Life is full of different experiences. You never quite know what will be the novelty that will disrupt your normal course of life. And sometimes, the event will just want to make you laugh.
In this occasion, my wife and I went away for a long weekend in the Saratoga Springs New York area. We were blessed with incredibly beautiful weather; this should have been a sign. Since when does anyone take a vacation, whether long or short, and everything work out perfectly? Not ever.
Arriving in Saratoga Springs, there was a light shower of rain. We had reservations at an Italian restaurant called Forno Bistro. It is situated attached to a converted brick building which also houses a Rug store. Out front are beautiful trees, bushes and flowers. Beneath the tall trees were lawn chairs for the waiting guests.
When we arrived at the restaurant, they had our reservation, but the table was not ready yet. Meanwhile, I could see a row of tables for two under patio umbrellas not in use. They asked us to wait, and we took the opportunity to sit under the trees and have an order of drinks sent to us. It was quite pleasant and cool as the very light rain fell, but not enough to be felt. Rather quicker than I hoped our table was ready, I was quite enjoying the relaxed environment on the lawn with a glass of Woodford Reserve in my hand.
We were then taken to our seats. The interior of the restaurant was loud and the crowd boisterous. Once I sat in my seat, I could feel a cold breeze from the air conditioning units hitting the back of my neck. We moved the table ourselves a few inches away, hoping that would correct the situation, but it did not. I then went out to the hostess and asked to be reseated.
The manager came over and after having checked the weather forecast believed that the worst had passed and sat us outside, this time on the porch which is where we actually had wanted to sit from the start. We ate to our hearts delight and skipped dessert. After our dinner the rain once again began to fall and still only as a mist.
We decided to seek out coffee and dessert. We stopped in at a small jazz club, where there was barely room to breathe, let alone shout over to the bartender to get a drink. We left after a few short minutes. Walking around town, you could hear loud music emanating from the many nightclubs while scantily dressed young woman and loud young men strolled the streets looking for their next adventure. But we, being over a certain age that does not seek the same, could not find a place to have a cup of coffee. This is something unheard of in New Jersey, where you can find diners all over the state and most are open 24 hours a day. We retreated to the hotel where the restaurant bar was still open, only to discover that they would not serve us coffee either! Explain to me how they can’t make coffee at a bar at 10 o’clock at night?
The next morning we went to Lake George to spend the day there with my wife’s sister and her partner. We met at a restaurant attached to the Marriott Courtyard called Charlie’s Bar and Kitchen for breakfast. We waited only a few short minutes to be seated.
Actually, our waitress seated us. As she walked us to the table, she giggled, telling us there was no reason we had to wait, that the new host was just not skilled yet. I thought her giggling was odd, and appeared to be more of a nervous one. When she asked if we wanted coffee, I asked if they made iced coffee. She responded in the affirmative with yet again another giggle. Later, when my wife’s sister asked what type of bacon they served, she went into a full out cackle, and responded “from pig of course”. Then my wife’s sister read from the menu that it was applewood smoked. The waitress confirmed that and went away.
The giggling did not stop, and it was constant after everything the waitress said. It wasn’t until later that evening that I realized the effect she had on me. She basically gave me the creeps! In conversation that evening I brought it up and realized how grateful I am that we were not staying in the Marriott in Lake George because I would have had fears of a Psycho movie type occurrence with that waitress on my mind. We all laughed about it, but the truth is I can still hear her crazy cackle in my mind, and the mere thought of it send shivers down my spine.
Finally, on our last evening, we were lucky enough to get the last seat to a wonderful jazz show at Café Lena’s. The three-piece band performed masterfully, and we were so happy to have had the experience. When it ended, it was still too early to go back to the hotel, and we decided to seek out dessert. I really wanted a sit down café, but we ended up at an ice cream shop called Kilwin’s. We ordered a scoop each, one flavor was pistachio and the other coconut. We ate it sitting on a bench on the same street and the ice cream itself, for us, was not special, but we did enjoy it.
As we finished our ice cream, we noticed people coming with ice cream cones in their hands from the other direction. We got the idea to go to the other store for fun and order the same flavors to compare.
We found the store, and it was called Saratoga Gelato. We went in and ordered the pistachio and coconut. It was expensive, but the girl behind the counter was very sweet, and we gave her a nice tip any way. We proceeded to go out of the store and sit at another bench to eat the ice cream. The pistachio had a strange flavor and the coconut was worse than bland. I kept tasting the coconut because I could not believe there was absolutely no flavor at all. We disliked it so much that we threw them in the garbage. It was the first time that either of us have ever thrown away ice cream. Hence, we claim that we have made a great discovery and found the worst ice cream in the world! Of course, this could have just been bad batches, but we won’t be returning there either way.
These simple observations and memories will bring joy and laughter for years to come. Life is truly full of twist and turns, and one does not have to look so hard to find the joy in every one.