Sunday, December 5, 2010

How did you get here?! Vol. 4

It's that time again when the adventures are few and far between because of other priorities and we begin to look back on all the fun we've had, including the wild things people search to find us.

"spots on lungs"
Sorry, but we don't have emphysema. And we hope you don't either.

"to be hungry"
How 'bout you conjugate that verb and get back to us.


"hell"
We just really love thinking that someone typed "hell" into Google and our blog came up. We say it would fit better under "Heaven" or even "Purgatory" but I guess "hell" will do.


"disappointed in you"
Sorry :(


"zero regrets apolo ohno"
Well, 6 weeks of physical therapy later, Caitlin's number 1 regret is pretending to be Apolo Ohno...


"fear the dragon"
Fear the dragon, slay the soul, take down the beast.


"feet stuck in glue"
We both have wanted to walk on paste before so this might finally give us a reason to!


"jungle ops"
For once, we feel that whoever searched for this was accurately directed to the right blog! JUNGLE OPS 24/7/365 TCB ALL DAY EVERY DAY!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Castle of Fear

Last night we drove to Haverhill, MA to go to the Castle of Fear at Winnekenni Castle. This is our second time going in two years and this year, it definitely out-did itself. It was raining when we went last year so we were only able to go in the castle, in the 3D tunnel, and do laser tag but this year, we were able to do so much more!


First of all, this haunted house is much more than just a haunted house, it was more like a small carnival - complete with the smell of fried dough, carnival games, and a funhouse. We went into the castle first and it felt a lot longer and scarier than it was last year. Part of the fun of the castle is the anticipation you feel in all of the attractions. There are times when it seems like nothing is going to happen and, like a good psychological thriller, you're on edge the whole time just waiting for something to happen - which, it always does and results in a lot of screaming.

We then moved on to the "Treacherous Tunnel of Terror" (the people at Castle of Fear definitely win the award for best haunted house names) which was all 3D paint and black lights that made it really hard to tell the difference between real and fake. After that, we went to "The Vile Vertex of Vertigo", which we have been on before in another haunted house but it never fails to blow our minds with how weird it makes you feel. We're not exactly sure of the names of the last thing we went on but it was the typical carnival ride: the one where you stand up, spin around super fast, get stuck to the wall, and feel like you're going to throw up. It was pretty great to get to ride a summertime staple like that at the end of October. Oh! We also got to go on a ride that we were sure only existed in the movies - you'll have to go to see what we mean.

Even though the Castle of Fear wasn't the scariest haunted house we've ever been to or the largest, it was definitely worth going to - and yes, we did get spooked more than a few times. One of our favorite things about the castle and accompanying attractions was the fact that all the people working there seemed to have a great sense of humor about what they were doing. The whole idea of a haunted house is pretty ridiculous, so hearing the people laugh at us after scaring us half to death was pretty awesome.

We would definitely recommend going to the Castle of Fear - especially as a large group or with your family. There are a lot of things to do besides just going through the haunted house(s) and little kids would probably love it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Barrett's Haunted Mansion

On this most recent Friday haunted house trip, we went to Barrett’s Haunted Mansion in Abington, MA. The line to get in was SO LONG and it felt like it took forever to get inside. It wasn’t bad, though, because they played the creepy parts from a bunch of different scary movies on this huge screen hanging from the tent over the line, so it was actually kind of cool standing there and seeing all different important scenes from movies we’ve seen and some we’ve never even heard of (which reminds us that we need to see Jacob's Ladder.) It also started raining when we were waiting, but, again, they have a tent you can stand under so the weather isn't really a problem. Also, there are tons of people dressed up walking in and out of the line scaring people, which helps to pass the time.

I just want to go out on a limb and say that even though we have only been to two haunted houses so far this year, Barrett’s Haunted Mansion was definitely the best. We went there once two years ago and I can’t remember it being as good as it was this year. Of course we’re not going to tell you what the rooms are like or what happens once inside, but we will tell you that if you can only go to one haunted house, this one should be the one you go to. The only drawback was that it felt like it was a really long wait for only a few minutes of actually being inside the place. However, it was so awesome and scary inside it that we think it was worth it. You know it’s a good place when the person in your group who never gets scared actually gets scared! We like to think that, at this point, we've become pretty familiar with the typical haunted house setups and tricks (and we still love them all) but there were some things in Barrett's Haunted Mansion that we've never seen before! It was definitely worth the trip to Abington and we're sure we'll be going back again and again to see the new things they add to the "mansion."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Factory of Terror

October is finally here, which means that we have begun our annual tour of as many haunted houses as we possibly can get to before Halloween! Our first trip this year was to a place we first went to two years ago, The Factory of Terror in Fall River, MA. We didn’t go to the Factory last year, and we weren’t sure what to expect because it was the first haunted house we ever went to and it is the one that kicked off our annual tradition. We didn’t know if it would seem less scary to us now that we’ve been to so many, or if it would be exactly the same as the first time we visited it. Either way, we were excited to finally start going to haunted houses again.

