While Saratoga has been dubbed “The August Place To Be!” & holds the tagline “Health, History & Horses” it means much more to me than that. There’s just something about being in Toga that puts a little extra ‘pep in my step,’ that makes me smile more, breathe deeper & enjoy little moments more than any other place I’ve ever been. Maybe it’s that I love the tradition of vacationing there every year since I was born—it’s engrained in me & luckily, the few years I did miss I was young & hardly remember being upset, now if I miss track season, well I don’t know what I would do…it hasn’t happened in years :) Maybe its the people that I am blessed to be surround by when I visit—the most amazing, sharing, entertaining, fun friends of my father (known as ‘WALLY’ up in Toga.—still confused on that one) who have truly become more like family throughout the years. Perhaps it’s the small town feel, the stunning architecture of the victorian homes, the food, the sights, the track, the concerts, the nightlife, the morning track life, the horses, the crab tortillas from Siro’s (my personal favorite food—maybe ever)…whatever it is, it makes me downright blissful.
Here are a few of my favorite things about Toga & what they mean to me/make me think & feel….
Saratoga Race Course—-My parents tell me that when I was first brought to the track they help me up to the wagering machine and told me to pick a winner (i was a baby—like 5 months), I pointed to a number, dad bet $1 on the horse…and lo and behold, baby Victoria had picked a winner. Unfortunately, since then I’ve made a few dollars..maybe $200 on a bet max, but that’s not why I go to the track. I love that It’s the oldest race track in the US, it’s full of history. Track Highlights: Drinking from the Big Red Spring, sitting on the backstretch & getting an entirely different, way more up close and personal view of the track. The smells of cigars and horses. The screams & beating of racing forms during a race. Hearing MTP announcements. Sam the bugler. The wonderful (& sometimes awful) clothing. The big hats. & so much more!
Houses & Architecture —-Stunning Victorian houses. Beautiful Skidmore College. From the Batcheller Mansion to Union Gables & every place in between—they’re all stunning and each have their own special feel that I adore.
Victoria Pool—-Besides the the fact that we share a name, I love this pool! It’s FREEZING but always a blast to go to. I remember one time I even lost a tooth here!
Yaddo Gardens—-Founded to provide a sanchuary for artists to work without interuption, Yadoo has allowed the birth of many amazing works. While many artists who worked at Yaddo have won numerous awards, a great deal of books written by Yaddo authors became movies! To me it’s a place of serenity, calm & comfort. I love the rose garden—- a gift from the founding husband to his wife. Apparently it “was intended to be a garden of delight and romance*” & most certainly believe it is!
Whitney Polo Fields—-Two things that could sum of my times at polo—-divits & port wine cheese spread.
Saratoga Lake—-Great times out on this lake. it’s not too big, not too small—-perfect for a dip after the track.
SPAC—-What a venue. I’ve seen some SPECTACULAR concerts here…Maroon 5, Kings of Leon & The Whigs, DMB, Jonas Brothers & Demi Lovato & Avril Levigne, Lil’ Wayne & Drake, Black Crows & more.
Mineral Water & Springs—-My personal favorite water…EVER! #1 is the Big Red Spring :)
Roosevelt Spa & Baths—-so relaxing. While the tubs are super deep, every part of your body floats in the mineral water & when you get out you feel so revived, fresh and wonderful.
Broadway—-A girl’s gotta shop & this is a great place—so many great stores.
Caroline Street—-alive and vibrant. Tin & Lint (TNL) — a lot of people like to believe ‘American Pie’ by Don McClean was written here (he refutes). Saratoga City Tavern. 9 Maple Ave. Trotters. & other cool bars and places.
Uncommon Grounds—-sitting on a worn leather couch, drinking an italian soda surrounded by the crisp, fresh robust smell of fresh coffee.
Congress Park—- Spit & Spat in the fountains are a personal must-visit, picture op.
Ben & Jerry’s—-fun swings & yummy, fresh, cold ice cream.
Putnam Market—-best sandwiches!
Hattie’s—-Best Fried Chicken EVER!
Wheatfield’s—-All around awesome food.
Stuarts—-A trip to saratoga is NEVER complete without a Stuarts trip a day—weather it’s to fill up on gas, stock up on snacks, get ice cream or buy Twisted Tea—it’a a daily trip kinda gas station, ha.
There are so many other things and places I adore but I thought I would start with a few and add some another time :]