and reservations called in. Now, all that remained was the best part of the process – sitting back and having an amazing weekend!!!



Sunday, 03-October-2021 and Monday, 04-October-2021


Yesterday morning, we’d cooked up a glorious breakfast after relaxing and eating home-smoked ribs.

Sunday morning, we stumbled out of our rooms, one by one, surprisingly sane and capable in light of the energetic evening we’d had on Saturday. Compared to back at Northeastern we hadn’t gone that hard, truth be told, but we still hadn’t gone easy… various games of sushi-matching and ultimate battles, combined with some exceptional drinks, had taken a toll on all of us.

Thankfully, that had always been part of the plan, and we had the perfect cure-all lined up and ready for us – a diner brunch, before hitting an arcade!

Both stops were exactly what we’d hoped them to be:

For brunch, we’d tracked down a diner that was perfectly reminiscent of the various haunts that you think of when you hear “Diner” – slightly aged, with sassy coffee and strong waitresses. The food was buttery and delicious, the booths felt like they were straight out of the 50s, and there were utensils for Dillon and Daniel to stack and balance while we waited for omlettes and pancakes to be piled high on our table.

Coffee was sipped, waters chugged, and bellies were filled in exactly the right amount to chase off any remnants of hangovers that may have been hanging around. And, since its a diner in Upstate New York in the off season, there wasn’t any rush for us to pack up and head out… We had a vague timeline for the day, but nothing set in stone… so we ate, sipped, and enjoyed the good company that comes with a solid weekend adventure.



The drive to the arcade was short, and soon enough we were kicking it old-school – GoKarts (the rain held off literally exactly until we’d just finished our final lap), arcade games, tickets, and HALO shooters. We crushed them all… with many thanks to everyone donating coins for Dillon and I! I don’t want to think about how much money we stuffed into that infernal HALO game… but maybe $30 or $40 later, the two of us had beaten the game and successfully backed up the Master Chief through the events of the first game – which, compared with the cost of a full game… was probably almost worth it? Maybe?

But while duo shooters are fun, they aren’t the end-all for a six-person bachelor party. The true key for that? Laser tag. Ideally overseen by an amazingly sculpted AT-ST Chicken Walker, and guarded by arguably the scariest statue of Yoda I’ve ever seen.


See, I didn’t mention that earlier, but this arcade was… interesting. You know those movies, where the protagonists are high school kids who work at a summer camp that was probably awesome 15 years ago, but hasn’t really been maintained since? Or when you see a fixer-up TV show where they refurbish an old restaurant that’s somehow been trapped in the late 90s?

Yeah… This arcade was amazing, once. The laser tag arena was beautifully sculpted, and obviously had a lot of love put into it by some very skilled artists. But… that was a long time ago, and this was (as I’d alluded to) the off season for this tourist town. The lasers worked, sometimes, and most of the lights stayed on pretty consistently.


But you know what? We had fun! We blasted each other, got confused by the (lack of) rules, and just ran around until we were tired and out of breath. In short, we did exactly what we’d come to do, and left with smiles on our faces, and enough calories burned to easily have earned the Stewarts milkshakes




While we drove back, we discussed how the rest of the day would be low-key. “Just relaxing, no real plans” we said to Dillon. A few of us knew better, but we kept it to ourselves… because what Bachelor Party would this be, if there wasn’t a surprise in store for the groom-to-be?



No, we didn’t hire strippers or anything. Obviously.

We did something much, much sexier… We had custom Magic card decks made!!!





Shut up, we’re nerds, and we absolutely love it. Embrace the nerd! Let it roar! I now have a magic card with my face on it!

We all do, in fact – with many thanks to my Stepdad and our friend Bear, we had specialized decks made for everyone. Custom commanders printed in our likeness, and even a whole set of rare cards compiled to give Dillon a… well, I don’t know MTG very well, but even I could tell that his deck wasn’t balanced for any real competitive play. I wouldn’t say it’s overpowered… but I absolutely will say that it’s a completely ridiculous deck.

Without getting into the deep mechanics of the game: Most of the time people have 3 or 4 creatures on the deck, that have power levels of 4 or 5 each.

What did we have?

Dillon had… I think 26 level 13 creatures? I had a single level 74, and I think Brian and Bear both had 12+ level 20 creautres.

It was ridiculous, silly, and absolutely a blast to play!



We broke from the game for dinner, but kept it going long into the night.


Stepping back from Magic, though – it’s worth making note of our dinner for the evening. Chris yet again knocked it out of the park with an amazing spread, this time bought from his coworker.

Steaks.

Just… so many steaks. We had T-bones, we had Ribeye, and we had New York Strip. We had asparagus and fingerling potatoes. Roasted, seared, and delicious. We yet again gorged ourselves, eating more amazing food in a weekend than I’m pretty sure most of use would have eaten in a season a decade ago.



In short, it was an amazing evening. Good food, great drinks, and an absolutely ridiculous game of Magic.

I’ve missed this, man.