We went on a Friday night and the line was long, but it moved pretty quickly. There was a video outside to hold us over before we made it inside and once we did, there was another line to wait in. However, like I said, it moved pretty quickly and before we knew it, it was our turn. We are not going to give anything away, of course, but we both got really scared and had a lot of fun when we were in the Factory. There were so many different rooms to go through and even though there were some of the same things as the last time we went, there were also so many things that were new - or maybe we just couldn't remember that well.

We would definitely suggest going to The Factory of Terror because it's really well done and is actually really scary. It's also completely indoors (except waiting in the initial line to get in) which makes it perfect for rainy and cold nights. The best part of the Factory is the last room that you'll go through - it's the perfect mix of terror and confusion that seems to last for so long but only lasts for a little while. We don't want to ruin the "surprise" but we will say that the last room made us lose all track of time and space...which was crazy and awesome.

Using The Factory of Terror as our first haunted house of the "season" was a really good idea. It's a great place to go and it somehow always manages to make us fall or bruise. Our throats also got sore from screaming, which can't be anything but a good sign. We definitely recommend checking it out.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mt Wachusett 7 Trail Loop - Guest post!

Wachusett Mountain Loop- My own version- 7 trails in total
Difficulty: 3-4*
Views: 7-8
Miles: 5.16
Time: 4:23.  I would say w/out the excessive stopping I did it to catch my breath it would be about  3.5 hrs.
Info:  dogs are allowed on leashes.
Tip: BRING YOUR TRAIL MAP!  Grab one free in the visitor’s center.

We began at the main visitor center parking lot and headed out on the Bicentennial Trail.  This part of the trail was very easy…just a nice little stroll in the woods.  Past the stone stairway that leads to the Pine Hill Trail (most direct very steep trail to the top).  We kept going. We then accidently veered off the trail we meant to take and ended up taking a steeper route called Loop Trail…took a right onto Mountain House Trail straight to the summit.  The Loop & Mountain House were pretty steep and always up hill.  We then arrived at the summit.  The summit had a few picnic tables and portable facilities.  Also a small pond with some colorful fish to look at.  It was a bit hazy view wise but I imagine it would have been really nice on a clear day.

The way back I wanted to get in some miles so we then picked up Harrington Trail , located near the tall radio like tower at the summit.  The beginning part of the Harrington Trail was pretty steep and rocky….carefully picking where to step on the rocks.   We then crossed over several trails and roads staying on Harrington for a very long time.  Harrington was very well signed.  We then took a left onto Stage Coach Trail which passes right by the windmill farm.  You can hear the hum/buzz of the windmills for much of this part of the hike.  Stage Coach Trail ends up on a road which has a couple options.  “Administration Road Trail” or the one we took…Echo Lake Trail…just past this on the left.  This takes you past Echo Lake and onto High Meadow Trail.  We then took a right turn back onto Bicentennial Trail.  This part of Bicentennial is very narrow and towards the end was like a rocky graveyard….having to pick our footing VERY carefully. We were pretty tired by this point and each step was a little shaky.
Overall Assessment:  Great variety. There are a bunch of trails to choose from- steep to more round about.  Forest to meadow.  We were really able to make our own route by keeping a close eye on our trail map.  Most trails are signed really well though we did veer off track once.
*My rating system: for now, I will use a mostly flat trail as 1 and Mt Monadnock as my 5.  I’m sure once I tackle Mt Kilimanjaro that will become my 5 w/Monadnock falling to a 3….but for now it holds my highest rating.
-By: Stacey via climbingforhealth.com



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wildcat Mountain Ziprider

Our major goal of this summer was to go ziplining while on vacation in New Hampshire. We looked around and "researched" a bunch of places and figured that, for what we were looking for, the Ziprider at Wildcat Mountain would be the best option. A ride on the zipline cost $20 (with an additional ride costing $10) and we were pumped! Right when we got there we knew it was going to be INCREDIBLE so we just kept saying that word over and over again. We got there around 1:00pm and we couldn't actually go on the Ziprider until 4:00pm, so we took a little trail to see a waterfall.

