If you lovely folks have taken a peek at my Olympic list, you may have noticed that I've blogged about all my adventures except for one: my visit to Lake Placid. The reason for that is simple: I went to Lake Placid in 2005 (holy hell, that was so long ago), which was years before I started blogging. Well, no, that's a lie... I had my trusty Xanga in 2005. Buuuuut let's not talk about those Xanga days. Yikes.
I ended up at Lake Placid purely by chance and good fortune. My grandparents used to take my cousin Molly and I on a trip every summer. They were always small road trips except 2004, when we went to London in honor of our Bat Mitzvahs. So many years of excitement and planning had gone into the London trip that 2005 was a massive afterthought. Time was ticking away (as in, I'm pretty sure it was spring or summer already) and we still didn't even have a destination in mind. I was trying to brainstorm with my mom one day, and she had the stroke of genius to say, "You guys should go to Lake Placid."
Well, yes. Yes, we should.
Now, nobody else in that travel group cares about the Olympics even remotely close to the amount I do. I don't really remember why they all agreed to take an hours-long car ride to a teensy little city that basically exists solely on its Olympic legacy. But did I care? Nooooope. All I knew was that I was getting to visit my first Olympic city! Woop woop! And I have a distinct memory of Molly skipping down the street and singing the song in those old Vonage commercials, so I don't think I was the only one who enjoyed myself. ;)
(A note before we begin: this is 2005 photography. Judge accordingly. And not only that, these photos are at my house in New York, while I'm in Colorado. So my mom took photos of everything and sent them to me. Therefore, the images you see below are iPhone photos of photos from 2005. Lol, awwww yeahhhh. To say the quality may be suspect is a massive understatement. But hey, vintage is a thing, right? And this way it looks like I was actually there in 1980! :P
Also, I no longer remember who took any of these photos. Some may've been me, or my grandpa, or Molly... no idea. However, the ones that are slightly less wide than the others were definitely taken by me. My hard drive has crashed, like, three times since 2005, so I only have a handful remaining... that I've re-saved from Facebook. Sigh.
Also also, after every trip, my grandpa put together a book about it, which is almost entirely how I'm recreating the narrative of this trip. Details get a little fuzzy after nine years, y'know what I mean?)
We rolled into town in the afternoon and immediately headed to the convention hall to get tickets to an ice show the next day.
(This last photo is mine, even though it's not small. Somehow a big file magically survived until now!)
Since we got there relatively late, we didn't have enough time for a full activity, so we went to the Winter Olympics museum. (If I were taking this trip nowadays, I'd give myself AT LEAST half a day to meander through here. I don't remember how big it is, but I don't care. We know how I am about the Winter Olympics. And Lake Placid. Let's be real, I'd probably need a full day. Or two.)
I spy Eddie the Eagle in that picture!!
I could've sworn there was a picture of me in the bobsled. Alas.
The only thing I really remember about this museum is that at one point, there's a little TV playing the Miracle on Ice game. I really wanted to stand there and watch the last few minutes, but the museum's closing time was rapidly approaching so we had to move on. Siiiiigh. Talk about missed opportunities. And again, why I would need a zillion hours in this place.
Then there was this virtual reality simulator thing. Because goggles and a fan clearly make me feel like I'm a real ski jumper!
And then we popped into the ice arena.
This is literally the only mention of the ice arena in this book. And I recognize those red seats, so I know it's the arena built for the 1980 Olympics. And I'm pretty sure some stuff happened there that's kind of a big deal and I do not understand my total lack of reaction to being there. I mean, Miracle came out in 2004 and I saw it in theaters, so I definitely knew about it. And I wanted to watch the end of the game while we were in the museum, so I definitely cared about it. And that arena had been re-named in honor of Herb Brooks literally months before I set foot in it, yet it was so inconsequential to me that I didn't even committ it to memory?!?
This is me reaching back into the past and shaking my 14-year-old self violently. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, SELF?! GRRAAHHH.
We did go to that ice show the next night, though I'm not bothering to include photos from it because, hello, 2005 disposable camera photography in a dark arena. Not even worth the effort. We did, however, see a handful of former Olympians, including the Protopopovs. They're in the figure skating hall of fame and they're kind of a really big deal.
Before the show, though, we took a gondola lift to the top of Whiteface Mountain. The view was GREAT. Or something.
In all our middle school glory. Holy awkward.
Then we hit up the ski jumping complex!
So the next day we did some hiking and nature-y stuff that was very beautiful but not at all related to the Olympics so I didn't make my mom take pictures of it and send it to me. Daughter of the year, right here. But on our last day in town, we went BOBSLEDDING!
And here's a picture of Mirror Lake, because pretty.
And here's this, because HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Aaaand that is the entirety of my Lake Placid experience. It was really fun and a great starting point for my Olympic city visits, but I really, really need to make a return trip. Not only did I whiff on the hockey arena, but hello, the speedskating oval?! The site of Eric Heiden's flawlessness?! That wasn't even on my radar back then! (Trying really hard to refrain from getting too violent on my 14-year-old self again.) I also kind of want to swing past the high school in town, 'cause it was the press center. And the then-Olympic village, which has since been converted into a jail. And there was also this one hill that Herb used to get the hockey team into shape...
Okay, so I'd probably be a pretty baller Lake Placid tour guide. But anyway, I went to Lake Placid before I knew how to do Olympic city visits. So a part two to this saga is a must!