Monday, 04-October-2021


Our last day dawned drearily.

The rains that we’d been hearing about on the weather had finally hit overnight, and they continued in earnest as we packed up the cabin and tidied everything up.

But even the sky knows not to interfere with critical traditions, and the rain stopped for just long enough for us to get a few group pictures before we locked the front door and got ourselves back on the highway. One final group breakfast, at the same diner as the day before, gave us a chance to chat and visit one last time, before Chris said his goodbyes and the first member of the Bachelor Party fellowship went his way.

For the rest of us, we relaxed in the van as the miles vanished under the tires. We chatted a bit, napped a bit, and stayed low-key… a bit melancholy, maybe, but more content than anything else I think.



We dropped Bear off next, then Dillon. We had a brief visit with Liz, before dropping off the van and catching a Lyft to the airport – Brian had made the last-minute decision to fly to Baltimore to pick up his car, so I had company on the second to last leg of my weekend, before boarding a plane and winging my way back to Oregon, my own car, and my own bed.

Dillon’s bachelor party – An Adirondacks adventure! (Part 2 – A steep hike, a leisurely paddle, and an amazing dinner)

Standard

Weekend from 30-Sept to 04-Oct

It’s been ages since my friends and I’ve had a good old fashioned get together.

COVID, living on the West Coast, tons of little things have delayed or denied getting to get together and catch up. But now, we’ve got a good reason to get together – one of the best reasons of all, in fact! A wedding! And what comes before a wedding? The bachelor party, of course!

Dillon had asked me to be his Best Man for the wedding in November, which of course meant planning and throwing the bachelor party itself – with much help from many people, a plan was crafted and a timeline put in place. A location chosen, a guest list compiled, and a date chosen.

Plane tickets were bought, rentals secured, and reservations called in. Now, all that remained was the best part of the process – sitting back and having an amazing weekend!!!



Saturday, 02-October-2021

Saturday dawned early… And if I’m being frank here, far earlier that I really thought would be possible for someone who just flew across the country, and doesn’t like waking up early on the best of days.

But you know what? Nothing helps me out of bed like the prospect of a day of friends and fun – and that goes double when I’m in a new place… Like, for example, an awesome new cabin by an absolutely gorgeous lake!

Which is all to say – I woke up early, met up with the other early risers, and got breakfast started with enough rest-time to step out onto the lake and greet the beautifully cool East Coast morning that I’ve missed so much. I don’t really know how to describe it, but… there’s something about the smell of the air on the East Coast that miss. It’s… more crisp? Maybe?

Anyways, It was lovely, and breakfast was absolutely delicious. Eggs, Bacon, Muffins, coffee… all of those critical things, up to and including good cheer and excitement.


The plan for the day was to get a short hike in, do a bit of kayaking, and then head into town for a bit of a bar crawl. Nothing crazy, of course, since we’re all old men at this point, but enough that we could relive a bit of glory days while also satiating our refined taste palettes. Yes. Fancy adults. Mmhmm.


Our hike started us off down a small side street, then took us across the highway on a lovely little highway overpass pedestrian bridge… before starting basically straight upward for 1.5 miles. Prospect Mountain was the name, with a nice distance of 3miles round trip, covering roughly 1,500ft of elevation gain. You know, nice and simple… roughly the same steepness of Mt. Hood, just at a lower elevation.

Yeah.

It was a steep hike, man.

But you know what? When we got to the top and were able to look out over the entire valley, feeling the wind at our backs and knowing we’d earned the views? It wasn’t so bad. Not at all bad.


The descent was marked by ever-increasing talk of lunch – we’d declined to pack snacks, since it was such a short hike, but… the heavy elevation had overcome our breakfast, and the thought of making some sandwiches back at the cabin was creeping more and more insistently into our collective conciousness.

We drove quickly, and pulled out all the fixings just as quickly.

If I may be proud, I’m pretty sure I knocked it out of the park with my own sandwich – heated in the oven, roast beef, cheese, lettuce added in right at the end… mm. We’re talking some good stuff, especially when combined with the various sides that we’d saved, and the leftovers from the night before. Some ribs, some mac and cheese… yeah. The hike had left us all hungry, and we absolutely ate well!



Once we’d finished gorging on our various delicious creations, we relaxed for a bit before heading out onto the lake – the rental cabin had a few kayaks squirreled away near the shore, ready and waiting for us to jump in and pilot them to their next adventure. Chris held down the fort at home, but the rest of us did a beautiful circumnavigation of the lake – Lake Luzerne, if I haven’t mentioned yet.

Our paddling was glorious. Beautiful skies, calm waters, and interesting views were had, and we even landed the kayaks at one point to explore a small tributary that led off the end of the lake… leading to what we learned was (I believe) the oldest paper pulp mill in the United States!

And a huge spider!

In short – the kayaking was excellent, relaxing, and a great post-lunch event.




From the water, we headed inland – after getting ourselves cleaned up, we heeded the call of the town and headed into Lake George to see what kind of trouble we could get into…

A distillery and an excellent restaurant, it turns out – Lake George Distillery and The Boathouse, specifically.