We were on the trail with our brother and sister and, of course, had to make it more interesting than just walking to the waterfall. Every time the ziprider went by, it sounded like a helicopter - so obviously we started playing Vietnam War and ran through the trail ducking and hiding from the Viet Cong. Once we got to the waterfall we all decided to take advantage of the opportunity to show off our jungle cat skills and hike up and around the waterfall. We also decided that it would be way more interesting, fun, and dangerous to abandon the trail back and just walk along the river. We got to pretend to be Huck Finn and Jim as we jumped over rocks, balanced on trees that fell across the river, and scale rock walls to avoid getting wet. Even if we left and went home after jungle-catting through the river, the day would have definitely been worth it.

But that wasn't the end! The fun was just beginning! We had to take a ski-lift up onto a mountain (which forced Caitlin to face her intense fear of heights) and then walk up another hill to get to the actual Ziprider. There's not much for me to write about the actual experience except that it was amazing! We were sitting in a chair harness and went about a half a mile down the mountain - with beautiful views all around us. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take our camera on the actual ride, so these pictures will have to suffice.


We highly recommend going to Wildcat Mountain and trying out the Ziprider if you find yourself in New Hampshire with an extra $20. You won't regret it, we promise!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How Did You Get Here?! Vol. 3

We love finding out the search terms people used to end up at our site because a lot of them are RIDICULOUS and we're sure the people who got here wonder how they ended up reading about adventures around New England.  So, here is our third installment of "How Did You Get Here?!"

1. "the scariest thing in the world"
I don't really like the idea of someone finding my sister and I when they tried finding the scariest thing in the whole world, but it's cool. We're not sure what the definitive "scariest thing" is in the world, but here are our votes:
-whales
-deep ocean water
-robots
-aliens

2. "octopus people"
We didn't know such a thing existed! We hope that you found that we are not, in fact, octopus people but we have seen an octopus before (New England Aquarium) and we have been in touch with some pretty kooky people (Alien Communication) so, if we find some octopus people in the future, we'll definitely post our conversation with them!

3. "hardware store logo"
We somehow find ourselves in hardware stores in a lot of different places, despite the fact that neither of us is particularly handy around the house, nor do we love hammers and nails. If we did decide to open our own hardware store, however, we'd probably call it "Hard? Where? Here!" and the logo would have someone with a hammer and overalls delighted at finding our store.

4. "paper mache hot air balloon"
We don't suggest trying to make one of these or actually use one - it doesn't sound very safe.

5. "face looking up"
We often go to places that require us to look up but that is usually not the best part of the adventure so we rarely take pictures or describe ourselves doing it, sorry.

6. "awesome face"
Glad you found exactly what you were looking for!

7. "i want to look like that guy"
This one makes me sad and I hope that whoever searched for it realized that they should be happy looking like themselves.

8. "oh no you didn't"
Oh....yea we did.

9. "jesus is everywhere"
But I don't think you found him here...

10. "it was never easy for me"
We hope that reading some of our adventures made life a little bit easier for you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Purgatory Chasm

 Purgatory Chasm is one of those places that you hear about a million times, like Spider Gates, if you grow up in Massachusetts - but, for some reason, we've never been before! We've heard so much about it but when we decided to go a couple days ago, we didn't really know what to expect. Even though it's hard, we really try not to make any assumptions (see: Tips for a Successful Adventure) about places we're going to because we don't want to get there and then be disappointed, but...we couldn't help it with this one. We expected it to be kind of boring, a really quick trip, nothing exciting.

And when we got there we were pleasantly surprised! There were tons of cars in the parking lot and we saw people walking by us with legit hiking gear and we knew that it was going to be way better than what we had anticipated. Caitlin was especially excited because she knew she would have another chance to practice and show off her jungle-cat climbing skills.

Even though there were a lot of people there, and lots of kids, we managed to be alone most of the time so that we could explore and, of course, stage photo ops.



Once again, we wish that we brought a lunch because by the time we were done with the "Chasm Loop", we were hungry and tired - but mostly hot because we picked an 85 degree day to do this. Also, there are tons of picnic tables and a gazebo that would have been so cute to have lunch under.

