Legends and Lanterns: The Fourth Year

Yesterday was one of our most anticipated family outings of the year…our trip to St. Charles, MO, for the fourth annual Legends and Lanterns event!

As always, the characters were a huge draw. Some were the same, but there were a few new faces/characters, as well (we really enjoyed the Druid Priest and Imhotep, and the new version of Ichabod Crane really nailed the nervous persona of his namesake!).

And Scarecrow Glen is always fun…my favorite was Vincent Van ScareGogh!

Historic St. Charles really gets the “spirit” of the season, from the festival adornments to the various shops’ decorations:

The girls, especially, love taking pictures in special locations or with special characters…and so do I!

Another new element this year involved the event books. Instead of handing out stickers, each character had a stamp. This had some obvious logistical benefits, and also had an added perk of some characters having specific ideas of where their stamp should or shouldn’t be placed in the book, which added to their eccentric personalities:

Every trip we take to St. Charles is fun and memorable, and as my children get older, and I begin to glimpse a future where they strike out on their own, I have a new appreciation for these special family moments we have shared, and memories that we have made!

A Family Feast Mash-Up

In our house, October 31st is pretty much about Reformation Day, because we’re not really into Halloween (or are we?). But this year, since we’ve been so focused on Harry Potter, I wanted something that was both a nod to the series, which celebrates Halloween, as well something that was a reference to our German heritage/Reformation Day. So I came up with what I think was a good compromise…we had a German dinner of brats, sauerkraut, and kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), with a pumpkin-themed desert featuring recipes from our Harry Potter Cookbook (pumpkin fizz and pumpkin pasties).

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the “Reformation Polka,” reading about Martin Luther while hearing Lutheran hymns, listening to the Baby Snooks Halloween special, and watching The Wizard of Oz, Rick Steves’ Luther and the Reformation special, Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting, and Halloween episodes of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. It’s not really a traditional Halloween celebration, and not only a Reformation Day observance, but it’s very us!

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp–Jack’s Halloween Hunt and More!

It’s almost Halloween, and that means theJack, the Czar of Halloween, has been visiting Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp! The various events have been going on throughout the month of October, and there have been a lot of challenges!

First was Jack’s Halloween Hunt, a gardening event that offered furniture as rewards for catching various bats that were attracted to apple, peach, and plum “Lollipoppies.”

One of my favorite pieces of furniture was a bench that comes with a friendly ghost…I loved seeing the reactions of the animals at the campsite!

After the regular gardening tasks were completed, there were hard tasks that allowed you to get some of the furniture in an alternate color:

There’s also a fortune cookie event: Muffy’s Creepy Cookie, which has coordinating spooky items like this fun haunted pumpkin tree:

Jack came back for a fishing event, too! This time, the goal was catching orange, melon, and grape candy fish, and as is the case with all fishing tourneys, there was a special net available to guarantee a catch:

There were lots of costume rewards for this tourney, and my favorite were the count’s jacket and hat:

And if that wasn’t enough, there was also a special furniture item available for purchase with “Leaf Tickets”…Jack’s Puppet Theater. If you have this item, Jack can show up at your campsite anytime! I didn’t craft one, but Ladybug did, and let me take a picture of Jack visiting her campsite:

In addition to all of that, there are also terrain items available for purchase for Leaf Tickets, but we didn’t craft any of those (yet). This was a fun event, but I’m really looking forward to what Animal Crossing might have planned for Thanksgiving (a Franklin event, I hope!) and Christmas!

Legends and Lanterns: The Third Year

Today we visited historic St. Charles, MO, for the third year of the Legends and Lanterns festival!

We enjoyed meeting some new characters, including the Queen of Hearts, the Phantom of the Opera, the “Weird Sisters,” one of the Brothers Grimm, and the Wicked Witch of the East:

We also saw some familiar faces:

It’s always so much fun to walk up and down Main Street and see all the fall decorations, the horse-drawn wagon rides, and the creative displays in Scarecrow Glen (where we also voted in the “Straw Poll” for our favorite):

We had a great time collecting stickers for our “passports” along the way. The Legends and Lanterns passport continues to impress me. Not only is there a space for every sticker you receive, making it very easy to keep track of who you’ve seen (and who you’ve missed!), there are fun activities and great background information for the characters. We once again saw almost everyone, and only came up a few stickers short. We even found Jekyll, the cardboard cat, and were rewarded with Legends and Lanterns yo-yos!

As always, I love these great events in St. Charles, especially since they focus so much on history and literature!

The Jell-O Halloween Special

Even though we’re not really into Halloween (I wonder how long I can keep pretending that’s true?), we look forward to listening to the 1946 Halloween episode of The Baby Snooks Show every October. And one of the best parts of the show is the sales pitch (here in bold) Harlow Wilcox gives when Baby Snooks and her friend appear at his door trick-or-treating. I promised the children that this year, I’d make them the “Jell-O Halloween Special” he mentions in that conversation…thankfully, we don’t need to worry about a sugar shortage!

Oh boy…Orange Jell-O…Whipped Cream…And little pieces of fruit inside!

