Friday, August 31, 2012

Trip to New York

We left for New York last Friday morning to visit with my son and his wife and came home late Monday afternoon. It was hot, hot, hot  in Saratoga Springs--and that's why I live in Maine. I was really dragging by the time we got home. The heat takes a lot out of me.

To make matters worse, we realized Saturday evening that the air conditioning in the car wasn't working. Hubby bought a can of freon Sunday morning, but it all leaked out by the time we got back to the hotel Sunday evening. Monday morning we bought two more cans of freon for the trip home. I held out without the A/C until about noon, then hubby added one can of freon, and that got us home, thankfully. 

The only other bad part of the trip was that I had an allergic reaction to some lotion I used on my face and neck, which translated to lots of redness, some swelling around my eyes, and intense itching. Several months ago, I made a departure from my regular lotion and bought a different kind--same company, different formula--and had a reaction. I contacted the company and threw away the bottle, but I forgot I also filled up my tiny travel bottle with the same stuff. I used it Saturday morning without a problem; but when we got back to the hotel Saturday evening,  I washed my face and reapplied the lotion, then woke up in the middle of the night itching.

Those two things aside, we really enjoyed the trip and seeing the kids. We went to the Crossgate Mall one day (over 400 stores), and walked around downtown one day. Other than that, we visited at the house. We haven't seen our son in over a year, so it was really nice just to just spend some time together. That's hubby and son, goofing off in the park downtown.
Part of the downtown area. There were some really interesting buildings downtown. At times I felt more like we were in the deep south instead of upstate New York.

Downtown areas tend to be more expensive, particularly during tourist season, so we only went into one shop. My daughter-in-law visited the Saratoga Olive Oil Co. previously and purchased a bottle of oil, so she wanted to show me the store. Sometimes when she's in Portland, we go to Macaroni Grill to eat, and they always serve crusty Italian bread with a plate of herbed olive oil for dipping. We love that, so we bought a bottle of Tuscan herb olive oil to take home. Yummy!

I was amazed how many olive oils and balsamic vinegars they had. There were covered plates of bread chunks and little plastic cups all over the store, so you could taste some of the different oils. There were some odd ones, like olive oil with blood orange.  Nope, didn't try that one!

A yarn bombing, I think. First one I've seen, other than in photos.

Saratoga Springs, in upstate New York, is home to the the printers of Time Magazine, Newsweek, People Magazine, and Sports Illustrated. The mason jar people, Ball Corporation, also reside there, as well as some aluminum can manufacturers that work for companies like Pepsi. But mostly, Saratoga Springs is a horse racing town, and this is horse racing season, so the city is really busy from the beginning of July through the Labor Day weekend. The Saratoga Race Course, a track for thoroughbred racing, is the oldest continuously-operating sporting event of any kind in the United States. We never did find the Course, but we did find the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, which is for harness racing.  Too bad the track wasn't in use when I took the photo.

Because Saratoga is a horse racing town, there are things all over the city that advertise it. On the way into town, we saw billboards with paintings of horse races, a motel called Thoroughbred Motel, hitching posts at convenience stores and gas stations, and a variety of horse statues. I took photos of all the ones we saw, and some of these are really kinda cool. 

A hitching post in downtown, and my daughter-in-law in the background.

A racing panel on the wall in the local grocery store.

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