All in all, Purgatory Chasm was a great idea and a great way to spend our midmorning. We would definitely recommend it and I'm sure we'll end up going again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mt. Wachusett

One of our bucket list items is to climb a mountain even though we've done it before in Atlanta, GA. We've both climbed Stone Mountain a couple times but we decided not to make our list based on things we've already done so we headed out to climb Mt. Wachusett in Princeton, MA. The decision to go was sort of last-minute so we didn't make the usual preparations - we didn't even pack a lunch! But we both figured that it couldn't be THAT strenuous or difficult so we wouldn't even be hungry.

I love being trail master whenever we go exploring at wildlife sanctuaries and other places so I chose Pine Hill Trail because it looked to be the shortest way to the top. It might have occurred to us that this would also probably be the steepest trail, but...it didn't. However, before we even got to the mountain, we took a little detour to Redemption Rock (accidentally, of course.) According to the website, this rock is GREAT because it is large and historic and, if you're especially into over-sized rocks, we're sure it's very exciting. We weren't exactly thrilled by it, though, even though Caitlin did get to use her jungle-cat instincts to climb to the top.


Oh, and if you do check out Redemption Rock (which we would recommend as part of a day-long exploring trip, not as the highlight of your day), please be careful driving down the dirt and rock path - it's very easy to lose control of your car when going over the rocks......

Once we got to the mountain, we were pumped to get started because we both had on our best hiking outfits and we planned on being pro-hiker the whole way up. We moved from Bicentennial Trail to Pine Hill Trail and, almost immediately, we realized that this was going to be a lot more exercise than we anticipated. Maybe it has something to do with constantly hearing about Mt. Wachusett skiing, watching the commercials on TV, and the idea that the mountain is in Massachusetts, but we thought it was going to be pretty flat the whole time - which makes no sense considering that we knew we were climbing a MOUNTAIN. 



There were rock "stairs" almost the whole way up which made it easier but we also were laughing the entire time, which took a lot of our energy and made us really tired. Our pride was also bruised when a huge group of kids from the Boys & Girls Club came down looking like they were doing the easiest thing in the world. However, we did make it to the top and it only took us about 20-25 minutes (with frequent breaks!) The "summit" was great because it was so breezy and cool and you could see really far. It probably would have been better if we chose a day with less clouds, but it was still really beautiful and we both thought it was worth the hike. It would have been the perfect place to have a cute lunch but, again, we were unprepared for that. 



When we were walking back down the mountain the thing that we had both been waiting for finally happened...I slipped on a rock and slid down the rocky path. I don't know that I have ever heard Caitlin laugh so hard or long in her whole life and we both had to sit down for a good 3 minutes until we got over our laughing enough to keep going. 


All in all, the trip was definitely worth it and we plan on doing it again but using a different trail. If you do happen to spend the day there, we recommend the Countryside Cafe on the way back (in Sterling) because we had amazing sandwiches in the cutest little building you could ever find. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kayaking!

We have already written a post or two about good ol' Eustis, Maine and how little there is to do there - unless you love the outdoors. This year, we decided to embrace all that this little town has to offer and our first adventure was kayaking! We've always wanted to try it out and we found the best deal we have ever seen before - $10 kayak rental...for the whole day! Around here you can usually rent a kayak for about $10 an hour but in Eustis, they live a different kind of lifestyle: one where they don't try to rip you off.

We went out on Flagstaff Lake and at first, we had no idea what we were doing. The lady who showed us where they kept the kayaks out back deserted us (which we actually liked way more than if she had stayed to try to help us) and we had to drag them down a steep hill to get into the water. Getting in/pushing off in the kayaks proved to be pretty unwieldy for us since we've had no experience in that area whatsoever but we soon figured it out and....



We discovered our life's calling! We were SO GOOD at kayaking! It's probably not the hardest "sport" in the world to pick up on - after all, it's just the rotation of your arms - but we were way better at it than we thought we would be! We kayaked for about an hour until we got to where we were staying, got out, had lunch and watched Avatar (probably what everyone does after they've been kayaking for an hour) and then got back on them when the sun was setting to bring them back where we got them.

Even though it was such a great adventure in itself, the whole kayaking-thing could not have happened without something ridiculous occurring because then it would not have been a typical Kathryn and Caitlin adventure. When we got back to where we originally set out from, we remembered the steep hill that we would now have to drag the kayaks UP - with sore arms and wet flip flops. Caitlin could not get a good footing in her flip flops and kept slipping out of them, almost slicing her foot open and eroding the dirt shore in the process. But, it all worked out alright and we now have a new favorite hobby that we hope to practice every chance we get.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things that go Bump in the Night (guest post!)

