Kay’s Pizza (Kay’s Burden Lake Restaurant)

“We are proud of our pizza as well as the unique atmosphere that our regulars look forward to every season. “

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type: pizza
address: 10 walsh lane averill park, new york 12018
ring-a-ding: 518-674-5413
price: $11 + pp
attire: casual – jeans & tee, baby

that’s what friends are for

Last year or so, my friend introduced me to Kay’s! I had been wanting to try it for a while, I had so many clients rave about Kay’s, and I even had a few who were regulars. After my long-awaited first bite, I was hooked! From time to time, I’ve titled myself a pizza connoisseur, so when I say this pizza isn’t only good, it’s freakin’ amazing… it’s the damn truth!

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burden lake, ny

Those of us who live within the Capital Region, let’s face it- we appreciate a chance to get out every now and then. Living between Troy & Albany from the last 5+ years or so made me appreciate my hometown surroundings of the Adirondacks so much more.

From our house in Colonie to Kay’s Pizza, the drive is about a half-hour. But, the drive is fun! You pass so many farms, beautiful & endless green acres, and cozy little camps. We never take the highway. We typically first stop in East Greenbush to pick up my husband’s cousin & his girlfriend. She was the one who first introduced me to Kay’s, so now it’s pretty standard we don’t go without each other!

Burden Lake is such a beautiful view, so if you are lucky enough to get a window seat at Kay’s, you will have a beautiful view of the lake and all the homes that surround it.

 

 

a seasonal secret

Kay’s is in an old house with serious summer camp vibes. Wooden floors and walls, nostalgic & vintage ads on the wall, and classic white and red tablecloths. Kay’s is only open for part of the year. This year they opened in early April, and close on October 13th.

60 years of ooey-gooey cheesy goodness

This year is Kay’s 60th year in business! Kay’s Pizza first opened in 1958. Prior to that, it was called the Lakeview Inn & before that, it was Minko’s Inn, when it was owned by another family, prior to Kay & Vic Campagna. The owner’s Kay & Vic lived upstairs, but it has since been sold (including recipes) to another family.

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first trip of the season

We headed up on a Monday evening and arrived around 6:30. Surprisingly, the restaurant wasn’t busy! And, we were able to seat ourselves. Out of all my visits, this has never happened. My husband ordered a Blue Moon, and I love there Raspberry Tea, so that’s what I got!

I love their wings. Just one regular order of mild. There mild is a little bit spicy, and I’d say it’s more like a medium. Terrance ordered coconut shrimp with Thai Chilli Dipping Sauce & Fried Scallops. Our friends ordered calamari. I’ve had the calamari before and it’s one of my favorites.

 

 

We ordered a large pizza, half pepperoni, bacon & sausage, half black olives. You gotta know I LOVE my olives. When our pizza came out, my husbands half only came out with pepperoni on it- our waitress was so kind to make him an entirely new pizza, free of charge. ♥
pizza + free = no one’s mad!

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Our friends got a classic cheese pizza, and the daily feature pizza. That night, it was “Sesame Thai Chicken Pizza.” I’ve never seen a pizza like this before! It had boneless wings tossed in their Thai Chili sauce on top of the pizza, topped with sesame seeds, all on a white-garlic pizza base. I didn’t try this pizza myself, but it was given an 8/10 score.

 

 

 

some things to know:

  • Kay’s does not take reservations & a lot of the times you do have to wait (totally worth it, I promise!) You can sit out on their porch and have a view of the beautiful Burden Lake!
  • I’d say the best days to go are Monday through Wednesday
  • They are open 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm Mon-Sat & 3:00 to 9:00 pm Sun
  • The parking lot gets full fast, you can park on the street, you may have to walk a bit!
  • Kay’s has plenty of other choices on their menu besides pizza (see below!)

 

 

 

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Have you ever been to Kay’s? What is your favorite pizza topping?

