Last week, my friend Kerry asked if she could make a last-minute trip to the greater Boston area. She is an event planner for a non-profit, Foundation Fighting Blindness, and they were having a walk in Boston over the weekend. She isn't in charge of this region, but thought she could lend a hand and see some friends all at once.

I grabbed her from the airport on Friday and we just meandered around Boston for the afternoon - Newbury Street, the Common, Beacon Hill. We met up with the hubby for a yummy Mexican dinner out near our house in the nearby town of Lexington. Tasty!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head over to the walk which was being held along the Charles River in Brighton. We spent the morning slicing bagels, distributing balloons and registering tons of people for the walk.

That afternoon, we laid low. Found a tasty deli down the road for lunch - we were famished after our windy, chilly morning along the river. There was a plethora of extra bananas from the walk, so we took home some extras and I whipped up some banana pudding. For dessert later on. It was halloween eve and we had a party to go to that night, but not before we watched the Ole Miss / Auburn game. Our friend Dave Kuhl came over for the game and some Blue Ribbon BBQ before heading out with us to the party.

Halloween proper started off with buttermilk waffles and maple bacon. Followed by some pumpkin carving. Kerry and I headed over to Harvard to walk around for a while before she had to fly home.

We were totally prepared for 80 trick-or-treaters. We thought we'd have a bunch since we live in a family neighborhood. But we only had about ten. I guess kids these days don't go to strangers' houses, even with their parents and even if the house has an awesome jack-o-lantern. So we're left with about 70 mini candy bars that have to be eaten. Not by me. Sheesh!


New & Improved Hampshire.

It's fall. New England fall. Fall like the South only in that there are more trees, it's colder, there aren't any billboards on the interstate. Which is why all the folks from the South pack into their cars and head up and take drives on the Kankamagus and look for turkey and cider and pilgrims.

Silly folks, Pilgrims are in MA, not NH.

But, our friends Danny and Anna Maria are in NH. When they aren't in MA. And even though we missed peak by a couple of weeks, and it was more orange and brown than red and green, it was the first time I could surprise Marianna this fall and sneak out for a night in the wilderness (Madison, NH).

We fit in a small camp fire, a few quarters of football (after trying to watch my double weather delayed Rebels lose yet again, though we didn't witness the full loss, as the delays pushed us back and we didn't manage to set out until 3:30 on Saturday anyways), a drive up Cathedral Ledge, a stop for the best cider doughnuts in New England, after losing a camera bag and battery charger, as we trudged through the gloom and early fall showers.

But on a weekend like this, we'll take the good with the bad.


Bog. On our blog.

A few weekends ago, the weekend of Columbus Day (October 11th for all you Southerners), Micah and I decided to go cranapple crazy. We were planning to head down to New Haven, CT with some friends, but after a bunch of changes in our plans, it turned into a fruit extravaganza in southern Mass. with just the two of us instead.

First up...apple picking. Let's just say Back. Fire. We had been planning to do a pick-your-own apple deal, as we have every fall since moving to New England. At such places, you enjoy apples, hayrides, apples, corn mazes, apples and, most important of all, cider doughnuts. Upon arrival, we booked it to the doughnut stand to grab a hot dog and some doughnuts to get us prepped for a afternoon of picking. Hot dogs - done. On to the doughnuts. Well...they look a little weird. Not in a bad way, just not in a cidery doughnut kind of way - pale and fluffy instead of dark and dense with sugary coating. And darn it all, they taste decidedly un-cidery too. Tasty, but not what we were after.

After filling our bellies, we headed inside to find out about pick-your-own apples. Baaaaaaah. Wrong. Pick-your-own appling was closed for the season. I guess they all got picked. Or they decided there was enough of their crop wasted already, what with all the kids picking and then ditching the not-so-perfect ones on the ground. Inside the barn, there was a conveyor belt which was pretty cool - seeing how the apples came in and were washed and sorted. There were workers picking out the cleaned apples and putting them into bushels to be sold later. We bought a bag of Spencer apples. Not quite the same as picking them ourselves, but tasty anyways. On the way out, we stopped to get some pumpkin spice and apple crisp ice cream, since ice cream is one of Micah's favorite things. Slight backfire there as well, but in a good way - kiddie sized cones were GINORMOUS. We could only eat half each.

After our brief apple foray, we jumped back in the car and headed further south to the Cranberry Harvest Celebration. Now, I had been wanting to visit a cranberry bog for some time. I think, specifically, it stems from working on OceanSpray and loving Justin and Henry (the bog guys in the commercials) and seeing all the photos with the bright red berries against the blue fall sky. That, and, lets be honest, harvesting anything by water...pretty neat-o.

We got to the fair celebration kinda late so headed straight to the bogs. Once there we checked out the wet harvest and watched workers rake berries across the water in their waders. There was also a dry harvest section, used mostly with small farms and organic berries, but that was no where near as cool as the wet harvest. Sorry folks.

And...wouldn't cha know it? They had helicopter rides available. Um, awesome. Um, totally on my 'to do before i die' list. The rides were relatively inexpensive -come on people, it's a helicopter - which was really nice. Yes, 2 please. We waited in line as 3 helicopters took turns circling the area and came back down to pick up more riders. They only sat 3 in addition to the pilot, so it took a while to work though the line. It was super-cool and not as scary as you might think. We got to wear the headsets and everything. Hooray! After the short ride (what do you expect for a bargain price), we landed again, safe and sound, and headed back over to the main event area, bought up some cranberries and headed on home.

Only in New England do people L-O-V-E to WATCH other people do their jobs. Sam Adams and Harpoon Brewery tours - yes. Ben and Jerry's factory tour - yes. Cider mills - yes. Cabot cheese factory - yes. Apple and cranberry harvesting - yes. So funny when you think about it.


It could have been worse.

Ole Miss has finally decided on an on field mascot.

The winner? A black bear.

"In Mississippi, many stories that have been
shared for generations center around our native
black bear. In William Faulkner’s “The Bear”, Old
Ben, a formidable black bear, is a symbol of pride,
strength, and toughness. Additionally, the legend
of the “Teddy Bear” originated in Mississippi when
President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a
defenseless bear on a Mississippi hunt in 1902.
The Rebel Black Bear, an imposing figure, would
intimidate any opponent and be a real source of
school spirit. Off the field, The Rebel Black Bear
would be an Ole Miss ambassador, full of pride
and welcoming any opportunity to spread the joy
of being a Rebel."

All I ask is for them to consider an homage to the Colonel.

Rest in peace, ole man.

Bout that time of year.

Spy Pond, near our house. Right before I got a grass stain on my khakis.


Shaken and Stirred.

Last night I scored a free spot in the cocktail class at Stir.

My good buddy Gerald called last minute with a free spot and of course, of course, of course I said I'd join him and spend a couple of hours under the tutelage of John Gersten learning to perfect my cocktail making skills.

I now just need my own ice house (very important), need to distill my own spirits (legal for personal consumption), need to make my own grenadine (pomegranates, fools!).

After drinking a fair bit, I don't feel too worse for the wear this morning.

Must have been the stir.

I stole the above pictures from someplace. My camera isn't that good.