OUT AND ABOUTI have said it before and I will say it again; I like playing tourist in my hometown. Although I know many people who can be less than enthusiastic about where they live and others who take their local area and what it has to offer for granted; I love the New York State Capital Region. We are blessed with the best proximity to many different geographic areas; from lakes and rivers and beaches to mountains to cities to countryside and rural areas. Every day could be an adventure if you want it to be. The secret is to look at it as a stranger; to set out with an open mind and appreciate what you have. So when we do head out and about, we set a route with multiple stops and try to mix it up a bit each time.
When we travel out-of-town for getaways and vacations we enjoy site seeing, history, culture, nature and unique local points of interest; so why not look for those things close to home.
Today we headed out with just a few stops in mind; I did have to make a couple of errand stops first but after that business was complete off we go.
The first stop is a favorite Lakeside Farms Cider Mill, Country Store and Gift Shopppe in Ballston Lake. The Gift Shoppe was a new addition last year, very cute and the Country Store has delicious baked goods.
The next stop was lunch at Villago Ristorante overlooking beautiful Ballston Lake. It was just a little too warm to sit outside but the big windows give a perfect view of the lake.
We enjoyed arancini, crispy truffeled artichoke hearts and individual pizzas.
And luckily there was a slice of pizza left from each personal pizza to bring home for later. We enjoyed a four cheese with olives and a white pizza with spinach, artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives. The left overs will be perfect later on this evening.
Ballston Lake is one of many local lakes in our area.
Next we headed to Fo'Castle Farm Country Store. Like Lakeside it is filled with unique, primitive, vintage and gourmet items and of course wonderful baked goods.
Last stop before we head home is The Speckled Hen.
The one thing about being out in our area is being home before rush hour! So we try to be home by 3:00 p.m. Yes, the NYS Capital Region is a very densely populated area, we are comprised of 4 good sized cities (and many towns and villages in between) with many large public and private employers. We are the Capital of the State of NY after all, so there is a great deal of business happening here. So let's just say rush hour can be pretty ugly.
So homeward bound with the fruits of our labor, maybe a dip in the pool then settling in for the night.