Till next time, T ♥

The Century House Restaurant & Inn

“Full service boutique hotel, event/wedding venue, & restaurant in Latham, NY, centrally located near Albany Int’l Airport, Amtrak, & Saratoga County.”

type: traditional american
address: 997 New Loudon Road (Rte. 9) Latham, NY 12180
ring-a-ding: 518-785-0834
price: $20+ pp
attire: dressy-casual – I wore a sweater, dark denim & booties

 

such a special place to us

Since beginning my blog earlier in the year, I have been anticipating writing about The Century House.

Part I  

The Century House is unlike any venue/ restaurant in the area. The Century House was first built 1812. When you look at The Century House from New Loudon Road, to the left you see the actual part of the building that looks like a house, that is the original structure. The building was purchased by the O’Hearn family during the 1940’s. Then, New Loudon Road/ Route 9 was called, Albany-Saratoga Road. One interesting fact I found out about The Century House is that they have a ghost that occupies The North Room. A small room within the original house. A Wiccan visitor confirmed the presence, and it is believed that it could be Frederick Roff, a man who owned the estate during the 1700’s.

When you come for dinner, you get to see the most historic features of the property. The restaurant’s floors were laid with “vintage chestnut” planks that came from a barn in Connecticut that was over 200 years old. Stones from the very original foundation of the house are laid in the exposed brick on the walls. And, there are embedded antique keys and silverware also within the walls and fireplaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

that irreplaceable feeling of home

The Century House has a warm & inviting ambiance- the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two or catching up with friends & family. Sitting fireside, at a table, dim-lit with candlelight and a nice glass of wine; I’m never in a rush to leave.

My husband, Terrance and I recently helped The Century House with a small advertising project, creating a video talking about the wedding planning process, execution, and overall satisfaction. They were so kind to gift us with a gift card to come back to the house and enjoy dinner, on them!

friday night + newlyweds = our weekly date night

I made our reservation on my  Open Table app! If you’re not familiar with Open Table, head over to my past blog, The Redeye Grill – NYC to find some more information on this awesome site! Reserving was so easy! I just opened the app on my iPhone, click click, we’re in!

Booking on Open Table is so easy! 1) Select your date & time 2) Click “Reserve” 3) Add any special requests or dietary restrictions 4) Earn OT points & enjoy!

8:15 pm

We know right where to go when we arrive at one of our favorite places! Parking is so easy, and right next to the south entrance. I love walking in past the ballrooms and peeking in each time to see if they are setting up or having a wedding! When you have dinner at The Century House, don’t worry if there is a wedding or event taking place, the restaurant is separate and has a door and you cannot hear the music and festivities down the hall.

enjoy one share one

In 2009, The Century House started, “Enjoy One, Share One.” For any meal served at the restaurant, in a banquet, wedding, or even a hotel stay, The Century House provides one meal to the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York.

let’s talk about VIP

If you’re a couple of the house, you know that treatment you get! The hostess knew us, we didn’t even have to give our name upon check-in! We were seated at our table of choice and were then greeted with 2 glasses of champagne from our server Ryan. CHEERS! ‘clink’

I ordered my favorite wine, GLENORA RIESLING, from the Finger Lakes. Terrance ordered his usual, JAMESON & GINGER, tall-double! … and keep ’em coming!

 

 

 

 

“Everybody knows the rules”

We always start with an app! Tonight, we shared a plate of delicious and crisp CALAMARI. The Calamari is coated with almonds & cornflake, topped with banana peppers, tomato cumin & basil aioli. The basil aioli sauce is my favorite!

 

 

I have to admit to ordering the same thing every time I come to the house. PRIME RIB, served with creamy homemade twice-baked potato, steamed broccoli rabe & carrots, Yorkshire pudding (popover) Au Jus, & creamy Horseradish. Are you seeing a trend with me ordering Prime rib? (GUILTY) Terrance usually switches up his choice of entree. That evening he ordered THE STRIP STEAK & LOBSTER TAIL, served with CHEF POTATO, CENTURY SAUCE & a side of STEAMED SPINACH. As expected, our food was phenomenal. My prime rib melted in my mouth, the potatoes were cooked perfectly. The veggies were crisp and so fresh. My dinner was nothing but amazing! Something you always get from The Century House. My husband enjoyed his steak and lobster. I didn’t even get a bite of the lobster! (RUDE)

 

Although I passed this particular evening, I tend to order chocolate & peanut butter whoppie pies. OOOOH! Are these divine!? Absolutely.

