This past April my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Instead of trying to get away in the middle of hockey finals, we postponed our anniversary trip to the summer when we could leave the kids behind with my in-laws for the week. We have never ever been on a week-long vacation just the two of us before (we couldn’t afford a honeymoon after our wedding), and we didn’t know when we would ever get a chance to do this again, so we spent a lot of time tossing around vacation ideas, researching flights and discussing what we both wanted to get out of a vacation.
Hubby isn’t a hot weather, lay on the beach sipping on pina colada’s kind of guy, he’s more of a sight-see and explore person. While I’m pretty much game for going anywhere except for staying at home or shopping – I ruled out the staycation idea very very quickly! Europe seemed like a nice option until we researched flights. It was way too expensive. Because neither one of us are into shopping and big cities, we decided to take a road trip. We were looking for something within driving distance of Ottawa, ON so we narrowed down our choices to: Montreal, Quebec City or Saratoga Springs, NY. I recently went to Montreal on a girl’s trip so we ruled that out. Quebec City sounded charming and romantic, but hubby grew up on a race horse farm so he really wanted to watch the live horse racing at Saratoga Race Course – they only race there for 6 weeks of the year. Our trip date coincided with Saratoga’s racing schedule so we packed up the kids on Saturday, drove up to Ottawa, and took off for Saratoga Springs, NY on Sunday morning.
Approaching the Adirondack Mountains.
The 5 hour drive was pretty boring until we hit the Adirondack Mountains, then the drive was absolutely beautiful! I absolutely was in awe of the beauty of nature.
We arrived around 5:30 pm and checked into the wonderful bed and breakfast that my hubby had booked for us: The Brunswick Bed and Breakfast on Union Ave.
As soon as we arrived the B&B owner Kirk greeted us, showed us to our quaint Victorian themed room, and taught us how to use our private in-room jacuzzi tub.
The Brunswick Bed & Breakfast was very conveniently located – a short walk could get you pretty much anywhere: Congress Park, the downtown area, the Saratoga Race Course and even to the Horse Racing Museum. Hubby needed to find an ATM so we quickly freshened up, then headed out for a nice walk through Congress Park to the down town area of Saratoga Springs.
Congress Park is really cute and reminded me of a very very small Central Park. There was a small pond, two springs, a bandshell and a Carousel. I love Carousels!
That night we ate dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant called Pennells. I had the Eggplant Parmesan, and hubby had the amazing Chicken Parmesan:
The next morning Kirk cooked us up a fantastic breakfast. We also met the other guests, a nice couple from Maryland who had been coming to Saratoga Springs and stayed at the Brunswick Bed & Breakfast every year for the past 21 years!!
After breakfast I set out on a quick run around town to try to find as many horse statues as I could – I found five!
We then got showered and all dressed up and walked over to the Saratoga Race Course for a fun day of watching (and betting) the ponies! In Saratoga on thing you quickly learn is that hats are ALWAYS in style. My parents had given me some birthday money, so the first thing I did when we arrived at the race course was head to the boutiques to find myself a hat:
We had an amazing day together! It was fun to watch the races, and to soak up the atmosphere. Saratoga Springs has a fun fair like environment. There was a lot of things to do in between races – boutiques to shop in, food trucks for food, and of course there’s always watching the jockeys saddle up for the next race in the paddocks. Lots of people bring their own chairs and coolers and settle under a tree or umbrella and watch the racing on the TV’s that are under umbrellas around the grounds – it’s a lot like a giant tail gate party.
After the races hubby and I walked over to Little India Restaurant for a nice, authentic Indian meal. It was delicious!
The next day was pretty low-key. Hubby and I ate a wonderful breakfast at the bed and breakfast prepared for us by Kirk, then headed out for a day of touring the National Museum of Racing and for some shopping!
We also met Kirk’s sweet doggie, Jessie. She was really cute and very gentle. You could tell she was very used to guests:
While shopping I bought myself a cute green dress from Banana Republic:.
That night we went to the standardbred track to watch some more racing – it was really fun! The next morning was our last morning in Saratoga Springs, NY. Our breakfast was amazing again. I wanted to get one last run in to check out Saratoga Spa State park, and hubby just wanted to relax before our last day of watching the horses race. I checked the distance to the park and figured that I had enough time to run there and back before we had to check out of the B&B. Unfortunately I really understated how much there was to see there.
This park was really rich in history, so I ran from one building to another learning about the history of Saratoga Springs, NY, and taking pictures. I ended up running close to 10km instead of the 6 I had planned on. Ooops!
When I got back we checked out of our hotel and I quickly got dolled up for our last visit to the track:
All in all we had a great time in Saratoga Springs and are planning on bringing the kids with us next year. Bye bye Saratoga Springs!
Question: What’s your favourite vacation spot?