I Can Finally Go Caving!

Before having Luna so many people told us that our wild and crazy adventures were over. Forget traveling, spelunking, skydiving, rafting, road tripping or anything else you enjoyed because babies ruin all your fun. Clearly, Husband and I took the many negative comments with a grain of salt. We know ourselves to well to believe that our fun was over. Since having Luna we have traveled abroad, hiked, rock climbed, been on road trips, biked, ran races and so much more all with Luna. The one thing I have yet to do since becoming a Mom is go caving.

I missed the last couple of caving trips because I was either 6 months pregnant or caring for a newborn. So, I was definitely not going to miss this recently planned trip. I dropped Luna off with her Grandmother on Sunday morning, left her for the longest I have ever left her (10 hours) and joined my wild and crazy friends for crazy spelunking adventure!

We went to our favorite cave, the one we call the “waterfall cave”, and oh how I wish I had a special caving camera to prove to you just how ridiculous this cave is! There are not only waterfalls, but pools and pools of water, cliffs, tiny tunnels, mud, giant rocks and everything you could ever possibly want in a cave.

water

We began by wading in knee deep water to get to a very slick and muddy edge that went along the tops of the falls in a long stream of water. We held onto a muddy rope to keep our balance and inched along until we got to solid ground. From there we tunneled on our bellies, swam in the cave, explored some random passage ways, screamed over scary giant cave crickets and got a little lost.

I always get a little scared in the high and slick parts of the cave, but the worst part of this trip was repelling down a rocky muddy wall with a rope and no harness. I completely trust our expert caving friends to keep me safe during these times, but it’s still a little nerve wracking.

Three hours later, when I finally saw the light of the sun and made my way to the exit of the tunnel, I felt like I’d just conquered the world! 16 of us survived the cave that day. Half of us went in not even knowing each other’s names and now we have this incredible experience together to bond us and hopefully keep us as friends for a long time.

Before and After
Before and After

I’m sure our next caving trip won’t be too far away…who’s in???

Cheers!

My Nightmare in Nashville

images

So, there is one thing that Luna has held us back from doing this year…haunted houses. They aren’t exactly baby friendly and it isn’t easy to find a babysitter, especially one who can sit until very late at night. Last year we went to 11 haunted houses, this year we finally made it to one on Husband’s 30th birthday.

We went to Nashville Nightmare in downtown after the annual Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot. As always, the lines were long, the crowds were obnoxious and 97% of them were smoking. (What is that attracts smokers to haunted houses?) Since we’re awesome we managed to entertain ourselves by being hilarious and playing Heads Up. We also began reminiscing about previous years haunted house experiences. I arrogantly began saying things like, “I wish I got as scared as I used to get….I guess I’ve just been to so many Haunted Houses over the years that they no longer frighten me…It kind of takes the thrill away.” Well, you know what happens when you’re overconfident, right? The universe come back to bite you in the butt, which is exactly what happened.

If you’ve ever been to a haunted house, you’ve probably had the pleasure of avoiding the creepy costumed people who walk around spooking everyone waiting in the long lines. I have never EVER been scared by these people, ever. But, as they say, there’s always a first time for everything. First, there was the creepy guy-in-mask who leaned on me for too long, then there was shovel-dragger, then scream-in-my-ear man and scare-me-from-behind girl…all made me jump and embarrassingly scream, but it didn’t end there. In fact, all that jumping and screaming made me one big target.

During my turn at Heads Up, I was going for a record (and you know I’m very competitive), when a zombie girl came over to try and scare me. She startled me as she snuck up from behind and whispered something creepy in my ear. I tried my best to ignore her because I was clearly trying to win the game. The zombie chick did not give up. She began panting in my ear and literally breathing down my neck. Now… you must know that I hate, absolutely HATE, strangers touching me, and breathing on me might be even worse.

I wanted to throw-up and take a hot shower after I felt her hot breath in my ear. OMG, I am reliving it as I type this and I just want to curl in a ball in cry, which, ironically enough, is what I did. I tried to move away from her quickly and continue playing the game, but the more I moved the more determined she became. She got in my face, stared into my eyes, and KEPT HEAVILY PANTING ON ME. The girl would not let up. At this point, I was close to panic mode, I began running circles around our little group and was laughing/squealing as I tried to play it cool and really did not know how to react. I guess laughing is my defense mechanism?