The Century House Restaurant & Tavern always delivers on date-night! ♥

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To view The Century House menus, click HERE!


Part II

it was an “awe” at first sight 

My first visit to the antique & unique Century House, in Latham, NY was our venue tour. April 7th, 2016. I have to be honest here. Prior to this, we went on several tours to various venues around the Capital Region. After multiple disappointments, I wasn’t expecting much more from this place. Terrance had remembered going to a prom or other event years prior. My first memory is meeting Marge. She was waiting right at the main entrance for us. One of the most memorable things about Marge that I remember is that she worked Tuesday through Saturday, as did Terrance and I at the time! We came in on a Sunday. Marge came in on her day off to accommodate us! Marge has worked at The Century House for years. She led us through the main house & restaurant first, sharing the history and fun facts of the house as she guided us on a tour through the entire property! They had an unbeatable promotion going on at the time, and even included an after party for us in our package! Any question that we asked she was able to answer! After no hesitation, we decided on booking The Century House! September 2, 2017! 

Even though we booked a year and a half out, the day came fast. Every meeting and detail were never over-looked. It was always enjoyable to meet with Phil & Stephanie. Through every meeting, they ensured that every point and detail we asked for, would be delivered… and they did! Phil worked with us and led our entire rehearsal. I stayed at The Century House both Friday and Saturday evening. On Saturday morning, I swear Phil was there before I woke up, and that was 7 AM! He led my vendors and wedding party throughout the day and kept us on schedule. Before I knew it, Phil said, “Okay, Taylor we are gonna be lining up soon.” I couldn’t believe it. I asked if anyone had arrived yet. He laughed and said yes. We had 200 guests in attendance. If I could do anything again in my life, it would be to relive our wedding day. My wedding visions became a reality, and now it was all just a dream.

Although I could go on for days about The Century House, at the end of the day -all I can say that for dinner, for drinks, for birthdays & weddings, showers, and corporate events, The Century House is always the right choice. The Century House will always hold a special place in my heart.


it’s your turn

Ready to visit The Century House for dinner?

 

 Have you ever visited The Century House? What was your favorite part?

Till next time, T♥

 

 

 

Caskade Kitchen & Bar

“the perfect date night spot”

type: gastropub, tapas/small plates, american
address: 182 Remsen street, cohoes, new york 12047
ring-a-ding: 518-720-1553
price: $20+ pp
attire: casual -I wore my go-to thigh-highs, dark denim, sweater & simple jewelry

Starting off my birthday weekend with a double date at the freshly opened Caskade Kitchen & Bar, was beyond a great choice. Between the unique cocktails, beer & wine selection, amazing small plates, and general atmosphere, Caskade is now that place.

dinner, brunch, cocktails, wine, beer

We headed to Caskade for a double date with friends on a Thursday evening. Caskade was recommended to me by a client of mine, who is a friend of the owners. I have never dined at a restaurant in Cohoes prior to this. We made the short drive from our house which was about 15 minutes away. If you didn’t know, the entire Capital Region is filled with tons of old buildings that line the streets. As we finally arrived on Remsen Street, I immediately noticed how all of the store-fronts have huge windows allowing you to see right inside each and every shop, restaurant or office.

From the street, Caskade is lit dimly and has an inviting glow. The table-tops and petite bar are lined with romantic tea lights. How can one place be so clean and bright, but dim and cozy at the same time? I don’t have an explanation for this but, I am sure when I say Caskade is my home-interior goals. This restaurant is the perfect setting for date night.

sip, sip, hooray

If you know me, then you already know I already ordered my Riesling. Boundary Breaks. This was my first time trying this brand of wine. Light and just that little touch of sweet – that one went down fast, of course. Typically I’m ready to say, “another, please” but, now that I’m actively blogging, I have to give other things a try! Plus, a cocktail atop the menu had quickly caught my eye.

