Snowshoeing at the Saratoga National Historical Park

Yesterday’s high was 30 degrees and the sun was out, it was downright balmy. Of course I had to spend the majority of the beautiful day outdoors. ๐Ÿ™‚ Jordan and I were originally going to hike in the Adirondacks, but after getting a late start we decided to keep things a little more local and check out the trails at the Saratoga National Historical Park. Jordan rides his road bike here in the summer, but I had never been, so I was excited!

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We decided on a 4.2 mile loop called the Wilkinsin Trail.

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What an amazing day for snowshoeing. When we finished the loop (it took about 2 hours) we hiked a few more miles around the park –it was still too nice out to go home!

I’m anxious to check out this park during the warmer months. It seems like it would be pretty great for trail running.

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Snowy Hike at Moreau Lake State Park

So I did not fall off the face of the Earth! Truth be told, I haven’t done anything too exciting lately in the world of running or hiking, so I didn’t feel the need to post. School started up this past week again and I’ve been busy getting ready for that! Thankfully today I had to the chance to get out and enjoy the fresh winter air. I went up to Moreau Lake State Park today with a couple of girls from my Ragnar team, Emily and Jenna. I had never been to Moreau and was very interested in checking out the trails.

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We walked in through the main road, didn’t have a map or have much of a clue where we were headed, we just knew we wanted to wander around the woods. There wasn’t enough snow for snowshoes, but we each did wear microspikes or crampons because the trails were icy!

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Eventually we found a map and decided on a few trails, one called the Overlook Trail, which sounded good to us.

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Emily’s puppy leading the way

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After a pretty steep climb, we eventually found the Overlook. A pretty sweet view of the lake. We could see people ice fishing down there.

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We headed back down to the lake and decided to take a shortcut across.

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We hiked for about three hours and what we thought was 5-6 miles. We finished by noon on the dot, just in time for lunch! We stopped at Druthers for some beer and their famous mac and cheese. What a fantastic day!

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Ice Cream Sandwich Throwdown

Saturday (after running 14 miles) I had the pleasure to judge The Ice Cream Sandwich Throwdown – Saratoga vs. Albany. Daniel B & the Saratoga Idiots had put together this amazing tour of ice cream sandwiches in the Capital Region, and we had to find out who had the best– Saratoga or Albany. I, of course, was Team Albany! Chris tagged along to be a provisional judge, also so I had someone to split the ice cream sandwiches with. I did burn a lot of calories previously, but four ice cream sandwiches is a bit much!

We first made our way to Comfort Kitchen in Saratoga, whose ice cream sandwich was a recreation of the classic drumstick ice cream cone.

Their ice cream sandwich was vanilla ice cream between two pizelles, dipped in chocolate ganache topped with crunchy salted peanuts.

The cheapest of the bunch, their ice cream sandwich was on the small side, but still a great deal at $3.50 per sandwich. The sandwich held together great, although I would have liked a bit more ice cream since I got a bit lost among the chocolate and toppings.ย  I did really enjoy this sandwich.

Next up was Wheatfields’ ice cream sandwich, which was two HUGE coconut macaroon cookies with amaretto gelato. This one fell short. The gelato didn’t taste like gelato to me, mostly because it was really icy instead of creamy. The cookies themselves were tasty alone, but when eating like a sandwich, they squeezed the ice cream right out, so they were very hard to chew and eat like an ice cream sandwich was supposed to be eaten.

Next up was ALBANY! We headed to Creo to see what they had in store. Their ice cream sandwich was a pistachio cookie topped with chocolate drizzle, and inside was blood orange ice cream. I LOVED the ice cream (someone said it tasted like creamcicle..truth!) but like Wheatfields, the cookies were so big and dense they squeezed the ice cream right out of the sandwich. There was also supposed to be fennel in here somewhere, but nobody tasted it. Overall, the cookie and ice cream tasted great separately, but it lacked as a complete sandwich.

It did look very pretty!

The chef brought out a special concoction for us to try after we had our sandwiches—strawberry cheesecake gnocci. It was meant do be done like a shooter–and the flavors together tasted just like strawberry cheesecake. The chef said it was bit of molecular gastronomy.

Last but not least, it was time for the City Beer Hall…the one I’d been waiting for. I had had this ice cream sandwich a few times before and I knew it was a winner. This time was no different! It was apple cider donut ice cream between two giant oatmeal raisin cookies. This cookie just screams fall–both the ice cream and cookies are made locally, the cookies from All Good Bakers and the ice cream from Bowman Orchards.

A dream, no? The bits of cider donuts in the cream really made it for me. The sandwich doesn’t fall apart and the ice cream stays put!

This sandwich just screams FALL in the capital region, and with fall fast approaching with the summer still holding on, it was a perfect preview for what’s to come.ย  It was my favorite of the day, with the sandwich from Comfort Kitchen a close second. Albany never failed to disappoint. Unfortunately, Comfort Kitchen won overall, giving Saratoga the win. But it was close!

Chris, on the other hand, voted for Comfort Kitchen, but I don’t blame him, it was a good sandwich. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Firecracker 4 Mile Race and the Fourth of July

Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July holiday! Yesterday I was so busy I didn’t even have time to write my race recap!

