Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Haunted Hay Ride

I love everything about October - but one of the greatest things has to be the haunted/scary things you get to do. While Carley and Mike were here we decided that we needed to go to Gaines Farm and go to their haunted hay ride. We had never been to (nor heard of) a haunted hay ride, so we figured it would be a lot of fun to experience. 

Since it is a farm, there were plenty of farmy things to see. Like skeletons in the barn, and an array of animals for the petting.

Carley fell in love with the cows and pigs. She wants to have animals so bad. We petted and appreciated all the animals, but have no desire to invest in any type of critter. 

The hay ride was pretty great too. You ride on a trailer being towed by a tractor all through the woods while scary things lurk in the dark. The first creepy thing to approach us was a set of masked men on horses - real live horses, that came galloping up to the side of the tractor reaching out for us. That was one of my favorite parts. Very ingenious. There were also the traditional spiders, chainsaws, and other masked figures that jumped on, fell on, and terrorized the trailer. 

Caitlin was terrified beforehand, calmed down in the middle, and screamed more at the end. But afterward she wanted to go to the haunted corn maze - she hadn't gotten her fix yet. :) Too bad October is over and we'll have to wait until next year. It's only 11 months away!

Carving Pumpkins

Continuing with our Halloween themed activities, we carved pumpkins with Carley and Mike. Caitlin squished all the pumpkin guts through her hands and designed our pumpkin and I was in charge of carving the beauty.

Carley and Mike did Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas (which we had playing before we began carving) and Caitlin and I did a scary, mean face pumpkin. 

Isn't he the best?

We may not be the most talented pumpkin carvers in the world, but we're pretty proud of how they turned out. We put them out in front of our house so the cars passing by can see them. I'm pretty sure they are a hit in the neighborhood. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Salem Witch Trials

Carley and Mike came to visit this week, so we decided to show them a lot of New England. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. They flew into Boston and spent a day exploring the city, then took a ferry over to Salem where we met up with them to explore that "spooky" town. We were a little disappointed with how unspooky it really was. But it did get us more in the Halloween spirit. 

We started off exploring the old harbor village in Boston. There are a lot of historic sights to see, but mainly just ships and houses. There wasn't much open so we just walked through some shops and enjoyed the chilly weather. 

Then we went over to the end of the city where they have all the witch trial stuff. This was definitely a Halloween destination. We got to see cemeteries  witch trial memorials, and learn about how the witches were killed (we thought fire, but they were actually hung, with the exception of one man who was pressed to death).

Since we went in October, there were Halloween things everywhere. We had fun posing with all the touristy things throughout the town. Pardon the extreme amount of pictures. I figured I would include them all on here since that is easier than trying to describe everything that we did. :)


This was one of my favorite things (and one of Caitlin's least favorite). It was an alley decorated with amazing Halloween decor. Blood, vomit, skeletons, bugs, and pumpkins. So great! I absolutely love Halloween!


Then we found this great door on our way back to the car. We think it was actually the door into a house, but we're not really sure. I just really liked the color. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Festival

Last weekend we enjoyed ourselves a little bit of Pumpkin Festival, New England style. That's right, we went to the Keene, New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival. It was quite the spectacle. 29,381 pumpkins lined the streets of Keene and we were able to peruse quite the variety of carvings. 

Keene looks like a typical New England town. Small streets lined with cute shops and large churches and plenty of autumn foliage. We decided to get there about an hour and a half before sundown so we could see it during the light as well as with all the jack-o-lanterns lit up.
It was a beautiful day in New Hampshire. We LOVED being outside enjoying a break from homework and a busy workweek. 

All the streets were lined with pumpkins, and there were structures built around the city center that had even more pumpkins. Literally, there were so many pumpkins. I can't even imagine how they counted them all. 

One of the guys from Property Brothers was there. Since Caitlin and I love HGTV, we made sure to snap a picture of him filming some clips for Halloween Wars. Can you see him in the background?

The variety of pumpkins was great - and the tower they built was one of our favorites. Why doesn't every city have a Pumpkin Festival? It is the perfect way to spend an October weekend.

While we were there, we had to sample the food, so we got bratwursts and some fried dough. Yes, they call scones/elephant ears Fried Dough. Such a strange concept - calling the food exactly what it is. :) And of course we loved it. 
The night ended with a counting of the pumpkins - and although we didn't reach the world record (just a few thousand short) we were part of one of the largest Pumpkin Festivals in the US. Yay for New England and it's never-ending festivals!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Exploring Northern Vermont

We have loved exploring New England in the fall. It is so beautiful, and the cool, crisp weather has allowed us to pull out our winter coats prematurely. On Saturday we went up to Sharon, Vermont with Cariel. The birth place of Joseph Smith. It was quite a drive up there, but we were happy to see the monument. 

There wasn't a whole lot there. Just a visitors center, the monument, and the original foundation of the cabin where he was born. It was only like 20X23 feet or something ridiculous like that. They created a stone pathway through the foundation, and it was only like 10 steps. So crazy!

The fall colors weren't too spectacular in the north, but the driveway to the monument was stunning, so we snapped a picture.

We also visited the Ben & Jerry's factory about an hour north of Sharon. It was WAY out in the sticks - and we knew we would never justify a trip up there unless we were already halfway there, so we took the opportunity.

We were able to go on a tour (although they don't make ice cream on Saturday) and we got free samples at the end. Milk & Cookies was our flavor. It was good, although it left me wishing we could've chosen a different flavor instead. Maybe some Half Baked or some New York Super Fudge Chunk. But alas, we were too full from the sample to purchase any more. 

We did love the signs though. Very Vermont-y. :)

We ended the night exploring Brattleboro, and we walked across the bridge into New Hampshire so Cariel could say she has been in New Hampshire. 

Then we met up with Tim (who had to speak at a conference) and said goodbye to our Provo family. It was so much fun having them here for the weekend - and it gave us the perfect excuse to explore and see more of the great state of Vermont.