Winter Woodland Walks

There’s nothing quite like going for a woodland stroll in the woods.  It feels and looks so magical! Last weekend, I visited a wonderful, small, western New Jersey town that gets all decorated for Christmas.  There’s an adorable main street lined with small shops and cafes and lots of nearby farms perfect for visiting for some homemade apple cider and live Christmas decor (pine wreaths, anyone!?). After spending the day wandering the cute little shops and sipping coffee and cider, I decided it was time to see what walking paths and parks were nearby.  Lo and behold, the Cooper Mill was just down the road.

The Cooper Mill was built in 1826 and is on the National Historic Register.  During the warmer months, there are tours and events at the mill.  On this particular day, it was snowing, the water in the mil had begun to freeze over, and it was extremely picturesque.

15317857_10207887164165219_8183266594997969898_n

15350505_10207887165005240_6890438405369865262_n

15350703_10207887166285272_4942360795230269859_n

15541140_10207887164285222_5031368023457945789_n

 

sarahheart

Corn Mazes and Apple Cider!

15037177_10207605643607381_8174087283269552110_n

Autumn is the perfect time for some outdoor adventuring. The temperature isn’t too cold, the air is brisk and refreshing, the trees turn magnificent colors – it’s wonderful! I have always enjoyed fall hikes through the mountains, corn mazes, and apple picking and this year has been no different!

I daytripped out to gorgeous small town with cute cafes, antiques stores, and a farm that was perfect for some fall festivities!  After a wonderful organic lunch of fig, apple, and brie cheese and a hot panini at The Robin’s Nest, it was on to Stony Hill Farm Market.

14915705_10207605644927414_7346350767887374693_n

14963291_10207605642607356_5056252632229730334_n

Stony Hill Farm is home to a number of fun autumn activities to partake in.  There are hay rides, corn mazes, rope mazes, gemstone mining (for the kids!), apple picking (at their second location), photo spots, and yummy donuts and delicious cider to enjoy.  I grabbed a hot cup of apple cider and a yummy apple cider donut before heading into the giant corn maze!

The corn maze has a number of activities to complete while inside the maze itself. I focused primarily on finding my way and enjoying the sights from the bridges that place you above the maze itself while crossing, offer great views of the maze and surrounding trees.

With the clocks having rolled back an extra hour recently, the sun began to set incredibly early, casting a glowing, golden light over the corn field.  Looking around, it was impossible not to feel warm and happy 🙂

sarahheart

Summer Perfection: Hoboken’s Pier 13

IMG_4355new.jpg

Summertime means getting outside and enjoying the sunshine, preferably with a refreshing beverage in hand. In Hoboken, New Jersey, the “Mile Square City,” that means heading over to Pier 13.  With food trucks, fun drinks, and incredible views of the New York City skyline, it’s hard to beat!

Pier 13 stretches out into the Hudson River on the north end of Hoboken.  It’s a bit unassuming if you merely walk by it on a stroll of the waterfront, but once you walk out onto it, everything changes.

At the front of the pier, you’ll encounter that day’s food trucks.  Pier 13 has a pretty great “collection” of food trucks that change and rotate day-to-day.  My favorites include the Dark Side of the Moo (burgers, wings, tacos), Amanda Bananas (banana-based ice cream!), and Carnivale (stuffed donuts!).  There’s generally at least five options to choose from, unless you happen to go during their monthly Food Truck Frenzy, when ALL the food trucks come to share their deliciousness! It’s quite an event!

After the food trucks comes the booze! If you want to drink, you’ll have to get a wristband as you walk farther down to the pier toward the water.  Here, you’ll encounter the drink stations.  There are two structures on the pier that serve alcohol – one is more geared toward cocktails and the other is a bit more beer-centric. Pier 13 is home to all sorts of fantastic drinks! You can get a “beach ball” or a “party pail” to bring out into the seating area with you. I personally enjoy their spiked lemonade and Arnold Palmer beverages – super refreshing on a hot day!

