Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Overload

Before I start, I want to welcome you over to my new blog. I really fell in love with the artwork and designs at the top of headstones. I know it's a bit morbid, but I really think it's beautiful. Check out my new blog (which is mostly pictures) at Requiescat In Pace.

Moving right along...Today we took a drive around the countryside. We drove by the site of an old glass factory in Lyndeborough, NH.

Those are the old stone foundations of the glass factory. I would have loved to hunt around for bits of old glass, but it was too steep to climb down and I didn't relish falling in the water.

We drove through one of the famed New England covered bridges. This time I really did get flashbacks of Beetlejuice!

Apparently, you need to take turns going through the bridge because that bus waited on us, even though we had just stopped to take pictures.

We took the kids to the playground and I got on the swingset for a while. It's been so long since I was on a swing that I forgot how to pump my legs. My husband had to push me, which was pretty embarrassing.

In a little shop in town, I found the perfect ending to the day; a giant chocolate chip cookie and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Since I've been devouring everything pumpkin in sight (pumpkin coffee, pumpkin butter, pumpkin cookies...) I had to try the ale.

"A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg."

I hardly ever drink and I don't know anything about ale, so I wasn't sure what to drink. My mother in law showed my how to pour the ale into a glass to let it breathe.

It was really orange! To my surprise, it wasn't  pumpkin-y. I could taste a hint of the promised spices, but the flavor didn't knock me over the head.

With this ale I think I'm pumpkined out. I'm not buying anymore pumpkin flavored foods until next year. I'll still be on the hunt for more seafood chowder, though.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Parker's Maple Barn, New England Tombstones and a Covered Bridge

I went to Parker's Maple Barn in Mason, New Hampshire today. We perused the gift store for a little while, then ate at the restaurant.

I ordered a bowl of seafood chowder to split with Winnie. I will be having dreams about that seafood chowder, it was so delicious! It had chunks of lobster, shrimp and crab along side lumps of potatoes. It was so good, I almost ordered a second bowl just to take home with me. Seriously, if you love clam chowder and happen to be around Mason, New Hampshire, stop in and get yourself a bowl of seafood chowder.

My husband ordered Eggs Benedict. The Canadian bacon was half an inch thick!

Sorry the picture's so blurry. He was so eager to eat the food that he wouldn't keep the plate still long enough for a picture.

Ever since the Keene Pumpkin Fest, I've been lusting for a jar of pumpkin butter. No one around here seemed to have any. At Parker's Maple Barn, I lucked out. They had three jars left and I bought all of them.

I didn't open any, but I smelled the lid and I could faintly smell (or hallucinated that I did,) rich, spicy pumpkin. I'm saving it until I get home(!), but I cannot wait to spread some on bread.

I'd never heard of maple cream, but the restaurant sold Peanut Butter and Maple Cream sandwiches, which seemed pretty popular. I saw different sized jars of the maple cream and decided to take the plunge. I have no idea what to expect from it, but hopefully someone in the house likes it.

While apple picking, I also purchased some Apple Butter to send back to Hawaii. I forgot to post pictures, so here you go!

Moving right along...we stopped off at a few places on the way back from the Maple Barn. I've discovered I have an interest in New England tombstone designs.

This is a beatifically delicate design of three weeping willows over two urns.

Another weeping willow with at least one urn. I'm not sure what the egg-shaped items on the ends are, but they are possibly urns or trees. My husband tells me that weeping willows are very popular for putting on headstones in New Hampshire.

This weeping willow comes with poetry:

"Know all ye who pass me by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you shall be,
Prepare yourself to follow me."

Another delicate weeping willow motif.

Open Heaven?

I think this simple rose is absolutely gorgeous.

I'm not sure what the symbology of the pointed hand is, but I'm going to research it to see if I can find out what it means.

So as not to end this on a somber note, we also took a short little walk across a covered bridge. I'd noticed it before because it reminded me of the bridge from Beetlejuice (the ones the Maitlands crashed their car on.) Unlike the Beetlejuice bridge, this one was a walking bridge.

The bridge crosses over a creek that apparently runs from Potanipo Pond.

I think that might be Poison Ivy. My only encounter with it was during a walk I took with my mother in law three years ago. I wore flip flops (I have no idea why I thought that was okay) and apparently brushed against some poison ivy. I've heard the saying "Leaves of three, leave me be," so I took some pictures to look up later. I was careful not to touch it...just in case.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Trip To Salem

I went to Salem, Massachusetts today. I was in the area and figured Salem during the Halloween season would be fun. I wasn't disappointed- there sure was a lot to see, but it made me kind of sad.

We visited the cemetery, which have graves which date from the mid 1600s.  Many of the graves have a sort of flying skull motif on them.

There were many visitors to the town and cemetery, but the cemetery was littered with garbage. It really made me sad to see that while the cemetery wasn't forgotten, it wasn't respected, either. My husband spent our visit to the cemetery cleaning up the wrappers and trash from the ground.

The Salem Witch Memorial really depressed me, as well. It's merely a cleared out area with concrete slabs sticking from a wall. The slabs appear to be benches, but when you get closer, you see there are names, dates and methods of death .

On the ground before the "memorial" were the words of the condemned professing their innocence. To me, this was most important, because, as many people forget, these people were not witches. They were Puritans and most of them were devout.

I was disheartened to discover that these words were rubbed out, worn and covered with dirt, leaves and debris. In the photo below you can read the words "I am no wit..." A partial wall was erected over the rest of the words.

"I Am Wholly Innocent."


I think what bothers me most about Salem is that the town clearly profits over the misfortunes in its history. While I don't really have a problem with that per se, I do think they should, at the very least, remove garbage from the cemetery and sweep the area around the Memorial. We're planning another trip up to New England next month and, barring any legal prohibitions, I'm bringing a broom to sweep the area out.

Anyway, there was a street performer pretending to be a statue. She was up on stilts (I think) and was so still that I was surprised when she moved. A cauldron sat in front of her and if you dropped money into it, she would pat your head and pose for pictures with you.

We also saw the statue of Nathanial Hawthorne, which was framed in a gorgeous orange foliage.

We're planning a trip to a maple sugary tomorrow. I adore maple, so I am so excited.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back on The Mainland!

We arrived safely on the mainland. I was absolutely thrilled that there was a crisp snap to the air and dried leaves to crush underfoot.

We hung out with my best friend for two days in Pennsylvania before driving up to New England. We drove through New Jersey, New York (which I loathe) and took the George Washington Bridge, then on through Connecticut, Massachusetts and into New Hampshire.

Halloween has definitely arrived!

On Saturday, we headed off for what may be the last Pumpkin Fest in Keene, New Hampshire. I have never seen so many pumpkins in my life!

There was a giant carved Jack O' Lantern at the top of the scaffolding.

 That one says "Don't Drink And Drive."

I hate raccoons, but thought this pumpkin was pretty cute:

I will say this about people- they are certainly more formal dressers here than in Hawaii. I've seen only two people with hair even approaching my length since arriving on the mainland.

Yesterday, we went apple picking. We picked Macintosh apples and took a hay ride. The kids had so much fun and I really enjoyed myself, as well.

 I just got my laptop charger back after leaving it in Pennsylvania, so look for more updates very shortly!