Monday, September 30, 2019

Happy October Eve! #countdowntohalloween


Welcome to Maple Grove Cemetery!

Since this is my first entry for this year's Countdown to Halloween linkup, I'll introduce myself and what I'm all about. 

My name is Lisa.  The other characters in my household are Randy (the Spouse) and Angela (the Spawn) and at Christmastime, there will be a Grand-spawn added to the mix.  The feline family members are Rusty, Maddie & Daisy.

 I started decorating our front yard with a quaint little cemetery in 2008 and it's evolved into what you will be seeing soon.   I don't do blood & gore.  MGC is a mix of spooky / cute / goofy.  I have a LOT of skeletons.  Sometimes they dance, sometimes they trick or treat - who knows what they'll decide to do next?
You'll be seeing a lot of this guy - this is Chuck.  The best way I've heard to describe him is like Flat Stanley.  He travels with me and I take pictures of him at neat places / doing fun things.
Here he's on the coast of Maine, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean.   
And if he doesn't go... I have a smaller skeleton named Steve that goes. Sometimes its just easier to carry a smaller guy - like on a plane or horseback riding. 

I'm also a taphophile - or a "tombstone tourist".  I enjoy exploring cemeteries, the older the better.  I'm currently working on visiting all of the 30+ real Maple Grove Cemeteries in the state of Michigan.   Randy graciously plans our vacation road trips around cemeteries I want to visit. 

I've been participating in the C2H since 2011, which was also the first year of this blog.  I don't really have a theme other than Halloween randomness.  We'll explore some cemeteries, take a few road trips to cool local places, do some shopping, etc. 

Hope you enjoy the trip!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Welcome to the "Ber" months!

Happy September!  How have you all been?

Pretty excited for the Halloween season to start ramping up a bit!  I know a lot of people (on Facebook) who have already started decorating!  I'll be missing out on 2 whole weekends this month, so I think I'll start digging stuff out of the shed & garage on Friday the 13th.  Seems like a good day!   I've been thinking about making a video, maybe we can catch what furry asshole is living / has a burrow behind my headstones!

The last weekend in August, we went on vacation.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'd know that already!  I was posting as we went over there.   

The Spouse and I (and Chuck) drove around New England, since neither of us had been in that part of the US before.   It was a great trip!
Gassing up the car.
Cleaning windows.

Welcome to Canada!
Crossing the Bluewater Bridge between Port Huron, MI and Sarnia, Ontario.
Woooo - crossing the border into New York
I have some coworkers who told me not to bother stopping here, but we did anyway - twice!
I would give it a star above Taco Bell.  I enjoyed the bacon burrito a lot.

Our first night we stayed in Rutland, VT.  And then stopped to check out the Wilson Castle.
They rent it out for weddings and such and they do ghost tours at night.  We just walked around the outside.  Stunning architecture!  And I'm glad they're trying to restore it.

1st pumpkin spice iced coffee of the season!
We found the Maple Grove Farms of Vermont purely by accident & stopped to check out the gift shop.  And bought some maple vinaigrette salad dressing & maple pepper. 

We stopped in Barre, Vermont to visit Hope Cemetery.  So beautiful!  I'll have a post about it soon. 

Our next stop was in New Hampshire at Mt. Washington.  OMG.  Gorgeous!
I had no idea New Hampshire was so pretty anyway, but 6288 feet up on top of a mountain - breathtaking!   
Chuck looks very photogenic here!
Before we left New Hampshire, we had to stop here!  It was about 4 miles from our hotel in North Conway and we'd passed in on the way in.  Of course there will be a post about it soon (the Countdown to Halloween is approaching rapidly!)
Day 3 found us in Two Lights State Park in Maine.
We basically sat & enjoyed the ocean for a half hour, then headed back out on the road to Boston.
But first a stop at.... Sleepy Hollow Cemetery!  This isn't THE Sleepy Hollow, since that's in New York, but this one in Concord, Massachusetts is equally cool.  It has "Author's Ridge" with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott,  Henry David Thoreau, William Channing, and David Lothrop.  They were all really close together, too.

Day 4, we were in Boston.
 
We left Chuck in the room with a note introducing himself to housekeeping.
despicable me lol GIF
Day 4 (8/29 - my birthday!!)  the Spouse had a mandatory conference call with the yahoos from work so we got a late start.  We took the train into Boston...



and explored the Granary Burial Ground and King's Chapel Burying Ground.
Look at the detail on some of these stones!!
I love the lounging skeleton here. 
Our next stop was a commuter train to Salem!!
happy so excited GIF
 We just won't talk about my knee deciding it didn't like me running for said commuter train.  Causing mucho pain & gimpiness.
 The Salem Witch Museum was a gimme.  We had to go there.  And the ladies at the ticket counter were so entertained with Chuck!

The walking ghost tour was pretty neat.  Our guide was really good & fun to hear her tell the stories about actual hauntings.

Note to self.  Give yourself more than a couple hours to see Salem.  Especially if you're limping!
I wish I'd looked closer at what to see & do there.  Since there was a lot of stuff we saw during the ghost walk that would have been better to see in daylight.  I guess that just means we have to go back someday!  Just not in October.  Too people-y!  I've heard October in Salem be compared to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

This is how I carried Chuck around.  He fit in that backpack perfectly!

Day 5, we left Boston for Connecticut.  We thought about going to Groton to tour a submarine, but there's no way I could have handled a tiny diesel sub with my knee how it was.   So we just went to Newington to the headquarters of the ARRL!
Spouse and I are both amateur radio operators, so we couldn't *not* stop!
And since I happen to have the best spouse in the world who willingly plans cemetery visits into our vacations - this one was for him.  He had a good time playing radio until they made him stop - LOL!

We had dinner at Chi-Fil-A since it's still a relatively rare thing here in Michigan.  We stayed in night in Connecticut, then came home on day 6.
Both border crossings were entertaining.  The Canadian agent asked Spouse to roll down the window, at which we both just stared at him, since the window was down!  He meant the back window!
When we got to New York,  we already had the back window rolled down and the agent just looked for a second, nodded in approval and commented about "safety for everyone"!
despicable me 3 lol GIF

So as I mentioned before - Countdown to Halloween signups are happening!  If you want to join in on the fun, drop an email to the Cryptkeeper!

I'm hoping to get some posts pre-written before then!