Last year I missed out on two absolute must-do autumn activities, jack-o-lanterns and cider mills. So this year when the pumpkin carving contest was announced at work, I was easily persuaded to join.
The pumpkins were free and I was told there would be a prize of some kind, but for me, the free pumpkin was a prize all its own. I selected a nice round one and decided on the geekiest thing that I hadn't yet seen done online, making a cyberman from Doctor Who. I selected the "Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967) era to model my pumpkin after. And so the cyberkin was born!! What surprised me most was that it was recognized almost as soon as I brought him into the store.
Geeky Coworker: Cyberman?
Geeky Coworker: Second generation?
Me: Why, yes, he is. ((Holy crow! WTF!))
Kimmy had never been to a pumpkin patch before in her life (I am continuously surprised by the deprived upbringing she had), so after dropping off the cyberkin, she and I went south on M-23 in search of a pumpkin patch where we could seek out more pumpkins for carving at Game Night. Kimmy had decided on doing an owl, so looked for a tall, skinny pumpkin suitable for the task. I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I just found the biggest pumpkin I could carry that had a good carveable surface.
After much deliberation and sketches, I decided to do a cat outlined by the moon (with clouds for stability). Kimmy's owl also ended up silhouetted by the moon (but no clouds). Greg's jack-o-lantern was just a face, though it did have a color changing light inside it which was pretty snazzy.
On the actual day of Halloween, the three of us finally made it to a cider mill. Being in Ann Arbor, everyone insisted to me that I had to go to the Dexter Cider Mill, "the oldest continuously operating Cider Mill in Michigan." I checked the website for hours and address and we headed out, only to discover once we got there that it was closed. I did a search on my GPS for nearby cider mills and the next closest was Parmenter's in Northville. So off we went to Northville!
Their cider turned out to be sweet with not a hint of sourness, and the donuts were fresh and delicious. They also had a free wine tasting, so naturally we had to partake of Northville's other libations. The Niagara really did taste like white grape juice, as advertised, and I found the Blue Note to have a very refreshing blueberry aftertaste. We ended up purchasing a bottle of the Pink Moon, their cherry riesling, which is not their best seller for nothing! I liked it better than the Grand Traverse cherry riesling, which is still very good, but more tart than the Pink Moon.
I realize now that I have two cherry rieslings in my fridge. Greg had brought me a bottle by Traverse Bay a little while ago that I'd quite forgotten about! I guess I really need to work on my wine drinking. That's it, every social interaction that occurs at my apartment from here on out must include wine! Done.