Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sleepy Holloween

Yesterday totally got away from me, but I'm still going to post about the weekend because it was wonderful. I'm not going to start with my cliche discussion of the weather that I've noticed is at the top of pretty much every one of my posts (although, if I were to go that way, I'd have to say it was perfectly crisp and autumnal). Instead, regardless of what the climate may or may not have been, it was decided that at halfway through October, it was time to start doing fall things, and in particular: Halloween things.

For years, I've been talking about going up to Sleepy Hollow around Halloween as they do a big to-do ever since they changed their name from the much less romantic North Tarrytown. As it turns out, most of the Halloween celebrations are at night, and also booked far in advance, so we didn't partake in them on our day trip. We, however, did walk around and appreciate the creepy scarecrow pillow people they tie to all their fence posts and the various headless horseman themed public art. It was the Sleepy Hollow High Homecoming game the day we were there, but we chose not to attend. I am curious what their mascot (they're the horsemen) looked like though.

On our walk, we hit Philipsburg Manor, an old Dutch settlement farm. This is also the site of the Horseman's Hollow where on nights during October, the house and grounds are transformed into a haunted house or, according to their website, a "terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane." Naturally, we were sorry to have missed that. In daylight, when there aren't masked horsemen chasing you around though, it's rather picturesque.

It's like you're in New Netherland.
A short walk from the Philipsburg Manor is Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Washington Irving is buried there. Apparently so are Andrew Carnegie, Samuel Gompers, and Leona Helmsley, but the place is huge and we quickly tired of trying to find their graves and just wandered around the grounds for a bit. Some nice people at the entrance were selling apple cider and mulled wine which would probably improve any cemetery experience.

Irving's grave, complete with small pumpkin left by some well wisher. 
Sam enjoying a day at the cemetery.
Our cemetery companions--minus Sam, who took this.
Another of Sam's artsy cemetery shots. 
After a lunch at a waterfront restaurant, we adjourned back to Astoria. However, the photogenic and classically fall activities did not stop there! On Sunday, we went to a friend's pumpkin carving and chili eating party. There were prizes (this particular friend is a salesperson for a large winery, so the prizes were very good), so I encouraged Sam, as the superior pumpkin carver to represent us. I gutted a few pumpkins though in between chili eating in order to earn my keep.

I'll let you guess which one is his prize-winning pumpkin. See answer below... 
The artists with their pumpkins (and me with an untouched gourd).
Hope everyone had a lovely fall weekend (or whatever the weather was near you...). I'm still thinking of ideas for a costume that won't involve me spending any money, so all suggestions are appreciated.

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