THEN, get this, another zombie girl sees the spectacle we are creating and decides to join in on the fun. The two of them are coming at me from all sides and my only choice is to curl into a ball in cover my face. They were touching me, breathing on me, panting, whispering and making me soooooooooooooooo uncomfortable. I was trying to yell or scare them off or something, but really I was only capable of mumbling “stop” from behind my hands. That is until, zombie chic #2 decided to up the ante and bite me.

Yes, she bit me, with teeth. I instantly stood and shouted, “OMG she bit me! That’s against the rules!” For some reason the “no one will touch you, if you don’t touch them” haunted house rule compelled me to finally shake off these creepers. I felt as if she broke a commandment. I mean, really, that one rule is what has always convinced me that I’ll be okay in a haunted house. I used to constantly go over that one rule before entering to assure myself that nothing bad could possibly happen, and this girl had the nerved to break the golden haunted house rule!

Everyone in line who wasn’t already watching the little show, was now looking at us, and I was not the only one horrified that I’d been bitten. Zombie girl #1 even felt compelled to tell me that she was not the biter. Although, heavy breathing in one’s ear isn’t much better than biting.

The 2 Haunted houses at Nashville Nightmare were good, even scary, but the creepers in line were definitely the worst part. And, I will never again say aloud that I have not been scared in a very long time.

Anyone else get frightened this year? Or bitten?

Cheers!

It’s Halloween-O-Ween Everybody!

Happy Halloween and Happy 30th Birthday to one of my bestest friends, Danica! xoxo

Here we are...totally acting our age
Here we are…totally acting our age

I love today! We have celebrated all month! We have gone to a pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, been to a couple haunted houses (or haunted woods), celebrated at Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Party at Disney, walked with the dead at Universal’s Horror Nights and had a horror movie/whiskey night last weekend! This weekend we are going on a haunted hayride where you get to shoot zombies with paintballs! (For real!) However, tonight, October 31st…we have no plans.

It’s Thursday, it’s storming, we live in the woods in what most would consider the middle of nowhere (so no trick-or-treaters) and I’m pregnant… there just isn’t a whole lot to do tonight. I’m thinking It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, a pumpkins spiced latte and American Horror Stories are in the cards for tonight.

What are your plans for tonight? Anyone lucky enough to not be stuck in a storm?

Here’s an ode to Halloween’s Past (I have SO many costume pictures that I can’t find! I’ve been Miss Frizzle, Lucille Ball, Hermoine, Tinkerbell and so much more! These will just have to do):

Thriller! Halloween 2009 at my former job.
Thriller! Halloween 2009 at my former job.
Halloween in Albania 2012
Halloween in Albania 2012
Bumblebee and Ninja, Halloween 2009
Bumblebee and Ninja, Halloween 2009
An owl, also at work last year, 2012
An owl, also at work last year, 2012
A raincloud at work last year 2012
A rain cloud at work last year 2012

And, of course, Belle…

BumbleBelle!
BumbleBelle!

Have a Spook-tacular night!

Cheers!

Dead Land Woods

The night we flew in from NYC we were picked up by friends and taken immediately to a haunted house for a night full of terror and fun. We wasted no time during our two week vacation. A group of 7 of us drove an hour out to Lebanon, TN to check out Dead Land Woods and none of knew quite what we were headed to that night.

so scared

Dead Land has not one, but three very scary haunted attractions. It may have taken an hour to get there, but we spent over 3 hours on the premises, were scared to death and had a blast, so I say it was worth the drive. Let’s get down to the details of the night, shall we?

rules

The first haunted attraction (not house…it was mostly outside) was The Curse. The story behind this tour is that the road we were about to travel was cursed and so are the people on it. There have been murderers and lost souls along the way just searching for more innocent people to add to their despair.  It was similar to Monster Mountain, but better. There were more actors and many more scares. I think the walk through the haunted woods was longer too. The scariest part for me was when we had to enter an old haunted school house full of dead students that not only followed us, but breathed down my neck! Ugh, it was terrible!

directions

The next attraction was The Portal: Movie Madness. This was by far my favorite! In fact, this may be my most favorite haunted house ever! It’s similar to The Curse in the sense that you have to walk through the woods and enter lots of different scenes. The difference is that each of these scenes represents a different classic scary movie. I LOVE classic horror movies. This haunted house involved walking through Pet Cemetery, Arachnophobia, Child’s Play, Scream, Freddy Krueger, Children of the Corn and many more! It was awesome and so so scary!

portal

One movie they did not include? Halloween. I am so grateful too because Michael Myers is the ultimate scary villain in my opinion. He absolutely terrifies me.

run

The last attraction we did was The Maze of Screams. This is the least scary of the three, but it’s still fun and just frightening enough. They do not allow too many people in at a time which makes it more difficult and more exciting. The theme is clowns so every once in a while a creepy clown will pop out and let you know you are going the wrong direction. There’s also plenty of fog and flashing lights to keep everyone confused.

mazeofscreams

The best part of each attraction was the fact that our entire group go to go in alone. We never saw another group along the trails. The staff did an excellent job spacing people and scaring us A LOT as we came through.

