All Hallows Eve

I think I've said this in the past, but I LOVE the east coast in the fall. And I also love the fall traditions we have developed in our short time of being married. Halloween has been really fun with the decorations we have, the books we've tried to read together (Edgar Allen Poe Short Stories, Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree and other short stories, etc.) and a tradition I am trying to continue from my family, which is making homemade doughnuts for Halloween night. Below is a little recap of what went down in preparation for and ON Halloween night. 

We got our little guy two Halloween costumes which he LOVED wearing. 

I got Esqueleto, as Kyle called him, right before we came out to D.C. Just a simple little foam cut out but he 'was' my favorite decoration... that is before our wonderful cat started playing with him, pulled him down and ripped him up. Very respectfully and ironically, we said R.I.P. to Esqueleto. 

A year ago, Kyle found creative ways to hide Esqueleto, including the shower early in the morning, which did not go over well. This was one of his less frightening attempts. 

The start of the changing of the leaves. 

I watched Kyle play soccer for the first time this fall. He killed it in this game and if it's even possible, became even more attractive to me. 

Kyle started the tradition of changing up our sugar/flour bowls and I do not complain.

With fall comes the apple picking and all the ways that we try to use them up including, apple muffins one time.....

.....and a yummy apple stuffing with pork followed by.....

.....miniature salted caramel apple pies that I LOVED. It's been fun finding new recipes each year. 

We cheered on the San Francisco Giants when they played in the World Series and won.
Kyle wore his hat and jersey for every game and I kind of liked it.

We got a free one time shipment of petbox for Booskie (new nickname) full of
toys and treats only to find he'd much rather have the box. Good to know.

Boo sometimes likes to hang out with us at our level. Kyle was cooking dinner and he just sort of....sat there, content. He's a great little guy to have around. 

I love Sunday afternoon naps with these guys. 

While landlady Martina was gone for four months traveling the country, we had a cute family who lived above us with two little girls: Eliza and Emma. Emma was OBSESSED with Boo (pronounced him Booey) and Eliza helped us carve a pumpkin one night when we got to babysit them. My favorite is Boo's photobomb appearance. 

And now we come to my first attempt at Halloween you can see we were off to a great start. 

I probably facetimed my mom a total of 20 times while trying to figure out if I was doing everything right. (and yes, it's supposed to be that big when it's raised...I just had a small bowl). 

After cutting them out, you let them raise for another hour and then.....let the fry fest begin!

By the time I was done cooking them, I think I had figured out the right timing for each side of the doughnut so they had that perfect golden color. 

And then they are frosted with vanilla, chocolate or maple frosting and then sprinkled with candy corn colored sprinkles or tiny pumpkin and bat sprinkles. And although sprinkles don't have any flavor besides added sugar, they just make everything look so much prettier. 

Another tradition we started is painting sugar skulls the next Day, November 1, for Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. I actually like the idea behind this holiday because they celebrate it in honor of those who have passed on. Boo didn't know what to think of the skulls and different colors of frosting. 

The end result. Last year we made sugar cookie skulls which were fun to decorate, but these added dimension, making them easier to add flowers and swirly decorations. 

And the best moments of Halloween 2015 go to this guy for always making me laugh! 

A Drive Down The Old Skyline Trail

Kyle’s wonderful parents came out for the weekend before Halloween to visit and take a trip down the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah to see all of the beautiful fall leaf colors. We took the trip with Uncle Ray and Aunt Kristine as well and had a grand old time.

Oh Shenandoah...I long to see you....
(yes this song is referring to the river...but it works for the valley too)

The dedicated driver and navigator.

I think National Park Service Rangers are some of the happiest people, working out in nature and stuff.

Kyle getting in the spirit of the Halloween season by finishing up
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe.

Being from Utah, we get our fair share of the changing of the leaves but this was UNREAL. With the amount of foliage Virginia has and being by the Shenandoah valley, the hills were just bursting with color. do NOT do justice.

We stopped by the Skyland Lodge, checked out their most recent critter sightings and explored the gift shop.

Sheesh! So many black bears.

Kyle got his stamp in his National Park stamp book. And I don’t know what was said by who to make him laugh, but I love this picture.

More beautiful leaves.

It's a bit difficult to see but down in the valley, they had the cutest farms that looked like they were straight out of Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

This is what I called the “Jurassic Park” area since the leaves looked tropical and I expected a velocaraptor to come bounding out at any point.

Classic photos.

I love Kyle’s parents. I married into the most wonderful family and I feel like I’ve known them my entire life.

I was able to borrow a camera since we’ve been thinking of investing in one ourselves. Here we are trying to get the right lighting and the right settings. We laugh at a few of these but there are some that I love.

The sky was really blue and pretty that day as well. Good weather all around.

After we had made it the 105.6 miles down the trail, we stopped in little Waynesboro for some food and at a hotel to stay for the night. It was the smallest, charming town with the best lemon ginger custard.

The next day we drove over to visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. I had been wanting to visit here for a long time and was glad we could finally go, especially with family.

Monticello was so beautiful and incredible. Jefferson was definitely ahead of his time and was always looking to gain more knowledge and enlightenment.

He built this week clock that was hooked up to a center 24-hour clock. There were heavy iron weights that would slowly head down the wall, telling what day of the week it was.

Jefferson also had a lot of gardens and grew all of his own vegetables and fruit.

A few good men.

Jefferson Family cemetery and Jefferson’s grave.

We visited Michie Tavern, a little place with lots of cute shops and the yummiest home cooked food.

It was so wonderful to spend the weekend with everyone and to cross some sites off the bucket list. And I couldn’t return the camera without taking a few shots of this guy.

I do love Kyle.