The distillery was definitely an interesting chance to try out some new spirits… but if I’m being candid here, I didn’t particularly click with any of the options that they had on the list. They weren’t bad, by any means, and their straight whisky was pretty solid, but nothing really stood out, you know? They’re good, but… I’m realizing that I really do just like the basics. Simple and clean is starting to be better than unique and experimental, you know?

Dinner, on the other hand, was absolutely excellent. We’d found a solid restaurant that hit the targets of being both affordable and high class, with a great beer menu and a solid dinner menu. Drinks, food, and laughter kept us going well into the evening, priming the way for us to head back to the cabin to keep the party train going until the whisky had been drank, and more than a few creative moves had been made in the various board games that people had brought along.



Dillon’s bachelor party – An Adirondacks adventure! (Part 1 – The journey to the woods)

Standard

Weekend from 30-Sept to 04-Oct

It’s been ages since my friends and I’ve had a good old fashioned get together.

COVID, living on the West Coast, tons of little things have delayed or denied getting to get together and catch up. But now, we’ve got a good reason to get together – one of the best reasons of all, in fact! A wedding! And what comes before a wedding? The bachelor party, of course!

Dillon had asked me to be his Best Man for the wedding in November, which of course meant planning and throwing the bachelor party itself – with much help from many people, a plan was crafted and a timeline put in place. A location chosen, a guest list compiled, and a date chosen.

Plane tickets were bought, rentals secured, and reservations called in. Now, all that remained was the best part of the process – sitting back and having an amazing weekend!!!




Thursday and Friday, 30-Sept-2021 & 01-Oct-2021


Thursday, 30-Sept-2021

I flew on a plane again! Heck yeah travelling!

We’d been planning this party out for a while – Dillon was getting married in November, which meant an early-October bachelor party. You know… enough time for bruises and cuts to heal. Maybe even enough time for a broken bone to set, if worst-came-to-worst. Everyone was psyched, we had a plan laid out, and Upstate New York was calling us!


I flew into Boston late on Thursday – I’ve found this flight is… not the easiest, since it gets in at midnight, but definitely the simplest flight to catch. That’s the downside of living in Portland, going East is way harder and way more time consuming. But, you know, that just means that the flight home is super easy, which is always nice.




Anyways I landed at midnight. Daniel picked me up, we hung out for a bit, caught up, and then hit the sleep nice and early in the morning.





Friday, 01-Oct-2021

Friday dawned bright, with Daniel and Erin’s dog Biscuit being unconvinced that I should be allowed in the house – He’s awesome, but definitely a stoic protector of the realm…

Anyways, We got going.

A nice breakfast, relaxed a bit, and then set about tracking down the various equipment and people for the trip!


The overarching plan for the weekend was aimed pretty low-key, but still sharp with some excellent adventures:

  • Pick up the Boston contingent and drive out to New York, meeting Chris at the cabin
  • Have some amazing dinner on Friday night, drink, and catch up with everyone
  • On Saturday, we’d hit up a small hike, then spend some time kayaking before getting ourselves ready for a bit of dinner and a pub crawl.
  • End Saturday night back at the cabin, crushing some awesome boardgames!
  • Have a nice brunch on Sunday, then do some go-karting and laser tag – maybe some games and other shenanigans
  • Grab lunch, then go back to the cabin for more board games / card games
  • Grill up steaks for dinner, and make an equally exceptional dessert
  • Clean up the cabin on Monday, then have one last brunch before driving back



With a good plan in mind and a shopping list in hand, Friday went exactly as well as we’d hoped!

The drive was clean and simple, with tons of time to relax, chat, and catch up. Grocery shopping for the weekend went beautifully – I’ve gotten so used to just shopping for myself that I’d forgotten the simple joy of having one huge shopping list for a camping weekend, and just watching the whole group scatter across the store like an ancient horde, grabbing what we need and vanishing just as quickly. It was awesome, and definitely set an excellent tone of cooperation and comraderie that held through the rest of the weekend.

The cabin itself was absolutely perfect, and since Chris had arrived a bit before the rest of us, it was even opened up and ready when we got there! We arrived a bit later than we’d initially planned, but that just meant that we got some excellent sunset views as we drove into the mountains and along the river. And then, when we did settle into the cabin? It was the perfect time to start up the fire, heat up some dinner, and settle into the weekend!



What did we have for dinner, you ask?

We had pure, unadulterated happiness, I’ll answer. Home-cooked, slow-roasted, beautifully seasoned baby back ribs!

With, of course, the standard accompaniment: beans, cornbread, mac and cheese, and cole slaw – and some excellent whisky and beer, of course. You know, just a few things.

Our hunger satiated, the rest of the evening was spent claiming bunks, enjoying the fire, and just simply catching up – It’d been FAR too long since we’d gotten together, and there were new friends to get to know for everyone. We had a whole weekend ahead of us, and nothing at all holding us back…