Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hip Getaways - Go Bobsledding!

Did you know that you can literally go bobsledding, 6.5 hours away from Toronto?  With that news, we packed our bags and headed down to Lake Placid, NY - where the Winter Olympics have been held many a time before.  We took a spin around the bobsledding track for the low, low price of $79.99 USD which includes a T-shirt, sticker, pin and souvenir photo with your team.  Think of the value!  How's that for a, "What did you do this weekend?"  Now don't be afraid, children with Dora the Explorer jackets are lining up in front of you.  If they can do it, so can you.
When you arrive at the track, you are given a time slot and then a big old Chevy with a BOBSLD vanity plate comes to pick you up.  A short ride to the top will lead you to a starting point about a 1/3 of the way down the track.  Starting too high up is a little too crazy for your first run.  So how fast do you go?  It really depends on the weight of everyone in your sled.  You will feel the G forces on this 35 second ride with a professional driver, brakeman and one other rider.  So don't overdue it on the bacon and eggs at breakfast...just in case.  It can get up to 70 miles per hour.  If you're really crazy, you can do it all again on your stomach at 30 miles/hr down hard ice in a little scary contraption called the Skeleton.
After hitting the ol' bobsled track, there are lots of fun things to do in Lake Placid - including snowboarding down Whiteface Mountain.  See my sad attempt below.  Even if you're terrible at snowboarding like me, you can still enjoy the fresh mountain air, defrosting rivers and gorgeous winter scenery.

Stay overnight at the ultra swank Whiteface Lodge with their heated outdoor pool, hot tub, private ice skating rink and snowshoe trails.  Everything in their activity yurt (below) is included in the price of your stay, so just help yourself to your size and go WILD!  The whole place looks like a rustic log cabin with stainless steel appliances and granite counters of course.  We visited in the summer and here's what it looked like.
So if luxurious accomodations is not really in your budget, head on over to The Paradox Lodge (above).  It's a charming bed and breakfast near the main strip of town.  The rooms are small (from $145/night), but the food is amazing.  They even infuse their own vodkas for some very strong martinis.
So if you're stuck on what to do this weekend, go for a scenic drive through the Adirondacks and go bobsledding!  It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience that's literally as far as Montreal.  Explore the lovely town of Lake Placid and the microbreweries in the area.  Sneak in your last fix of winter while you still can.

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