My July Fourth holiday started in Saratoga Springs for the Firecracker 4 Mile Race. I ran this race two years ago with Chris and knew it would be fun so we both decided to run it again!

It was super hot yesterday morning, though.ย  I only really had one goal for this race: beat my previous time of 37:59. I was pretty skeptical that I could do it since it was a lot hotter this time around and I haven’t been doing any speed training at all.

My sister also decided to run this race, too. It was her longest race yet!

The race went by pretty quickly, through the streets of Broadway in Saratoga, through some residential areas. Some people had their hoses out spraying the runners with water. It was refreshing to run through the mist!

The cruel part of this race was the huge hill at the last half mile. Cruel, I tell you, cruel. It was so hot, I had to walk a little bit because otherwise I thought I wouldn’t be able to give it my all to the finish! Had to reserve energy! I found that I had to try to slow myself down in the beginning, because I kept seeing 8:45/mile paces on my watch. I knew I had to stay under 9:30 to PR…

And then BAM, the finish line was there.

And there it is, a 15 second PR. I didn’t think I could do it, but its nice to know I can actually still set PRs…lately it hasn’t been going that well. But it did feel good!

My sister finished in 43 minutes, which was awesome. Great job, sis! ๐Ÿ™‚

After the race Chris headed home, but my parents, sister and I decided to stick around Saratoga for a little bit. We ended up watching part of the Fourth of July parade.

Then we drove up to Lake George where we spent the remainder of the day! A few friends met us up there, it was a great time! Of course, we had to have some drinks overlooking the lake…

A margarita or two for me.

Followed by some time at the beach.

Watching the sun go down…

Watching the boats…

And of course, fireworks!

It was a long– but fun day!

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Saratoga Springs Food Tour

Recently I was invited to attend the Saratoga Springs Food Tour, in Saratoga!

From the website:

Our cultural walking tour pairs delicious food with tales of Saratoga Springs history. This 2.5 hour tour is suitable for all age groups and fitness levels. We start with a leisurely stroll through Saratoga’s famous farmerโ€™s market before walking to taste some of Broadway’s finest treats. Along the way you will learn about the culture, history and architecture of one of New York State’s most interesting cities.

Saturday Chris and I drove up to do the tour–it was a beautiful day and we were very excited!

We met at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market where Joe, to the tour guide, gave us each a bottle of Saratoga water so we’d stay hydrated on our tour. Very important!

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Our first stop on the tour was the So Lively Tapenade booth at the farmer’s market.

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We sampled the home made chips and the tapenade.

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There were two flavors, the original tapenade and roasted red pepper. Both were delicious!

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We also got a baggie of chips to enjoy.

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AND I bet you didn’t know, the first potato chip created was made in Saratoga Springs…

The next stop was the cheese and yogurt booth! Heck yes.

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Argyle Cheese Farm had some of the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted! We got a sample of the maple greek yogurt. It was so rich and creamy. They make their yogurt with only a few ingredients, milk and cultures, so it is all natural and healthy.

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In a blind taste test, their yogurt was voted the best greek yogurt against some of the popular New York-made yogurt brands out there. As we know, New York seems to be the capital of greek yogurt.

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I would love to get my hands on some of their yogurt again!

We hit a few more vendors at the market, and then we got a little history lesson on the water of Saratoga Springs, which was what made Saratoga famous in the first place.

I had no idea there were actual springs you could drink from scattered all throughout the city.

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The water is coming directly from the ground, pretty neat! I sampled a little bit, it was like bubbly sulfur water–haha.

Our next stop on the tour was the Olde Bryan Inn.

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We sat on the patio and enjoyed an appetizer, mine was a roasted red pepper bruchetta. It was delicious.

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We learned all about the history of the Inn–so fascinating.

Next up:

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This was one of the coolest stores I’ve been in! The Saratoga Olive Oil Co–where you can sample SO MANY different types of olive oil and different flavors of balsamic.

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One of my favorites — the Thai lemongrass mint balsamic. I also really loved the mango!

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This olive oil was a favorite, too.

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Next we went to Saratoga Salsa and Spice shop.

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We got to sample some realllly good salsas, like the autumn salsa and the cranberry salsa! My favorites.

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Chris and a few other brave souls tried some of the more spicier ones–like the Scorpion Salsa…craziness. The scorpion pepper is the world’s hottest pepper…

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Chris liked it enough to buy a jar…he’s crazy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last but not least–my favorite portion the tour. Dessert!

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Eugene makes the gelato right here and it all looked so amazing! I sampled a few and ended up going with the sea salt and caramel combined with the rocky road.

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An awesome end to such a fun (and filling) tour!!! I want to thank Joe for inviting me and Chris to the Saratoga Food Tour ! He was a great tour guide. It was so much fun and we learned a lot. I would highly recommend this tour if you want to explore Saratoga Springs on a nice day, or if you have guests visiting and you want to something fun in the Capital Region. Check out the details on Saratoga Springs Food Tours Website.

I ended up meeting Alicia after the tour! She took us on another mini tour of Congress Park!

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It was SUCH a gorgeous day out.

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We really enjoyed our time in Saratoga!

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