Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chelsea, VT

For the Columbus Day weekend, Chris and I and our friend stayed with another one of our friends up in Vermont! Our friend is moving up there soon, so he has a house up there that he will be living in eventually.

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Chelsea is a very small town. We were by the center of town, which consisted of two small greens, a church, and a few restaurants and stores. Although it's a very small town, it had a really great view and we were surrounded by mountains and open fields and farms, so it was pretty. On our first day there, we decided to just explore the town and the surrounding areas.

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I hope if you're from Vermont you don't take offense to this, but Vermont is weird. It's a lot different than the lower New England states. Everything is so spread apart and it takes an hour just to drive to a large grocery store or a Dunkin Donuts. I was so excited when we finally saw a Dunkin Donuts on the third day we were there. It was after driving an hour and a half away from where we were staying. The exits on the highway are so far apart, and even the towns and gas stations are far apart on the main roads. It takes like 20 minutes or more to get somewhere else (which is usually just a gas station and/or country store, and that's crazy to me. I'm so used to constant exits and stores or restaurants being a 5-10 minute drive away, tops.

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I don't think I could ever live like that with everything so far away, especially in the winter when it's already hard to get places. I like the country, but Vermont is too rural for me to live in, though I'm sure the main cities and some of the outer ones from there are more happening. When we went to Middlebury on our last day up there, it was a lot more populated. I do enjoy visiting, though because it is nice to get away and it's really pretty.

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Anyway...on our first day we explored Chelsea and the surrounding towns. We ended up taking a small hike (in woods where we heard gun shots, which was nerve-wracking) and we also stopped at a cool little cemetery. We took in the sights and the views. It was nice and relaxing. At night, with no cell phone service, Internet, or cable, we played games and laughed and talked into the wee hours. Although I need my Internet and phone fix every day, sometimes it's nice to not have those kinds of distractions when hanging out with people.

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The foliage was nice in some parts, but mostly we couldn't find any good hikes where you were really surrounded by it. It all looks nicer from far away and when you're in the middle of it, it's just green and somewhat yellowish or the trees or bare. I just had some bad luck this year with foliage!

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This yellow dress is the dress that I got from ModCloth that I couldn't wait to wear in the fall. I knew that Vermont would be the perfect place to do so. I have been searching for a burnt orange sweater for a long time, and I finally found one from a place called Le3no. They originally sent me the wrong style sweater, but they were very quick and easy about doing an exchange. They sent me a shipping label for me to send the sweater back in and quickly sent me the right one. I liked the shade of the one they first sent me more than the one I ordered. It was more burnt/pumpkiny orange while this one seems more red-orange, but I like the v-neck style of this one more than the round-neck that the other one had. The scarf is vintage, and I felt it was appropriate for a weekend of leaf-peeping. :)

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Dress: Blutsgeschwister via ModCloth//Sweater: Le3no//Tights: Target//Scarf: Vintage//Shoes: Clarks//Hat: Forever 21//Belt: Forever 21//Lipstick: Flirt!
One great thing about Vermont is the stars. Because there's so much open land and space, there's a lot less light pollution. We went up to this overlook to look at the stars, and it was amazing. I don't think I've ever seen so many stars. I tried to get some pictures of them, but they kept coming out kinda blurry. I'd really love to master astrological photography some day.

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I'll share more of my Vermont trip in my next post about our second day there that we spent in Woodstock! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Autumn, Birthdays, & Friendship

I apologize for the unexpected mini hiatus! I went to Vermont for the long weekend and didn't have Internet, so I wasn't able to work much on anything computer-wise. Vermont was nice and weird, but I'll tell more about that when I post the pictures. ;) The Sunday of the first weekend of October was spent doing all kinds of autumny things with a bunch of friends. It's always nice to do things as a group, especially when everyone in the group loves the season and has the same day off for once.

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We started off at a small farm that sells pumpkins and knick knacks that are all fall and Halloween themed. The stuff they have is really cute and nice, but kinda pricey. I just enjoy looking around and getting in the spirit of it all. I also just love being around pumpkins. I still have yet to get my own pumpkin, though.

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After the farm, we headed to the orchard to do some apple picking. At least, we thought we were going there to pick apples until we realized how insanely busy the orchard was. The line to pay for your apples probably would've taken an hour to wait in, so we just walked through the orchard trying different apples.

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Once we were done in the apple orchard, we decided to go through the corn maze. The corn maze always seems like a good idea beforehand, but then it can get sort of annoying once you're in it. You're supposed to find all the answers to the questions they hand you before you go in, so you have to find all the checkpoints within the maze. Of course, you always end up passing the same checkpoint at least 3 or 4 times before you figure out where you should be going next. At least we got stickers at the end.

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We went to the farm market afterwards so browse all the tasty things they sell there. I got some apple cider because there's nothing like cider from the orchard. I'd love to make my own some day, or try to make my own hard cider. That'd be a fun venture that would probably end up going horribly wrong somehow...haha.

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Well, another reason that I've been absent here lately is because I just celebrated my 25th birthday and I was doing fun birthday stuff this past weekend! Thursday night my parents had dinner and cake for me. My mom always makes my favorite dinner for me for my birthday (which always includes her amazing stuffed artichokes) and she made me a pumpkin spice cake! Chris and I ended up staying there for 2-3 hours after everything died down while my dad told us crazy stories from when he was growing up. It was actually really fun and nice.

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On Friday (my actual birthday), I only had to work one of my jobs, so I had the afternoon off. While I was at work, my boss surprised me with a mini party by inviting Chris and my parents and my niece to come in for cupcakes. I had no idea this was happening and it was so confusing at first, but it was really awesome. I got lots of chocolate too, so that's always a plus.

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Shirt: Thrifted//Tank Top: Forever 21//Jeans: Urban Outfitters//Boots: Payless//Hat: Forever 21//Sunglasses: H&M//Lipstick: Too Faced Cosmetics
That afternoon, Chris drove me around while we adventured. We went to a pumpkin patch that we soon realized is the best one around. Better than the other ones we always go to. They had SO many pumpkins, and they were all so perfect. I've never seen so many beautiful and perfect pumpkins. They also price them by size instead of by weight, which I think is convenient and cool. I hate when you have to wait until the pumpkin is weighed to find out how much it'll really be. We got cider and a pumpkin raisin cookie there, then headed to a nearby state park to hang out and explore. It was a really nice and relaxing afternoon and the weather was perfect.

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Later on, Chris took me to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. They're my favorite because they make the best ribs ever. EVER. Anyway....dinner was nice and I felt like I was going to explode afterwards. We headed back to his house for a bit and watched some Harry Potter. It was Half Blood Prince, too, which is one of my favorites. Finally, he brought me back home and when I walked in, I was greeted by every single one of my friends screaming SURPRISE at me and holding a cake that was already lit. They all then proceeded to star singing Happy Birthday and that's when I started to cry...lol. I've always wanted a surprise party more than anything and it finally happened, and I just started crying out of joy.

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Chris and Ashley planned it and I can't believe that everyone was able to make it and be there. This was really the best birthday I've ever had. It was so amazing to see all my friends in one room celebrating my birthday and making my day special for me. They're all so amazing and I love them all very much. I'm really so grateful to have people in my life that care about me enough to want to make my day the best it can be. I know that some of them read this, so...hello, friends! I love you! You mean more to me than you could ever know. :)