Guest Memory

By:Dawn M.

Allenwood, NJ

 In 1997 our children 7 and 4 at the time lost 2 grandparents. My husband’s dad and my mom died  within months of each other.  Needless to say, our upcoming Christmas was not going to be good as well as the New Year with what losses we had all suffered.  My husband’s brainstorm: let’s go to Our Lake Placid.  The 7 hr drive from the Jersey shore to LP always starts out fun but its at the last few turns up RT 73 that Lake Placid really starts to become a reality as my husband yells out “ First one to see the ski lifts wins!”  The children frantically start searching both sides of the highway looking for signs of the ski jumps at the Olympic Center.  When we hear SKI JUMPS we know our hectic, crazy and sometimes sad lives have been left back in NJ.  Lake Placid has always been our go-to place for my husband’s Bomber Hockey Mini Camp since 1974 (named after the LP High School mascot) and for Cam Am tournaments throughout the 90's with our son. We even won the gold on the Olympic Rink (as you can see from the photo of dad kissing the ice in 2004 - Photo 3) We’ve been seranaded more times than we could count by accordian music in what used to be Goldberries as we dined on weiner schnitzel and who could forget those Burstin Berry pancakes in the morning.  But in 1997 The Golden Arrow served as more than just a vacation spot and room accommodations. Upon arrival we were welcomed on Main Street by huge ice sculptures and as we entered the driveway to the Golden Arrow our children ran around back to Mirror Lake.  They found a giant whale sculpture and claimed him immediately as their “catch of the day”. (Photo 1) As we started to unpack snow fell on the village and we would later it find out it amounted to almost  23 inches 3 days later.  Main Street (photo 2)  looked like a scene out of It’s a Wonderful Life with the movie theater lighting buried under new snow and stores lining both sides of the street with their windows filled with Santas, Sleds, and signs reading: Put the Biscuit in the Basket! But the true meaning of the word hospitality and family was upon entering the Golden Arrow Resort.  The lobby with its winter and olympic scenes and grand expanse of windows looking out onto Whiteface made a smile appear on all of our faces.  And the topper  -  one of the family members behind the desk had a special gift for my daughter.  I had ordered her a  monogrammed bathrobe (a  request from her Santa list) but it didn’t arrive in time for Christmas Day.  Instead when we packed up and headed for Lake Placid I told the company that we would be gone on vacation to Golden Arrow / LP. Could they redirect it there. When the front desk received the package (I told them what happened) they scribbled out all the writing on the box and wrote all over the outside : To Miss Katie Murray, Love Santa–“Sorry, my sleigh got stopped by a snowstorm,  then I dropped  your package over Hawaii (and they drew a palm tree on it) They made us laugh and cry that they had donesomething so special for her in such difficult times.  We gathered in the lobby, enjoyed the antique piano with a magnificent gingerbread house sitting atop, as well as the biggest Christmas tree we’ve ever seen and took in some of most special Christmas memories ever to this day.  As a note–our son now 22 went to Whiteface for a ski trip this Christmas 2011.  His text to us in the middle of the night - 2 words SKI JUMPS! It continues on...as  Our Lake Placid. Thanks for the memories.