WISHFUL THINKING
white rum, coconut rum, pineapple, lime, egg whites

Hold up, egg whites? Egg whites. After some convincing from our server, I went for it and ordered myself a WISHFUL THINKING. WOW. My first reaction. I had no expectations when ordering this beverage because I was focusing on the egg whites. I took the first sip, and I said “OH! Okay, wow!” Simply amazing. Fresh, frothy, bubbly, light, and mildly fruity, mmm yum. I’ve talked not only about Caskade to friends and clients, but I talk in detail about this specific cocktail. And I get the same reaction that I initially had. Egg whites? Yes honey, egg whites!

 

3:2

Caskade’s menu items are all small plates. *There is a burger and fries on the menu. Our server said it’s typically recommended to order three plates per two people. We went ahead and ordered TEMPURA BAY ZUCCHINI, CHICKEN WINGS, BEEF BARBACOA TACOS. Oh! Is this zucchini now my favorite thing? Yas! It’s lightly fried and it does not have that heavy oil consistency that you tend to get when ordering foods that are fried. The zucchini is served on top of tzatziki and pomegranate seeds. Tzatziki sauce, I’m gonna say it- I love it. I first tried tzatziki sauce with naan bread and quickly learned that it compliments a variety of foods. The tzatziki balanced out the zucchini and had a cool taste while the pomegranate seeds added a surprise pop of sweet and crunch. The chicken wings were dressed with lime & chili and sprinkled with toasted coconut. A new spin on a common classic. Lastly, the beef tacos. I mean, who doesn’t like tacos? The tacos are served in threes, with salsa verde, chorizo queso, and cilantro. Yas! The beef is shredded and soft.

I’m learning a lot from blogging and I’ve done more research on different types of foods. Is it silly I had no idea chorizo was pork sausage? Well, now I know. If you read in one of my opening blogs, I don’t eat pork. But, I ate and enjoyed these tacos. I can’t help but get mad at myself for eating pork, but I simply did not know. I’ll pass on the tacos next time, but still recommended them!

Our friends ordered the PORK BELLY BAO BUNS. These looked amazing, and they said they were great. Served with hoisin sauce, pickled carrots, cucumber and spicy mayo. Bao buns are a steamed Chinese bun. They looked so fluffy and soft and I must get one!

drink, please!

It’s always a good time for another when you’re out with friends right? I finished off our double date with an ELDERFLOWER COLLINS – elderflower liqueur, vodka, citrus, and seltzer. Once on a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, I tried an elderflower margarita, and enjoyed! Elderflower actually comes from a toxic plant, the elder plant, or Sambucas and it is also well-known for its medicinal uses. This drink was very refreshing and I would love to sip these in the summer. I wonder if Caskade will have some tables along the sidewalk in the upcoming months? I want to drink this cocktail in the summer sunshine.

Is it the atmosphere itself, or the food that makes me love this place so much? I cannot decide as both elements have me in serious awe. Caskade is setting the culinary bar high in Cohoes, and I’m excited to see Caskade continue to blossom! I’ll be back, Caskade – and next time, it’s for brunch! Haay!

Caskade’s website is still under construction, but you can view their instagram here → click click

Have you taken part of Caskade’s dining experience? Let me know, below!

Till next time, T ♥

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe

“Puzzles Bakery & Café is committed to improving the livelihood of individuals, families, and communities affected by autism spectrum disorders. “

type: bakery & cafe
address: 515 state street schenectady, new york 12305
ring-a-ding: (518) 280-2620
price: $5+ pp
attire: casual

Today I had the pleasure of going to Puzzles Bakery & Cafe located in downtown Schenectady, for lunch. If you’re not familiar with the Capital Region, Schenectady is about 15-20 minutes west of Albany. Schenectady also has a great selection of locally-owned restaurants and bars. Within recent years, Schenectady has made some serious advancements and improvements to the community, especially the downtown area – Puzzles Bakery & Cafe – being one!

Why Puzzles?

