DAY 6 -- Diners, Pirate's Cove + Bloody Pond Road!
Trip Start Jun 13, 2004
7Trip End Jun 19, 2004
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Cloudy with catbirds. We start our next to last day at the Mt. Prospect Diner. They have excellent home fries, as we found out, some of the best we've ever had, and their coffee is pretty decent. I had scrambled eggs with cheese and an english muffin, Tris had silver dollar pancakes (yum!) and Chris had scrambled eggs too. We had to fortify ourselves for the big outing -- Pirate's Cove minigolf was finally open!!!
While the day started out cloudy, the weather mentioned that it would get sunny and pretty darn warm. Apparently I was the only one who was paying attention to our silly weather forecaster, because Tristan and Chris wore dark t-shirts and long pants when we set out on our pirate quest. The gravity of their foolish clothing decision was to catch up with us shortly!!! Little did they know...
We arrived at Pirate's Cove ready to do battle. We have experienced the Pirate's Cove in Old Orchard Beach, Maine before, but that was NOTHING compared to the MAMMOTH presence that is the 36-hole Pirate's Cove minigolf in Lake George. And the fact that there was another Pirate's Cove golf back down Route 9 a little ways closer to town. It was especially nothing next to the second course's built-in PIRATE SHIP!!! Anyways, on to the golf.
This golf course is CRAZY. It roams all over the place with the steepest, wackiest hole arrangements I have ever seen. It's really quite marvelous. Many minigolf courses have a fairly bland set-up. Not this one. You'll feel like you've really experienced something after you trot up and down a million hidden staircases and winding walks here. This did not please Tristan and Chris at all as the day got sunnier and they began to slowly roast in the juices of their golfy doom.
We played on through all 36 holes as the overhanging trees flung little polleny thingies at us. Tristan and Chris plotted my death as I kept having fun. We read a lot about pirate history and pirate codes of conduct, which may very well have saved my hide as the heat kept going up and Tris and Chris baked in the sun more and more.
Then, finishing this course, we went on to the NEXT Pirate's Cove. This one was peopled with bizarre mannequins dressed in pirate costumery, and had more shade. This is lucky. I wouldn't want to have to drive back to Maine all by myself and try to explain to two different families why their loved ones weren't going to make it back because they melted into little black puddles on the minigolf course.
Then I can't even imagine why (except for it was our last day in Lake George, and on the last day of a vacation one might be prone to doing much more crazy things than normal, faced with the upcoming long car trip and a return to the cursed office on Monday), we went golfing at Goony Golf again. This time I left my camera behind and simply enjoyed the ludicrous ambiance without getting distracted by trying to take pictures of every marvelous thing there. I LOVE GOONY GOLF. Period. I will love it 4-EVA.
72 holes of minigolf later...
We went looking for souvenirs and for some sneakers for Chris who seemed to think that her feet were going to fall off if she didn't get some NOW. This involved going into lots of hideous mall and strip-mall type establishments and getting creeped and freaked out for what seemed like an eternity. I thought about beating Chris over the head with some sneakers to hurry her along, but she didn't look much happier than we did so I called it a draw.
The souvenir shopping part was just surreal -- again, Lake George seems to be flooded with irrelevant Hong Kong made gewgaws that you find in any beach town, with the apparently important distinction that this time they are stamped with "Lake George" instead of "Daytona Beach". Bleah!
One shop was a huge souvenir and t-shirt emporium, and we found the weirdest stuff there. Tristan tries to make me wear a hat any time he can find one to stick on my head, so I was doomed to become a cheeseburgerhead for at least a moment or two. Luckily it didn't get stuck on my head or I would have had to saw it off, and then Chris and Tristan would have had a hard time explaining my headless body wandering around looking at souvenirs as brainlessly as ever, gouting a spurt of blood every now and again for good measure. This also seemed like a good time to get stuck in a shiny red plexiglass apple car with Lowly Worm. Shut up! Chris and I are easily entertained.
Tristan bought Bocce Ball Team baseball hats for the guys in Covered In Bees back home so they could thoroughly bond on his return, and we also bought strange miscellaneous patches that said things like "Meat Pies" and "Inspector" and who knows what else. I think there was one about a something-Peach Radiation Facility. Hee hee! I bought Greg a goofy pirate shot glass that said Lake George on it (of course).
We tried to track down Bloody Pond Road on our way back (this is the same strange urge that almost made us stop at the town called "Vorheesville" earlier). We had seen the sign before, so we backtracked and drove down the actual road itself. We drove and drove and drove, but saw no pond. How strange! We did find Mighty Mouse, though. A giant Mighty Mouse on an elephant!! You try to explain that. I gave up explaining at took pictures of his giant elephant butt and Mighty Mouse's tights-wearing butt. Yup.
Also spotted on Bloody Pond Road -- one of those wacky "Air Mail" gimmick mailboxes placed about 10 feet up in the air. I thought it was hilarious but Tristan and Chris tell me this is a typical trick and they've seen it a thousand times. I laugh anyways! Ha ha to you!!!
But first, a quick sidetrip. All week long, in fact months ago when we first started investigating Lake George online, we had been taunted and tempted by the mention of live Tiki Dancing shows at the crazy Tiki-themed Howard Johnson's. The shows were supposed to take place on weekends, and this being one of those promised Fridays, it seemed like the time was ripe to inquire about this marvel of Lake George tomfoolery. We drove up to the Tiki Lounge all a-twitter.
