The season could not be more beautiful than it is right now. Perfect running weather with cool air has enriched our training sessions as we prepare for the big race at the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon happening the first weekend of November. Rich colors coat the earth as we skip through leaves and carry forth our family traditions. There’s nothing like going to the farm for a fresh donut or searching for the perfect pumpkin in the patch. We cherished our time together on the weekends visiting the Michigan State Dairy Farm, Crane’s Apple Orchard, Blue Man Group Chicago, and the World’s Largest Corn Maze on the Richardson Adventure Farm.
Locally, we returned to Crane’s Apple Orchard in Goshen, Indiana to select the six best Cortland and Johnagold apples from the branch for our baked apple pie. We also found the perfect pumpkin to plop on our porch for our cat Charlie to gaze upon as she watches the birds chatter in the trees.
The Michigan State Midnight Madness welcomed the public to a free preseason scrimmage with the men and women basketball teams. We showed up early for personal signatures from the team and Coach Tom Izzo as a gift for our running Coach Jake Gillette. While in Lansing, we visited the MSU Dairy Teaching and Research Center which houses over 180 Holstein dairy cows as part of the Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine Department. It was Homecoming weekend for Spartan Nation and we got football tickets for the home game verses Northwestern.
Shae let me pet her nose.
Meet the calves…
The MSU Dairy Farm also sells ice cream and cheese products produced from their cows. The cookies and cream ice cream was delicious!
On Halloween weekend, Ashley photographed Stone Soup Promotions’ Haunted Hilly Half Marathon, Terrible 10K, Frightening 5K, and Monster Mile at Bonneyville Mill Park benefiting the Elkhart County Down Syndrome Support Group.
We topped off the holiday weekend with a magical performance of Blue Man Group at their home theater in Chicago.I knew that it would be a good performance but they completely exceeded our expectations with witty humor, artistic displays, and subtle statements of modern day society. We were seated in the second row in the “splash zone.”
At one point the Blue Men walked right over us to pick their next victim to come on stage and participate in a number. The most unique part of the show was when gigantic beach balls covered with lights dropped onto the audience and toilet paper streamed all over us with music filling the air. It is hard to put into words the pure, cathartic laughter that roared from our bellies.
The fall season culminated with a visit to Richardson Adventure Farm, home of the World’s Largest Corn Maze in Spring Grove, Illinois on their last open day of the season.
The carnival atmosphere of the farm made us feel like kids again as explored the animals, cornfields, and attractions. The farm has been in the Richardson family for 176 years. Each year they come up with a new design to plant over 9 miles of corn maze. They even hold a 5K race in the maze each year. This year’s theme was the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.
Above Photo Credit: Richardson Adventure Farm
Some of our highlights included a wagon ride, Star Trek themed pig race, corn shooting, and pedal carts. We also had freshly made donuts, kettle corn, and apple cider by a crackling fire as the evening cooled.
We always love getting to see the animals. It brought out the inner farmer in Derek and he started saying that we could run a farm someday!
We felt like kids having the time of our lives rolling down giant slides and bouncing on the jumping pillows.
As the day drew to a close, we enjoyed three more jumping episodes on the trampolines before visiting our favorite Japanese restaurant, Hayashi, in Gurnee, IL on the way home. October was a beautiful month and we loved spending as much time as we possibly could outside in all its beauty.