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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sleepy Hollow

How's everyone's October going?

Mine's been going along swimmingly! 
from Jack O'Lantern carving (like the one I did above!),
to decorating a new house, to a night of haunted house jumping . . .

This was scary!

. . . It's been quite a SPOOKTACULAR month!
I even went on a little day trip up to Sleepy Hollow, 
New York over the weekend with my boyfriend, Jacob. . .

Jake and I standing on the "Headless Horseman Bridge" ♥

Sleepy Hollow has always been one of the most special places
in my life. I have been going there religiously every October for about seven or
eight years now. I was initially attracted to it because I felt like it had the same
Halloween appeal as the larger-scale Salem, but was much less touristy and had a 
more old fashioned "home town" feel. When I first began coming here, most of their 
Halloween events were geared towards the local crowd; high school haunted hayrides 
that soared through the town, lantern-lit spooky walks through Phillipsburg Manor, 
low-key readings of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at the Old Dutch Church 
where they'd serve ginger snaps and warm apple cider over the pot belly stove.
It was simply magical, and it kept me coming back year after year...
Of course, things didn't stay the same
I noticed the change a couple of years ago when they officially got rid of Legends Evening 
at Phillipsburg Manor and replaced it with "Horseman's Hollow"- a gimmicky, circus-like 
haunted house with "vampire pirates" and a gruesome Ichabod Crane. Then they changed 
the high school hayride around, replacing the unique and detailed scenes we would drive by
with an overabundance of more "vampire pirates," and forgetting all about the Headless
Horseman that would appear at the end of the ride. They got rid of the original reader
of the Legend at the Old Dutch Church, a theatrical and engaging man who kept you at 
the edge of your seat, to a dumb-downed and overly-kid friendly reader whose voice 
was that of a five year old's, and completely obliterated the atmosphere of the tale.
The swarms of tourists continue to congest the streets more and more every year,
adorned in their "Horseman's Hollow" t-shirts and spoiling the peaceful ambiance
that I once so fondly cherished. You'd be lucky if you can find a ticket to anything
on a Friday or Saturday evening... everything is cluttered... everything is sold out.

All of these things broke my heart as the years progressed, but I kept coming back,
and did so again  this year, because despite all the changes, it still remains an enchanting
and extremely beautiful place. And I wanted more than anything to share it with the man
I love, so I did! This past weekend. And guess what?... We had the best time.

Cute store in town. Howdy back!

Lovely view of the Hudson River

Jake and myself again... Isn't he so cute!

The gift shop at Phillipsburg Manor... See anything you like?

Getting ready for our walking tour of the Old Dutch Burying Ground...

The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow!

Say cheese!... Bah! The sun was in our eyes!

Sweet little Jack O'Lantern by the door of the church.

Snapping some photos of the cemetery


Taking a walk to the "Headless Horseman Bridge"

(Sorry, couldn't help myself. Too ca-hute.)

Exploring the brook on the way... See the bridge in the background?

King of the Hollow!

Simply beautiful.

Taking it all in...

Lonely gravestone spotted on our walk back.

Silly faces!

I ♥ Autumn ... don't you?

So, even though Sleepy Hollow isn't exactly the Sleepy Hollow I fell in love
with anymore, the heart and soul of it remains... amidst the colorful leaves that go
shushing in the wind, behind the weathered gravestones, underneath the old wooden
bridge, between every kiss and every laugh I shared with the man who holds my heart.
Yes, I just know it's still there.


  1. Splendid post. It is a sad thing when the places we love change, especially if that change is not for the better. So glad though that you found plenty to enjoy, with your adorable Jacob!
    Were we not supposed to notice that chocolate pumpkin, partially eaten at the beginning of your tour? tee hee.
    Keep on posting now! Love your blog!

  2. oh how i love this post!!1 nothing like taking someone you love to share your favorite place.and i just can't help it...i guess it is my desperate need to become a grandmother! but when i saw the pic of handsome jacob crossing the stream...i pictured little ones holding his hands!

  3. What a great post! Now I need to add Sleepy Hollow to my list of places to visit!:)

  4. That was a great post Erin. I love how you take halloween decorating and celebrations really seriously over there in the US! We might carve a pumpkin or two here in the UK and the last few years children have started going around trick or treating but we dont so much decorate our homes....yet! It all looks pretty amazing to me.

  5. Oh, Erin. Cute post. Loved all the photos. And Jake is a very handsome chap! What a good sport to let you put him in your post! Thanks for sharing such a happy day. Susan

  6. Looks like a fabulous day out! Great pictures- I've always wanted to go in autumn but haven't ventured downstate yet.... Someday!

  7. Great pictures and post. Now I want to go to Sleepy Hollow. It looks so beautiful.

  8. We go to Sleepy Hollow every year too! It is a very special and beautiful place. Great pictures! Sleepy Hollow and Salem are musts for us this time of year. Isn't October awesome?!

  9. Beautiful photos Erin! Your boyfriend is adorable, and a keeper I'd say! It looks like you had a wonderful time, great weather, great company, how could it not be enjoyable! Have a lovely weekend!

  10. Susan said...

    p.s.on Thursday. Hi Erin. Are you familiar with Kim Bachias' column? You Google her at New England Travel by Kim. You'd enjoy her write-ups. Susan

  11. What a shame that it had to change, but that's the way it is with everything, I guess. Sleepy Hollow is on my bucket list, as I'm a Halloween freak myself.
    And aren't you two adorable!

  12. I hate when you find some event and then every year it gets bigger and more commercialized. This happened to me at the Renaissance Faire. It used to be a wonderful fair but now the fair is huge and the traffic into the grounds is unbelievable and the cost is ridiculous.

    Would love to visit Sleepy Hollow. I loved the movie. It is a favorite of mine. The cemetary tour looks fun. Nice shots of the gravestones.

    And yes he is cute!

  13. Such a wonderful post. Your happiness is so evident. It feels like you two look at the world in the same way.

  14. Now I want to go!!! Maybe one day! You two look sweet together...looks like a great day! Best, Vicki

  15. what a beautiful, beautiful place! I'd love to visit some time as well. My maiden name is Van Winkle and Patricia just did some genealogy research on my family and traced us back to the NY and NJ area-- I'm sure there are some Van Winkles in that old dutch burying ground!
    Too bad its gotten so touristy... that is too bad. I hate when towns lose sight of what makes them special. Hopefully they can find a good balance between new and old traditions in coming years.

  16. PS-- bearded men are the best ;)


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