Made it to Maine!

Bed in our hotel room
10:49pm
Day 2
Miles driven: ~320 (about 1000 overall)

I am going to keep this short as we have a lot of things planned for tomorrow and I am already pretty tired. Today we found ourselves back on the leaf-peeping highway along with a few dozen other peepers looking to get in on the fall action.

We set out from Saratoga Springs and made our way through New York to Vermont, New Hampshire and eventually Maine. We only stopped at three breweries today, my favorite being a locals-only speakeasy type of place with the only entrance being around back. It was fittingly called ‘Some Brewing Company.’ The most interesting drink I tasted today however, was had at Portsmouth Brewery. It was a hard cider brewed with habañero.

As we drove up the coast of Maine, we couldn’t avoid an obligatory stop for lobster from a seaside window. It happened to be within view of a nice looking lighthouse, so we peeped on that as well. The night was capped off with dinner with my cousin Andrew and his wife Christine and their new baby boy, Aiden. What a cute and very happy little guy! Without further ado, here are some photos from the day. Tomorrow, it’s off to Monhegan Island.

Breweries, Breweries and more Breweries

Sofa in our hotel in Saratoga Springs
11:33pm
Day: 1ish

What a difference one day makes. Yesterday was somewhat of a bummer. We experienced the overly kitschy Niagra Falls area, got turned away from one brewery and had an ho-hum experience at another. Not awful, but nothing to write home about… (I know, I know)

Today’s experience was vastly different. We started out in Buffalo and headed east. The first stop of the day was a happy mistake. We missed a turn and ended up in Utica, home to Saranac. We payed $5 each and sampled a few of their concoctions. The best in my opinion was a single malt barrel-aged scotch ale. It had all of the flavor of a shot of good whiskey without the harshness of a gulp of the hard stuff. We continued on.

Driving through the Adirondack area of New York was quite fun. Taking the back roads exposed us to a taste of the changing fall colors. Here is a sample:Starting to see some oranges and red.

While much smaller than yesterday’s falls, we did stumble across some rushing water and stopped to take some pics. Here are just a few: (We played around with a new fisheye lens as well as some of the shutter speed settings on my camera. I think we got some cool effects.)

After loitering around the river bend for a bit, we decided to get back on the road and find some more beer to drink. It didn’t take long to come across Adirondack Brewery. Had a nice stout and met a couple of dudes that pointed us in the direction of a new brewery in Glens Falls called Common Roots Brewing. I can’t say enough good things about this place. The beer was excellent, (I had a sour wheat ale and a citrusy ginger pale ale) but the company was better. We chatted with some of the locals – what up Chris and Josh – and had a great end to our first full day on the road. Keeping it short so I can get to sleep. Another long day of driving awaits in the A.M.

-Dave

p.s. Here’s one last photo that sums up our day.Good times, good beer.

The Exploitation of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls wasn’t what I expected. We had a specific destination of Niagara Brewing Company and I was excited to add that glass to our collection (we get a pint glass at all the breweries we visit). However, after four-plus hours in a car without stopping (despite the need for a restroom pit stop about three hours in) we arrived… only to find out it was rented for a private event and closed to the public all night. *sad trombone* We ended up eating at the Hard Rock Niagara, which was high on price and low on flavor. Meh.

But that wasn’t even the disappointing part. The whole Niagara Falls area was just so commercialized. I honestly felt like I was back in Vegas, only this time it was targeted toward 10-year old children. And not that I have anything against family fun, but it was extremely over-the-top, especially considering the town exists thanks to a natural landmark. The sidewalks were lit-up with neon signs from haunted houses and theme-park styles attractions and the streets were littered with wrappers from all the bulk candy, popcorn and pizza for sale. Music was booming from every possible location and parking was limited an over-priced. It just felt like the falls were being… exploited.