Ahhh…That’s the “Jell-O Halloween Special!” That looks like a dish of sunshine all dressed up, doesn’t it? And just taste that wonderful flavor. But hey, don’t eat so fast. That’s the famous locked-in Jell-O flavor you know. Sealed in by a special process so it’s safe and sound ’til your first big spoonful. Makes you think of the real, ripe fruit, doesn’t it? You know, I can’t think of a thing I like better than a dish of Jell-O, can you?

Yeah, another dish!

Well, I’m afraid that will have to do for now. When the sugar shortage is over, and there’s lots of Jello again, you come around, and I’ll give you each six dishes…one of each of the six delicious Jell-O flavors: Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, orange, lemon, and lime!

Legends and Lanterns–The Second Year

We loved visiting St. Charles, MO, last October for the inaugural season of the Legends and Lanterns festival. We had a great time, and you never would have known that it was in its first year, because everything was so well-organized, and the event ran so smoothly. We’ve been looking forward to going back for the second year, which is scheduled for October 21-22 and 28-29, (plus some evening hours for the Main Street Pumpkin Glow on the 27th), and yesterday was the day! Because the first year went so well, I can’t say I was looking forward to seeing how they worked out the kinks, because there were no kinks to work out. I was however, looking forward to seeing what they added!

The biggest change was the addition of some new characters. We visited Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett on Fleet Street, heard some bad pirate jokes from Blackbeard, danced for Miss Havisham, admired Medusa’s hair, and hoped the Big Bad Wolf wouldn’t eat us. There also seemed to be more tour guides/storytellers wandering around between hay rides, too.

We also ran into plenty of familiar characters from last year, including Stingy Jack, Edgar Allan Poe, Lizzie Borden, and a group of angry villagers, who also happen to be talented singers! I didn’t get pictures of every character we saw this time, but we saw them all, save Ichabod Crane!

I am still impressed with the static stations set up and marked by lanterns unique to each character. It makes it easy to keep track of the characters because you know exactly where to look for them. It also makes it easier to make notes of who you missed!

All the fall decor in St. Charles is beautiful…and there were even a few trees with colorful leaves, which seems like a rarity in St. Louis following a warm, dry fall!

La Plaza del Dia de los Muertos at Berthold Square Park was a very happening place…in addition to face painting, there were crafts for kids, too! And of course La Catrina was there to share about the customs unique to Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

We enjoyed taking a “straw poll” for our favorite scarecrow in Scarecrow Glen…like last year, I was very impressed with how clever people are when assembling their creations!

The other big difference this year was the Legends and Lanterns passport. Last year’s book was excellent, filled with history and fun little puzzles and games (and I still think Christmas Traditions could benefit from something similar). But it was a pretty small book, and the stickers were tiny. This year’s book is much larger, and weighter…it’s still full of great historical information and activities, and there’s plenty of room for the much larger stickers. This was a great improvement that I didn’t even think was necessary!

We had a really fun afternoon in St. Charles…

…and just think, we’ll be back before too long, because Christmas Traditions starts next month!

Sartorial Saturday–“Haunt Couture” with Stephanie Buscema

I know that pretty much everyone other than me is excited that Halloween is approaching, so today I’m featuring my one concession to that holiday: a pair of spooky Pinup Girl Clothing prints featuring the art of Stephanie Buscema.

I bought the Allison dress in the Witch Transformation print last year. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten my favorite Jenny skirt in this print instead, but I waited too long, and it sold out before I made up my mind. I would have really enjoyed pairing this print with purple tops, though!

I learned my lesson, so this year I jumped at the chance to get the Skeleton Band Bella skirt when it first came out, and I’m not disappointed. I have tons of tops that go with it, and if you know me, you know I love to have options! In some ways, these prints are out of character for me, but then again, they’re super fun and quirky, so maybe they’re not that out of character after all!

Sartorial Saturday–Skeleton Band

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not a Halloween person. Even so, I had a great time at Legends and Lanterns in St. Charles, MO, last year, wearing a Pinup Girl Clothing dress featuring art by Stephanie Buscema.

Well, Stephanie Buscema is one heck of an artist, because for the second year in a row, even though I don’t do Halloween, I have purchased a piece of clothing featuring her artwork from PUG’s Halloween collection. This year, it’s the adorably quickly skeleton band print, on a new-style-to-me skirt, the Bella:

Seriously, the artwork on this skirt is AMAZING! The musical skeletons are the cute kind of Halloween quirky (not scary at all, which really isn’t my thing), and the moon reminds me of the moon in one of my favorite video games…The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. And I love the color combination…the varying greys and pinks look so great together, and the striped PUG Jailbird top is the perfect addition to the outfit!

I went with pretty simple accessories to go with the outfit, including my pink Splendette Duchess Bangles and a matching necklace, plus hoop earrings designed by Elizabeth Claire Taylor.

I really like the Bella skirt…it feels almost as full as a Jenny, even though it’s not as gathered. And I love that once again, Pinup Girl has helped me step out of my comfort zone and try something new and unexpected that looks great on me!