Below is a photo from my teenage lifeguarding days. Is that Sun-in? You mean like the disgusting comb-in hair lightener/fryer? Why, yes it is! Just awful!
But as an adult with brunches, BBQs, business trips, and countless hours spent working in an office in front of a computer screen (not sunbathing while reading a book), it seems like you eat a few amazing tomatoes and it is gone. Its hot. It can be sticky. You can forget why you are doing what you are doing, and why you were so enthusiastic about it in the first place. (As a side note - if you lose your faith in food blogging, this post alone can restore it almost completely.) A day can end with a coworker calling you, you both recalling something so frustrating that you both just end up laughing until you are almost crying out of crazy satire. Then, when you think of it later while walking down the street, you crack up laughing again because out of frustration comes the best humor. That is the point you need to take a step back. Why are you doing what you are doing? How did summers that meant bonfires, lazy weeks on end, and underwater handstands become meetings, sweaty Brooks Brothers pencil skirts, and such a blur of social activity that October flies in with one big sigh of relief? (I so loved this brown bathing suit:)
Well, it will be gone before we know it, and we'll want something to look back on in a snowstorm. I'm sure I said that last year. So I have long had the fantasy of getting a season pass at somewhere like Grafton Lakes and swimming every day after work all summer. I've thought this for two summers. When I finally looked into it I saw Grafton Lakes closes at 6, and I normally drive by there at 5:30. I spent most of this summer wishing I could leave early and go swimming. Then, the last couple weeks I started to notice the sign would say they were open until 6:30 or 8:30, and I got really excited. I even packed my bathing suit today, but then saw on their website that there is no swimming Wednesday and Thursday. Then I went on a long internet search trying to find another place to swim on my way home. Crooked Lake seemed great, but I wasn't able to locate where a public beach might be. I finally came upon Snyder's Lake. Something sad happened to a coworker of mine earlier this summer, and I delivered some sourdough bread to her (sugar for celebratory, carbs for sadness - isn't that how life works?). I was driving to the Hungry Fish Cafe for take out that day and saw all the beauty that was Snyder's Lake. I went into a meeting the next day and said to her "We need to make a friend on Snyder's Lake so we can swim there every day!". She laughed, but in the end I do have a friend on Snyder's Lake and that is the town of North Greenbush (for five dollars per time or $75 for the whole summer). I don't know why all this information was so hard to find, except that these towns don't have cutting edge websites and a lot of important information is hid in PDFs. Well, the beach on Snyder's Lake is open until 8pm, for three more days granted, but I am all prepared for next year.
It felt like being on vacation on a random Thursday where my biggest plans for the night are eating my husband's puttanesca sauce and working on a freelance web project. All that feeling sweaty, bogged down, and generally exhausted turned into a crisp, fresh, reinvigorated feeling after about 40 minutes. Kids were making sandcastles, a guy that looked identical to my dad paddled next to me, and the lifeguards looked cool, competent and relaxed. My parents live on a lake and my mom always talks about a "golden moment" once a day. By that she means a moment when all of the houses on the lake are completely lit up by the sunset. Well, today on my way from point A (desk) to point B (couch) I saw that moment, just as the guy that looked like my dad sprayed golden droplets of summer sun with his casual backstroke. That's summer, and all that and the tomatoes (ok, cucumbers too) are what we can all remember in the dirty gray slush of February.
Other nice things about the Wynantskill area:
- The Route 43 Hannaford has seen quite a bit of renovations. In fact, Saturday is their Grand Opening. They have a wing bar that just lets hot onion rings sit there at my most hungry point in the day (when I really just need to buy an onion for the pasta sauce). Well, I gave in a bought a few today, and they were actually amazing so that is not a good thing. They seem to have expanded their organics, bakery and meat areas. They have also added a local produce section and the olive bar is looking good (we had some garlic and olive oil marinated green ones and black Moroccan ones tonight, and they were great). I can say I knew you when, Little Hannaford,
- We tried The Towne Tavern a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. We ordered a four cut white pizza as a appetizer, and the crust was delicious and homemade. Scott had half a BBQ chicken that was really moist and came with some delicious sauces (I think we liked the Jack Daniels one best). They were also really great about his nut allergy, and the waitress went and got him some sauce from the walk-in refrigerator since the tops of the bottles are all washed together. We really appreciated her not sending him to the emergency room. I had a turkey pot pie and really enjoyed the flavorful sauce, flaky topping, and fresh vegetables. Scott was less enthused about the beer selection, although I had one from Lake George that I really enjoyed. As a warning: if you are vegetarian you may not enjoy all the animal heads hung from the rafters, but I thought it was interesting to walk up close to say a stuffed bear that looks very scary and look him straight in the face. Fascinating. All around, nice people, food all better than it needs to be, and we'd love to go back.