Then we went to the falls. (To add to the story I feel I should mention that I have never seen them before.) We walked a block or two to the lookout area, bobbing and weaving around the designated tourist paths. And then I saw them. The Niagara Falls. They were INCREDIBLE. I mean, HUGE. Way more massive than I anticipated. Oh, and did you know… There are TWO of them?! I mean, I guess that is why “Niagara Falls” is plural, but no one really mentions the fact that it isn’t just one waterfall. I had to take a moment and absorb the massive greatness around me.

But only for a second because it was cold and late and we really just wanted to get to our hotel in Buffalo. Also, our phones weren’t able to capture the beauty of the falls accurately, and again, we were freezing and didn’t want to walk all the way back to the car to get the good camera, so the only picture we have is the iffy one below.

Selfie at Niagara Falls

Any-who, we checked in to our hotel to find out we were upgraded to a suite due to my points (thanks, MSU). We are at the Hyatt and it is gorgeous. After dropping our bags off, it was 10:30 and we headed to the closest micro-brewery. After the last brewery was a bust I was looking forward to chalkboard-wall menus and chatting up the bartenders about IPAs. However, the brewery was far from that. It was packed with this very odd crowd of young professionals, perfectly dressed in muted tones with clean cut appearances. I felt like we were on a movie set. The beer was great and we chatted up a few locals that happened to be UM fans and at the game last weened before retreating for the night. (Don’t worry, we got a pint glass for the collection.)

I forgot to note the miles driven today and I am not going to the parking garage to check it out at this point, so I will leave you all in suspense until I update this post later.

Update: we drove 303 miles.

Tomorrow: hiking and photographing the Adirondack Mountains in upstate NY and then a few micro-brews before staying north of Saratoga Springs (for free on more of my points). Yessss.

 

Ready to Peep Some Leaves

We head out tomorrow in 15 hours on our trip and we are both totally ready. All packed, house is clean, work is set and car is prepped.

Just kidding. None of that is true.

One thing I have done to prepare for the trip was create a custom map (thanks, Google). As much as we wanted to be whimsical about the plans, we still wanted to see as much as possible so a basic route seemed logical. Therefore, I created a map with a general outline of the trip, although it is fully anticipated we will deviate along the way.

I separated all the places we wanted to visit into three categories—views, brews and chews—each color-coded accordingly. (See what I did there? They all end in “ews.” Eh? Eh? Cute, right?) There is also a rough schedule of our drive. If you see anything that is a must-see or must-do that I have neglected to include, be sure to let us know. I also plan to update it along the way as we stop at more places and I hope to add a photo for each place as well (full photo collections from the trip will live in albums elsewhere on the site).

I’d love to keep ranting about our trip and my love of color-coding maps, but I had better go pack. Dave is currently in the garage building something for his camera to slide on… less packed than I am.

Tomorrow’s adventure: surviving what will undoubtedly be the longest day ever at work and then Niagara Falls!

This just in: Hurricane Joaquin might be coming. Awesome.

Welcome to our new internet home, DaveandShannon.com!

If you’re reading this, there is a good chance you know one of us. If not, let me introduce myself, my name is Dave and my girlfriend is Shannon. This is our website.

A picture of us at a wedding!

We have a lot of upcoming trips and activities planned, and since neither of us are that into Facebook, we decided a website would be the best place to share these adventures with our family and friends. Our soonest upcoming adventure will be a nine day road trip to Maine and back. (More on that in the next post)

If you do want to follow our travels and experience our adventures second hand, then please sign up for our email list. You will get our travel posts every time a new one is published as well as the occasional general update. We hope you do, but no pressure.

To Sign Up: Add your email address to the signup form in the left sidebar and click subscribe. You will then receive an email from us asking you to confirm your subscription. At that point you will have to click the link in the email, and you will be subscribed to our site.

Sign Up: (The lazy method) Just send Shannon or I an email, text, Facebook message, call us, or drop by if none of those work, and we will gladly sign you up. If you got this far, you probably already have our contact info.

Until next time.

-D