I was born and raised in the South, and frankly, my dear, I always thought I would live below the Mason-Dixon Line. But life had other plans for me, and a year ago, my family and I moved to Saratoga Springs, New York.
More than once during the past 12 months, I have felt like a stranger in a strange land. When I attempt to order sweet tea, for example. But to my surprise, I have acclimated to this new environment with relative ease. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.
Here are a few observations from my first year in Saratoga Springs:
- Snow, snow, and more snow
It was a warm, summer day in beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York, and a woman visiting from the South was enjoying a stroll on Broadway. “Why do the fire hydrants have antennae?” asked the woman who had never seen a snowplow in real life, much less a five-foot-high snow bank…
(P.S. Yeah, that was me.)
- The Track
Many places have four seasons, but in Saratoga Springs, there are five: fall, winter, spring, summer, and track season. For seven weeks each year, the entire town revolves around post times. Make no mistake about it: horses are big business in Saratoga Springs.
I remember my driver’s ed teacher telling us to always “drive ahead”–scan the road in the distance. But follow that advice in Upstate New York, and you will need to get thee to a repair shop for a wheel alignment. Thanks to the abuse doled out by snowplows, the potholes are epic and bountiful.
- Peppermint Pigs
Being from the South, I am familiar with a wide array of pig products, from pickled pigs’ feet to chitlins (if you don’t know what they are, do NOT Google it!), but not until I lived in Saratoga Springs had I heard of a Peppermint Pig. Nothing says, “Happy holidays!” quite like pink swine candy.
Pigs, potholes, and ponies, oh my! I’m definitely not in ‘Bama anymore! Upstate New York may be a different world, but I have discovered that Saratoga Springs is a charming town chock-full of vibrant people, fantastic restaurants and stores, and intriguing history. Y’all get some sweet tea on the menu, and this place just might start to feel like home.
Are you a transplant to the Saratoga Springs area? What have you learned during your time here? Leave a comment below!