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe was opened in the community to provide a place of employment for those who are placed on the autism spectrum. I knew the puzzle piece as the autism awareness symbol, but I wanted to know… Where did it originate from? According to the-art-of-autism.com the history of the puzzle piece symbol goes all the way back to 1963. It was created by Gerald Gasson. Gerald was a parent and board member for the National Autistic Society (formerly known as The Society for Autistic Children) in London. The board believed autistic people suffered from a ‘puzzling’ condition.

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Puzzles Bakery & Cafe is conveniently located right near Johnny’s and across from the new Slidin’ Dirty location. It’s in perfect walking distance from many offices, and if you’re a student and have a little more time, it’s about a half mile from Schenectady County Community College.

My first impression of Puzzles Bakery & Cafe was the atmosphere. It was fresh, spacious and was filled with a lot of natural light. The cafe offers free wifi for customers and was a great work space for me. Others had their computers and work with them.

There were so many appetizing items to choose from on the menu. They offer soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, breakfast (all day long,) kids meals, and freshly baked goods.

I ordered The Steakhouse Signature Salad

$10/$6.50

A bed of arugula, topped with pan-seared steak, sauteed mushrooms and onions, crumbles of gorgonzola cheese, homemade croutons, and creamy blue cheese dressing.

At Puzzles, they have a combination option. I opted to just get a salad, so I ordered the full size. ($10) My salad was huge! Every meal comes with a choice of a side, and I got the Kettle Baked Chips, my favorite! I’m not much of a salad person (besides Caesar salad, seriously my fav) but, after the birthday weekend I had… I needed some greens. The salad had a ton of mushrooms! ♥ It was simple, yet flavorful and my favorite part was the steak that was cooked perfectly, along with the homemade croutons. Puzzles sells hot and cold beverages, so I grabbed a San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage – Prickly Pear and Orange. Oooh!

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe has a unique and positive business mission. After visiting Puzzles website, I learned a lot of interesting facts about autism.

  1. 1 in 68 people are diagnosed with autism
  2. There is still no understanding what causes the disorder
  3. Autism becomes more challenging becoming an adult
  4. There are not a lot of communal opportunities for adults with autism, especially employment

What is better than supporting not only a local business – but one that also has a mission, that changes and benefits the community! In my opinion, not only does Puzzles create opportunities for those who may not have them, but I think it is very educating and insightful for the community. Regardless of our differences, those who have autism may be looked at like they are not capable of having a job, but Puzzles shows them that they can!

“believe there is good in the world”

Puzzles has been featured in multiple news articles AND has even made it to CBS Evening News. Check out their press → here.

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe is open-
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 10:00 – 3:00 PM

 

No time to stay? Order online, and pick up on site! Order Here!

Have you tried Puzzles Bakery & Cafe? Or, do you know any businesses with a similar mission? Let me know below!

Till next time, T ♥

Albany Foodie

At home or out and about

Home Cookins

  • First, what I love to describe as my zen time is grocery shopping. Not many people enjoy what some consider a chore, but I truly do. Yes, occasionally like everyone else I race in after work to just grab $15 worth of items, but a true grocery shopping trip. I love to go on Mondays, my day off, stroll every aisle, grab a smoothie and take my time. I love looking at all of the different fruits and vegetables and appreciate that each one was grown individually to nourish and fuel our bodies. Living in such a diverse area, the grocery stores near me carry a wider variety of items as opposed to the grocery stores in my home town of Lake George, New York. Now, back to my zen. There is this lovely place called Whole Foods Market. WFM is my mecca, and I am still so ecstatic that we have one here now in the Capitol Region. It is the ultimate supreme of grocery stores, and quite a lovely place. I always walkout with one thing I have never even heard of before. Their inventory is intriguing.
  • Second, I love cooking. I love Crockpot recipes, I love baked dishes, I have a huge amount of love for seafood. But, I certainly love all different types of food. However, the top of my list would start with Italian. BUT* I do not do pork. I never have, never will. Yes I use Crest toothpaste, yes occasionally I pop a marshmallow, but I do not directly eat the meat or anything cooked in it’s fat. Also, I do not bake. Unless you consider slightly less-than-okay boxed brownies baking. SO, if you’re someone looking for a recipe on bacon cupcakes, or breakfast recipes with ham, this is the wrong blog! However I will disclose, I occasionally give baking mild effort and would like to improve my baking skills.

