autumn

A Quote for Fall

Anyone who knows me knows that I am 100% a summer girl. I’m not thrilled about the start of fall—it’s been so chilly in NYC!—but this quote made me smile, nevertheless.

fitzgerald quote

Good to keep in mind, isn’t it? …especially as I count down to warmer months!

(Image via farmnflea via Etsy’s blog)

Fall Fun: Chris Christie Corn Maze and Apple Picking

I’m never thrilled when summer ends. But a day of fall ridiculousness outside the city always brightens my spirits.

Last year, we “hit the hick jackpot” in Long Valley, NJ, a pretty area about an hour outside the city, with lots of farms and apple orchards. Though we didn’t set out to visit that area, specifically, we ended up nearby, this year, for one reason.

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Stony Hill Farm (just a few minutes from Ort Farms, last year’s destination) has a giant corn maze shaped like Chris Christie’s face. (And Barbara Buono, the Democratic challenger. As a liberal, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t name Christie’s gubernatorial opponent until I read about this maze!)

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When it comes to fall ridiculousness, it’s hard to beat a political theme.

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Last year, we made it through Ort’s corn maze pretty quickly. So we were surprised when Stony Hill’s website said it could take three hours to get through their maze.

How hard could it be?

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Once inside, we soon learned. There didn’t seem to be an obvious way to the finish and we didn’t see many markers telling you whether you were on the right track.

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We walked around…

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…and around…

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…and around the corn for almost an hour, back and forth between Buono’s hair and Christie’s face. Finally, we gave up and went out through the entrance. (Luckily, Stony Hill’s awesome cider and donuts took the sting out of defeat!)

Afterwards, we drove a few minutes down the road to Stony Hill’s apple orchard.

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While the trees weren’t massively tall…

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…apples were plentiful (and cheap!) and we picked baskets full to bring back home.

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I’m still eating my way through several apples a day.

On this trip, I also found out that my dear friends, Karen and Steve, live just a few minutes away from this “hick jackpot.” I think they’re lucky to have easy access to such pretty farmland—and amazing cider donuts!

Weekend Farm Fun in New Jersey

Just like river tubing is an annual summer tradition, every fall, my friends and I hit up a farm for an afternoon of rural ridiculousness. As a city person, it’s easy to romanticize the idea of living on a farm, surrounded by pretty scenery and fresh produce—every time I’m near one, I debate whether I could transport my life into that setting. But I know how much hard work and uncertainty goes into that lifestyle and know I could never really do it. However, an autumn afternoon filled with farm-lite activities like apple or pumpkin picking and cider doughnuts? That’s really more my speed—sign me up!

This Sunday, we headed to Ort Farms, located in Long Valley, New Jersey. It was quite a ways from the city, so we stopped for brunch at Salt, an awesome gastropub, on the ride there.

While we were still a few miles from the farm, we hit traffic and joked that everyone was headed to the farm, too. And once we arrived there, we saw that it pretty much was true. The parking lot was packed and hordes of people were wheeling wagons laden down with pumpkins or waiting on lines for hayrides and Monster truck rides.

“It looks like we hit the hick jackpot!” my friend exclaimed.

Ort Farms

We decided that the corn maze was the most appealing of all the attractions, so we paid our admission…

corn maze

…received our very accurate “map” to help us get through it….

corn maze map

…and set off on our way.

corn maze

We got a little lost and attempted to consult the “map” for help…

consulting the "map"

…but in the end, it didn’t take us very long to find the way out. (Little kids helped us out a few times—they seemed perplexed as to why four adults were in the maze, sans children.)

corn maze

And good thing, too, because by that point we were ready for cider and doughnuts from the farm stand. They were delicious—though I unfortunately didn’t get any shots of them, because I was too eager to fight my way to the trays of fresh doughnuts to remember to take photos!

What’s your favorite fall tradition?