Mid-century Lodging: Lake Placid

Lake Placid, NY, nestled in the Adirondacks, is one of those perfect winter towns. Whether you’d rather be skiing or strolling and shopping down Main Street or taking a sled dog ride on Mirror Lake, the snow covered evergreen trees and constant snow flurries will delight you, particularly at Christmastime. My sister Annie O’Shea prefers to be sliding down Mount Van Hoevenberg on her sled at 80 mph (she’s on the USA Skeleton Team). When skeleton season rolls around, we typically find time to visit Lake Placid.

Lodging in Lake Placid provides an eclectic mix of luxury resorts, standard hotel accommodations, trailside cabins, small inns, and a look back to roadside America. The Lake House (part of High Peaks Resort) is a 1961 roadside motel. Rumor has it that the place was pretty run down and outdated until this spring 2014 when the hotel closed for a renovation. My family and I chose to stay here and we were pleasantly surprised. Imagine mid-century style combined with the Adirondack aesthetic in crisp, modern lines. Got it? Take a look at some of these pictures.

Welcome to the Lake House.

Welcome to the Lake House. Nice font, right?

Every room has a view of Mirror Lake (which was snow covered and difficult to see as a "lake").

Every room has a view of Mirror Lake (which was snow covered and difficult to see as a “lake”).

The lobby of the Lake House. It was a great spot for sitting by the fireplace (not shown, on right). The only downside was having to leave early on Friday because there was a private party in the lobby. That seemed odd for a hotel.

The lobby of the Lake House. It was a great spot for sitting by the fireplace (not shown, on right). The only downside was having to leave early on Friday because there was a private party in the lobby. That seemed odd for a hotel.

Another view of the lobby. Modern with the ski/ADK aesthetic, yes?

Another view of the lobby. Modern with the ski/ADK aesthetic, yes?

Logs (though the fireplace is gas) and a nice beverage. What better way to spend a chilly, snowy December evening?

Logs (though the fireplace is gas) and a nice beverage. What better way to spend a chilly, snowy December evening?

The chandelier - very creative!

The chandelier – very creative!

Another lobby view. Though the Christmas tree left much to be desired (it was a bad fake tree), everything else made up for it (unless you're my mother, who is still scarred from the cheesy tree).

Another lobby view. Though the Christmas tree left much to be desired (it was a bad fake tree), everything else made up for it (unless you’re my mother, who is still scarred from the cheesy tree).

Nice headboard in the room!

Nice headboard in the room!

The Lake House was great, and I’d recommend a stay there. It’s a great example of modernizing an outdated hotel while keeping the feel of its historic roots. See more photos on the website. What do you think?

And, of course, a view of the bobsled/skeleton track. Go Annie!

And, of course, a view of the bobsled/skeleton track. Go Annie!

Go Annie!

Preservation in Pink is breaking form today to congratulate my sister Annie, a member of the USA Skeleton Team. Today she finished in 2nd place at the World Cup Race in La Plagne, France. This is her first podium finish, her best finish ever AND to top that off, she broke the start record for this track.

Follow Annie’s progress this 2011-2012 season by finding her athlete page on Facebook. The other sisters and I are posting race updates, links to articles and how to watch Annie’s races.  For the most recent race in France, head over to FIBT Live TV. For Run 1, find “Women’s Skeleton – 1st Run, La Plagne, France.” Watch the beginning for a head first view of what a skeleton/bobsled track is like. Find Annie’s run at about 24:20 in the video. For Run 2, find “Women’s Skeleton – 2nd run, La Plagne, France.” She comes up around 46:25. This run is where she breaks the start record.

Annie O'Shea (USA) in 2nd, Mellissa Hollingsworth (CAN) in 1st, Katie Uhlaender (USA) in 3rd.

Congratulations, Annie! We’re all so proud!

Travels in Italy

Annie O’Shea is traveling through Europe this winter as part of the Intercontinental Cup Circuit for Skeleton. See older posts from Annie, 12.10.2008 and 12.17.2008. She sent me a few photographs from her travels, see below. Or you can check them out on her blog. Annie always mentions the charm of European cities for their narrow streets and shops, and historic buildings as the norm.  She may not be a preservationist by training (skeleton is her thing), but she always recognizes what people appreciate about historic preservation. And isn’t that what we hope for – that people appreciate what we do and what we value?  Thanks for sharing your photos, Annie. Go USA!

Venice, Italy.

Venice, Italy.

Road near Cortina, Italy.

Road near Cortina, Italy.

Cesana, Italy.  Location for races 5 and 6 of the Intercontinental Cup, Bobsled and Skeleton.

