Sunday, November 27, 2011

and your horse naturally won (m)

I had never been to Saratoga Springs so, imagine my delight to learn that Sam's hockey tournament is in Saratoga Springs.  After Jamestown, New York, this will be like going to a five-star destination.

We arrive the day after Thanksgiving.  T and I drive up, leaving Harrison home alone. 

Saratoga Springs is beautiful.  The race track looks the same as it must have at the turn of the century.  Old buildings with nice shops rich with character jot the downtown area.  The local bank is a huge structure of white marble, adorned with a large green wreath and red bow.  Mansions line one of the streets, all festooned with holiday decorations.  At first I think this reminds me of someplace else and then I realize it reminds me not of a place, but a time.  It is like going back 100 years, except with Starbucks.

I am impressed.

After the first hockey game, we are allowed to take Sam out to dinner.  This must be our reward for not having had our kids home for Thanksgiving as the team was preparing for the tournament.

We ask a local person to recommend a good Italian restaurant.  It's a Saturday night and the place is packed.  We can sit at the bar.

We saddle up to the bar...T, Sam and I.  On my right is a gay couple who are incredibly friendly.  They talk to us throughout the meal, recommending things to see and do while in town.  By the end of the meal, they invite us to their home to stay next summer.  I'm thinking about it. T is not.

Day 2, T and I take a 2-hour walk around town.  I shop a little, but mostly look.  I buy 3 Peppermint Pigs which I discover are "indigenous" to Saratoga Springs.  If you've never had a Peppermint Pig for the holidays, I heartily recommend you buy one online.  They are solid peppermint and you put them in a velvet pouch and take turns with people smashing them with a little hammer.  Then you eat the little pieces.  A friend of mine serves them at Christmas with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Perfect.

Sam's team wins the tournament.  After the presentation of the awards, the team gathers on the ice for a photo.  I walk out on the ice and take a picture.

As I am walking back out of the rink, the athletic trainer for the team and my husband are standing there, laughing.  Apparently, they are bracing for the possibility of my going down on the ice.  The last time I went down was 18 months ago when I blew out my right knee at a playoff game. 

"You haven't gotten that fixed yet?" the trainer asks, incredulous.

I'm still thinking about it, I tell him.

I'm beginning to think it's time.

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