Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Bucket List Adventure

Adventures have been scarce lately so we have decided to embark on a semi-artificial one and create our own bucket list. We don't like the term "bucket list" for what we're doing, though, because, even though we will be creating a list of things to do before we "kick the bucket", we feel like calling it that implies that one of us is Jack Nicholson and the other is Morgan Freeman. This causes problems on many levels because, we don't normally identify with older men, but also because, well, who gets to be who?! There are benefits to both, but instead, we've decided to leave that discussion behind and, even though we tried coming up with different names for it, we're just going to suck it up and call it our BUCKET LIST.

We each have a list of about 20 things so far and although we share a lot of the same goals, some of them are different.
Here is our combined list so far (with a name in parentheses if only one of us wants to do this):
1. Have a boxing match (Kathryn)
2. Cliff dive
3. Climb a mountain
4. Drive Route 66
5. Experience weightlessness
6. Go deep-sea fishing (Kathryn)
7. Create a short film based on Neil Diamond's "America" (Kathryn)
8. Orbit the Earth (Caitlin)
9. Go kayaking
10. Watch a rocket blastoff
11. Own a house at Old Orchard Beach
12. Take a ride in a hot air balloon
13. See what REALLY happens when you take a locking shopping cart to the end of the parking lot (Caitlin)
14. Road trip across the USA
15. Scuba dive (Caitlin)
16. See Mt. Rushmore
17. Zipline
18. See pyramids
19. Go in the ocean at nighttime
20. Skydive
21. Visit all 50 states
22. Go to Ireland
23. Go to Greece (Kathryn)
24. Niagara Falls
25. Grand Canyon
26. Whitewater rafting
27. Sing in a gospel church choir (Kathryn)

We'll keep updating this when we add more or if we are able to cross something off - because I'm sure we'll have a ridiculous story to accompany most of these.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Adventure Slacking

We've been slacking on adventures lately, and we're sorry. We hope to have a new and amazing one to tell you about soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adventures in Alien Communication

One of Caitlin's favorite topics in the world is space. She loves thinking about it, talking about it, looking at it, hearing about it - everything. So, when NASA decided to blow up part of the moon in a search for water, she wanted to see some video of what we both thought would be something that looked really cool.

The videos we found showed nothing. Absolutely nothing visible happened when the moon was blown up. It was a complete bust! Except for the fact that, during our search, we stumbled upon some websites about aliens that gave us a few good laughs. We even found a website with helpful instructions on how to make a thought-shield-helmet to keep those pesky aliens out of your brain. The person who runs the website mentioned something called an "alien-human hybrid" but didn't go into very much detail about what he meant so we used this as our excuse for getting into contact with this man. We decided to send him an email posing as legitimate alien-fighters and see what he had to say.

Here are the emails that followed (we wanted to include the pictures of the emails to show that they are real, but, because the text is somewhat hard to see, we have "subtitles" below each picture. Also, we have blocked out the man's name and email and bolded some of our favorite parts):
My sister and I very much appreciate your website on stopping alien abductions and are in the process of creating thought screen helmets for ourselves and those we love. We have a couple questions, however, that we are hoping you can answer for us. What are the characteristics of an alien-human hybrid? What can you do if you suspect one is living among you? What do you do if you suspect you may be one of these hybrids.
Thank you very much and please stay safe,
Hello Kathryn,
So many people ask me about alien-human hybrids that I may have a site on them, since there are no good, accurate sites.
Alien-human hybrids look pretty human. Some have no hair or very little hair. A hybrid can ev
en be your lover!! They may have very large eyes or eyes with no pupils and wear sunglasses to wear their unusual eyes. They may be bald and wear what Budd Hopkins calls cheap looking wigs. Outside of that they look very human.
If you are wearing a helmet and sunglasses so they can't stare into you, they may not talk to you and they may move away. I have one incident of a woman who lost a fight with alien hybrids. She was a small, frail woman who just had surgery and two hybrids went through the wall in back of her and snuck up on h
er and held her down, then removed the helmet.
If you are dealing with a hybrid, they may contact other hybrids to help
them try to remove the helmet from you. If you have any kind of a weapon
and fight back, they may withdraw. If that happens please let me know.
Do you have a phone
number where I can call you?
I am out of town and will return late Monday night.

stop alien abductions
I really appreciate the quick reply! However, I think you can understand that I am hesitant to maintain contact because...well, how do I know that you are not an alien-human hybrid?! I am almost sure that you are not, but I don't think you can take too many precautions with this kind of thing. My sister and I have completed our helmets and are wondering if we have to wear them everywhere we go? Are there certain places alien-human hybrids can't go? Thank you, Kathryn
Hello Kathryn,
If you are being abducted, you need to wear your helmets all of the time.
As far as I know, there are few hybrids around, although they are also
driving cars on the highways.
I would only wear a helmet if you think there is a possibility of seeing
one, which is not likely as far as I know but I would not put anything past
For more information see
I would not put anything past the aliens.
I can send you directions for making a baseball cap as well.
If you want, I will call you if you want to email me your phone numbers.
This is the best I can do.

stop alien abductions

This was the last email we got because we haven't replied with anything else. We don't really want to give him a phone number but doing so could turn into something hilarious, I'm sure. Are there any questions you would like to ask him? Let us know and we'll email him again!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Haunted Overload

Last night we traveled to Lee, New Hampshire for our final Friday of haunted houses. We went to Haunted Overload and had very high expectations for it when we drove up. They had the coolest looking props - better than anywhere we went to this year. There were gigantic witches and various ghouls, crazy alive-looking trees, and tons of carved pumpkins. There was even a headless horseman riding around on a Clydesdale.