We may think that the notion of a haunted house is just a silly fabrication of the over-imaginative kind, but there are plenty of people who insist that they have had paranormal experiences in the same buildings that others have had. Going to see for yourself is a sure thrill and we’ve picked a couple of locations that will, word has it, test your poker face to the max.
Sanatoriums are top candidates for ghostly sightings and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville Kentucky is a prime example. This famous former tuberculosis hospital features ghostly nurses, shadows and deathly voices emanating from the attic, having treated thousands of patients during the ‘white plague’ of the 1920’s. By far the scariest spot in the sanatorium is the Body Chute, a tunnel down which deceased TB patients were sent to be collected by hearses at the bottom of the hill. All areas of the sanatorium is accessible to the public via private tours, but tour places are extremely limited and are often fully booked for months in advance. Sleepovers are recommended for the ardent thrill seekers.
For a floaty experience ghost hunters should definitely visit the HMS Queen Mary on Long Beach, an enormous ship larger than the Titanic that was initially an ocean liner before becoming a military transport vessel during WWII, before again becoming an ocean liner. With such a wide repertoire and 49 reported on-board deaths it is no surprise that paranormal activity on the ship is regularly documented, with apparently at least 150 known spirits lurking on the ship.
The hottest spot for ghost hunters is the engine room located 50 feet below water, complete with an 18 year old crewman who died in 1966 making a regular appearance. The two onboard swimming pools also sport some really strange activity ranging from unexplained wet footprints and splashing, to a 13 year old girl, Jackie. The ship has a fully-featured entertainment centre open to the public with guest rooms, Art Deco salons, restaurants and shops, but it is only the well-informed that know where to look.
Often called the ‘haunted house inside a prison’, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia Pennsylvania has been certified as ‘haunted’ by SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters. Having made two trips to the prison, Ghost Hunters came away utterly convinced. The prison was built in 1829 and held 1,700 prisoners at its peak, even though it was designed to hold only 250 prisoners and is most famous for hosting Al Capone, the casino owning mobster.
As early as the 1940’s employees as well as prisoners started reporting unusual activity, with Cellblock 4, 6 and 12 the most notorious. However it is the catwalk featured on Ghost Hunters that is the hotbed of activity. As a historical site the prison is open to the public during the day for unguided or guided visits, however access to the prison at night can be arranged if booked well in advance in a group of at least 20.
Until we’ve seen for ourselves we’ll have to remain skeptical, but there are too many documented reports at these sites that simply cannot be ignored - so for now we’ll wait to hear from you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Apolo Ohno

Here's just a tip - maybe you knew this, maybe you didn't - but it's best not to pretend to be Apolo Ohno the first time you ever go ice skating in your life....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flea Markets




Flea markets are so strange because they can have the most amazing things that you would never be able to find anywhere else and they also have the stupidest junk that no one would ever want to buy. We went to an indoors flea market in Dudley, MA yesterday and it, at first, seemed like it would fall into the first category of flea markets, so we were excited.

The first few tables had really cool old posters and hair combs, books, bicycles, and a lot of stuff that we really liked but not enough to actually buy. It started to go downhill when we went into this room full of boat motors that had an overwhelming gasoline smell and a little kid constantly screaming "Dad! Dad! Daaaaad! Dad! DAAAAAAAD! DAD! DAAAD! DAAAAAD!" There was then a brief interval of old-school election pins and pretty earrings and then another room full of cereal boxes and candy with the sign "These items may be damaged or outdated." This was the room of people who try to make money by buying things in bulk and then selling them individually for more money than they are worth. It was also the room of pizza-eating creepers and ladies who talked to themselves. It also started to feel like a haunted house because even though there were multiple signs that told us we were being videotaped "to prevent shoplifting", everyone seemed to think that we wanted to snatch their apple-turnovers from 1996, so they kept following us around like the people do at haunted houses when they're trying to scare you.

The wildest part of this flea market was the fact that there were three planes (one 50% off!), a helicopter, a car, taxidermied animals, and mannequins in Air-Force uniforms. It was all very "Twilight Zone"-esque, especially because despite all of the video surveillance precautions (which we highly doubt actually existed) to keep us from stealing these priceless goods, there seemed to be no one around to give us prices when we actually did want to buy something. All of the vendors seemed to be cornered in the cereal box or boat-motor room so we ended up leaving empty-handed because the stuff we wanted to buy was being sold by invisible people.





