Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Apples Included: An Autumnal Road Trip

Last week, we took a quick jaunt up to Traverse City, Michigan for some autumnal goodness (recommended: Philips Cider Mill, Tandem Ciders, Harvest and Patisserie Amie). Things have been so crazy busy I'm just going to put this out there unaccompanied by a real story, but it's pretty much all about the photos anyways!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weekend Wanderlust

Weekend links to feed your wanderlust:

- Stunning, atmospheric photos of the Pacific Northwest.

- The 70's themed London bar with a secret entrance through a laundromat!

- A German amusement park in a nuclear reactor.

- Strange and unique vacation rentals around the world. 

- If you haven't already, be sure to enter to win a trip to London (ends on Sunday!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stay in Dorothy's House at the Kitschy 70's Land of Oz Theme Park

From 1970 to 1980, those who made the pilgrimage to Banner Elk, North Carolina could bask in the colorful kitschyness of the Land of Oz theme park. Set atop Beech Mountain, with sweeping views and access by gondola lifts, the park actually seems like it would have been a coveted family vacation stop.

Sadly, the park closed its doors after a ten year run (I'm sure it had nothing to do with the terrifying Cowardly Lion or Tin Man). 

Today, the park is smaller, with the character houses and Emerald City missing, destroyed by vandals and neglect. It is now maintained and small sections restored by a realty and rental company that offers tours and parties by reservation and an Autumn at Oz Party open to the public.

For the diehard fans, though, nothing beats the chance to stay at Dorothy's House. You'll be able to stroll down your own private yellow brick road...

...and arrive at Dorothy's quaint house and farm for a weekend getaway.

Maybe if you ask nicely, they'll even leave it in the post-tornado tour setup!

(all photos via Emerald Realty & Rentals)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Muse | Apple Picking

As we head off on an apple themed road trip today, I'm hoping to do some apple picking and thinking of comfy, cozy clothing for the 50 degree weather (I know that 50 degrees will feel positively balmy in the spring, but it seems so cold right now!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rest Areas, the Forgotten Road Trip Icon

Photographer Nicolo Sertorio captures the minimalist beauty of vintage highway rest areas, now so rarely used. He makes them look like such peaceful places to sit down and take in the scenery, though I have to admit I rarely use rest stops for anything other than a quick bathroom break (and they never seem to look like this!).

(via Miss Moss)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekend Wanderlust

Links to feed your wanderlust this weekend: 

- Hijinks and kittens abound on the Reykjavík Police Department's Instagram account.

- Lazing in hammocks 300 feet in the air in the Italian mountains!

- I'm a sucker for gimmicks, so I'm all for it, but would you dine at London's canned seafood restaurant?

- The melting roadways on Google Earth

- A levitating building in London! 

- Win a trip to Las Vegas for a Beatle's Cirque de Soleil performance. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Autumn Ritual: Visiting an Apple Cider Press in Rural Ohio

We dragged ourselves out of bed extra early yesterday morning so I could relive a childhood autumn ritual. By the time we arrived at Suter's Cider Press, cars and trucks packed full of apples were lined up in the pre-dawn fog, waiting their turn to feed homegrown apples into the vintage cider press for a winter's worth of apple cider.

While I showed up with no apples in tow, the crisp autumn air and aroma of fresh cider brought back all those wonderful memories of a day of picking apples in my grandmother's little orchard. Then early in the morning (after a breakfast of the sugar stuffed cereal that my mother rarely bought, but grandma could always be convinced to add to the cart), we piled in the truck and joined the line at Suter's.

Very little has changed since then--though I swear the barn was twice the size last time I visited!

Apples are fed up into the press...

...and the pulp is discarded in a wagon beside the building.

Then employees funnel the cider into 1 gallon containers, and flush the tank before the next customer's batch.

And finally, gallon after gallon of apple cider to take home and mull, spike, or freeze for a winter treat. 

The press sells cider from their own orchard, but I'll have to take a second trek back --in the afternoon, thank god-- when the store is open. Rather than hanging around and coveting other people's cider, we took a drive in the country to take advantage of the foggy morning and snap some more photos: 

Do you have any favorite childhood autumn memories or rituals? My other favorite (which I think I'll skip recreating) was jumping into crisp fallen leaves, raked together in a big pile in the yard.

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