The main haunted part was a lot like the other places we've gone to, except this one seemed to take all of the typical "scary" ideas to the next level - I mean, it is called Haunted OVERLOAD, after all. For example, instead of one guy with a chainsaw, there were four or five; there were actors on stilts and people coming out of the ground; there were a few little kids with knives.

We also got more scared here than anywhere else we've been this year. We were stumbling, screaming, and had a few falls. We aren't the type of people who get really freaked out by clowns, but Haunted Overload had a clown section that was actually really scary. There was even this really cool "magical" tunnel thing that neither one of us can understand or fully explain. It was a dark tunnel that looked like it went on forever covered in green laser light. Shadows of men came out of nowhere, and then the shadows actually turned into real people who came running out at us. It was weird. It was wild. It was a HAUNTED OVERLOAD.

So, our haunted house Fridays have come to an end for this year and I'd say it was a successful year. We went to all new places we've never been before and none of them disappointed us. Our favorites were definitely The Haunted Graveyard and Haunted Overload but they were all fun and had their own cool parts - the live tarantulas at Fright Kingdom and the creepy Winnekenni Castle, to name a few.

We can't wait until next year so we can travel New England looking for another great haunt (in Caitlin's words.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How did you get here?

We decided to take this post to address the people who may have stumbled across Absurd Adventurers accidentally or unexpectedly while searching for something else entirely.

To the person who searched, "I thought you said spider":
We think you're looking for the Goodfellas quote: "I thought you said, 'I'm alright, Spider'" which is what Michael Imperioli says to Joe Pesci when he doesn't get him a drink. Sorry you found our blog instead.

To the person who searched, "There's no Canada Like French Canada":
We thought all Canada was French Canada.

To the person who searched, "Look at free bikes":
Sorry, but we have no free bikes for you to look at. We do have one that we found on a sidewalk that we took home with us. We haven't done anything with it so far, but if you want it, you're going to have to pay for it.

To the person who searched "Caitlin Wilhelm Blog":
What a coincidence! One of us is name Caitlin, we went to the Wilhelm Reich Museum, and we have a blog! Too bad I don't think we are what you're looking for. Here you go.

To the multiple people who have searched for the address of Spider Gates:
It's officially on "Earle St." in Leicester, MA. But half of the adventure of going there is driving around aimlessly trying to find it, so, good luck!

To the person who searched "composting toilets broadmoor":
Uhhh, yup. They have them there.

Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce

I think we can both agree that last night was the best of the Friday-scare-nights so far. We went to The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut. It took us a little under two hours to get to, so it was the longest drive so far, but it ended up being worth it. It was in the middle of an amusement park - one that we never knew existed - that actually looked pretty cool and we decided that we might have to go back there some time to ride all the rides.

We had to wait in a pretty long line and since it was raining and cold, it probably seemed like we had to wait a lot longer than we actually did. Even though there were tons of people, we moved pretty quickly so it really wasn't as bad as it looked when we saw how many people were in front of us.

The actual haunted part of it was awesome. It was so well built and intricate. There was a graveyard, 2 castles, a cave, completely dark tunnels, a slaughterhouse, and other things that I'm forgetting. We spent an HOUR walking around in there. A whole hour of getting scared! One of the coolest parts was that the real people were mixed in with fake prop-people so well that you couldn't tell what was real from what was fake - which of course meant that we consistently got scared. There were also some parts that were so dark and/or foggy that you couldn't see where you were going and our minds definitely got blown by the confusion that caused.

It was definitely one of the best put-together places we've ever seen. It was also awesome that it cost us $20 to get scared for an hour, when we normally pay that same price to go through haunted houses that take about 15 minutes or less. So, even though Bristol, Connecticut is a little out of the way for us, it was a really good choice and I think we'll probably end up going again next year. I still cannot get over the fact that it took us an hour of very slow walking to get through the whole thing and it only cost us $20!

We recommend going if you can - I don't think there's any way you can be disappointed by it. In fact, if there's only one place you can/want to go to, we would choose this one. (Even though the place we're planning on going to next week for our big finale looks like it's going to be awesome, and we might have to change the previous statement.)
A little piece of advice, though: when we were getting on the highway to come home, it basically looked like a parking lot because of construction they were doing. People were reversing their way up the on-ramp, trying to turn around and drive up the on-ramp when they were already on the highway, and getting out of their cars and walking around for some reason. Because it was the only way we knew to get home, and because we are not the kind of people who get aggravated by sitting in traffic or complain because we're just oh so busy to sit in our cars for a little while longer, we got on the highway - and in about 5 minutes, after we got past a lane merge, the traffic was gone. So, just keep in mind that a little bit of traffic is never reason enough to lose your mind and start driving up on-ramps or making some other ridiculous scene.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled in between a Friday of snow and a Sunday of rain came a beautiful Saturday full of sun. We thought that it would have been an awful slap in the face to the universe to let this day come and go without taking advantage of it and doing something outside.