Friday, February 12, 2010

Tips for a Successful Adventure

We have had our share of adventure busts - sometimes we get lost and never actually find our way to our adventure destination, sometimes we over-hype the destination, sometimes we push an adventure too hard. For every let-down, though, we've probably had 4 or 5 fun stories. We've come up with a list of things to make sure you do if you're in the mood for an adventure or two:

1. Make sure you actually want to have an adventure
This seems like it's common sense - of course you want an adventure if you're going out looking for one! But, sometimes when we get bored we think that what we really want to do is get out of the house and find some adventure! When, in reality, all we really want to do is eat ice cream and watch a "To Catch a Predator" marathon. When we have tried to force ourselves to have an adventure in the past, it never turned out well. So, make sure you're in the right mood before you leave the house.

2. Pick the right weather!
One summer, a few years ago, Caitlin and I went on a drive at least twice a week with the intent to get lost and then find out how to get home. Most of the time, we found wild places we never would have known about and had a lot of fun. During this time, the air conditioning in my car stopped working but we thought that we could just keep the windows open as we went out to lose ourselves on an 85 degree day. We ended up being miserable. Our legs stuck to the seats and we looked gross and no matter how fast I drove, we couldn't kick up enough wind to cool ourselves off. I have a rule that I don't go on the highway with my windows open (to save gas, of course) so we just drove around the hot city, next to the hot exhaust of other cars, stopping at red lights and suffocating from the lack of air. Not the best conditions for an adventure. Rain or snow is also rough because rain means that you usually have to stay in the car and snow means that you could get stuck somewhere unfamiliar.

3. Put good music on!
Neither one of us sits on a high horse named "Music" so what we mean by "good" is anything that you can sing along to. Yes, sometimes this does mean Nickelback. Any drive to find adventure can be made shorter by singing loudly and the harsh blow of an adventure bust can be lessened by some all star performances on the drive home.

4. Keep your expectations low
Unless you are expecting to visit the kookiest place on earth and find yourself at the Wilhelm Reich Museum, the chances that you will fulfill and overflow your expectations of a place are slim. The best adventures always happen when you least expect them! So, don't go to a cemetery being convinced that you'll see a ghost or to an abandoned house where you're convinced you'll meet a homeless veteran who has one eye and remembers you from a Dio concert. The best plan is to get in the car and drive. We promise you'll find something great eventually.

5. If you have a place in mind, get directions and give yourself plenty of time to get there
Even though we have rule #4, we often find ourselves getting super excited about a place we plan to go to. Usually, when our excitement is at its peak and our minds start running wild with crazy ideas, it gets really dark and we have to make the executive decision to go home before we get really lost. Or we end up driving in circles for an hour because we can't actually find where it is we want to go. The first time we actually learned from these mistakes was when we went to the Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine. We had perfect directions and gave ourselves about 2 hours of extra daylight, just in case we screwed them up. It was probably the first time that we never got lost - it was great.

6. Take pictures!
Your memory isn't perfect so you'll want to have pictures - both to remind yourself of what it was like and to remind yourself that you were actually kooky enough to do whatever it is you did.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moosin'!

Every year we vacation in northern Maine - so far north that it takes about a half an hour to get to Canada and finding things to do is a challenge. At night, however, nature decides to give you a little excitement and adventure, and all you need is a car and a bright light to do it.

We're talkin' 'bout moosin'.


Once you're outside of the bright lights of town - the hardware store, the general store, and the antique store, it's pretty easy to find moose coming out of the woods at night. In order to spot them, though, you're gonna need to get yourself a handheld spotlight that you can hold out the passenger side window while someone drives you along the highway. Going slow is, of course, a necessity because hitting a moose usually works out better for the moose than the car.

Some nights can be luckier than others, and the nights when no moose can be found can get very boring very quickly. You know how you have to turn the radio off when you're focusing on something while you drive? Moosin' takes a lot of focus so the radio is never on. This means that on a slow night, you can just troll up and down the highway with your spotlight ready, in a quiet car, late at night, and start to think the whole thing is stupid after an hour.

On good nights, however, moosin' can feel like you're on an African safari. Except that you're in Maine, in your own car, on a highway. There have been times when we've seen 20 moose in one night - including cute babies, protective moms, and gigantic males. Sometimes they are eating on the side of the road or peeking through the trees. Sometimes, we've stopped to get a better look and had a moose charge at the car. When that happens, we all scream to start driving again and then laugh at how scared we got.