Outnabout –

  • I’m big on local restaurants. I was exposed to a lot of different food types when I moved to the area, not only at restaurants but also through friends. I love to  I intentionally do not eat out at chain restaurants, unless I have a gift card or a friend would like to go. Living in the small city of Albany, NY we truly do have so many choices as far as cuisine. Here are just 24 restaurants I found that are featured in newyorkupstate.com.

“Best places to eat in Albany- 24 can’t-miss restaurants”

Here is a small list of my personal favorites, let’s do a top 5.

  • Lanie’s Cafe – I love Lanie’s and my husband and I find ourselves here often for our Friday date night ritual. It’s a great, homey, atmosphere with an awesome wine list, salad bar and pasta dishes to die for.

My go to Lanie’s Meal- Prime Rib with Penne and Alfredo sauce. A glass of Glenora Reisling, and we occasionally share their amazing calamari.

This is my 22bd birthday, in 2015 at Lanie’s. And this last picture is my husband and I at Lanie’s on a double date later in 2017.

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  • El Loco Mexican Cafe – Typically I end up going to El Loco with girlfriends. El Loco is located in the historic part around Washington Park in Albany, so it is very, very tiny. I prefer to go when it is an off time.

My go to El Loco dish- Create your own Combo, Beef & Bean Chimichanga and Turkey and Bean Taco -or- Beef & Bean Chimichanga and Turkey and Bean Burrito- rice and beans. And of course, you have to start with chips and your choice(s) of dip.

I love the hot sauce bar, and the disclaimer with their margaritas! Intended for warning, but I think it sparks excitement!

Myself, my sister Paige, and my best friends Zack and Nick at El Loco in the summer of 2016. Enjoying some great drinks!

  • Graney’s Bar and Grill – no, not Stout. Graney’s has its own location about 10 minutes from Stout on New Scotland Avenue. My husband, who was then my boyfriend started bringing me here, and it quickly became our go-to spot! I’ve heard some people call it a grandpa bar, but with some explanation it’s not really a club as you would come compare Graney’s Stout too. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I enjoy some hard cider and bar food. I always run into a friend or client while we are here.

What I typically order- I switch between

  1. Mozzarella Logs (yes LOGS)
  2. Buffalo Chicken Salad (Super unique & great)
  3. 10 Medium- Garlic Wings and fries

Some old pictures of birthdays celebrated for my husband and I at Graney’s!

  • Hokkaido Asian Bistro – my sushi place! Hokkaido is our go-to take out spot. Not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing, but they know who I am when I’m calling for myself, or both my husband and I. They now just how I like my sushi, no ginger/wasabi and clear soup!

My usual order at Hokkaido- Spicy Kani Salad, Salmon Special Sushi Dinner and a side of spicy mayo.

**I chose not to include a picture of us eating our soosh and watching movies with an adult beverage upon our dog-distressed couch. 🙂 

  • Grappa 72 – Fine dining Italian. Two Italian restaurants in my top 5? Yes! Opposed ti Lanie’s Cafe, a more Italian-American restaurant, Grappa is fine fining. Perfect for a romantic date night. Cozy tables, dim lighting and candles. Request a seat in their lovers lane, and ask for a superb server whom they call “Bagel.” I still do not know Bagel’s real name, and I’d like to think it’s not really Bagel. She wears a tie that has a Bagel design on it! She extensively knows the menu and specials. She makes wonderful recommendations and could sell you on anything.

My typical meal at Grappa 72- Risotto Frutti de Mare (I sub for Alfredo, opposed to their marinara, I’m just a cheese girl!)

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Is it a brag or bad? I absolutely had 9 glasses of wine this night, maybe 10. 10 glasses of wine. WOW

These are my staples and where we bring friends or family when it’s up to us.  My goal in regards to my blog is to visit and write (pictures of course!) to new restaurants. Like I said this is a small city, but if you know Albany, you know there is always somewhere new to find!

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Daisy, enjoying Albany!

What little treasures have you found in Albany? Comment below!

Till next time, T♥