Saratoga Springs: Mrs. London's pastries
I spent the day in Saratoga Springs, home of horse-racing. I eschewed betting in favor of stomping around hiking trails and eating fabulous food at Mrs. London's, a pastry shop I visited at my mom's suggestion. (The above are pictures of their beautifully wrapped boxes and of the almond croissants that I bought.) Crunchy and sweet on the outside-- buttery, almond-pasty, and soft on the inside. Perfection. If you go, feel free to get anything you want, but don't leave without the almond croissant. It beats any pastry I've ever tasted in my life.
Also: Saratoga Spa State Park is AMAZING, and anyone who lives in Central NY should definitely go. It's a normal state park studded with ancient geysers that spew smelly water. In particular, the instant fossilization process that occurs due to the high mineral content of the water is quite fascinating. I took off my shoes and climbed up enormous mountains of fossilized leaves and minerals- so soft! So unlike anything I have ever seen or felt!
There are many picnic tables and hiking trails and other goodies at the park: above is a link to the (rather inferior) park website. DO NOT let that deter you. The trip is worth it. The $6 is worth it.
(Am I cultivating an obsession with mineral water? I did just visit Sharon Springs last weekend, another town that became famous for its foul-smelling carbonated springs. (Sharon Springs is about an hour south of Saratoga Springs, on Route 10).
Sharon is far more dilapidated than Saratoga. Some of the Gazebos that house the geysers at Sharon Springs were a bit scary to approach, as in: this soft board I am stepping on looks like it is rotting, and I can hear rushing water running underneath it... hmm.
But Sharon Springs is also more manageable, especially with the cute "historical walk" that takes you through a quarter-mile of main street with plaques as guides. Just don't spend too much time looking around you for the buildings pictured on the plaques- most have burned down. Fortunately Sharon Springs isn't shy about filling you in on the gory details.
Interesting tidbit: Sharon Springs became a hot vacation and business spot for Jewish patrons who wanted to "take the waters". Apparently Saratoga Springs was very antisemitic for a while, and wouldn't let Jews set up businesses.)