As ridiculous as the whole idea of "moosin'" is, seeing a huge moose at night a few minutes from where you're staying is so wild that ii makes all the ridiculousness worth it.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Boxing Match!

This is one of the adventures that Caitlin and I do not agree on. She can't understand why anyone would want to be in a boxing match - especially someone like me who isn't particularly strong, athletic, agile, or any of the adjectives one usually uses when describing a boxer.

But any sport that allows you to punch frozen meat as a way to train is obviously awesome.

And, having your arm raised at the end of a match while looking at your opponent laying on the mat, your face sweaty and bloody, your body exhausted, realizing that you actually won and didn't get killed has to be one of the greatest feelings ever.


But I guess the adventure I really want to have is to WIN a boxing match, because I'm sure it's a much different feeling to lay on the mat, looking up at your opponent, and know that you're going to have a rough morning.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Papier-Mâché Dress Form

Caitlin loves to make dresses and skirts and has made some really great pieces in the past but has always wanted a dress form that would help her make her creations. A good dress form usually costs more than $100 and we both figured it would be a lot easier to try to make one ourselves. We found a site that suggested we use papier-mâché to make a mold of Caitlin's body. We would then wait until it all dried, cut it up one side, and glue it back together. We both hid the fact that we didn't have high hopes for it from each other and faked our confidence in our ability to do it correctly.

We didn't want to get flour and water all over Caitlin's clothes, so I wrapped her in saran wrap, and, as she asked me desperately to turn down the heat, we were surprised to find how insulating saran wrap can be. We shredded a lot of newspaper (more than we needed), mixed up the papier-mâché, and got started. Even though we used warm water, the mixture was pretty cold when I actually started layering the strips of paper on her, but there was nothing we could do about it. We also didn't give much thought to the fact that she was not able to move very easily without ripping some of the paper, so I had to hold her cup as she drank, let her use my head as a balance, and rip newspaper off of her feet when she got stuck. Also, even though we were smart enough to lay newspaper on the floor, I managed to get spots of flour and water everywhere - oops!
At this point in the process, Caitlin was suffering from a bit of claustrophobia due to the fact that she couldn't get enough air into her lungs, but pushed through it by telling herself she'd be so happy when it was done. Having her arms stuck to her sides and in one position for about an hour also started to take its' toll. Her hands were getting really cold (as was the rest of her body) and she started getting pains in her arms due to the lack of movement. Again, she advised me to keep going because we had already come so far.


Now, we had to blow-dry the first layer of newspaper to make sure it hardened like it was supposed to. This was when we realized that the dress form would not be sturdy enough as-is and we would have to put a second layer of papier-mâché on! Caitlin's positive attitude was starting to wane as her back and legs became sore from standing, her hands turned red and her veins stuck out and she started to get a little crazy from being so constricted for almost two hours. I felt really bad about starting a second layer, but Caitlin had already suffered too much to throw it all away!

We finished the second layer, blow-dried it again and then set to cutting it off. Even though we knew the first layer wasn't completely dry, Caitlin told me that she couldn't handle it anymore and that I needed to just get it off of her. For some reason, neither one of us thought through the fact that I had stuck the newspaper so close to her body and would now have to shimmy scissors in between her body and the form without being able to fully see what I was doing. I was successful in not cutting her or her clothes, but she did get poked with the end of the scissors quite a few times. Luckily, she was so frustrated with her restricted breathing and movement that she didn't mind a few harsh pokes every now and then.

We are still waiting for the form to dry completely so we can assemble it and we really hope it comes out the way we want it to and she can actually use it. If it works out: this method was awesome! It was basically free because we already had a bunch of newspapers waiting to be recycled, flour, and water. It took about 2 1/2 hours to create, but we both thought it would take a lot longer. If it doesn't work out: this method was stupid and a waste of time. It definitely was not worth the discomfort and shallow breathing that Caitlin had to do for 2 1/2 hours and would have been way easier to have just saved up money and bought a dress-form.


Check out the results of this project here!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hot Air Balloon!

It is probably very scary to be so high up in the air and realize you are standing in a basket, your life depending on what is, essentially, a large scale version of something you get at a birthday party - but it would also be so amazing.

Deep Sea Fishing!


This man is living every part of my deep sea fishing dream - complete with marlin!

Zipline!


