Monday, October 20, 2008

Seasonal Activities in Massachusetts

Happy Monday! I hope everyone’s been doing lots of fun fall activities. Mine was loaded with fall –

Friday night Greg and I celebrated the end of the week in Boston’s North End with dinner at our favorite restaurant – La Familia Giorgio. This restaurant is great for gourmets and gourmands alike. The portions are huge, but also made when you order so everything is as fresh as possible. They also make a wheat pasta every day, so it puts a moderately healthy spin on a bowl of noodles. Every time we eat there I have to order the pasta with olive oil and garlic – total comfort food – but I mix it up with different add ins, this time calamari. Every dish is enough food for three meals, but we still order an appetizer of stuffed eggplant, because it’s too good to miss. (and for dessert pumpkin cheesecake – delicious!)

Saturday we finally made it to an apple orchard, something we’ve wanted to do since early September. After much deliberation we decided on Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro. We were just in time to pick at least 6 varieties – Golden Delicious, Macoun, Gala, Empire, Macintosh, and several others. All were very ripe, as next week is their final week of pick your own, but there were still lots of apples left on the trees. The apples were expensive there, but I would definitely return, maybe even earlier in the year for berry picking. The grounds were clean, the hay rides to the orchards were frequent, and everyone was friendly. The all important fresh fall snacks were inexpensive and delicious – $3.50 bought us 5 mini cider donuts and a bag of kettle corn. We were tempted by the hot apple pie with ice cream and the hot cider, but after “tasting” 3 or 4 apples out in the orchards our bellies were just too full. Later today I’ll post some photos from apple picking. The farm has a petting zoo with funny little goats. They were battling each other for the attention of the kids and their hands full of food. The goats have a “goat walk” in their pen that goes 20 feet up into the trees with a platform and food at the top. The walkway doesn’t have any rails or protection to keep them from falling off, but the goats are sure footed and every few minutes we’d see another one start up or back down. There was plenty of easier food to be had on the ground with all the kids bending over the fencing to feed them, so the goats must enjoy the exercise of climbing up.

On our way back Saturday afternoon, we cut east to check out the crowds in Salem. Unfortunately, my phone was dieing at that point so I didn’t get any photos, but there were plenty of spooky sights to see. I love Salem at any time of year, but in October it’s like a whole different world. The streets are filled with people of all ages in costume, and random ghouls and corpses wander the streets handing out flyers or just scaring tourists (/me). This trip we discovered an art studio with moody paintings of Salem landmarks like the House of Seven Gables and the Witch Museum. I would’ve liked to get a postcard or print by the artist, but all the ones in the shop were originals and too pricey for us in the current economy.

Sunday was mostly a low key day. I cooked a big pot of chili and turned some of our apples into an apple crisp. The sun is setting very early here now – by 6pm – so before it went down yesterday, I made an effort to get a quick walk on the bike path, and look at the wildlife around Spy Pond. I’m looking forward to November 2, and the extra hour of sleep, but it’s going to mean the sunlight ends before I even leave work during the week. In the last year, my group at work has moved to a different floor where I don’t have any windows or natural light during the day. I’m going to have to find a way this winter to get regular periods of natural sunlight in every day, and possibly a full spectrum light for my desk.

Anyway, that’s my weekend. Pictures to come!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That sounds like an awesome weekend! We haven't been to Salem during October before. Maybe we'll try that this week. I don't know if Moss's father would be into it, and he'll be visiting, but it sounds fun to me. Mm, apple crisp. Now it's my turn to drool.