Since Tristan and Chris are stick-in-the-mud-roasted-chickens they stayed in the car as I went in on an exploratory mission to see what I could see in the marvelous land of Tiki. The lobby was hushed and quiet, with the trickling sound of water fountains from the tropical pool lining one side. Through glass doors I could see the wonder that is The Tiki Lounge. It was dark and silent, alluring like a sultry tropical temptress in grass skirts, draped with exotic flowers, beckoning you... I tore myself away from the panes of glass that separated me from my tropical paradise, and made my stumbling way down the hall to the main hotel lobby, where I tried to look like a perfectly normal tourist (I spent a lot of the week doing this, kind of an undercover exercise).
The man and woman at the front desk were very helpful and not so helpful all at the same time. They were helpful in that they were friendly, but not so helpful in that they dashed my hopes of seeing Tiki dancing live in front of my face, by saying that they didn't think the dancers were even in town yet as their shows didn't start until July and August, and there were no Elvis performances at this time either. POO! A big fat poo.
The desk folks had mentioned hopefully that there were live comedy shows in the lounge until the exotic performers arrived later in the season, but this only made me back quickly away and turn tail for the car. Eek! Live comedy?! Tristan and Chris expressed disappointment but secretly I think they might have been feeling relief. Ha ha!
Disoriented by the sudden void of Tiki-dancing and Elvis-impersonating going on in town, on our way back to the cabin, we noticed a suspiciously larger number of folks on the main drag, and in the parking lot of our formerly quiet motel. While at first it seemed like a possible hallucination because of our sudden shock about the Tiki-dancers and Elvis, on reflection it seemed more likely that the real summer tourist season was beginning to kick in. Tired and soon to be heading homeward, we were astonished at the hordes of people that had suddenly appeared in this little town we've had veritably to ourselves for the last several days.
A welcome addition to the sidewalk crowds is... FRANKENSTEIN!!! Yes, out in front of Frankenstein's House of Wax is the man himself, loitering about and being gawked at by two young girls. I almost had a conniption fit and made Tristan stop the car so I could take pictures. I should have frickin' gone right over but my brain was addled by shoe-shopping and Too Much Mini Golf. Some things you just regret for the rest of your life.
Once in the cabin we were alarmed by a van full of large white males that was apparently moving in next door. We were pleased later that they didn't turn out to be too rowdy, although a guy we thought was one of them did try to come into our cabin after dark when he became confused and disoriented. We were up watching TV and heard a noise, and looked up to see a pale face looking in at our screen door, then quickly disappear. Hee hee. The weirder thing is that he turned out to belong to an actual motel ROOM, not a cabin. So why was he trying to get into a CABIN?! Duh.
Another strange character was also spotted wandering about, during the daytime. He, like the pompadoured gentlemen we spotted a couple of days earlier, looked like something out of a strange 60s movie. He was 30-something, had a bright green shirt, strange sandy-blonde wiggy vintage hair, glasses, and a neckerchief like Fred from Scooby Doo! I mean, a completely BRIGHT RED scarf. What the heck?! I kind of wish I had secretly followed him and taken pictures... man! No one will believe me otherwise.
We had lunch at Capri Pizza, but took a good side trip to the nearby arcades while we waited for our pizza to be ready. Man, what a side trip! We found an old shooting gallery in one of the arcades, with targetshooting that activates bizarre animatronic creatures. Most of the targets still worked. The piano player played honkytonk saloon music, and we had a blast.
After, I tried using the "ELECTRIFYING!" Fester Addams game. I've seen it before because the arcade in Old Orchard Beach has one, but now seemed the perfect time to finally try it. I almost held on for the whole thing, but there's just a point where your blind survival instinct kicks in and then your reckless need to prove yourself on a dumb arcade gimmick loses out to your hardwired caveman reactions. Ha!
We returned to the cabin, another fabulous pizza in hand (too big to fit in its box!!!). This was followed by some early packing. Tris and I played a little pingpong near the pool. Tristan kicked my butt as usual. Then we traipsed off to A&W for more delicious A&W goodness, I mean, heck, we're on vacation! Besides... sooooo many softserve flavors!!! It seemed entirely appropriate that my dinner was a pumpkin softserve cone. Mmm, nutritious. Tristan got a delicious banana shake, and Chris got a German Chocolate shake.
Speaking of refreshment, I drank a ton of beverages throughout the day. Must have been all that minigolf. I had coffee in the morning, then cherry coke, and gatorade fruit punch, then V8 and some juice. Partly this is affected by the fact that most of the minigolf courses have handy vending machines positioned about with which to quench your golfy thirst. Yep, they are smartypants about that.
Back to the cabin, then, to feed the rapacious duck on the dock and his friends, and watch a terrific thunder storm come in over the Adirondacks. It seemed like a good idea to get some sleep tonight for the long drive back, but I don't know if any of us did!
It was far too tempting to stay up and watch horror movies and to listen in case our neighbors did anything weird and loud. Jaws: The Revenge was on AMC, followed by Psycho. And not just any Psycho -- Psycho III!!! The funniest part was as Psycho III was starting, the sounds of a marching band with xylophones emerged quite clearly from somewhere north of our hotel. *grin* Again, only in Lake George.
NEXT: THE SAGA CONCLUDES WITH DAY 7 -- THE RETURN HOME