Steve and I are not on my Excellent Adventures all the time, so I think I am going to have to go back to my vault of memories for other adventures that we have gone on. I don’t want to risk losing any of my 40 followers, do I?
I had heard of the Point in Saranac Lake for years. It was listed as a five star property in the Mobil Travel Guide as one of the top properties in the United States to travel to. It had been outside of our price point, but as Steve moved up the corporate ladder, I insisted on a treat for our 31st anniversary. He had made the mistakes of telling me to make plans…so I decided to see if there were any openings. Yay, there were!
So we loaded up the car and were off. The Point is a little over four and a half hours from our house. The majority of the trip is on the Thruway and the Northway. The last bit on secondary roads, seemed to take forever. The Point is a former Great Camp of William Avery Rockefeller II. It was completed in 1933, and was named Wonundra meaning “big rock” an Australian Aborigine word. In 2007 a group of investors bought the property and turned it into a resort that could host 22 guests at a time.
I was really excited about going, Steve not so much. The dress code was black tie on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Steve does not like to wear black tie at all. I love a formal look, especially my man at the end of the evening with his bow tie untied.
After following the expert directions we arrived at the call box where we announced ourselves. The gates were opened and we entered the grounds. The year before we arrived strong storms had hit the area causing a loss of old trees. The trees were replanted but Steve thought the grounds were especially spoilt. I not so much.
We were met and right away we were given a glass of champagne. What a way to start your stay! We given a tour of the grounds. It was a pretty expansive tour and by the time we were brought to our small cottage “Lookout” all our bags had been unpacked! Talk about service! The room was lovely. It had a king size bed, fireplace and great seating to look out at the lake.
The door to the left hid the bathroom and the door to the right was for the closet. I love a bed with lots of pillows, especially if I don’t have to make it, or get it ready for the evening!
We were informed that an unusual guest would be staying at The Point that weekend. The name of the guest was M. One name. M. was unusual in that during the day M.dressed as a man, and from cocktail time on as a woman. Okay, this was going to be interesting! We were told about M. as one time a guest remarked to M.at lunch that they had met his sister the prior night at dinner. After that guests were given a heads up!
Later that evening we all gathered for cocktails around a pool table and mingled, “Where are you from? Have you ever been here before? Etc. etc. I noticed a small woman with dark hair and and a white sheer organza blouse with a black bra underneath. Was this the famous M? I didn’t get a chance to talk as she disappeared before I got a closer look.
We were then called in to the great room for dinner. Two big round tables were set up, and you could sit where ever you desired. Now this picture shows the Black tie crowd. I probably dressed nicely, but definitely not black tie for Friday night. Steve and I chatted with each other and then I saw a woman in a pink confection similar to an outfit that as a child I would have had my Barbie doll wear. Sparkly, skirt poofed out to there with lots of crinoline, it was a five year old’s dream dress!
“That dress is gorgeous” I related to Steve! “I’m going to go talk to her!”
“No, you may not!” Steve was definitely unsettled. Although he knew that he was fighting a losing battle. There would be no stopping Linda on a mission! I considered his remarks, and swiftly turned away from Steve and went off to confront Ms. Pink Frou Frou.
“Hi, I’m Linda, that has got to be the most amazing dress I have ever seen! Is it couture?
“I’m M., no it’s not couture, but I did have it designed for me”, and so the chatting begun.
“Where are you from?”
(That’s a long way to travel.)
“How many times have you been here?”
“Seven this year.”
(Oh my. That’s a really long trip, and with that frequency. There must be a back story somewhere!)
“Well are you an actress or something? How can you afford to come from Japan that often?”
“A very wealthy woman adopted me.’
And so it went on. Steve gradually approached and joined in the conversation.
Of course I arranged that we ended up sitting next to M. at dinner. Poor Steve, I don’t think that I ended up talking much to him all dinner. The conversation with M. was fascinating and varied, although I got annoyed when M. thought the US military were stationed in too many places. I think he thought “Yankee go home!The next morning we had our breakfast, and M. saw me and said “Good Morning!” It was difficult to reconcile the gentleman with short hair, a turtleneck, scarf and sunglasses as the woman I chatted with all night long! I am afraid I was a little bit curt, I had problems reconciling that M. as a male was still M. as a female!The Point had beautiful electric wooden boats that you could be given a tour of the lake. We did that and it was lots of fun. The location was really gorgeous and very quiet.
