Author Topic: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway - Saratoga/Lake George area  (Read 2422 times)

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway - Saratoga/Lake George area
« on: August 24, 2016, 07:35:12 PM »
I decided that it's about time to spend some quality time with my wife and children out of the four dull walls of my Brooklyn home. My wife and I decided that such a trip is long overdue, so we promptly started with the planning. Knowing that traveling in the Nine Days isn't ideal from both a halachic and practical perspective, we put it off for after Tisha B'av (namely, Tuesday because Monday was washing day for those heaps of laundry accumulating and overflowing).

Criteria we were limited to:
  • Any place requiring flying was out. Not all my kids have passports yet. (And it's not like I've covered everything locally already.)
  • All attractions had to be geared toward a family with young children.
  • No water activities (speed boating etc.). The little kids are just gonna squirm out of our grip and leap right into the water.
  • Animals were out. That's not what we saved this trip for. We can get enough of them locally.
  • Time of the day when we can do activities had to be kid (baby) friendly. (Which includes naps as well, though that's possible with a carriage.)
So with having to take all this into consideration we felt the decree of shevor es hachavis, ushemor es yainah... But baruch Hashem we pulled it off and it worked out perfectly.

After many ups and downs we settled on Upstate New York, in the Saratoga Springs/Lake George area for a few reasons:
  • It's not another typical trip to the catskills.
  • The views both on the way up and in the area are nicer than closer South.
  • There are convenient minyanim in the area.
  • There are enough not-your-typical attractions around the area.
The next step in the planning was where to stay. After some research I settled for the Hyatt Place Malta Saratoga conveniently located right off exit 12 on the I87. This was also only a ten-minute drive from the Belzer Yeshiva in Saratoga (also just a minute off exit 15 on the I87).
[During my first Mincha at Belz I found out that there's a Comfort Inn right nearby where I can get a room for pennies on the dollar via a PC number that some of the guys around there can give me. Though that option would've been a bit risky, as it only works for walk-ins. You cannot make a reservation with that; so if they are full then it's tough luck on you.]

I don't remember why, (perhaps because I thought I may get a better deal elsewhere) but I left the booking of the Hyatt for after Tisha B'av, only a day before I was to be arriving there. A BIG mistake on my end. On Monday I went online and only found availability for a room with a single king-size bed, which was very not ideal in my situation as I was traveling with several kids. More beds means better sleeping conditions for the little ones, and doubling them up doesn't become that difficult. So I went ahead and called up Hyatt on their main phone number to try and get a rep to book me for a room with two queen beds instead of the one king bed the site was showing. To my dismay the rep told me that ALL rooms are taken, and THERE IS NO AVAILABILITY. Not one to be turned off so quickly I hung up and started a search. Orbitz. Priceline. Expedia. Back to Hyatt's site. Start again... Nothing. All booked. I called up the local number of that particular location and tried my luck with them to see if they can get me something, the receptionist told me that there's nothing she can do, as they have no empty rooms. As I was talking to her I quickly did another search on their site and saw that indeed they do have a room with a king bed available. When mentioning this to her she told me that she can't see it on her end  :o, but I should feel free to go ahead and book it. Although it wasn't my first choice I booked it, figuring that I will first stick my foot into the door and later worry about squeezing in the rest of my body; I will call later to see if they can change me. I confirmed with the receptionist that I will have no loss if I cancel (that is if I can't change to the queen beds), as my stay is already within the next 24 hours. I booked. Promptly after booking I called them back up asking (I obviously displayed a tone of someone holding this reservation for a long time and just requesting a minor change) if they can just do this one small change to the two queen beds. Lo and behold my reservation was changed in an instant!  :o :o
This extremely helpful receptionist, Victoria, promised me that it's taken care of (although even after several attempts she couldn't send me a confirmation email of the change), and if I have a problem I can contact her.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 01:10:15 PM by AsherO »

Offline SrulyS

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 08:43:24 PM »
Well done.

Looking forward to the trip report.

Offline Tzadik Nistar

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 11:58:45 PM »
Nice start
Just came across this TR and plan to do a similar trip
Are you still going to continue the report?

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 03:35:17 PM »
Nice start
Just came across this TR and plan to do a similar trip
Are you still going to continue the report?
Would love to finish it. In the meantime I'd be glad to help you with any questions. You can post right here.

Offline Tzadik Nistar

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 03:52:08 PM »
Would love to finish it. In the meantime I'd be glad to help you with any questions. You can post right here.
en route already staying at the Marriott in Lake george
Any activities in the area not to miss?

Offline joe1234

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 04:09:40 PM »
Would love to finish it. In the meantime I'd be glad to help you with any questions. You can post right here.
What did you do there?
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Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2017, 06:18:10 PM »
What did you do there?
I did Sky Zone in/near Albany on the way in. I did Six Flags - Great Escape over there. On the way back we did Washington Park in Albany. 2 night stay in Hyatt Place Saratoga Malta. Very nice place. Had minyanim in Belz yeshiva Saratoga.

Offline joe1234

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 06:23:35 PM »
I did Sky Zone in/near Albany on the way in. I did Six Flags - Great Escape over there. On the way back we did Washington Park in Albany. 2 night stay in Hyatt Place Saratoga Malta. Very nice place. Had minyanim in Belz yeshiva Saratoga.
My kids are 3 and 1-1/2. What else can I do besides Washington park?
🏃🏻Time flies when you're in a rush

Offline avadah

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 12:07:49 PM »
What's the kosher food situation? Does belz help out with that?

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 04:37:33 PM »
My kids are 3 and 1-1/2. What else can I do besides Washington park?
Sky zone would be great for them. Good for all ages, and they were super nice, excellent service. Washington Park is more nature-like, probably more for you and your wife. It has beautiful grounds, a lake, a bridge, sprinkler etc.

IMO with kids at those ages I would say to focus such a trip more for your wife and yourself rather than for the kids, you should just throw in here and there enough kid-friendly activities/sites.

There was also a nice boat ride (ancient style) that I researched back then, it was just closed for the season. Find out about that too.

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 04:41:49 PM »
What's the kosher food situation? Does belz help out with that?
I'm not sure if it's official or not, but you can go there when the bachurim have meal time and ask around, they will tell you how to go about getting food. They are served with great abundance and it shouldn't be a problem. Also, there is a Walmart not far where you can get many basic items.

Offline Tzadik Nistar

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 05:47:17 PM »
My kids are 3 and 1-1/2. What else can I do besides Washington park?
The lake is very nice and scenic, you could rent a boat or you could opt in for the cheaper option and take a steamboat cruise on the lake
We also did lazy river tubing in Lake Luzerne (doable with small kids) and we drove up to Ausable Chasm (no strollers but you could go with a baby carrier)

Offline Alexsei

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 06:27:01 PM »
Topic title should include Saratoga/lake George for people searching in the future
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Offline AsherO

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway - Saratoga/Lake George area
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2017, 01:10:30 PM »
Topic title should include Saratoga/lake George for people searching in the future

Done, hope you and the OP approve.
PGF24BMGS

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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Re: A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway - Saratoga/Lake George area
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2017, 11:50:13 PM »
Done, hope you and the OP approve.
Sure. Now that this thread is getting more visits I feel forced to finish the TR...