We decided to go to the Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, MA because we loved Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick and had been planning on checking this one out for awhile. Broadmoor was so amazing and ended in such a great story for us that we decided not to have any expectations about this one because we didn't want to get our hopes up and then feel like we wasted our beautiful Saturday.

When we got there, we were a little disheartened because it didn't look very big or impressive. We spoke to the woman who worked there, went over the trail map with her, and learned that it was actually 400 acres of forest and that people have seen beavers, deer, mink, heron, and other wild creatures. However, she also told us that we came at the wrong time of year and day to see any of these because the frogs had probably already gone underground (who knew frogs went underground for the winter?!) and the other animals probably wouldn't be out.

It turned out to not even matter that the animals were too chilly to come out of their cozy little homes - the trees were BEAUTIFUL! We have never been the kind of people who drive up to Vermont to check out the foliage or stop by the side of the highway to set up a tripod and take nature shots, probably because we've become so used to it that we just take it for granted. This trip, however, reminded us how much we love the changing seasons and of how lucky we are that we get to see the leaves changing such amazing colors.

No trip to the great outdoors would be complete for us, however, without some kind of ridiculous story and this trip definitely fulfilled it's job. We came across this little brook with a nature-made stone bridge going across it:My sister, Emily, and I were checking out the water when we heard a small gasp and turned to see Caitlin falling very slowly and very comically on the rocks. It may have been the longest continuous fall that I have ever witnessed and she pinballed off of about 5 different rocks before finally resting on the ground. Each elbow hit a different rock, each knee hit a different rock, she hit her lower back on still another rock. Her final impact caused her hat to fly off of her head and Emily and I stood there confused and laughing hysterically while trying our hardest to focus up, fulfill our familial duty and ask how she was. Although there was a hint of tears, she was mostly overwhelmed (as we were) with laughing at herself and wondering how she possibly could have tripped and hit so many different rocks with so many different body parts.

As we drove home we realized that Caitlin hurt her elbow pretty badly and was experiencing really sharp pains whenever she tried to move her arm - but we all just mind-over-mattered it and she's doing fine now - bruised and sore, but fine.

We cannot wait to go back again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures into Musical Super-Stardom

One of the greatest ideas we have ever had was when we decided to start our own bluegrass band last summer. We figured that since a lot of the songs we were hearing sounded like they were written by children we could write a few songs, get famous, and make millions of dollars! The plan started falling apart from its' inception, however, because the only musical genre we thought we could weasel our way into was bluegrass - not exactly home to the richest musicians. Even though we don't play instruments and have never been complimented on our singing abilities, we thought, "how hard could it honestly be?" and set to making a MySpace page to get ourselves out there - the first step for any successful band.

We decided to pick three country-sounding words that we would each go by: I became Twig, Caitlin became Twine, and Emily (our younger sister) became Jute. Thus, Twig, Twine & Jute was born! Our first two songs, "Fiddlin'" and "Country Fever" were written and recorded the first day we started the group and we thought that could only be a GREAT sign of things to come - untold riches and tremendous success were the only things we could see on the horizon. So the next logical step was for us to stage a country/bluegrass/redneck photo shoot in the back yard that really spoke to our dedication to our craft.Because we became relatively popular on MySpace, we're going to give some advice to fledgling bands out there: add and except everyone you can find. Since MySpace is all about popularity anyway, no one turns down a friend request. We requested bluegrass fans, country fans, hardcore fans, death-metal fans, people who don't speak English, old men and women trying to recapture their youth through a social-networking site, bands, photographers, comedians, basically anyone we could find. The wildest part to us was when people ACTUALLY LISTENED TO OUR SONGS, thought we were a real band, and messaged us about buying a CD.

Although we had the advertising and "gimmick" part of the music industry down, we realized that the "music" part of the music industry is the most difficult part. We figured we could get around our lack of knowledge, experience, and talent by writing catchy tunes and having as many MySpace friends as possible. While this was true for awhile, the songs eventually stopped coming. We tried adding instruments we thought we'd be able to master quickly - like the washboard, spoons, harmonica, and accordion (all apt for our genre) - but we still could never write a song that reached the 3 minute mark. We gradually lost interest as our ideas for songs ran dry and, although we have not officially broken up, we are "taking a break." To the public and our fans, we have attributed this break to in-band fighting (because doesn't that happen to all bands?), but we have kept the MySpace, should we ever plan a reunion.

Twig, Twine & Jute song list:
Country Fever
'Tain't No Use
Jim's Tale
My Banjo
I Just Wanna
Southern Summertime
Kentucky Way

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Castle of Fear

Last night we went to the Castle of Fear in Haverhill, MA. It's at this place called Winnekenni Castle and has four different parts to it: the Freaky Fobic Castle of Fear, Dreaded Dragon 3-D Lair, Killer Klown Lazer Catastrophe and Howling Hayride of Horror. Besides having the GREATEST POSSIBLE NAMES for haunted attractions, it also had the best scenic drive up to the actual castle.