Cesana, Italy. Location for races 5 and 6 of the Intercontinental Cup, Bobsled and Skeleton.

Annie with more snow than she's ever seen! Cesana, Italy.

Annie with more snow than she's ever seen! Cesana, Italy.

Lake Placid Olympic Complex

On Friday the 19th, the USA Skeleton team members on the Intercontinental Cup Circuit compete in Lake Placid, New York. Two weeks they were in Park City, as Annie O’Shea describes in her blog.  You, as spectator, could actually attend these races. The Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex is not a gated community. It’s a tourist destination itself as well as being in a popular tourist region (the Adirondack Mountains).

The bobsled/luge/skeleton track at Lake Placid

The bobsled/luge/skeleton track at Lake Placid

A slider on the almost horizontal track, moving as fast as a vehicle (or faster!)

A slider on the almost vertical track (here), moving past spectators as fast as a vehicle (or faster!)

These athletes compete on the bobsled/luge/skeleton track from the 1980 Olympics. The 1932 Olympic sliding track remains near the 1980 track, but technology has since advanced and it is no longer used in competition.  You can take a (modified) bobsled or luge ride down the 1980 track if you so desire (not during competition, obviously).  Or, if you like the ice, but not the speed, you can ice skate on the outside speed skating track (at your own pace).

Also in the Olympic Complex, you can see skiing, skating, the biathlon, and other winter events. There is a museum dedicated to the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. If you’re a hockey fan, the Herb Brooks Arena is open for skating and viewing (as in the 1980 USA Hockey Team, featured in the movie Miracle).  To hockey fans, this is an important part of history, even though it dates to 1980, far from our typical historic benchmark of 50 years. It’s interesting to consider whether we, in the present, are capable of discerning places, events, and people who will be just as important fifty years down the road.   

Snow covered Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

Snow covered Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

Lake Placid provides a unique vacation in the Adirondacks with a lively historic downtown set on Mirror Lake and Olympians as your neighbors.

Good luck to Annie on Friday!  [Show your love of the red, white, and blue: Support Annie]

Annie, way back in 2005

Annie, way back in 2005

Annie O’Shea, Skeleton Athlete and Solo Road Tripper on I-15

Salt Lake City, UT to Calgary, Canada is a distance about 900 miles, involving snow and mountains this time of year. Most people probably wouldn’t choose to make this trip alone, except for my sister Annie O’Shea.  Then again, Annie is unlike most people I know. Annie is a member of the United States Skeleton Team, training for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.  What is the sport of skeleton? Oh, well, just imagine lying on your stomach, face first, on a sled that is just a few inches off the ice.  Now imagine doing that at about 80 mph, with your only protection being a super thin speed suit and a ski helmet. That is how Annie spends many of her days. You can see a video of the start on her website – see under Media Gallery.

Annie O'Shea, Skeleton athlete

Annie O'Shea, Skeleton athlete

During the winter months, the skeleton and bobsled athletes compete in the United States, Canada, and Europe.  For a number of reasons it was easiest for Annie to fly into Salt Lake City, Utah and rent a car to drive up to Calgary for her most recent competitions. Knowing my fetish for road trip photographs, she took many for me and wrote a blog post on her adventure.

Hay on the side of I-15 in Idaho. It was everywhere, Annie said.

Hay on the side of I-15 in Idaho. It was everywhere, Annie said.

The route from Salt Lake City to Calgary follows along I-15. If you have a GPS, do not rely on it, according to Annie. It did steer her in the wrong direction for part of her trip. Even though Annie had to travel the interstate for time consideration, she was still able to see the beauty of these states.

More hay in flat Idaho.

More hay in flat Idaho.

Montana!

Montana!

Annie, knowing how much I love crossing state lines, remembered to take the above photograph of the Montana sign. Montana, known as Big Sky Country, was quite cloudy as Annie traveled through, but its beauty is not lost in these photographs.

I-15 traveling through the mountains in Big Sky Country.

I-15 traveling through the mountains in Big Sky Country.

These photographs are more than enough to make me wish that I could have joined Annie on her road trip. She considered that factor, but also considered that I might slow her down a bit. Something to the effect of “Oooh, wait, can we take a picture of that? Let’s stop here!!”

Cloudy in Montana

Cloudy in Montana

Thanks to Annie for sharing these photographs! Be sure to check out her full account of the trip on www.annieoshea.blogspot.com.*  It will make you want to travel the Great American West. I can’t wait for my chance to get out to those states!
 
*We are in the midst of updating her website (www.annieoshea.com), but she does update her blog as often as her training schedule allows.