The worst part was the wait times. We waited for about 45 minutes for The Curse, over an hour for Portal, and about 30 minutes for the Maze. It was worth the wait, but it was still no fun to wait around for so long, especially since SO MANY people were smoking! Cigarette smoke is the worst, especially when pregnant. Apparently, it’s the most fun thing to do while waiting in line for haunted houses.

Time for the score…even with the long lines and the smokers I am giving Dead Land Woods a 5 out of 5. Besides the fact that the attractions were great, they also had a concession stand with nachos and frozen snickers, a bonfire and a photo op. They get props for the extras.

bonfire siitinground 5skulls

If you are interested in checking out some scary haunted attractions deep in the heart of Tennessee then check out Dead Land Woods. Trust me it’s worth paying $30 for the bundle of all three attractions.

Have fun! (And please for the sake of all pregnant ladies and non-smokers…leave your cigarettes at home.)

Cheers!

Monster Mountain

I get scared very easily. We all know now that death and sickness cause me lots of anxiety, but I am also just a jumpy, scream-easily, sort of girl. One of Husband’s favorite hobbies is hiding around every corner of the house and jumping out and scaring the bejesus out of me EVERY SINGLE TIME. I have nightmares after watching Pretty Little Liars and I will not go downstairs when I am home alone at night. (Although, it’s possible this is just my clever attempt to get out of finishing the laundry.)

I get scared very easily, but I LOVE scary things. Not real scary things (like cancer or bugs), but Halloween scary things, like Children of the Corn and haunted houses. I LOVE dressing up, carving pumpkins, holding the covers around my face as I scream at Michael Myers and running blindly through dark haunted houses. I love it so much that I am dedicating several October blog posts to reviewing local (and not-so local) Haunted Houses.

OMG, so scary!
OMG, so scary!

My first haunted house of the season was Monster Mountain, located just north of Nashville. Before my Monster Mountain experience I should tell you a bit about the attraction. The idea is that you are walking through multiple horror movies, which makes you the “star” of each scene. You roam through “the cabin of the dead”, walk to “Voodoo Bayou 2”, find a scary side to Santa in “Krampus: Home For the Holidays” and even get a taste of the Walking Dead in “Zombie City 2”. It’s an outdoor haunted area that spans 20 acres. You must walk uphill, through some brush, over a “swamp”  and through the woods. However, there are houses and shacks every 30 yards or so that house most of the actions.

My face before entering the clown themed movie scene
My face before entering the clown themed movie scene

*Disclaimer: Like all haunted houses, there are rules. One being, pregnant people should probably not attend. Before, I get several emails and calls from my concerned loved ones I want to make it clear that this rule is only because of tripping hazards. I am not quite to the point in my pregnancy where I am unable to see my feet and felt very comfortable walking slowly through the scary scenes. I also forced Husband and Steve to each hold an arm so there was no chance of falling. Promise.*

They had a large TV playing scenes from scary movies to entertain us as we waited in line.
They had a large TV playing scenes from scary movies to entertain us as we waited in line.

Now, let’s get down to business. Monster Mountain is scary, as it should be. We tiptoed around corners, ran from zombies who followed us and argued over who had to go first (never me). I have two favorite scenes. One being the first house (cabin?).

 

As we walked up towards the porch we seriously questioned whether or not we were walking towards a real person’s creepy front porch. Then right as we decided to keep going, the door opened and a giggly bald overweight beat-up man stood in the doorway. He appeared to be out of his mind. A second later he closed the door and when it swung back open, he was gone and the door was left opened, obviously inviting us to enter. My second favorite scene was the Zombie town. It was like walking through a combination of the wild west and The Walking Dead.

scared

The sets were great! A lot of work went into preparing each movie scene. I especially liked that it was not just a bunch of fake cut-up bloody body pieces, there was more detail and interesting set pieces than your typical haunted house. I also like the fact that the attraction covered such a big area. It gave us an opportunity to walk through by ourselves. If we caught up with a large group in front of us we could just wait or walk slowly, allowing them to get ahead of us. Or, if a group caught up to us we could simply allow them to go ahead. Haunted Houses are so much better and scarier when you can’t hear the people in front of you getting scared by what’s to come.