When we saw the sign and turned onto the road we were met by complete darkness and no sign of life. There was a dark building to the right and no lights anywhere. We continued on the dirt road and winded through the woods, not knowing if this place was actually open or if we had made a wrong turn somewhere. We learned that nothing gets you ready to be scared like driving through the woods at night with no lights guiding you and if we ever decide to open our own haunted house, we're definitely going to follow their lead.

We finally reached the top of the hill and saw a huge fire, a couple people hanging out around it and a huge castle that was not lit at all. The castle is on our list of places to go back to (even during the day time) because it was so cool looking and would be fun to explore. Unfortunately, because of rainy weather, we weren't able to go on the Howling Hayride of Horror, but they gave us a discount on our tickets and free tickets to come back and try it out another time.

Once in there, it was pretty much like every other haunted house we've been to - we got scared, we were confused about where to go, and ended up really tired after it all. It was probably a combination of the anxiety caused by the drive up, the huge fire out front, and the scary-looking castle that made this one of the scariest ones we've been to.

One of the best parts of the whole night was when Caitlin, while playing laser tag, fell on the ground (multiple times) and even rolled outside of the tent - claiming that it was too hard for her to see...

All in all it was a good time and definitely a good choice. We'll probably go back for the hayride - because we know it will be scary and also because we have free tickets for it. We recommend checking it out because what's cooler than a haunted castle? Nothing.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Adventures in Time Travel and Past Lives

Yesterday was a strange day in the house. Caitlin was acting weird all day and finally, around 7PM she figured out why: she was living in the past, present, and future all at the same time.
Here's a video where she explains what she was feeling:


After this, we started looking up various things related to time travel, remembering things from before you were born, crystal children, promnesia, paramnesia, deja vu, and more. We felt like the best way to figure out how Caitlin was able to live in different moments simultaneously and how to explain why she could remember situations and objects from before she was alive was to look into her past lives. We went to so many websites that charged ridiculous amounts of money for tapes and videos but we wanted immediate results. We found a few free websites that claimed to only need your name and birthdate to come up with a detailed account of your past lives. We aren't the most skeptical or cynical people in the world but something about those sites seemed really fake, even to us.

We finally found one that we wanted to try because it was free and we could do it ourselves. We followed all of the steps of the exercise perfectly; I acted as moderator and Caitlin was the actual participant. We were taking it very seriously and fully believed it would work - because believing it will work is probably all you really need to make it work. We really were dedicated to unearthing the answer to this mystery but certain words or phrases I had to say during the exercise broke our concentration and relaxation, things like:

Your body should now be filled with beautiful healing light. Take a moment to bask in it: feel it's warmth and it's safety.

let the love of the universe surround you.

Like a deep sea diver come back up slowly to the surface of your conscious awareness. You have been to a deep place within you and you must readjust to your normal waking state.

Needless to say, we may have ended up laughing more than actually finding any answers and Caitlin was not able to see herself in a past life - but we are not going to abandon this journey through time! This adventure through the universe is not over! Just like Ellen A. Mogenson (who created the exercise we used) we are going to allow ourselves to be inspired by the help of the guardians of time and we will figure out who Caitlin really is!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fright Kingdom

October is here! And with it comes one of our most favorite traditions of the year: going to haunted houses every Friday night until Halloween. We love being scared and it's even better when there is absolutely no threat of actual pain or death. This year, we're going all over New England and, although we won't give too much away about each place, we'll tell you how it was and whether or not we would recommend it.

We started last night by going to Fright Kingdom in Nashua, New Hampshire. It was all indoors which was awesome because it was a little cold out. There were three separate "attractions" inside: the first was like a house, the second was 3D clowns and the third thing had vampires in it. I made the mistake of saying Caitlin's name when we were approaching the clowns, so of course they kept coming after her yelling her name. We've been in haunted houses that have 3D portions before but this one was probably the best. Maybe it was the quality of the glasses or the fact that it was well-lit that allowed us to see where we were going - but not well enough to be able to tell what was real or fake. It also had some other things that we've never seen before at other places, so we're really glad we went - even though we got really scared.

Of course, if you are one of those people who thinks you're too cool for life and you want to look like a tough guy, you won't let yourself be scared by it and you should probably just stay home. We've gone to places before where we've had to listen to people who paid to get in complaining about how dumb and childish and "not scary" these places are and, if you are one of these people who hates having fun and just loves to complain, don't go. But, if you like getting scared and letting yourself get scared and don't mind looking a little stupid when you scream and jump, check out Fright Kingdom. We had a lot of fun.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New England Aquarium

There comes a time in everyone's lives when they must face their deepest, darkest fears. Sometimes that means getting up in front of a group of people and giving a speech, getting on an airplane or putting a tarantula on your face. Other times it just means taking a trip to your nearest aquarium.

