Happy November all! I’ve fallen a bit behind on my monthly recap. Here I am telling you about October and it’s halfway through November! Hope you still want to hear how The Swans spend their October. If you do… keep reading.
Pumpkin Patch Fun
We started our month with an obligatory trip to the pumpkin patch. Each year I think I look forward to this trip the most in our family, but now our oldest is starting to understand and enjoy it just as much. There’s some good options for a family outings around where we live, but we’ve found this one farm that I love so we’re sticking to it. Few things I love about this place: it’s close to our house, there’s plenty of (free) activities and it seems to be a bit of a hidden gem (aka not crowded).
We walked through the rows of pumpkin, watched the goats eat and wore out the slide. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times a certain toddler went down the slide. Heck, mom, dad and even baby brother got in on the action. It was fun for the whole family!
Although they smelled amazing, we passed on the apple cider donuts (probably not something any of us needed, so no money spent there). We also decided not to stick around for the hay ride (it wasn’t about the money, more about the fact that nap time was quickly approaching). We did purchase 2 good sized pumpkins for $10 and they contributed to our front step fall décor. Remember our new wreath was purchased back in September? The plan was to carve the pumpkins a week later, however we never got around to it! Whoops, next year I guess.
Last year around this time we took a quick trip to Hilton Head Island with some family. It was such a great weekend that we decided this should become a yearly tradition. This year we made the trip more of a mini family vacation by extending a few days and soaking up some sun. We were pretty lucky with the weather, it rained just one day. We made the most of that day too and enjoyed some indoor activities.
First our plans started with the hotel accommodations. As you probably know I work for a large hotel company and can get hotel discounts. This is partly why we took the beach trip in October last year… better chance of getting the discount (they don’t offer during peak season of course). There was one property that I REALLY wanted to stay at so we planned the trip around getting the discount at that specific resort. Totally worth it! With the hotel discount we got on our rooms we saved about $200 / night!
The other big expense that you think of when talking about a family trip is how to get to the location. Lucky for us we live just about 4 hours from the beach so all it took was a little over a tank of gas (and snacks) to get us there. Speaking of which, we did pack a lot of food for this trip. That can be another big expense for vacations. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to go anywhere with a toddler and not pack a bag of snacks. We packed food for the intention of snacking, but also for meals. We enjoy the balance of eating out some on vacation, but also eating in the hotel room a bit too. Especially for breakfast. JW and I find that’s the easiest meal to pack a bunch of bagels and peanut butter to satisfy. Our oldest is content with that and some fresh pineapple (we packed a whole cooler too so we had some fridge items). Another great savings compared to eating out every meal.
We ended the month with Halloween. Unfortunately, there was a little sickness going around our family leading up to the holiday so our night didn’t last too late (totally fine with us though seeing that the holiday fell on a school night). Our boys dressed as an astronaut and Charlie Brown. A certain baby is having trouble growing any hair so the cartoon character was a perfect fit. As for the astronaut, that all started back with our trip to DC over Labor Day. The kiddos were intrigued with space when we visited the Air and Space Museum, leading us to search for a cool costume on Amazon.
Although our astronaut didn’t fill his pumpkin with candy on Halloween night, he got plenty. And by “he” I mean mom and dad. He’s still just too young to be eating candy everyday… so we’ll take one for the team. My intention was to teach him which candy mom likes in hopes he would choose that at each door. I never got around to that, but he still did a good job selecting some good candy.
Well that was October and I’ll probably be back soon to tell you about November. Who else is a sucker for a good pumpkin patch? Do you get really creative with your pumpkin carving? What did you (or your kids) dress up for at Halloween? Anyone else a Butterfinger fan?