Saturday, October 20, 2012

Avery and the Pumpkin Patch

A couple weeks ago, we took advantage of a free Saturday and visited a nearby farm and pumpkin patch. The weather was not too fall-like with temperatures in the low 70's and uncharacteristic humidity and clouds. Not to be deterred, we dressed Avery in a cute sweater dress from one of her doting aunts, a pair of tights, a jacket, and a hat I knit a couple years ago. Poor thing! But you can't take pictures with pumpkins while wearing a t-shirt, can you?

Since we are new to the area, the only way of finding a pumpkin patch was through a google search. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but the farm wasn't too far away, so we gave it a try. It turns out that Fairfield Farm is lovely little place kind of out in the country. It has a huge pumpkin patch, rows of corn, hayrides, games for kids, and an outdoor shop filled with selections of apples, mums, and cider. We walked out into the pumpkin patch and began looking for the perfect photo opportunity. After rearranging a few pumpkins, we put Avery down on the ground and started snapping.

Usually she loves smiling for the camera, but I think it might have been a little bright for her. Also, it was more interesting to touch her shoes and play with the pumpkins than to look at her parents who were trying desperately to make her smile. A nice family nearby offered to take a picture of the three of us.

There wasn't too much else to keep her occupied at the farm, so after a couple more pictures, we headed home. We thoroughly enjoyed our first visit as a family to the pumpkin patch, and look forward to many more years of memories!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

NYC in a Day

One of the reasons I was excited to move to New Jersey was the fact that New York City was only a short distance away. I've been to the city twice before and loved both visits. Ryan had never been, so it was on our list of things to do this fall.

Last Monday, Ryan had the day off for Columbus Day, so we decided to head across the river for the day. We had originally planned to bring Avery with us, but as we mentioned our plans to some friends at church last week, Mrs. Berry insisted on coming to our house and keeping Avery for us. She and her daughter have watched Avery in the nursery several times, and Avery loves them, so we were happy to take her up on the offer.

We left for the Newark train station around 9 am (about a 10 minute drive from our apartment) and boarded a train that took us directly to the World Trade Center. Thirty minutes later (and at only $2.25/person), the trip was quick and economical. We walked just a couple blocks to the 9/11 Memorial and spent a few minutes in the beautiful park. The pools representing the two towers are breath-taking, and are much deeper in person. One World Trade Center is only about halfway completed, but it is an amazing sight.

From there, we took a detour across the street to see Trinity Church. We didn't have time to explore this historic location on this trip, but Ryan got a quick picture while we were there.

Next, we walked a short distance to Battery Park for a view of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Once again, we plan to visit those places again in the future. From there, we headed up Wall Street towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Ryan had read about a great pizza place near the water, but we couldn't find it anywhere. Thankfully, NYC has no shortage of great restaurants. So we stopped at a cozy little Italian place that happened to serve the best gnocchi I've ever had.

After a delicious and filling lunch, we walked a couple block to the subway station and made our way to Times Square. While I stood in line for a pumpkin spice latte, Ryan took in the sights and sounds of Times Square.

Mr. Berry told us that the view from the top of the Rockefeller Center is the best in the city, and we were not disappointed! The tickets were a little expensive, but the 360-degree views were well worth it. The weather was cool but clear, and Ryan was able to get some gorgeous panoramic pictures. We plan to get one of them printed onto canvas for the blank wall in our living room.

After coming down from the Top of the Rock, we bought some soft pretzels and headed outside to view the iconic ice skating rink. We will definitely be coming back here at Christmas to see the huge Christmas tree in the plaza.

We had planned to eat dinner in the city, but after having a late lunch and walking for most of the day, we decided to beat the rush hour traffic and head home. The train station was only a short distance away, and we arrived back at our apartment a little after 5 pm. We absolutely loved our brief visit to the city and we are already planning a return trip very soon.
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