I am very scared of whales and most other underwater creatures but we decided I needed to man up and go to the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA to prove that there's nothing to be afraid of. I was doing really well with the huge tank that held a couple sharks, stingrays, turtles and hundreds of other fish. For some reason, both of us found the scariest part of looking into the tank to be the diver who was feeding all the fish.

It seemed like the biggest and most beloved attraction was the octopus. People loved that thing. There was a huge crowd in front of its' tank that never seemed to go away. These people could not get enough of its' bulbous head, weird movements and suction-y tentacles. The craziest part was that there were no kids in front of the tank. It was as if the entire population of middle to old aged people at the aquarium had found their soul mate, created a wall and wouldn't let anyone else anywhere near it. We were finally able to catch a quick glimpse of the elusive creature when a couple peeled their faces off the glass and turned toward us - smiling a smile so full of hope and happiness that we couldn't match even if we tried. I's just an octopus.

When we felt like I had not been scared to satisfaction we decided to go to the IMAX theater to see "Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean". Not only would I be facing my biggest fears head on, but it would be on a giant scale and also be jumping out at me. The movie was crazy. It was so intense, frightening, loud, and dark. But it was also one of the coolest things we have ever seen. The 3D was so good, it seriously felt like we were in the water and the whales were right in front of us. However, if anyone thought that seeing this movie paint dolphins and whales in a sympathetic light would show me how ridiculous my fear is - it did the exact opposite. It only reinforced that whales are the scariest things in the world.

But it's such a wild and amazing movie/experience that we definitely recommend you see it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine

We are big fans of the Weird New England and Weird Massachusetts books from Weird US. We're always trying to find new places out of one of those books that we can go to when we're feeling bored. So we were flipping through Weird Massachusetts today and started ruling out different places because they weren't cool, they were too far away, we could get in trouble if we went there, we needed more people to go to that one, etc. until we found the Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine in Pepperell, MA. It was only about an hour away and seemed just crazy enough to be kind of interesting.

We read that this old guy had a vision from the Virgin Mary in 1982 and she told him that he needed to build a shrine for her in the community to help make her and the rosary more well known. Apparently, 4,000 people a year travel to the shrine to see the 24 foot illuminated cross and huge murals of various Bible scenes. Even though we are not religious we thought that 4,000 people a year couldn't be wrong and that it must be kind of cool.

We had no idea that it was in this man's front yard. We pulled up and felt weird almost immediately. We were just pulling into a personal driveway as if we had been asked to dinner one night but we didn't know these people and didn't necessarily want to talk to them. Even though the sign had "welcomed" us, we weren't sure if we should be driving up to this guy's house at 5 in the afternoon. But then again, the cross and pictures of Jesus reminded us that this guy had to be nice...right? We only had a quick glimpse of him as he walked from his car into his home and had a few minutes of awkwardness as we tried to figure out if we knocked on their door? or asked them if it was ok that we were there? or just pretended like we never saw a man or a house and just did what we wanted to do?

Of course we did the last option.

We tried to take on a somber, religious tone - the kind that we pull on when we have to go to a funeral. For some reason we figured that if we walked slower it would look like we were contemplating each mural and its' significance to the Catholic faith. We didn't want to look like jerks who were just there to see some crazy guy and his crazy hobby (even if that was closer to the truth than us being there on some sort of religious pilgrimage) - we still wanted to respect this guy whom we assumed was extremely nice and welcoming.

After walking by all of the paintings, we found the "prayer shed", as we named it. It was a normal shed that you might keep tools and a lawnmower in, but this one had the power of God in it. There were pamphlets EVERYWHERE and cardboard pictures of Jesus and various signs let us know that we could take anything we wanted. There was even a guestbook that we wrote a nice message in because the people who set this up were just so sweet!

And then we saw the "Homosexuality is evil", "Fight for traditional marriage" and "Abortion is murder" pamphlets and realized that maybe these people weren't so loving and welcoming after all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mammoth Cave

We opened up the vault for this story because it's a fun one and also because the vault is pretty full of great stories.

We went to Louisville, KY this year for Thunder Over Louisville and the Kentucky Derby. While we were there we decided to go to Mammoth Cave because we hadn't been there in a long time and also because we love caves in this family.

Have you ever seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure? Well, the roads that we had to travel along to actually get to the park were JUST LIKE the ones in the movie. We saw dinosaur parks, stores that sold rocks and were darn proud of it as well as signs that told us that "Hell is Real!"

When we got the the actual park we realized that the people who work there LOVE CAVES. They are all about their jobs and take the role of "park ranger" (or whatever they called themselves) very seriously. We also realized that we were going to have to be apart of a huge group who would be taking the tour at the same time. Normally, we do not like guided tours because we like to be obnoxious and ridiculous while we explore things - not polite and quiet. We also don't have the best track record of being able to walk proficiently in slippery, uneven cave surfaces and didn't want to embarrass ourselves by falling.

There was a tour guide at the front and back of the group and we were somewhere in the middle - not up front with the people who asked tons of questions and acted like they were writing research papers about the cave and not at the back with the people who wanted to befriend the tour guide and take their time tightening the kerchiefs around their neck and asking about rock formations.