Lunch was held al fresco, but in an elegantly casual way.
There were bars everywhere. You stay included all your meals and all that you would wish to drink. Here is the bar by the fire pit. We were told the story that one night a group got a little too tipsy around the roaring fire. One of the guests was a male hand model. He got up from his Adirondack chair, tripped and fell into the fire. Lucky for him, he landed on his back and his hands were not singed. His NorthFace jacked was unfortunately destroyed. The next morning a new jacket was left for him at his door! Amazing service by staff! The event seemed to me a little bit too much like a Seinfeld episode!
Near the fire pit was a lean to. Here we have a bunch of happy winter hikers. During the summer you could sleep outside if you wanted to. One of the couples there that weekend did so. Piled high with cosy furs, pillows and blankets, it looked really decadent. I’m not to sure where the nearest bathroom was however!
During our stay I took some pictures, but unfortunately all my personal pictures from our stay have disappeared. I am going to make a public service announcement and remind people to print out some of your cell phone pictures before they get lost in the storage cloud!
One of the most popular rooms to stay in was “The Boathouse”. This was also the most expensive. Often it was booked a year in advance. It has been winterized, previously it was only available seasonally.
Here is another view. If we were to ever return, this is where I would want to stay.
By now it was Saturday night and it was time to dress up. It looks like this group is having a rollicking good time. I had mentioned that all my pictures have disappeared. These pictures are all form the website of The Point. If you want to make a reservation you can go to their website here. ThePointSaranac.com
Unfortunately we had two investment bankers and their spouses staying Saturday night. They did not know each other, but there did seem to be a case of “whose dick is bigger?”Conversations settled on number of Super Bowls attended, along with World Series attendance and whose box was closer to the field. One of the guys, although he had been a guest at The Point several times prior, refused to dress for dinner. In fact he remarked that he was thinking about wearing his scuba gear at dinner instead of the shorts and t-shirt he was wearing! The other gentleman was married to a woman that I thought was a professional in her prior life. Nails out to here, and bosoms fully inflated, she was a sight.
After the first course at dinner, we heard lots of scratching and yelping. Investment Banker One’s dogs had escaped and were circling madly in the dining room. I was horrified! This is just not right! The dogs were corralled by staff and locked in their rooms again. Second course, and the dogs escaped again!
It was unfortunately a bad evening. I abhor rudeness, and these guys had it in spades, between the oneupmanship and the out of control dogs. The ex-hooker wife would have been interesting, but she was the silent type. M. wasn’t sitting next to me, and Steve was silent as he hates investment bankers, so I didn’t get a chance to chat much.
After dinner we returned to the fire pit where we snuggled under blankets in our Adirondack chairs and had truffle popcorn. We had a delightful conversation around the fire – thankfully the investment bakers were the only rude people around and they hadn’t joined the group at the fire pit.We made sure to get out of our chairs carefully at the end of the evening.Life was looking a little bit better.
The next morning we had breakfast on our deck and got ready to leave. Our bags were loaded into the car, with a box lunch and a beautiful tapestry pillow to remind us of our weekend.
The next day we got a phone call from the management inquiring about our stay. I mentioned how out of control the dinner was with the dogs running wild. I also asked if sometimes they told guests that they were all booked, so unruly guests wouldn’t return. Unfortunately, you can’t run a business that way, you need to accept all your guests. We ended up getting a letter a few days later offering us a complimentary future night’s stay. Unfortunately for me, Steve doesn’t want to go back. Too far, too much money, black tie on Saturday night, etc.etc.etc!
Was their any fishing you ask? No, Steve didn’t not bring any equipment with him. This was to be a Linda centered vacation. Since then, all of our vacations have tried to include fishing for Steve. I am not stupid.
Since our stay, The Point went into financial difficulty. The financial group that ran the property defaulted on their multi million dollar loans. The Point was purchased by a couple with deep pockets who had been guests numerous times and loved the place. From their website, it looks much the same as when we were there. Perhaps Steve will have a weak moment and agree to have us return for a stay. Here’s hoping that the new owners will accept my one night’s stay for free coupon!