Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Train to North Creek

We nearly missed the train.
I blame the GPS....Warren blames the man at the station.
He was moving so slowly all the while assuring us 
that they would not leave us behind.
Whatever the case the train was beginning to pull out 
as we got someone's attention and they stopped for us.

We spoke with the conductor later and he said he
left on time.....
the first time.  

But at 10:02 am we were officially on our way to 
North Creek.
It would be a two hour ride through gorgeous scenery 
along the Hudson River.

We hadn't been at all sure whether we would be able to 
get tickets in the Dome car and therefore had breakfast 
before we got there.

However, after seeing the menu and smelling the other 
travelers food we were kind of wishing we had waited.
The prices weren't terrible either.
For captives on a train.

I did get some cranberry juice.
Served in a glass with lots of ice.

So refreshing on this very hot day.

Temps were supposed to approach
one hundred degrees and I believe they got very close.

On the way we observed some wildlife.
I made a note of it.

We confirmed that bear sighting with the folks
across the aisle from us. 
We were all pretty incredulous!

My photos out of the train windows did not come out well.
The windows were just too dirty. 
Not so much that it bothered you to look out 
but the camera picked up on it.

The little town of North Creek is interesting.
I wasn't sure what to expect but it wasn't as polished 
as I thought it would be.
I guess I'm used to Lancaster County style of
tourism.  This is mountain hospitality.

The train station and museum.
The museum was closed.

 Soooo much potential!

There were a couple of well put together stores....
but over all it was an experience in frustration for me.
So many pieces of advice for them....
if they wanted them.
But I'll never know because I didn't 
volunteer and they didn't ask.

The ice cream parlor was the worst for this.
Here it was in this huge Victorian structure.
The place was soooo underutilized.
I could envision it brought back to its glory.
Perhaps I would have put away the can of air freshener from the 
counter and not had my great Dane corralled by couches and chairs 
in a section of the shop.
However, the butter pecan ice cream was good and Warren
wouldn't go along with making an offer on the place so 
I just have to shake it off.

I'll have to forget about the vision I have of a huge coffee bar
and lovely seating arrangements.  
I'll put aside the imaginary bubble gum machine 
and the servers in uniforms.
Oh well.

Our lunch was good. 
We ate at Andie's Restaurant at Smiths.
Weird name but that is what happens when a 
restaurant gets passed down for three generations.
They each add their own spin.
If you want to know more about that story you'll just 
have to go there and read the back of the menu.
But be aware that there are no free drink refills.
This came as a bit of a shock to us on this very hot 
day......when we received our check.

Upon entering one shop we were blasted in the face
with the definite and overpowering smell of homemade soap.
I was a bit concerned that this shopkeeper might think
this was an attractive smell.
However, after meeting her we discovered that she was in the 
process of making some all was well.
she was wonderful and we greatly enjoyed meeting her.
I may hear from her again as she is going to check out my
Etsy shop.
I would welcome that.

We observed something that all business owners need to 
take very seriously.
While at the ice cream shop the two ladies in front of us
asked the young man at the counter what was in the store 
across the street.
He said in a very disdainful voice, 
"Oh!  That is a very expensive art store!"
I just looked and Warren and nearly lost it.
We had just come from there and had enjoyed the store 
and its owner very much.
She could not understand why she wasn't getting much 
traffic into her store.
I think we now know part of the reason.
I suspect the others in this town are not supportive
of what she is doing as a consignment craft store.
It is large and beautiful.
If you are the "new kid" in town make sure to make 
friends with the locals.
They can make or break you!

The flip side of this was a shop at the far end of our walk.
We likely would not have gone there if a shop owner had
not encouraged us to do so.
You couldn't see it and the weather was soooo hot we 
probably would have just headed back to 
food and drink.

Did I mention the heat? 

It was there that we met and chatted with the fellow passengers
from the train.
After that it seemed we kept running into them.
Delightful people.

(By the way, I pulled those two ladies over
at the ice cream shop
and told them that they had to check out the 
store across the street. 
They did and made at least one purchase 
which they showed others on the train.
They loved the store as I knew they would.
Good Grief!)

The entire day I think I had a perpetual grin on my face....
except when Warren took my picture as 
I attempted to concentrate on my book.
Reading with bifocals is still a challenge for me.

 I look mad.
I wasn't, though. 
It was a very, very delightful day and I would do it 
again in a heartbeat.

Around 6pm we rolled into the station in 
Saratoga Springs where we had left the car that morning.
Relaxed and happy after our day's adventures.

I highly recommend this day trip to you.
And do go with the dome cars if you can.
They are well worth the extra expense!

Warren thanks Georgia for this, 
his birthday present!


ZudaGay said...

Sounds like a fun and enjoyable ride. Amtrack zips through our little town twice a day, I often think of hopping on board.

Susy said...

Ms Becky, you have been bitten by the retailer bug. I love all your observations ~ that's exactly how I "shop". I'm also hyper-sensitive to customer service. My husband, the builder, observes how well (or not) the building was made.

We've taken the train up the Hudson from Albany to NYC, been to Saratoga Springs (and the races), and eaten at Dr. Moriarties ~ all happy memories. We enjoyed a visit through a Shaker settlement there too.

Another great post. Thanks for the train ride!

Vee said...

This post is so interesting. Promotion is such an easy thing to do and it helps everyone. As they say, "A rising tide lifts all boats." I actually hope that someone with the power to change something will read this post.

Clean windows on the train for starters! ☺

You do look seriously intent on reading.

Linda Gross said...

Isn't it wonderful seeing new places together with your husband? Bob and I will be going to someplace new early next month. I can't wait!

Mrs.Rabe said...

That sounds like so much fun!

You and I could save that town! hee hee! Lots of ideas!


Vickie said...

This looked like a fun day, Becky. I think there were some disappointments there in the way of the shops. Guess they just need to hire you to re-vamp that place! How nice of you to send customers to the art store! Loved your pictures - I am just amazed at the heat wave you guys are having up there. I guess we're kind of used to that here in Texas...

MYSAVIOR said...

I love traveling with you!

Thank You!


Melissa G. said...

It sounds like you are having a lovely vacation. When my family moved back from Africa we lived near Auburn NY for three years. It's such a beautiful place in the summer!
I'm enjoying your pictures.

Theresa said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip!!! People should really visit their own stores as customers:). Have a blessed day dear friend. Hugs