The tour was 2 1/2 hours and 2 miles long and at the deepest point, we were 310 feet below ground. At one point the tour guides shut off the tiny lights that allowed you to see (somewhat) and it was the darkest moment we have ever experienced - we finally knew what it must be like to be blind. It was cool for a minute but as the seconds passed by we became anxious and scared thinking about how far underground we were and how nobody in our group had a weapon that could be used to save us from the ghosts of Native Americans who had died there or creatures that lived in there like The Descent.

There comes a time when you're in a cave, in the middle of a tour group when, just like the Real World, you stop being polite and start getting real. This moment came, for us, about an hour into the tour when we realized, "We are in a cave! It's dark in here and we are underground! We don't know these people! We don't care about these people!" So, we started making awful jokes to make ourselves laugh and taking ridiculous pictures of each other. This was also about the time when we seemed to forget how to walk properly and began stumbling, tripping over our own feet, rolling our ankles, and, once, falling flat..on our back.

All in all, the trip was awesome and well worth the long drive. The cave was beautiful and it was really cool to know that we were so far underground and imagine what it would be like to build our own little town down there. We definitely recommend checking it out if you happen to be in the area.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Free bikes?! No way!

A lack of common sense usually leads to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding but yesterday, it led to an adventure.

Caitlin had a little bit of "tendonitis" and needed some chicken tenders for lunch - the frozen kind that you just throw in the oven. I offered to get them for her, but got to the grocery store and couldn't find them anywhere, so I came home empty handed with a promise to take her with me to a different grocery store. Who knew that chicken tenders were put with the frozen foods and not with chicken?! I definitely didn't and so all my trash talking about the first grocery store ("They never have anything we want anyway. Can you imagine going there for, like, your whole week's worth of groceries? You'd eat the worst foods") ended up being me trash talking my own stupidity.

However, this extra trip to a different grocery store brought us by 3 bikes standing on a corner with a sign reading, "FREE BIKES" tied to the handlebars of one of them - of course we stopped to get a better look. When we got out of the car and took a good look at the bikes, before touching them or testing any part of them, we decided we needed 2 of them in our lives. They both looked really old, in a cool way, and one of them was gold, which meant that I needed to have it (despite the fact that I don't know how to ride a bike and have no desire to learn.)

We wheeled them over to my open trunk and quickly realized that neither one of them was going to fit, let alone 2 of them. With heavy hearts, we made the decision to ditch one of them and, because the gold one was missing a tire, it was the one that needed to go back to standing on the corner with its' brother.

Now we needed to fit the larger blue bike into the backseat. Caitlin pushed it in pretty easily while I supervised (which is the way it usually goes when we try to accomplish something) but we couldn't figure out how to make it fit so that we could close both of the doors without busting something. We faced our tensest moment when we stood at opposite doors, handlebars sticking out on my side and a tire sticking out Caitlin's, and spoke to each other over the bike sitting awkwardly in the backseat:

"What are we doing...honestly? Is there any real use for this in our lives?"
"Patrick will take it apart and use it."
"We don't even know if the brakes work or if the tires are messed up. It's kind of rusty, now that I look at it...and it's not fitting in the car!"
"We'll make it work."

We made it work.
The moral of this adventure story is one that we have lived by for a long time and, once again, proved itself to be true: If it's free, take it. No matter what it is or how hard it will be to fit it into the backseat of your car.

The Concert Adventure

It seems like we had been waiting all summer for the Heaven & Hell tour (Heaven & Hell with Coheed and Cambria) to make its way to Boston and when it finally did on August 28, we were pretty pumped. We were even more excited when we found out that Claudio Sanchez was going to be doing a signing at Newbury Comics in Fanueil Hall earlier that afternoon.

Unlike the last time we went to a signing, this one would be so much easier! We knew where we were going! It would only take us about an hour to get there! There's no way we wouldn't make it!

And, despite getting our hopes up that everything would run smoothly (which usually means something will go horribly wrong) - EVERYTHING RAN SMOOTHLY! We met Claudio Sanchez (We feel weird not writing his whole name all the time because we don't know him! we're not on a first name basis here!), he was very nice and we didn't have to worry about driving 5 hours back home or possibly getting completely lost. We also had the concert that night to look forward to!

While we were trying to kill some time before heading over to the Bank of America Pavilion, we saw a robot, a juggler, some breakdancers and a giant man.

You know when you think something's going to be awesome but when it finally happens, it turns out to be way more awesome than you ever could have expected and it ends up blowing your mind?

That was our experience with our seats. I don't really want to use the term "front row center" but that's exactly what we were.

All in all it was one of the best shows we ever went to- we had never been so close before without having to be suffocated or almost murdered by the people around us. Oh! And, Caitlin got a drumstick! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pemi-Baker River Adventures

August 6th may have been the greatest adventure we have ever had and it was all thanks to a random website we found while looking for things to do in New Hampshire.

We drove to Pemi-Baker River Adventures in Plymouth and weren't sure what we would expect when we got there. We knew that we were going to rent tubes and float down the river but didn't know how far we would go, how fast we might go, if we would all be tied together or if we would have some sort of guide.

