Fun Maize Mazes

I’m not quite sure why corn mazes are associated with Halloween. Maybe because corn is a fall crop. And I guess it is a bit eerie to walk through a field of corn where you can see nothing but talk stalks all around you. In any case, it’s a fun, green activity that boosts agritourism! So this Halloween, get the spooks and the eebie jeebies in a corn maze near you!

I’ll be going to the F & W Schmitt Family Farms out on Long Island. They’ve got what they call a “Serious After-Dark Scare”. For $11 you can get lost in a scary maze “filled with surprises”…I’ll let you know how it goes! You can also visit the haunted mansion while you’re there.

Here are some others that may be in your area:

  • Sever’s Corn Maze – Minnesota – Another family owned agricultural wonder, based on castle gardens from England…and a safari. You can also visit their Scream Town.
  • The Corn Maze at the Butterfly House – Whitehouse, Ohio – More day and nighttime mazes, including the “Sarah America” maze which is the carved out likeness of VP nominee Sarah Palin (okaaaay…that’s not weird). While you’re here, you can also visit the Butterfly House and Christmas Tree Farm.
  • Amazing Maize Maze at Long Acre Farms – Macedon, New York – A maze competition: two teams compete to find their way through the maze using clues (aka Kernels of Knowledge). Good place for birthday parties.
  • Great Vermont Corn Maze – Danville, Vermont – Complete with gardens, mini golf, a mini kid’s maze, and a nature center.
  • Great Adirondack Corn Maze – New York – A family owned farm (Tucker Farm) with a “million dollar view” of the Adirondack Mountains.
  • Mazeland – Alexandria Bay, New York – A maze of huge cedar trees, fun for kids and adults.
  • Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest – Lehi, Utah – An October celebration at the Cornuphobia haunted corn maze.
  • Dole Plantation – Wahiawa, Hawaii – This is Hawaii, not middle America, and it’s pineapple, not corn, but same idea, right? They call this the world’s largest maze. I don’t know why it’s hard to imagine a pineapple field being larger than a corn field. Ok, I have just confirmed: The Dole Plantation Pineapple Garden Maze was officially recognized as the World’s Largest Maze in the Guinness Book of World Records 2001. So to clarify, it was the largest maze a bunch of years ago.
  • Ashland Berry Farms – Ashland, Virginia – Again, not a corn maze, but a fun maze for kids using bales of hay.
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – Charleston, South Carolina – A garden maze based on old English gardens. Also a romantic vacation spot!

To make your OWN corn maze (hey, I don’t know who’s reading this!), visit Corn Mazes America who can help you turn your corn crop into corn fun!

Happy Halloween!
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Top Ten Summer Picnic Spots

I came across this article about Memorial Day picnic spots, and since I sort of missed Memorial Day this year (I was on the road), and since there’s no rule that you can’t picnic after Memorial Day (on the contrary), I figured I’d post the Top Ten Picnic Spots now, for the summer.

Just so happens that the first three (of ten!) spots are in my homestate, two of them just south of Phoenix, Arizona and therefore, quite easy for me to get to!

Next on the list is 90 miles north of Phoenix in Sedona, Arizona:

And here are the rest:

So pack and picnic and enjoy the sun! Maybe I’ll see you in Tempe!
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Top Ten Literary Cities

I can’t find the original article, but here’s a list of the top ten literary cities in the US from Jessica Burkhart’s (fun!) blog. She got her list from USA Today in the book section of the paper.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Seattle, Washington
St. Paul, Minnesota
Denver, Colorado
Washington, D.C.
St. Louis, Missouri
San Francisco, California
Atlanta, Georgia
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Boston, Massachusetts

I’ve found a few great articles on the literariness (is that a word?) of these cities. This article gives ten reasons why Pittsburgh is a “literary star”. There’s an interesting article in the New York Times which talks about how companies like Costco, Starbucks, and Amazon (all based in Seattle) influence what books Americans read. The article describes Seattle as a town that loves books. That’s nice!

So I’m left with just two questions: Where is New York City? And where is Los Angeles? This article offers proof of LA’s literariness, and do we really need proof for NYC?
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Chillin’ in Montauk State Park

The other day I was in Montauk State Park (again), just walking and writing and thinking. Ryan will be meeting me here in a few days and then we’ll be off to Wyoming for Rainbow. And I hate to fast forward like this, but pretty soon I’ll be returning back to the big city—maybe. I mean, I quit my job so I don’t have plans, but the more I try and escape to the woods and mountains, the more I find myself missing my family and friends who, as luck would have it, live in (or near) big cities. So I was happy to come across this article in USA Today called 10 great leafy getaways tucked away in the big city.

So, if you’re a city dweller needing respite from the hustle and bustle around you, try finding solace in these tucked away getaways:

  1. Golden Gate Park – San Francisco, California
  2. Teardrop Park, Battery Park City – New York City, along the Hudson River
  3. Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois
  4. Zilker Metropolitan Park – Austin, Texas
  5. Balboa Park – San Diego, California
  6. Boston Common – Boston, Massachusetts
  7. Constitution Gardens – Washington, D.C.
  8. Gas Works Park – Seattle, Washington
  9. Loring Park – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  10. George Washington Memorial Park – Jackson, Wyoming

Why Central Park – NYC is not on the list… I’m not sure. As well as the Boston Public Garden. But it’s still a nice list. Hope it helps you city folk!