January 28, 2013

the legend of sleepy hollow.

   When Jason told me that we lived only 20 minutes away from the village of Sleepy Hollow, my first thought was a sarcastic, “grrreat.” I wasn’t thrilled knowing that one day I would be convinced by Jason to go there, where I’d be totally freaked out. I’ll be honest, I haven’t even heard the full story of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, but I know there’s a headless horseman in it and going to the village that it was based on was sure to be a scary visit.

     We went on a semi-gloomy, freezing day. Driving through Sleepy Hollow, the town really cherishes the history of the story, for example, there was a high school named after the author Washington Irving and their mascot is the Headless Horseman.

     We parked at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where certain parts of the story take place and Washington Irving is actually buried. The cemetery was huge and we had no idea which way was Washington Irving’s grave. The cemetery wasn’t very organized since it had been around since the 1600s, but we eventually found the gravesite from a map at the front entrance. Jason printed out a copy of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” beforehand that I started reading at the gravesite.
Thank goodness for this map
You can tell this cemetery has been around for a long time
Reading Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
     We continued to read the story, and eventually moved to the car to keep warm. Once we were finished reading, we found the Headless Horseman Bridge, where Ichabod Crane is supposedly chased by the Headless Horseman. After reading the story and seeing the landmarks that the story was based on, I actually really enjoyed the story. It kind of made it real. I can see how it would excite kids and make the story come to life.
Headless Horseman Bridge
The Old Dutch Church also has it's place in the story
     Of course, we know the Headless Horseman only comes out at night looking for his head, which must be why the cemetery closes at 4:30 PM to avoid any confrontation with him. By the way, I can guarantee, I will not be visiting the cemetery on Halloween.

January 8, 2013

jason's first white christmas.

     Jason was very excited for his first White Christmas this year. I was getting a little nervous that he wasn’t going to get it because there was no sign of snow here in Michigan until finally it came just in time on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, my grandparents and two great-aunts came over for dinner. It’s always so nice to see them, especially when I haven’t seen them in so long. The most fun part of the day was exchanging gifts in the morning with Jason. Of course, it’s the most relieving part of the day as well since I am on edge about whether Jason will like what I got him or not. By the way, he LOVED  his New Wayfarer Ray-bans. And I loved my new iPhone although it wasn't as big of a surprise.
Mom was smart to hide Jason's present in an odd container to throw him off
Getting annoyed with Jason staking his gifts (please ignore my Christmas morning look)
     After that first snowfall, it seemed like it would never stop. We got a total of about 7-8 inches of snow over a few days. One of those days, we just had to go sledding. Luckily, a bunch of my friends wanted to go too, which is always more fun. I had such a fun time catching up with some of my best friends from high school. I loved hearing about what they were up to and what their goals were. I have such a great group of smart, beautiful friends!
Jason couldn't wait for my friends so he went on the baby hill in my backyard
He didn't last very long
Alyssa, Jamie, Buddy (he belongs to Jamie), Kelsey, Nicole, Me, Jase
     A few days after Christmas, our family of four drove to Stow, Ohio to visit my mom's side of the family. Jason and I were so excited to catch up with the Pinkerton Family and to finally meet little Aiden (I always knew Dave and Sara would have the cutest kids). It was a little odd this year to not have Grandma and Grandpa there to celebrate with us. It wasn’t the same without them, but we still had a fabulous time. 
So cute
Aiden and his Mommy
Having fun at the Pinkerton's
Me? I became best friends with the dogs; this is Tucker

January 2, 2013

holiday spirit, the michigan way.

     To get into the holiday spirit, Mom and I planned some activities for the four of us to do as a family. On Friday December 21st, we headed to Greenfield Village in Dearborn. On this freezing night, we walked around the village and took a peek inside the 19th Century as we entered historic shops and homes.
     Greenfield Village contains many transplanted buildings like Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, Noah Webster’s home, and a courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. The workers were so good at staying in character and when asked a question, they would always answer as if we were in the 1800s. We hurriedly walked from building to building to get out of the cold.
Staying cozy inside
     One of our favorite shops we explored was a hat shop where there were original hats from that period and some that were more recently made. Jason and I each chose a hat we liked and tried them on. Another shop we enjoyed was an Emporium which had some toys and candy that sparked our inner child. We also had fun taking a brief ride in an authentic Model-T.
In our 1800s hats
Kids in a toy store
     Our dinner was at Eagle Tavern, just inside the village. Here we were served a 5-course meal as if we were guests at the taverns owner’s home. The experience was really the best part of our visit with the singing, candle light, and of course, the food. For dessert, we were split into groups to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas and we all had fun singing our part as the four colly birds.
Our dinner at Eagle Tavern
     The following day, the four of us took a short visit to the German town of Frankenmuth. In all of my years of living only an hour away from Frankenmuth, I have never been.  We started with a German meal at the Bavarian Inn where the waitress dressed as milkmaids and the waiters dressed in lederhosen. Everyone in the family got an actual German meal but me. I know, I know Jason is usually the picky one, but I didn’t have to try schnitzel and sauerkraut to figure out if I liked or not. Jason told me as long as I ate his fries with Heinz ketchup that it counted.
Eating at the Bavarian Inn
     It was fun walking on Main Street and popping our heads into a few shops. Jason and Mom had their way in the Frankenmuth Fudge Shop collecting a bag of Salt Water Taffy. We also went inside the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus and tasted chocolate cheese samples. Jason and I took pictures next to a gorgeous holz brucke or wooden bridge covered with snow.
Walking around Frankenmuth
     After hitting a few more stores, we made our way to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland which is the world’s Largest Christmas Store. The store was seriously huge and had every Christmas bulb you could imagine or decoration you could imagine. After looking hard, Jay and I bought a Christmas ornament of New York, our first ornament in hopefully a large collection of places we’ve been.
Our Christmas Ornament
Jason wanted this one