When we got there we found out that there would be no guide, nothing to attach us to one another and it would be our responsibility to pick out the pickup point and get out - or else float down the river for 6 more miles.

After we signed the waivers and were given our life jackets we were driven down to the river in a rickety van by a cute old man who told us stories the whole way. We had to walk about 3 minutes to the water by ourselves because the guy dropped us off in the woods and drove away. We weren't wearing shoes and had to maneuver by broken glass, rocks and mysterious fecal droppings on the way.

When we finally got to the water we struggled for a little while to get on our tubes and hit some rapids early on that were really fun. We laughed the whole time. After that we just sort of floated along for awhile hitting rapids every now and then. It was really cool because we were the only people on the river and we felt like we were all alone in the great outdoors! We did hold onto each other the whole time, though, because the river was moving pretty fast and nobody wanted to get separated.

The guys told us that we would go under two bridges and after the second we would have to move ourselves over to the right and get off at a boat ramp. They also said that they would have a boat hook to grab us and pull us in once we got there.

When we got there we were as far right as we possibly could be but no one was there to hook us and bring us in. Emily (our youngest sister) managed to paddle herself over to the sand but the rest of us kept floating down the river and grabbed onto branches to save ourselves.The current picked up there (which the men had also warned us about) and was so strong that trying to get back to the boat ramp was a daunting task. Caitlin managed to do it and then our Mom did too but I had floated too far and was still holding onto a branch for dear life. Emily decided that she was going to come down and try to save me, but the current was so strong that neither one of us could move and we both got stuck holding onto a branch.

It was exactly like a movie: "Emily, don't let go of that branch!" "I know, I'm trying but it's starting to break!" I was blowing my "safety whistle" that said "NEED HELP? JUST WHISTLE" on it and no help was coming! I kept yelling, "WHAT'S HAPPENING?" to Caitlin and Mom because they were just standing on land watching us, not knowing what to do. Caitlin eventually walked down a path just above us and pulled a huge branch out of the ground that she tried to shove at us but it wasn't long enough.

After about 10 minutes of struggling to maintain our hold and nervously laughing while being terrified, the guy who drove us down arrived with someone else. They tied 2 ropes to Caitlin's tube and threw it to us but it didn't even make it halfway. By this time, I was dying because people were gathering and we were starting to cause a scene. I knew I'd have to try to walk back up but was so terrified to try and touch the mucky bottom. However, I was motivated by my sheer embarrassment and jumped off my tube - the bottom was just as gross as I imagined it would be. It was so hard to walk against the current while holding onto my tube and pulling Emily behind me in hers. The rocks were so slippery and jagged, there were branches down there that scraped my toes and every now and then I stepped down into the mushiest, grossest feeling muck.

We were struggling along, me walking as hard as I could and Emily grabbing onto branches along the way and after about 5-7 minutes we finally made it to the tube they had thrown out, grabbed it and got pulled in. All we could do was thank the random guy who had provided the rope and shake our heads at how ridiculous we were.

When we got back in the van the guy said that that was the most excitement he had seen in 5+ years....the only thing that could compare was when they almost lost a lady.

An 80 year old lady.

Polar Caves

While on vacation in New Hampshire, we decided to revisit one of the places we had been to a long time ago: Polar Caves in Plymouth. We couldn't remember much about it except that there were a lot of stairs.

When we got there, it was super hot but once we got into the caves it was really nice and we didn't really want to come back out again. We very quickly realized that these caves were way more difficult to maneuver than Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. There was a lot of walking up stairs and contorting your body and squatting and bending so it was pretty tiring but also a lot of fun.

Caitlin and I took up the caboose and found out that we are SO BAD at caves. I hit my head and scraped my shoulder and we both tripped and slipped multiple times. Our mom and younger sister were ahead of us and doing fine - they looked like they were born in a cave while we rolled our ankles and scraped our spines.

When we got to the "Lemon Squeeze" a tour guide named Bob appeared behind us with his walking stick and kerchief around his neck and we got nervous that he'd see us fall or that he would surpass all of us and make us look bad, but he just kept walking by after a failed attempt at joking with him about using his walking stick to push people through the cave...

The "Lemon Squeeze" was definitely the highlight of the day because it was only 12 inches wide and Caitlin was the only one who made it through successfully. It involved a lot of squeezing yourself in, pulling yourself up a rock and pushing yourself through. I tried to do it but got scared thinking about The Descent and also felt way too rushed because the 7 year olds in the group behind us kept yelling, "OH MY GOD THIS IS SO EASY THIS IS LIKE THE EASIEST THING I'VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE I'VE NEVER BEEN THROUGH SOMETHING WIDER IT'S LIKE AS WIDE AS AN OPEN FIELD BUT YOU PROBABLY WON'T BE ABLE TO DO IT BUT FOR ME, IT'S JUST SO EASY I MIGHT NOT EVEN DO IT BECAUSE IT WON'T EVEN BE A CHALLENGE I WON'T EVEN KNOW I'M GOING THROUGH IT BECAUSE IT'S SO EASY FOR ME AND I WON'T EVEN TOUCH THE SIDES" so I took the easy way out and went through the "Orange Crush" which meant a lot of squatting and waddling.

