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Great Escape Lodge, Day 1

Posted by tinako on February 23, 2011

“Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race when there is a clash between their  interests and the interests of those of another race.  Sexists violate the principle of equality by favoring the interests of their own sex.  Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species.  The pattern is identical in each case.” – Peter Singer

We are staying at Great Escape Lodge, an indoor water park in Queensbury, New York, for a few days, so this post will be a bit of a review of more than the food.  After the fiasco that was check-in (a forty-five minute wait as one and occasionally two clerks worked the appointed check-in-time, and many of the rooms were not ready, I was proud of myself that I heartily wished the harried clerk a good day.  Someone in line said they’d been there all week and it was the same every afternoon.  Um, the unemployment rate?  Hire some more people?

Once we got the coveted room keys, the rest of the evening went well.  Our room is nice with two beds and a pull-out couch, microwave, fridge, and coffee pot, table and two chairs.

I was prepared for their in-hotel restaurants to totally stink.  I remembered that a few years ago (when I was vegetarian, not vegan) they had several restaurants, but they seemed to share a kitchen, or at least a nutrition philosophy, and their menus were similar.  The kids and I were SO SICK of the food after three days.  I finally figured out what was going on: This is a resort for kids, and it’s one big “kid’s menu.”

Anyway, there was barely anything decent to eat when I was vegetarian so I had abandoned any hope of eating in the hotel now.  I gave them a recheck anyway and Restaurant 1, Johnny Rockets, was a burger joint with nothing vegan or even veganizable except fries and a small salad consisting entirely of iceburg lettuce and tomato.  As a matter of fact, their entire vegetable repertoire is lettuce, tomato, onion (fresh or fried), French fries, fried peppers, and pickles.  They made a selling point that their chili is all-beef; no unpleasant beans in there.  Restaurant 2 turned out to be just the bar side of Restaurant 1.  Restaurant 3, Tall Tales Tavern, had a $15 meat and cheese buffet with 4-5 meat and cheese a la carte options as an alternative.  Also it was closed a lot.  Restaurant 4 is the non-complimentary breakfast line.

Fortunately, they don’t lock us into the hotel, so I had Googled ahead of time to find restaurants in the area.  There are a lot, but unless you go into Glen’s Falls, they are almost all greasepits.  You drive along and it is Arby’s after bar & grill after pizza joint after steakhouse after Chinese buffet.  Even the Italian restaurant advertised meat in huge letters.  It doesn’t take much insight to deduce that in general people who come to Queensbury like to eat a lot of beef.  However, they have a Panera and I know we can always find fresh, healthy options there, so that’s what we did.  My daughter and I had our usual half classic salad/half soup, today’s being Garden Vegetable, no pesto please, and baked chips.  When you dine in, the half salad is HUGE.  Takeout not so much.

The water park area was nice, as we remembered, and I love that the lifeguards don’t hassle you.  Being here is exhausting – there is no way to stay as long in the water as you expect.  We came back to our room and shared the last piece of Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake, and I had a cup of tea.  I brought my own tea because many hotels only provide coffee in the rooms (and that’s what happened here) and I brought my own ceramic mug because I prefer it to styrofoam.

I have tried both network wire and wi-fi here and this hotel has the worst internet service I’ve ever encountered.  It is almost unuseable.

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2 Responses to “Great Escape Lodge, Day 1”

  1. Rob said

    Great or Grating Escape? I’m sure kids have fun visiting a water park in February, but given your review I think we’ll just relax in a nice hot shower.

    • tinako said

      The water park itself was very nice. It is definitely a kids place, and while everyone was very well-behaved, it would be insane to go there without kids.

      You’ll appreciate this, I was working on developing Loving Kindness, and it was a great place to practice. I could feel the difference it made, both in my feelings and in my actions. Even waiting in that stupid check-in line was good practice.

      I kind of like the long (6-hour) drives. My husband does the driving, and I get a mini-retreat with my zen podcast. For once I have nothing else to do but wear comfy clothes and fold my legs up and listen to teachings and meditate. OK, I doze off, too.

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