I do have a suggestion for Monster Mountain: more actors. The actors they had were good, good costumes and good acting. There just weren’t enough. I am sure this is largely related to the fact that it is a large and spread-out haunted attraction. It would be difficult and expensive to hire tons of scarers, but there were a few areas that seemed lacking in that department.

There is a dance club scene that appeared to be just a dance club. There are disco balls, colored lights, great dance music, poles, a huge floor…and nothing scary. Obviously, we decided to have a 5 minute dance party and danced our hearts out until we were sweating. FINALLY, as we left a creepy monster came running out of a hole near the exit door scaring the crap out of us. I can’t believe the monster waited, crouched in that little hole as we took our sweet time partying.

The scariest part for me was the guy with a chainsaw. There are two things that scare me most in a haunted house, one is a chainsaw, and Monster Mountain has two!

Overall, I give Monster Mountain 4.5 out of 5 skulls.

4.5

 

I wish I had more photos to share but it’s not easy to take photos in a haunted house. “Excuse me, scary murderer holding a chainsaw, could you run out one more time, and uh look a little angrier this time, thanks!” It just doesn’t work.

Can’t wait to share more next weekend!

Cheers!

I Believe I Can Fly

Ever since Zoey and I watched the Sex and the City episode where Carrie learns to swing on a trapeze at Trapeze School New York we decided we had to try it! Every time we actually thought to sign up for a class they were closed for the season, or because of weather. Eventually, I forgot about learning to trapeze all together. Zoey, however, did not forget, and managed to sign us both up for class last week.

trapezeschool

We actually missed the class we originally signed up for because of weather, and we almost missed our second/last chance to attend. We left over an hour before it started, but EVERY downtown train seemed to be under construction or temporarily closed because of “a suspicious bag left at Grand Central” (it was a trash bag). We showed up about a half-hour late for our two-hour class, but we only missed the safety procedures, directions and our first turn…no big deal.

The instructors were very cool and totally nice about our tardiness. They suited us up and quickly gave us the cliff-note version of “how not to die in trapeze class”.

scaredzoey happyus board

I am not typically afraid of heights or swings, but something about standing on top of the platform, waiting to jump off in front of our peers terrified me. I KNEW a harness and a net would keep me from falling to my death, but I was still shaking as I held the trapeze with one hand and the railing with my other.

Our very first turn involved jumping off the platform, swinging, lifting our legs over the bard, reaching backwards, putting our hands back up and legs back down and falling on our bums. None of this was tricky, but there was so much to remember….jump on “hep”, keep you legs behind you, point your toes, look at your knees, look up, lift your legs….etc.

flyingoff

I felt like a shaky mess my first attempt, but everyone said I looked “great”, so I took their word for it. It definitely wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be, just scarier.

Zoey did it too!

zoey

Our very second turn included a back-flip off the trapeze…our second turn! I was the most scared of this trick. I’m an active person, but I NEVER flip off of anything, certainly not a back flip. Our coaches assured us that if we swing our legs “back-front-back” quick enough then the back-flip will be no problem. I held my breath as I swung my legs “back-front-back”, brought my knees to my chest and let go of the trapeze….

backflip

Coach was right…the leg swinging gave me enough momentum to just tuck and gravity did the rest! It was awesome!

I got one more turn before we learned our final stunt.

reaching

I was feeling super proud of myself at this point. I mean, I just did a back-flip! The next trick, however, was the catch and release. The trick is to reach back as you are hanging up side down and allow one of the instructors to catch you as you release your legs. Sounds so simple, right? I was less afraid of this one because I put all my faith in the instructor swinging on the other end…

thecatcher

I took a deep breath at the top, jumped and prayed I survived.

theend thecatch

I did, and it was amazing, such a great experience! Husband took a video of my last turn, but he snapped a couple photos during it, so it’s a little jumpy. You’ll still get the gist.

I had the best time at the Trapeze School. It was the right combination of thrilling, scary, fun and still a good workout. Now, I have to look up circus classes to sign up for in Tennessee.

Cheers!