But Caitlin did it! And she'll never let any of us forget it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Hampshire Vacation!

We have been on vacation in New Hampshire for the past 2 weeks and are going to be here for another week. We have had SO MANY adventures and can't wait to tell you all about them!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Spider Gates Cemetery

Chances are that if you live in Massachusetts or like ghost/haunting stories, you’ve heard of Spider Gates. It is a cemetery that has eight gates to Hell! And a hanging tree! And cult sacrifices! We both love to scare ourselves but Caitlin will only investigate a ghostly story/place as long as it is away from our own home and during the daytime; so we decided to go to Spider Gates during the day – obviously so that the cults wouldn’t murder us for their gods and the ghosts wouldn’t capture us and bring us down to Hell.

One thing scarier to both of us than ghosts and haunted places are homeless people who might be angry at us for trespassing in their home and psycho murderers. I tried to convince Caitlin that encountering either of those would be impossible. Why would anyone want to hang out in an obscure cemetery during the day when it’s not even cool or scary? Despite my insistence that we would not find anything out of the ordinary, Caitlin wanted to be prepared! So she brought an exacto knife. You know, the kind used by housewives for scrapbooking crafts. It would surely protect us against a serial killer who was skilled in murder or any other threat to our safety…

We eventually got to the gates, after taking several wrong turns and walking the “long” distance through the woods. After staging pictures at the gates we went in to find a bunch of old graves and branches all over the place.

We were creeping around and trying to scare ourselves and each other when Caitlin turned pale and froze. She gripped the exacto knife in her hand and said in an urgent and loud whisper, “THERE’S PEOPLE OVER THERE!” She was actually holding the exacto knife as if she were a gang member who had been stabbing people her whole life and had no problem cutting someone. I peeked over to where she was pointing and saw two people sitting on the ground and crying in front of a grave. I then looked at one of the gravestones closest to me and saw that it was pretty recent. We knew that the cemetery was still owned by Quakers but had no idea that people were still buried there!

After the initial terror wore off, we instantly felt like a couple of jerks for sneaking around this cemetery and taking pictures while these people mourned their loved one(s) and left a couple minutes after we got there.

Moral of the story: sometimes when you set out to scare yourselves on an adventure, you end up getting scared by something you never would have expected.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There's No Fun Like Canada Fun

We picked the worst week in the history of the world to take a vacation in Eustis, Maine. It rained almost everyday and, I don't know if you know anything about Eustis, but there are only four things you can do when you're up there: go to the lake that has leeches in it, shop for antiques, paint rocks and go moosin'. None of these activities are particularly fun or amazing (although seeing 10+ moose in one night is kind of cool), especially when it's raining and cold.

So, we decided to take a drive on up to Canada because...well, why not? We were on one straight road for what seemed like forever and when we finally got to the border, we realized that we still had to drive for about another hour on one straight road to actually reach some sort of civilization. We figured that this much driving in the forest must mean that we were headed for something AWESOME!

........We went to the dollar store.

We also stopped at a cheese factory and bought some "squeaky cheese" - called that because it squeaks against your teeth with every bite. It was actually really good but we soon got it stuck in our heads that we were eating curds and grossed ourselves out.

We even went to a restaurant! A real Canadian restaurant! They spoke French and everything!

.....we got hamburgers and french fries.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ultimate Roadtrip Singalong Playlist

We are big fans of the road trip. We’ve taken long ones to Louisville and Atlanta, medium ones to Maine, New Hampshire and New York and short ones to Rhode Island and Boston. It is not important where you go or how long it takes to get there or if you have a good time once you’re there. What matters is the DRIVE and how you spend your time while you’re traveling.

Of course you could bring your pillow and try to sleep so it seems like you get there faster and so you’re sufficiently rested when you arrive. You could also bring your iPod and headphones to listen to music by yourself in the backseat as you watch the world pass by outside the window. You could even bring a book because you might not have that much uninterrupted time very often.

All of these approaches to the road trip have their advantages and we have used each of them at least once. We have found, however, that the best approach lies in the singalong. We have put together so many playlists to keep us occupied while driving and to give us a chance to sing our little hearts out; you’re never a better singer than when you’re in a car belting out a Whitney Houston song with your friends or family. We have put together so many of these playlists, in fact, that we consider ourselves EXPERTS OF THE SINGALONG PLAYLIST. We’ve had many opportunities to test our choices and have come up with a list of 14 songs that have never failed us before.

Ultimate Singalong Playlist

(in no particular order)

-See You Again – Miley Cyrus

-The Story – Brandi Carlisle

- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

-Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

-I Want it That Way – Backstreet Boys

- Poker Face – Lady Gaga

-Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley

-Temperature – Sean Paul

-Gasolina- Daddy Yankee

-Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira

-We Will Rock You – Queen

-Proud to be an American/God Bless the USA – Lee Greenwood

-Just Got Paid – NSYNC

-Shout – Isley Brothers

We decided not to give any particular explanation for why we have chosen these songs but urge you to trust us that you will not be disappointed should you ever decide to use them.