Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bolton Landing

This is a photo of my great-neice Lili having fun in Lake George last summer. We were at a beach in Bolton Landing on the west shore of Lake George, about 10 miles north of the village. It was a picture-perfect summer day. Bolton Landing is one of my favorite places on earth, and it is less than an hour away. Part of the reason I love it is because that’s where I visit my daughter Katie’s family. Katie, her husband Bill, and little Henry live in a cute bungalow on the road that leads up to the Sagamore Golf Course. They have a one-bedroom home on a couple of acres with a pond and an impressive waterfall. Needing more elbow room, they’re building the new home in Middle Grove. There they’ll have much more living space and many more acres of land, not to mention a Grandma right over the garage!

Even though they won’t be living in Bolton Landing for much longer, we’ll still continue to be regulars there. Katie and Bill are boating enthusiasts and can’t stay away from Lake George for long. Reasons for loving Bolton Landing are many. First of all, it’s on Lake George. There’s pretty much nothing better than that. It’s a small town with everything anyone should need. There’s an ATM, a Ben and Jerry’s, a post office, a Grand Union, a Stewart’s Shop, a good deli, a Laundromat, a liquor store, and very good restaurants (I love Cate’s for Italian food). There’s a boutique, a new pizza shop, a few bars, gift shops, soft ice cream, an antique dealer, an internet cafĂ©, a cute produce stand with seasonal offerings, a library, a museum, churches, free parking, two great beaches, and more. And of course, there’s the Sagamore Hotel. All this is found within about four walking blocks. On the Fourth of July, you’ll see one of the best fireworks displays in the area, originating from a barge out on the lake, just south of the Sagamore. Boaters drop anchor to watch the fireworks from the water. Others gather at Rogers Park and along Route 9N for their view.

Katie says they roll up the sidewalks between Labor Day and Memorial Day, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration. You will find people milling about through the holidays. Between January and March, there’s too much snow and it’s too cold to notice what is or isn’t going on!

In the summer time, I love the beach at Roger’s Memorial Park. Nestled in a cove with expansive views of the Sagamore and pretty boat houses along the the lake, this beach is Bolton Landing’s best kept secret. Locals know it’s there, but more people go to the larger Veterans' Beach just north of the last traffic light. I often take Friday afternoons in the summer and spend them at the beach at Roger’s Park. Pleasure boats use the long wooden dock for easy access to town and swimming. The large Mohican and Minnehaha boats steam by. Parasailors ascend and land out on the water. Teenagers jump off a nearby pier. The sandy beach is perfect for little nieces and nephews who come with sand toys and kites. Sisters and friends join me for sun-filled afternoons talking about everything and nothing. We pack a picnic lunch or pick something up at the deli across the street, and hang out until it seems the right time to leave. Somehow, though, that time always comes too soon.

Driving home after a day like that is a pleasure. I turn the radio on to the oldies station, open the sun roof and let the wind dry my hair. The slow, winding drive down Route 9N to exit 22 of the Northway is a beautiful experience. There are gorgeous vistas of the lake, and lots of one-of-a-kind motels and stopping points. It seems as though time has stood still in this small little portion of the world. Looking forward to the next time, I never feel as though I’m leaving this favorite place for long.

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