Sometimes in travel it all goes a bit sideways... When I was feeling a bit blah, I still found quiet, cozy things to do in Lake Placid
If you've ever woke up feeling like you have a horrible hangover, yet you had nothing to drink the night before, then you know exactly how I felt on day two of my trip to the Adirondacks. There was the headache (without the fun of any red wine the previous day), there was the sore stomach (was this the universe getting back at me for eating both pasta carbonara AND tiramisu?) and then there was the unmistakable shake and sweat of a low grade fever. I was SICK. Sick in the land of outdoor adventure and Olympic legacies and super healthy people. SICK.
There was no way I could join in the fun as my friends toured wineries and set out on epic hikes. Time for a change in plans! Fortunately by the time I arrived in Lake Placid, I was feeling a tiny bit better and was able to make the best of a queasy situation. Here's how I spent my lazy visit finding things to do in Lake Placid that were lowkey.
A snug Lake Placid hotel made all the difference
When you're under the weather, you just want to be in bed. And just about any bed will do! I would have happily collapsed into a bear's den when I first arrived in Lake Placid, so finding myself instead at Hotel North Woods was heavenly. The hotel had been recently renovated and I loved that they embraced an Adirondacks decor theme without descending into anything too silly or kitschy.
Some of my favourite features at Hotel North Woods included a king sized bed with a great view of the lake and a charming snug reading nook with a couch, coffee table, side bar, and a coffee bar. It was the perfect spot for a bit of rest and relaxation and I felt a little less sad for myself as I snuggled in bed, gazed over at the lake, and read for a bit.
One of the most special things about Hotel North Woods is that it has been a pioneer in bringing diverse live music acts to Lake Placid. Live music in Lake Placid is not nearly as widespread as it could be and I think it's fantastic that they are supporting independent musicians and that they are bringing something new to Lake Placid beyond sports. Had I been on my game, I would have absolutely loved hearing their live band on a Tuesday night. Alas, sick-Vanessa wasn't in a musical mood! The band did stop promptly at midnight but if you like to go to bed early, I'd suggest asking the staff for a quiet room.
Speaking of reading... Books set in Lake Placid
To really get a sense of Lake Placid's history, pick up a copy of George Ortloff's short book A Lady In The Lake. It's a compelling account of Lake Placid's most famous mystery. A fascinating story in and of itself, it's also very interesting to read about Lake Placid from a non-sporting point of view.
Time for beer! Um, hang on there...
Lake Placid and the Adirondacks are really famous for their craft beers and trusted friends (who are experienced beer consumers) tell me this fame is well justified. But I'm not a beer drinker even when I'm in the best of health so this was a major no-no for me. However, if you're laid up for reasons that are less viral and more mechanical in nature (say, like a sprained ankle), some beer tasting might be the way to go.
Much more my style were the gourmet offerings from the Adirondack Popcorn Company. Their "Moose Crunch" is a delicious blend of popcorn, chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, and pretzels and the salty sweet flavor was ideal for tempting my appetite after a few days of a self-imposed fast.
Coaxing my appetite
It's miserable to be in a foodie destination and not have much of an appetite. Eating a great meal with friends is one of the best things to do in Lake Placid and I was feeling a bit sad to be missing out. However buoyed by the success of eating some Moose Crunch, I felt confident in joining my friends for dinner at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. This is another great destination for beer lovers and the pub menu is fantastic - or so I'm told! I was a bit jealous as I watched everyone tuck into deep fried pickles and heaving burgers.
I opted for a less greasy, more sensible option of Cajun salmon with rice and veggies. The good news is that my stomach held onto the meal with no protest. The bad news is that I should have known better than to order fish, vegetables, and rice at a spot famous for burgers, pizzas, and pub grub. The salmon was a bit overcooked and a touch fishy. The rice was dry, but the veggies were on the soggy side. It wasn't a bad meal but it wasn't great either and I would have been disappointed had my appetite been at a full roar. I'd still recommend the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery based on how happy my friends were - just stick with the classics.
Breakfast the next morning at Hotel North Woods went over much better. My French toast and scrambled eggs were just what my stomach needed and they were delicious - seems like I was on the mend!
Finally, smoother sailing
I was lucky. My illness wasn't dangerous, just your garden variety, annoying-as-heck virus that had me down and out for a couple of days. Of course, for more serious health problems you should always seek medial attention but for more moderate maladies, I learned that there's nothing wrong with laying low. I may have missed out on some of Lake Placid's best experiences but I don't look back on my time with any regret. I got a taste for what the city has to offer and I was well rested for the next leg of our adventure. I also have a wonderful excuse to head back - not that an excuse would be needed!
Have you ever been under the weather during a trip? What did you do to make yourself feel better?
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My time in the Adirondacks was facilitated by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and I thank them for their support.
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