Once you grab your drinks, grab a seat! The remaining stretch of the pier is devoted to casual and relaxed grass-carpeted seating.  These brightly colored lawn chairs are perfect for sitting back and enjoying your food, drink, and friends.  Around 5pm each day, the crowd on the pier switches over from moms-with-their-kids-enjoying-the-sunshine-and-booze to young-and-hip-twenty-somethings-getting-a-drink-after-work.  It’s a great place to head with friends and coworkers to unwind from the day’s work grind!

Of course, you can’t talk about Pier 13 without mentioning the stunning views.  New York City serves as the scenic backdrop, with the iconic Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Freedom Tower taking center stage. Even if you go it alone to Pier 13, enjoy your drink and just take in the incredible sights!

IMG_4346

Pier 13 is always hosting fun events ranging from movie nights and painting classes, to silent dance parties and mini golfing.  There’s also boating and water activities available from the pier, too, if you’re looking for something that gets you off the concrete and into the waves.  Summer is the perfect time to try paddle boarding and kayaking!

For more information about everything Pier 13 has to offer, check them out:

Website // Instagram // Facebook

 

Happy travels and happy summer!

sarahheart

Apple-Picking and Corn Mazes

Autumn has generally always been my favorite season and, now that I spend a lot of my time in Florida, I find myself missing it quite a bit.  I tend to travel north quite a bit, though, and have been enjoying fitting in as much autumn enjoyment as possible!  One of my favorite things to do in fall is to visit farms with apples, corn mazes, hay rides, and pumpkins – it’s the quintessential “fall activity.”  I was fortunate enough to have time to visit a lovely farm in Chester, New Jersey called Stony Hill.  It was a blast!

Stony Hill Farms has two locations that are just five minutes apart – an apple orchard (and garden store) location and then a corn maze and pumpkin patch location.  I visited both places and had lots of fun at each!  I had really been itching for some fresh-picked apples, so I headed to the apple orchard first.

20

When I arrived, I headed inside to get a basket to hold the apples I was about to pick.  The apples you pick are priced by pound, but the woman shared a nice tip about a full basket being around $20.  She was right, too!  I filled my basket a little bit beyond the top and paid just over $20 for the apples.  Compared to grocery store prices, it was definitely a deal!

The apple orchard was full of various types of apples, some I had never even heard of before.  It was lots of fun going through the rows of apples and selecting ones to pick! The signs posted at each row tell you what each type of apple is good for (baking, eating raw, salads, etc.) so you can pick up apples based on what you might use them for (I plan to bake an apple cake and apple pies!).  I filled up my basket quicker than I thought I would.  I would’ve loved to stay longer just to walk through the orchard more!

24

After leaving the orchard, I headed down the road for a super short drive over to the other Stony Hill Farms location.  This was where the corn maze was!  Having grown up in the northeast, I always did corn mazes every fall and I wanted this season to be no exception.  I was really excited to head into the maze! A quick instructional video beforehand detailed how to “build” your map as you made your way through the maze (as well as complete various games throughout the maze which I thought was fun!) and find your way out.  There were a few tall bridges to cross through the maze which provided really nice views of the entire corn field.  I was there in the late afternoon as the sun began going down so it was really pretty.

11214256_10153713281919035_5614919998343364152_n

The farm also has a nice store where they sell homemade pies, donuts, popcorn, cookies, and tea and cider.  I got a slice of pie and some incredibly delicious (seriously, this stuff was really good) cider.  They had a bunch of pumpkins and gourds outside for sale, too.  It was just really fun to enjoy taking in the seasonal feeling – I love fall!

Stony Hill Farms is an excellent place for some fun fall activities and I’m really glad I had the chance to visit both of their locations.  To check them out for yourself (which I highly recommend!), head to their website at:

http://www.stonyhillfarms.com/

Or visit them in New Jersey at one of their locations! The two locations are super close to one another, so you can check out both.

I’m very glad I had the opportunity to have some autumn adventures this season! It wouldn’t be fall without some apples, cider, and corn mazes!

12295488_10153713281089035_5537592386772322301_n

signature_su1awkumwi8wm7wdlr