If you missed where I left off, here's exactly how a happy hour can go wrong in under two hours. Let's all learn from our mistakes - and not snapchat all of our college friends who we haven't really spoken to in over a year while we're drunk in the bathroom at 6:30pm. Great idea!
On Saturday night 12 mutual friends, some of whom had never met each other before, were organized by my crazy friend Shawn (a self-proclaimed "spooky boy" aka someone more than a little bit obsessed with Halloween) to take a white 12-seat passenger van to Agawam, MA for the much anticipated New England Scare Fest. The ride up there felt like a field trip in a school bus, it was hilarious. The actual event was... meh. It was fun to go to a haunted house with such a big group of friends but it was truly just a glorified haunted house.
I think I was expecting a bigger area transformed into a spooky village a la Halloweentown. Give me a real life Halloweentown and I'll be one happy cookie. But this was okay. The actual haunted house took about 15 minutes to go through (thank god because my poor heart couldn't have lasted any longer, especially when L dropped my hand and sprinted away from me as a Texas chainsaw murderer chased us through a fenced maze). After the haunted house part there was an after-party in the parking lot with live music, drinks, and backyard games. We played a little cornhole and had our own dance party, then relocated to Bobby V's Sports Bar for cheese quesadillas, some more adult beverages, and a little bit of warmth since it was cold and drizzly and we were all shivering outside.
Saturday morning started slow. L and I went out for breakfast sandwiches and bagels since some of his extended family had stayed over that night. We had every intention of laying around and doing nothing the rest of the day, until I got that restless itch I sometimes get that turns me into a psycho bitch if I don't do something to satisfy is.
So we took the scenic route.
Literally. We packed road snacks and "road sodas" (spiked seltzers, 'cuz we're oh so bad) and took off on a spontaneous road trip. Best decision we made all weekend. Shawn and his boyfriend were kind of doing the same thing... so what if we stole their idea. We ended up meeting up at a castle and taking adorable pictures together. None of which I have to show right now because we were using a real camera with amazinggggggg quality that requires me to upload to a computer, which of course I don't actually have time to do.
After driving down to the Essex area (somewhere that I've somehow never been), I put a pre-planned route into my GPS via this dope app called Round. It's glitchy as hell but has scenic routes already planned in that direct straight into your GPS. We took the Connecticut Lower River Valley Scenic Route around Essex, East Haddam, and Old Lyme. After starting out our journey, we stopped for some beautiful foliage pictures near a pond that was probably (definitely) on someone's private property. Yolo.
It was probably the most beautiful day we could have picked for this random road trip. The sun was shining but not too brightly, it was brisk but not too chilly. The perfect fall day. We munched on turkey and cheese sandwiches and Goldfish crackers and rode into the sun while blasting Third Eye Blind.
We stumbled upon the Essex Steam Train, and took Halloween pictures with some impressive decorations in front of a home improvement store. Hey, it doesn't take much to impress me! On our way to Gillette Castle, one of the major highlights in East Haddam, we pulled into a cafe called Two Wrasslin' Cats for a raspberry iced mocha. I wish I could teleport you to this place because it was like nowhere I've ever been. Every single surface, wall, and table was COVERED with cat memorabilia.
Cat pictures, paintings, statues, stuffed animals, books, mobiles, and more cluttered every single surface. It was stuffed to the brim, colorful, bright, in your face, yet somehow relaxing enough for high school students to sit in overstuffed armchairs by the windowsills and work on their homework. It was amazing.
Gillette Castle didn't disappoint either. Shawn and Trevor magically met up with us there - we even managed to snap some candid pictures of them sitting on a castle wall as we approached. Just call us the paparazzi. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your long hair.
The views from the outlook were exactly what autumn colors are made of. We used the turrets and scenery as a backdrop for a myriad of adorable, yet shamefully basic pictures of lovers and friends. And a more fun time hadn't been had in a long time. Then they lived happily ever after. The end.
Except not quite the end.
On our way toward finishing off the route, we saw FIFTEEN WILD TURKEYS CROSS THE ROAD. I'm sorry but ya girl is from the dense suburbs so this is not an every day occurrence for me. Along a desolate dirt road we stopped dead in our tracks when we saw two seemingly wild horses romping in a field, encompassed by a low wooden fence. I got out of the car and approached for some pictures, but immediately backtracked when they stopped what they were doing, gave me a dirty look, and started slowly approaching our car.
Nature is beautiful and scary.
We turned back because the sun was starting to set. But this was one of the most magical spontaneous adventures I've had in a long time - and it was all in my backyard. So go on a freakin' adventure. Pack some road snacks and take the scenic route. And don't forget your camera and the road sodas.
It's all right there, just a drive away.