Chill Out: Autumn Weekend

October is a busy month for most of us. I have quite a few plans for the end of the month, including my annual Salem, Massachusetts trip and a plethora of Halloween parties. So I have to take all of that into consideration when I make my plans for this weekend.

I cannot deny myself a bar trip between now and Monday (I live in a world with 3 full days of weekend). As much as I would love to party it up every night, I need to conserve for the greater good, Halloween! So what is there to do this weekend?

I plan on taking a refreshing, much-needed hike at Sleeping Giant in Hamden. Spending an hour or more in the woods is a great way to clear your mind, get some exercise, and breathe fresh air which has seemingly become limited to us these days. Activities like hiking, or just frolicking leisurely, are pathways to great ideas. The phone is in the car, Facebook is a galaxy away, it is just you and the woods, and maybe your best canine friend. I try to get this in once a week as I concluded a long time ago that it is a great meditative way to start or end a day.

Every year I go to Jones’ Tree Farm in Monroe for pumpkin-picking fun. It is up on a hill with great scenery and lots of room to move. There are most likely large family run orchards like Jones’ in your area, so get searching. I just tested it out on Google and I was swamped with results for pumpkin patches, corn mazes and cider mills. Gather friends, pick out some pumpkins, then make a silly competition about who can carve the best Jack-o-Lantern. Make sure to bake the pumpkin seeds until golden brown with lots of salt. They are a tasty snack alongside a lager or dark ale beer.  

There are no rules to how you should spend your free time. The only guideline I suggest you follow is that there is no picking up a pumpkin by its stem. You will break it off and ruin the chances of a poor pumpkin finding a home. If I see you do it, I will cringe, swear, scare little children and ruin their perfect family outing. Besides,what did I ever do to you? Sure, this venture will take up only an hour or so of your day, but is that not enough? Relax, reserve and refresh yourself for later.

I was thinking about making my Halloween costume this weekend as well. Another great, fall-related activity that is time-consuming and will get you in the spirit. You can do this on any budget, trust me right now, I am on one hell of a budget. Well, first of all, I am planning on being Hello Kitty. AC Moore and Jo-Ann Fabrics will be my choice destinations as I begin my quest for fabrics to sew my oversized signature HK bow together. I will also be making stops at Goodwill and local consignment shops for pieces to complete the look. I plan on doing this all for under $30 dollars.

I am leaving my bar plans up in the air as of right now. I would like to see a local show and drink Octoberfest (which I have recently become absolutely friggen obsessed with). Maybe I will go to a cute little restaurant on the shoreline with great deals (thanks, Groupon) and eat so much seafood that I will get seasick. Who knows? Remember that spontaneity heals. Long work week, relationship issues, or school stress, now is the time to get up and beat those post-summer blues.

Enjoy this beautiful October Friday.

Dancing around a mini castle at the top of Sleeping Giant State Park