Octobering on Long Island

Reunited and it feels so good! My friend Dakota, whom you may remember from my blog posts in Copenhagen, lives in Levittown on Long Island (an entirely different world from rural upstate). She also goes to the Fashion Institute, hence why we met while studying abroad for the same program. 

I took the train out to her this weekend for an overdue hangout. We originally planned to go pumpkin picking at a small farm near her town, but at the last minute we read about a farm on the North Fork at the end of L.I. called Harbes, which not only has pumpkin picking, but apple picking, cider donuts, a corn maze, hay rides, and everything you'd expect from a tourist farm in October. It was an hour away, but the last few miles took an extra HOUR because of traffic all heading to Harbes.

Due to our late arrival, we were ravenous and headed straight for food. I had an apple cider donut that was deliciously light and sugary. I wish I could share the smell coming out of the donut fryer. Dakota decided to have apply crisp à la mode. They were both good choices.

*Food porn of my donut available here*

Harbes Family Farm is a serious operation. There must have been over 100 employees, which provided for an entertaining corn maze. Upon entering, we were greeted by 'Robin Hood' and given a map to draw checkpoints on throughout the maze. I went in thinking 'I'm 21, this might feel easy and lame'. To my surprise, you literally get lost in the maze and are easily misled. 

It was really fun to do something silly, outdoors, without real consequences, with someone who's company I truly enjoy. After quite a bit of wandering, we came to the end where Dakota had to sword fight our way to the exit. I knew she could take him, so I just took a picture.

We saved pumpkin picking for last. The patch was huge, and there were wagons available to pull your pumpkins and your little children pumpkins around in. There were so many people at the farm that scouting for a wagon was like a competition. Well, being that we already won a sword fight, getting a wagon was no issue. We took turns pulling each other around and at one point had to flee the trail when we realized a tractor with a hay ride was heading for us. 

It was honestly a perfect Octobery day. And I got to carry a pumpkin back through Penn Station. One of the best things about New York City though is that there is always something weirder than you happening.

Trees Are Magical: Fall Edition

If I haven't mentioned it before, Fall is one of my top four favorite seasons.  ...I love every season, how can I not, they're all so unique! That's part of the reason I feel so blessed to have grown up in upstate New York. I get a white Christmas (usually), fresh syrup when Spring comes, hot and fruitful summers, and colorful, festive Falls. I decided to come home from school for Columbus Day weekend because the Fall colors are officially at their peak, which is truly a few specific days before the leaves get dark and fall off. For obvious reasons, I already like maple trees.. but even more so in the Fall when they paint the mountain side in spectacular color. 

SO beautiful, right?? Anyway, trees are also magical this time of year because it's apple season! I have to say, usually Mom and I apple pick all over our own property, but the apples froze off this year. Hardly any at all on the trees. It happens. So we went to a real orchard called Terrace Mountain, which is always fun because they have every familiar variety. For our own eating, the orchard is fine, but for making apple sauce to sell, it's a bit pricey. We'll have to forage around town a bit more. 

Did I forget to mention they have apple cider donuts? hehe. We picked mainly galas (how can you not like galas), golden delicious, which are my personal favorite, and northern spies, which are more tart than goldens but amazingly crisp. 

As you can see, Mom took all the pictures and I did all the heavy lifting.. no not really, but shout out to Mom for dealing with the photographer who's in front of the lens <3