Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Daytrip to Tannersville, PA

Since we both had off for MLK Day, and we were both pretty much recovered from the flu, Christine and I decided to go out for a country day trip. At first we considered Windham Mountain in the Catskills, however, it closed at 4 pm and is rather expensive. Nearby Hunter Mountain has the same problem. Why aren't these places open later? Hunter Mountain lift and rental face price is $112.

So we decided to go to Camelback. Camelback has a bunch of trails and is good for beginner skiers like Christine. Huffpost ranked them the number one place to learn in the USA, maybe because you can learn for less than forty bucks this January. Also, they were only a tad over 90 minutes drive from Jersey City. Btw, Blue has a similar learn program all winter long and Camelback also has the Explorer card, 3 days of lessons for $130.

So first stop on the way out to Tannersville was Smuggler's Cove. This was a pretty good seafood restaurant and I got soup and salad bar featuring a really nice spicy seafood gumbo with sausage and scallops for only $9. It has quite mixed reviews on Yelp, but was good for a lunch. Next we stopped off at the Tannersville tasting room for Franklin Hill Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in PA. Their wines run from $12 - $15 and they have some interesting flavored oak infused reds. For example, they have a vanilla oak infused Cab and Chambourcin blend; they use wood chips to impart the flavor.

Next we went onto Camelback for the 3pm - 9pm skiing, which is much cheaper. Lift and rental together with holiday pricing, no discounts was $65. They wouldn't sell us the ticket until precisely 2:45, so we took about 15 minutes to get changed and get our locker before buying the ticket. The rental process was fast and the gear seemed fine. We were on the slopes by 3:15.

Camelback has several greens from the top and our favorite was Marc Antony. After several runs of that, Christine was ready to graduate to the blues. Nile Mile is one of the best runs in the Midatlantic. It has a length of a mile while dropping about 800 feet. It is quite wide the whole way down as well. It doesn't have any slow parts but is never too steep for the beginning skier. Christine definitely conquered it and now feels ready to ski the blues the rest of the year!

For food, the Thirsty Camel is a great bar with pretty good wings, they have a neat little waffle and hot chocolate place on the slopes, and there is a brewpub right outside the gates as well. We will definitely be coming back to Camelback for another night skiing session this year.

We were so busy, the only point related spend I did was a couple $100 Amazon GCs at the Wawa on the way home to help get to my $1500 Q1 Chase Freedom Gas Station bonus.  Leaving NYC is usually a great opportunity for point related spend since the travel hustlers in the area grab all the good gift cards and reloads. I'll stay on the lookout though.