Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where Have We Been #6: Salem, MA

I really wish we've been to Salem for the all the haunted happenings but, honestly, the main thing that deters me is the ridiculously large crowds.  I don't do well in large groups of people.  It doesn't help that we've been spoiled by working weekends and having our adventures during the week. We have been to Salem more than once with baby Mr. No.  I've been to all the museums when I was younger and they aren't appropriate for a small child. Salem is actually a great place to just walk around, poke in shops and enjoys some amazing views.  That is how we enjoy Salem with Mr. No.

We tend to head down to the water first.  The reconstruction of the ship Friendship is there.  We've never actually been on it.  Mr. No enjoys the view from the ground better.  He may be more interested now. It's an impressive sight to see regardless. 

There's a nice long walk down to the little lighthouse.  On hot days, we picnic behind it in the shade. Great view, shady spot.

There's grass that's perfect for little ones to play on and a few large rocks.  It's a great spot to relax especially with a wiggly little one!

After lunch and a little run time, we head back down to the shops.  Stop for an ice cream, poke in a few stores, admire the painted pirates on the side of the Pirate Museum...

and then visit the cemetery.  It's a very sad but interesting place.  There is a lot of morbid history to Salem which all we tend to think about when visiting. It's nice to enjoy the town without focusing on that. When Mr. No's a little older, we'll take him to some of the museums. it's definitely something he should learn more about. He's just far too sensitive to hear about those things right now. 

Not your typical view of Salem.  No witch museums or ghost walks.  Just a quiet way to enjoy a day with a little history thrown in.  It's rather impossible to avoid history in Salem.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simple Things Sunday: Pumpkin Painting

we are finally getting around to decorating the pumpkins we picked weeks ago! This year, Mr. No and I decided to paint our pumpkins again rather than carve them.  I cannot be trusted with a knife and H (who works weekends) just hasn't had the time to carve with him now that Mr. No goes to school full time. Mr. No is just as happy painting as he is carving...maybe happier since he gets to do all the creativity. 

 We ended up with a Skeleton Dragon, a Vampire and Jack Skellington. I'm sure it's easy to figure once which is which!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Flashback Friday: Halloween Past

Since next Friday is the day after Halloween, I figured I'd dig out the photos of Mr. No's costumes through the years for this week's Flashback Friday.  Mr. No picked out every costume except his first one since he was only 10 months old.  Here's our cutie Mr. No through the years:

Pirate No

Mr. No the T-rex with his friend the dragon

Sir No

Fire Chief No

Ghost No

and this will be the year of No the Red Ninjago Ninja!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Where Have We Been #5: Ecotarium Pumpkin Fest

Wow.  I'm going back to Mr. No's first Halloween with this one!  It's an event I suppose we should try again now that he's older. The Ecotarium's Annual Pumpkin Fest.  Is it obvious that we love pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns?  Mr. No was not even a year old and was the most adorable undead pirate!

Basically, it's another jack-o-lantern show with carved pumpkins along the paths.

But this one also had adorable animals made from the pumpkins.  We haven't been in years but there really weren't too many pumpkins to look at.  This may have changed.  

Mr. No was far too young for any of the other activities so we really didn't get too much out of the day.  It is definitely geared toward elementary school aged children.  The train was available to ride but, since it was so many years ago, I can't remember if we went on it or not.  He did love the bird mascot that was walking around.  He didn't want to leave him!

It's something that's on the list to check out again now that Mr. No is old enough to participate in more activities.  I just couldn't resist posting photos of this adorable little pirate!

If anyone has been recently, I would love to hear if it would be worth it to take a 6 year old next year.  We've also done the Polar Express event at the Ecotarium.  We froze out rears off on the train ride but Mr. No enjoyed it and he was old enough to play a bit in the museum.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mr. No's Cuddly Ghost

Mr. No is all about Halloween and monsters and ghosts but the other night he got it into his head that he wanted a dinosaur made from socks that night.  It was close to bed time and there was no way that was happening.  He was poking in me fabric stash and came across some scraps of Halloween fabric that I used 4 years ago to make him some baby lounge pants. Ghosty fabric quickly became a fabric ghosty

I drew out a quick ghost on sketch paper, got Mr. No's approval on it, cut out 2 ghosts, sewed them together and we both stuffed him so he could help create his new friend.