How great does that look!? We're planning on doing this this summer in New Hampshire and cannot wait until August gets here!

Prospective Adventure - Hoosac Tunnel

Until we get some more adventures going, we are going to be putting up pictures of places we would like to go and/or things we would like to do.

First up, the Hoosac Tunnel:
We've written about the Weird New England and Weird Massachusetts books before and how they were the reason for going to the Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine and the Wilhelm Reich Museum, which are two of our favorite and strangest stories. We have also read about the supposedly haunted Hoosac Tunnel (North Adams, MA) in one of them and really want to check it out because even if it isn't haunted, the idea of walking through a creepy dark train tunnel and scaring each other would be fun enough. The only thing that's holding us back from going right now is weather, time, and the fact that the tunnel is still in use (although rarely) and being in there when a train comes through is not something either one of us really wants to do, especially when remembering those horrific train-safety videos they used to show us in elementary school.

The Hoosac Tunnel is still on our list, though, and we're sure we'll visit it soon enough.


Friday, January 15, 2010

How Did You Get Here? Vol. 2


The adventures have been few and far between lately, so we decided to take another look at how people are finding our blog and address these fun and fascinating (we're sure) people:

1. "absurd encounter with fear"
-Although we have many absurd encounters with things and peo
ple, we have never thought of any of our adventures as an "absurd encounter with fear." However, it is such a FANTASTIC description that we are surely going to use it in the future, so thank you, whoever searched for this!

2. "what did our lady of fatima look like"
-We're going to assume that you were not satisfied with our account of our trip to the "Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine" and we apologize that you didn't find what you were looking for here, so we found an illustration of her for you. We also hope that seeing the kookiness of giant murals in a man's back yard was interesting enough for you.
3. "is spider gates cemetery haunted"
-Maybe.

4. "on our way to stardom"
-It's usually pretty obvious how the mix-up occurs when someone searches for something and accidentally finds their way to our blog instead. This one is not that easy. We're obviously poster children for being on the way to stardom but other than that...we hope you found what you were looking for!

5. "i thought you said i'm alright spider"
-There have been so many people who have searched for this and got our blog! Once again, Goodfellas.

6. "alien communication 2009"
-We're not sure how much alien communication changes from year to year but in 2009 we definitely made contact with an alien and we are lucky to still have control over our own minds.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reality TV Star

Chances are good that you watch, or at least have heard of, MTV's new reality show, "The Jersey Shore." It basically follows a bunch of people from New Jersey and surrounding areas as they live through a summer on, you guessed it, the Jersey Shore. But, we probably didn't have to give you that short synopsis because we know you watch it - because everyone watches it. You might be that fan who has embraced the show fully, admits to watching it, has a favorite, and quotes the show in different situations, or, you're the person who only watches it "to see how degrading and stereotypical it actually is"...whatever fan-type you identify with, you're watching.

And so are we. So, when we heard that one of the most well-known characters, DJ Pauly D, would be coming to a club near us, we had to go! When we found out we laughed about it at first, imagining the type of people who would go hoping for a chance to meet him or take a picture. Then we thought of how funny it would be if we went and got a picture with him. Then, about two hours before the actual event started, we thought that there was no way we could possibly miss it and actually got ourselves pumped up about getting to see him.

We headed down to Club Universe and got in line behind a bunch of very young-looking people. We knew it would be an all-ages event but assumed that there had to at least be a minimum age of about...14? At 21, I was definitely the oldest person waiting in line and we both felt a little awkward when we saw that we were much more covered up than some girls who must have been 12 years old. When we got in, it was a typical club night...so, basically, ridiculous, funny, and weird and we kept trying to figure out if the DJ was Pauly D or not, but decided that his hair was definitely not high or hard enough to meet the Jersey Shore standards.

After about an hour of thinking that this may have been a pointless, but still fun, night, Pauly D came walking in! With an entourage and everything. He walked right in front of where Caitlin and I were sitting, followed by the entire population of the club - mostly girls - running, screaming, crying, and holding up their cameras. We almost had to question if there was a more famous person who walked in behind him that we just missed, but no, it was just Pauly D and his team of security.

We got into an extremely long line to get our picture taken with him because we had to have photographic proof that we were dumb/awesome enough to actually go. Unfortunately, we were not able to try to infiltrate his hair nor were we able to look like normal, healthy human beings next to his skin tone. We did, however, succeed in getting our picture taken with a marginally well-known star of an MTV reality show that we can show our children with pride in the future.