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.