Weekends Just Got Better! Enjoy Your Morning Coffee on the Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


What do your weekend mornings look like?   Coffee and a bagel at your favorite coffee shop? Church with the family? Sleeping in followed by a leisurely read of the Sunday papers? Whatever your weekend morning looks like, chances are your morning involves coffee.  If you happen to be part of the working population, you know that coffee always seems to taste better on the weekend, right?!? Weekends are when you get to linger over every sip, taking in the aroma, enjoying the flavor of a hot, unrushed cup of java.  If you're thinking this delightful scenario can't get much better .....I'm going to prove you wrong.  It can get a lot better, I promise.  Want to know how?  Keep reading!
For anyone with an appreciation for the early morning serenity of Saratoga Lake and the sense of calm you feel when you take that first sip of hot coffee, I've got the perfect pairing for you. Captain Hal of the Adirondack Cruise & Charter Company has added another genius idea to his cruise options - Coffee Cruises!  Ever since our sunset cruise, I've been anxiously looking forward to the start of the Coffee Cruises because......a) I love coffee and b) I love the lake.  Combine the two and I expected I'd be in a caffeine-induced state of lake-loving euphoria!  So when Hal contacted me this week and invited me to come along on their very first Coffee Cruise, you can bet I jumped at the opportunity. That euphoria I spoke of........let me just say ..... that proved to be an accurate expectation.
Coffee Cruise on the Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co.

As it turned out, John and I were the only passengers on the maiden coffee voyage.  That didn't stop Captain Hal from providing his regular narrated tour, including history and landmark identification. Today's cruise wasn't on the lake though. Today Hal took us up Fish Creek, a totally different experience from the lake cruises.   Instead of cruising along the heavily populated shores of a fairly large lake, often busy with boat traffic, our coffee cruise took us along the very serene and placid waters of Fish Creek.  I could go on and on describing the beauty and atmosphere found along the way, but what is it they say? "A picture is worth 1,000 words."  I think I'll let the pictures do the talking on this one........

Saratoga Lake NY
Adirondack Cruise & Charter
Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co
Captain Hal and my date ;)
Adirondack Cruise & Charter
Adirondack Cruise & Charter
Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co.
Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co.
Coffee Cruise on Fish Creek

The coffee today was provided by 5 Points Market in Saratoga Springs.  It was hot and delicious.  Hal even provided tea for hubby who doesn't like coffee. The man has to have at least one flaw, right?   The daily papers are also available but honestly, I can't imagine how anyone could possibly look at anything but the beautiful view.

Sunday on Fish Creek
Saratoga Springs NY

Although our cruise took place in the early morning.....we did happen upon some other early risers enjoying the view and some water sports.

Adirondack Cruise & Charter
Fish Creek
What a catch!  
Adk Cruise & Charter Co
We also happened upon three different Great Blue Heron's, this one too busy preening to mind our intrusion.
Fish Creek from the Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co
Wildlife on Fish Creek
Fish Creek
The Adirondack Cruise & Charter Company Coffee Cruises are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00, 9:15, and 10:30 am. Guests even receive a souvenir mug to keep! This 60 minute, leisurely cruise on the lake or creek with a delicious cup of coffee is sure to be a hit. Hal already has plans for some delicious autumn foliage cruises up the creek with pumpkin coffee and cider donuts.  Now who can resist that???   

When Hal invited us on the cruise, I felt a little conflicted (and guilty) over missing church.  My daughter helped with that by reminding me that I might consider it 'church in the beauty of nature, where I might feel close to God'.   Brilliant thinking and perhaps maybe a little rationalization, but I knew I'd made the right decision as soon as I saw this.......
Fish Creek, Saratoga Springs NY
Someone (I wish I could remember who) once told me that when you see an X in the sky created by criss-crossing jet streams, it means that somebody you've lost is thinking of you and sending their love. Nobody has ever loved Saratoga Lake more than my dad, so I couldn't help think of him this morning.  I know that if he were here today he would be so happy to know that someone was loving the lake as much as he did and was showing it off and passing down its history.  I may not have made it to church today, but I'm pretty sure God was with me and so was my dad.

For more information or to book a public charter - either a sunset cruise or coffee cruise, or a private charter for that someone special in your life, you can visit the Adirondack Cruise & Charter Company website and book online.  

To follow Adirondack Cruise and Charter Company on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with cruise schedules and to keep abreast of any fun new cruise ideas Captain Hal dreams up:

On Instagram:  @adkcruise
And if you missed my first post featuring our Sunset Cruise......you can read it here:
Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co
The Adirondack Cruise & Charter
Adirondack Cruise & Charter

Thanks Captain Hal for helping keep Saratoga Lake's history alive!  I can't wait to see your Steamboat come to fruition.  If dreams and determination are what got you this far, I know a steamboat isn't just your fantasy.  One day history will repeat itself with a steamboat on Saratoga Lake.  Oh......and in case you're wondering..........the only thing that could make the Coffee Cruise better would be if it happened on Monday.  We could all use a little coffee-cruise tranquility (and a lot of caffeine) on Monday!  In the meantime, coffee on the Adirondack Cruise boat.......well it just doesn't get much better than this. You don't need to drink coffee to enjoy the Coffee Cruise, but it sure doesn't hurt if you do.

