|Rock Island Lighthouse|
Their pick-up location in Albany was very easy to find, at the rear of the Petsmart parking lot in Crossgate Commons (though their instructions said to look for a Yankee Trails sign, I didn't notice it). The bus arrived ten minutes early, which was nice, and we were off to Clayton, NY, with one 15 minute rest area stop along the way.
|Sunken Rock Lighthouse|
I've eaten plenty of "eh" group meals, but this was, by far, the worst group meal I've ever had traveling. Every single thing was made unhealthy and heavy - which is not really what you want when you're on a bus tour all day. I tend of lean more toward foodie, but my Mom, who came with me, is as plain Jane traditional as it gets when it comes to food; she, too, was disgusted by what was served (Mom: "Well, the dinner roll wasn't that bad."). There was a bowl of salad - healthy, right? Nope. Caesar, soaked in heavy dressing. Then there was mayonnaise based potato and macaroni salad - but why?!? They didn't go with one single thing there. Next was a tray of greasy string beans, dinner rolls, pasta in a heavy cream/cheese sauce, breaded fish, and stuffed chicken breasts. I felt like I had rocks in my stomach for the rest of the day. Whomever plans the menu should, at the very least, consider healthy-fying some of the menu items. How hard would it be to have a garden salad without mayonnaise dressing all over it? Fish that isn't breaded? Even pasta without cream sauce? And, really, pasta/potato salad goes with grilled cook-out food. Not breaded fish, cream/cheese sauce pasta, or stuffed chicken breasts.
|Tibbett's Point Lighthouse|
Oh, and with all of that awful, unhealthy food - no dessert included to even cleanse the palate of all that crap!
From there, we climbed back on the bus and headed to Tibbett's Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent, NY. A woman from the 1000 Islands boat tour joined us on the bus and had a few interesting stories about what it's like to live on an island year round, but did not seem to offer any information about the lighthouse itself (other than reading something out loud). Naturally, as we got to Tibbett's, the skies opened into a torrential rain...so it was a very brief visit before running, soaked, back onto the bus. There was a VERY smart older couple in front of us who thought ahead and brought a towel. If you're touring on a potentially rainy day, be smart and pack a towel. Those of us who didn't will be very jealous and impressed with your planning abilities.
|Salmon River Lighthouse|
I think Yankee Trails is best utilized for transportation only type trips - a ride to your cruise, a ride to a Yankees game, or a ride to a casino. If you're after a well organized, interesting, and informative tour - not so much. I hope that if they offer the Beacons of Light tour again it will improve, but I'm not particularly hopeful based on their lack of interest in customer feedback on its inaugural run. If I really just wanted to spend a day glancing at things from afar, I could have saved $99 and looked up some photos online. Heck, other than the time spent with Ted, I probably could have learned more about them online too.