2 orange button eyes and a white fabric smile later and he had a new cuddly Halloween friend to take to bed with him.

Super simple but Mr. No adores him!  Now I just have to finish the sock dinosaur that he insisted become a sock dragon instead. 

Monday Funday at TWCS

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Simple Things Sunday: Karate Demonstration

This weekend we finally got to see all that Mr. No has learned at his karate lessons.  He rarely shows us anything at home and there is only a tiny black and white monitor to watch him on at karate.  I actually like the fact that, unlike most other places, there isn't a big window in front where the classes are used as an advertisement for the business.  It was great to see him (with his new yellow belt!) showing off what he knows.  He was so proud of himself!

 Mr. No front and center!

When it was Mr. No's turn to show his individual skills, the dad in the front row decided to shift right in my way. :(  There really wasn't anywhere to move to so I had to make do.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Flashback Friday: Me & Mr. No

Me and my not-so-little boy over the past 6 years!
I'm usually behind the camera and hate to be in front of it so I'm actually amazed by the amount of photos I found of us together.  I do need to take more photos with my Mr. No, though!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where Have We Been #4: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

 *I am not posting any photos of this year's pumpkins.*

Another one of our favorite Halloween traditions is going to see all the carved pumpkins at the Roger Williams Zoo's Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. It truly is an amazing sight!  It does get crowded, and the wait can be long, which is why we typically pay extra to do the meal including no wait entry to the pumpkins. Last year, we loved the harvest buffet which was available all week long.  This year, the weekday meal is zoo food and the buffet is only on weekends. Next year, if the week day meal is the same, we'll definitely skip it.  Get there early enough on a week day and the wait isn't bad.  A note to those who go every year, the main lot is no longer free parking.  It's now their "premier" parking for $10.  We parked in the second lot for free and were out of the parking area in about 3 minutes tops.  Might be worth it for the weekend but not during the week.  I have to say that this year is not as good as past years, mostly due to the theme for us, but partially due to the lack of kid's pumpkins and middle section of huge pumpkins. Still impressive and amazing, especially if you haven't been.   

The staff is very friendly, there are restrooms and port-a-potties all along the wait area and lots of snacks and gifts. They do an amazing job of controlling the amount of people on the trail at any given time so you can thoroughly enjoy the experience without feeling like a herd of cattle. There were times when we were the only people at a group of pumpkins with no one even walking by.  Please note there is No flash photography on the trail. It's blinding when flashes go off around you.  

Taken when we spent the day at the zoo first.  Pumpkins are much more impressive when you can't see the carving marks.

Every year has a main theme, this year's is the 50 states, and one or two little themes like zombie zoo.  Last year's main theme was All the World's a and was amazing!  And they have a kid's section at the end which this year only consisted of 3 pumpkins.  Pretty disappointing especially considering the theme was not too exciting for kids. Past years had more kid friendly themes and more kids pumpkins.   Mr. No still had a fantastic time, though!

*The photos do not look like this on my computer and even if I completely adjust settings (make them significantly darker or lighter or adjust color) they still upload the exact same way.  No idea why.*

Mr. No loves all the faces, though, rather than the intricately carved ones.  And they are everywhere!  Remember to look on both sides of the path or you may miss a cute one!

Usually there is a place in the middle of the trail with a bunch of jack-o-lanterns and some absolutely huge ones.  I didn't post a photo of one but the largest ones have pumpkins next to them carved with their weight. This guy with the eyeballs on top is still one of my favorites!

The end of the trail is the "Laughing Tree".  Be warned that the music is a super loud and annoying laughing over music.  Mr. No covers his ears every time (and I usually want to).  The pumpkins are seriously spectacular though!  Jack-O-Lanterns up as high as you can see and everywhere on the ground.  It's unbelievable! 

We'll definitely go again next year! It's affordable, non-scary, Halloween fun that impresses everyone!  I've noticed a few other local places doing jack-o-lantern trails, too.  Not sure how they are but they're much smaller, I know.  We may have to check one out next year.