Have a great week and thanks for coming along on Life As I See It!

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For Fresh, Delicious Food with Options for Everyone, Check Out Galleria 7 Market - Not Your Mama's Food Court

Sunday, August 21, 2016


In life, everyone has an opinion......about everything.  That's what makes life interesting.  One thing we can all agree on, I think, is that we all love to eat.  We may not all love the same foods......and let's face it, that can sometimes make dining out a little tricky. But I have something that might help make your next family or group outing peaceful and fun.  Today's post features the Capital District's newest eatery..........Galleria 7 Market, Latham's version of places like Chelsea Market in NYC, Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and Faneuil Hall in Boston.  I'm not a regular traveler on Troy Schenectady Road, so when I got a glimpse of a mouthwatering pizza on @bitemeshowny Instagram, I knew I had to check it out!

Napoli Bakery
Galleria 7 describes themselves as 'a curated open air food market experience cultivated over great food.'    That great food can be found at any of the nine vendors found at Galleria 7, some familiar to me, some not.  Anyone who enters hungry, with a passion for food, might have a hard time choosing from even a modest nine eateries within, but once you're able to choose there's no way you'll be leaving hungry.
Latham NY

It doesn't take much to overwhelm me when it comes to food choices, so after checking out all the options, I must admit we went with an old favorite - Gershon's Deli.  In case you hadn't heard, Gershon's recently opened this, their second location just down the road from their Union Street location.  There isn't a bad menu option at Gershon's, but I have a hard time choosing anything but their corned beef sandwich, each and every darn time we visit.  I don't know how they make it, but their corned beef is the best on the planet, tender, not fatty and piled warm on rye with mustard.....you can't beat it.  We shared a sandwich and a cup of my favorite of their soups - the white bean and escarole.  And I'm sorry to say, I did not take a photo of either.
Galleria 7 Market

Galleria 7 Market in Latham

For fish lovers, there's Hooked, a fresh fish market where you can buy fresh fish and bring it home to cook yourself or you can order one of their cooked meals. Galleria 7 Market opened back in January, with Hooked Seafood Market being their first food vendor to open. 

Galleria 7 Market

Hooked Seafood Market, Galleria 7 Market

Hooked Seafood Market
 Owners were apologetic about the lack of variety yesterday, thanks to a very busy Friday.  Their fresh seafood arrives from Boston twice a week.
Hooked Seafood Market
For  those looking for healthy options, The White Apron offers clean, natural, affordable food including juices, smoothies, wraps and salads. 
Galleria 7 Market

Galleria 7 Market

Galleria 7
Pizza lovers will go crazy for Anna's Woodfired Pizza.....looking around at yesterday's patrons, we saw several pizza's and as delicious as my corned beef sandwich was, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that we didn't order pizza.  Oh well.....next time.  
Galleria 7 Market

Galleria 7 Market

Galleria 7
 Carnivores will find their happy place at Chops & Hops!  Chops & Hops sells USDA Prime, dry and wet aged small farm all natural beef, ABF pork and chicken and fresh made rope sausage. And....if you're there for some lunch, check out these creative options:
Chops & Hops Menu

Galleria 7

Also available but not photographed this visit is Kobe Hibachi, LaPasta Di La Posta  (operated by Innovo Kitchen) featuring fresh made sauces and pasta, and Bad Piggy Barbeque.  

Galleria 7
And what's a meal without dessert?  Sad, just plain sad.  But don't despair because Napoli Bakery of Schenectady rounds out the selection offering paninis and a wide array of delicious baked goods. Napoli Bakery is the vendor responsible for those beautiful peaches at the top of this post.  Since we split our sandwich, we had just a little room for dessert.  I asked for recommendations (to save us the temptation of ordering one of each) and ultimately came away with their popular Pistachio cookie (O.M.G. why did we only buy one???), a chocolate dipped macaroon, a little square layered with chocolate, coconut and raspberry, and a mini cannoli.  These fit into a small sandwich-sized to-go container which we brought home for later....except for the Pistachio cookie which we split and devoured in the car.  It took all the discipline I could muster not to go in for 4 more.  Those babies are amazing!
Once the word is out that all the vendors are now open), I'm sure Galleria 7 will be packed.  Get there before that happens!  Check the hours before going though......we dropped in today for a pizza and more cookies and found both vendors closed.  Galleria 7 is located on Troy Schenectady Road in the Plaza 7 Commons where the bowling lanes used to be, just near the corner of Vly Road.
The open air market holds seating for 90 inside and 36 outdoors during good weather.  
Galleria 7 Market

For more information on individual vendors, I've included links below for their Facebook pages and websites.

