Lake Lauderdale Balloon Festival

My wife and I always to to Cambridge, NY’s Lake Lauderdale Campground (http://www.lakelauderdalecampground.com/) each June for the Balloon Festival. Each year several balloonists, including our friend Mike Hernandez of Carried Away Balloons, meet at the campground to offer rides and show off their balloons to the crowds. These guys and gals are an amazing bunch. Very friendly and eager to show what they can do. Last year, in addition to full on flights, they offered tethered flights for those not willing to go very far or very high. Lake Lauderdale is a small campground in eastern Upstate New York, close to the Vermont border. It is a very picturesque location within sight of the Green Mountains of Vermont. The folks who run the campground do an amazing job of getting everyone in and fed and keeping everyone happy. I highly recommend a visit soon! Being an avid photographer, I could not wait to get out there and take some pictures as the pilots and crews got ready for their flights. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for very long, and the pilots only got one flight in before the rain and wind set in. Oh well, there is always next year!

And now to the photos!

Troy Food Truck Rally

My wife and son and I attended the food truck rally in downtown Troy at the Riverfront Park today. It was a beautiful day for it and the crowds showed it. My son and I guessed in excess of 2,000 people were there at 1 pm when we arrived. I can imagine that the crowds would swell even more as the day wore on and the sun went down. It lasted from 12 noon to 7 pm. The Riverfront Park was a great venue and the rally was held in conjunction with the Troy Farmer’s Market, which is held each Saturday morning. Because the crowds were so huge, there was very little room to move in the venue. The lines for each truck were massive and long. The food truck people were cranking it out as fast as they could, but because of the crowds, service was slow. Fortunately people did not seem to mind. We went to one truck and waited in line for what seemed like an eternity, but was really only about 20 minutes. The food, unfortunately, was not that impressive. We ordered a pulled pork sandwich and a prime rib sandwich. I love pulled pork, especially when it is all smoky and tender and covered with sauce. This sandwich, was none of that. The meat was dull and lacked flavor, and instead of being covered in a nice sauce, it had some sort of weird pickle relish topping that was really (I thought) incompatible with a classic pulled pork. Strike one. The prime rib sandwich sounded great on the menu board, roasted prime rib, on a ciabatta bun with blue cheese crumbles. Who couldn’t like that? Too bad the meat was full of fat and gristle. So much so that we could not eat it. There was way too much blue cheese on the sandwich which overpowered the meat flavor as well. Strike two. We wanted drinks with our sandwiches, but they were charging $3 for a 16 ounce unsweetened tea! Strike three! The only saving grace was the mac and cheese which was creamy, cheesy, and perfectly cooked. So it was not a total loss. Overall, it was a great idea to have all the food trucks in one area, but next time, more attention needs to be paid to crowd control. There was simply not enough room for that large a crowd. It was so crowded that it was difficult to tell where the lines were. I took a few picture at the event, but it was just so filled to capacity with people that it was very difficult to get a shot. Oh yeah, there was a band playing too. They were so loud that you could not hear the orders called from the food truck. I couldn’t tell what they were playing. God, I’m getting old…

Zach checking his phone amidst the crowds

More table space is needed next year

It’s hard to tell what is crowd and what is line

a hint of the mob scene

more crowd

waiting our turn in line

more line

getting closer

the pulled pork wandwich

more pulled pork

that is not BBQ sauce!

we found a nice spot on the walkway to sit and eat and people watch

looking north along the river front

The beard brothers (Woodstock is over dudes)

Saratoga Victorian Streetwalk

I recently went to the annual Victorian Streetwalk in downtown Saratoga Springs, NY. I think this was the 23rd year or so. People come from all over to see and participate in the various events. There were concerts, performances, food vendors, and of course, streetwalkers. Take a look.

A Christian Rock band getting started

A string quartet in a window

Dancers performing in a storefront window

Santa blowing cool jazz

A local choir performing in the cold
The streets were filled with people

The Adelphi Hotel looking very Christmasy