To read more about Galleria 7, you can read this article in the Albany Business Review:


This is definitely one of those places you need to check out over and over again - at least 9 times, I'd say.   This might look like your average food court, but trust me, it's not your Mama's food court. This is delicious, fresh food.........maybe even better than Mama makes.  Check it out soon!

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Before Skip and Joanna Gaines There Was Henry Davis Sleeper - Welcome to Beauport

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


If you're one of the millions of folks out there who drool over HGTV and feel as if Skip and Joanna Gaines are your best friends, you might get an idea of what visitors to Beauport might have felt like back in the day.  Henry Davis Sleeper is considered one of America's first professional designers.
Henry Davis Sleeper was born in 1878 in Boston, MA, the youngest child of Civil War veteran Major Jacob Henry and Maria Westcott Sleeper.  Due to ill health as a child, Sleeper's education was by private tutor.  Henry Davis Sleeper never married or had children.   In 1908, he began building his 'summer cottage' overlooking Gloucester Harbor.  Over 27 years, Sleeper continued to enlarge and modify his cottage until eventually it boasted a whopping 40 rooms.  Sleeper’s original Little Beauport, named after Le Beau Port, French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s description of Gloucester Harbor, was a relatively small cottage situated on a modest lot.  In 1921, Henry opened his interior design office, making him an official interior designer.

The Golden Step Room - The middle window is designed to drop down into the foundation so that guests would feel they were eating outdoors.
Each of the forty rooms at Beauport is distinguished by a historical or literary figure, a theme, color, shape, or object. No two rooms are the same.  The interior and exterior of the house contain Sleeper’s lifetime collection of curiosities, colored glass, folk art, china, and silhouettes in every nook and alcove.  The house is framed by newly restored Arts and Crafts-style terraces that include intimate garden rooms with dramatic views of the harbor.  Just for fun, here are some interesting facts and figures about Beauport:

  • Of the 40 rooms, a tour generally only includes about 26 rooms.
  • The 'cottage' is 14,200 sq. feet (fourteen thousand two hundred)
  • There are 12 bedrooms
  • 8 bathrooms
  • 12 fireplaces - although not all are functional, some are for show

This is not the first time I've blogged about Beauport, although my original post went pretty much undetected two years ago.  I urge you to check it out (Anything but a Sleeper - The Beauport Estate). 
After Sleeper’s death in 1934, Beauport was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Charles McCann, who left most of Sleeper’s arrangements and collections mostly intact.  Their heirs later donated the property to Historic New England as a permanent memorial to Helena Woolworth McCann.  It has been open to the public ever since.
Beauport, Gloucester MA
The Octagon Room
Want to see more?   I thought so...........

Sleeper McCann House (Beauport)
Amber Glass Collection
Sleeper McCann House, Gloucester

Beauport Mansion
Linebrook Parish Room

Sleeper McCann House

Bellfry Chamber

Beauport, Gloucester
Beauport Mansion
Golden Step Dining Room

Sleeper McCann House

Sleeper McCann House, Gloucester MA

Beauport (Sleeper McCann House)
China Trade Room - Note the Hand-painted Wallpaper
Beauport Mansion
Sleeper McCann House

Beauport, Gloucester MA

Sleeper McCann House
Sun Porch
Beauport, Gloucester MA

Sleeper McCann House

Gloucester MA

Sleeper McCann House
Book Tower
Sleeper McCann House, Gloucester MA
Desk in Book Tower - Note curtains made of wood

And for some exterior shots.....

Sleeper McCann  House

Sleeper McCann House in Gloucester MA

Sleeper McCann House in Gloucester MA

Sleeper McCann House Overlooking Gloucester Harbor
Was able to catch this view from our cruise on the Thomas E. Lannon Schooner
Sailing the Seas on the Thomas E. Lannon

Wonder how all these rooms translate in a floor plan?  Here's  how..... and remember, this estate grew to 40 rooms over a 27 year period, so access from one room to another might be a tad unconventional.

Beauport MA

Beauport Mansion

Sleeper McCann House

Sleeper's style and taste may be just a tad different from that of Joanna Gaines, but back in the day, he had plenty of fans who lusted over his sense of style and ability to bring his visions together with such flare.  
What's nice about Beauport is not only it's beauty on the inside, but the grounds surrounding it and the fact that Beauport is still one of the few places where you can get a live tour, not the kind where you sport headphones and tour at your own pace.  A live narration really brings Henry Davis Sleeper's spirit alive as you tour the estate.  Beauport, The Sleeper McCann Estate, is open to the public from May 28-October 15th, Tues-Sat.  If you find yourself in Gloucester or Rockport, I strongly urge you to take an hour to tour this very unique and beautiful estate.  For more information, please use the links below:
To see more photos, check out my earlier blog post:
To check out Beauport's website for information, directions and admission information:
To watch a great video tour of Beauport: 

Thanks for reading!  Come back soon for more adventures in Life As I See It.  I have one more installment to my Gloucester/Rockport series.  Don't miss it!

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