I'm Engaged!

Yay! I've finally emerged from the abyss formerly known as getting a Pneumonia vaccine then having a bad reaction to it. Since being diagnosed with Asthma (you can read that full story here) my doctor insisted that I get the Pneumonia vaccine. So I let him stick me in the back of the arm last week (Wednesday) with a needle. Lucky for me, my arm blew up and turned bright red (can you sense the sarcasm?). What's worse, it felt like someone had stabbed me in the arm and the pain lasted for days. By Thursday night I had the sweats and the chills, nausea, dehydration, muscle and joint aches, fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. It.was.awful. Doc gave me a prescription and advised me to take Advil and Benadryl. After 4 days in bed I feel so much better! And you'll never guess, I don't have to get another pneumonia vaccine until I'm 65. That means I'm good for another 36 years - phew! And now for the big announcement - I'm engaged! Woot woot!

I'm so excited. I for one, never thought I'd meet anyone I liked enough to have a relationship with let alone get engaged to be married. My new fiance Rich says the same thing - maybe we're meant to be (lol - the cheese meter is on high today).

The real story is that we got engaged a month ago on October 27th, the Saturday before Hurricane Sandy the calm before the storm. It was such an exciting weekend - Rich and I could not stop smiling even with Sandy in the loom. It was kinda crappy though, our engagement was on Saturday and the storm hit Monday. We had no chance to tell anyone or announce our engagement on Facebook. Most of our friends and family here in New York lost power so nobody would know even if we had posted it online at that time.

Ultimately I decided to wait until now to share the news to make sure we told our immediate family members in person before they heard it from someone else or saw it online first. On top of that, I wanted to share with you the photos that captured our day!

That's right, Rich hired a photographer! Do you believe that?! I admit, I was impressed that Rich thought to have someone there to document our engagement.

He took me to go pumpkin picking at the patch he took me to last year, sort of creating our own tradition. He insisted we get there when they open at 9am on a Saturday. I thought we were going early to avoid traffic, but really, we went early because that is when he scheduled the photographer to be there.

Before we had a chance to pick out a pumpkin Rich was on his knee asking if I would marry him.

The photographer brought a few of her friends to appear as though it was just some women taking photos of pumpkins on a Saturday morning. But as soon as Rich was on his knee, they turned their lenses toward us. After the excitement settled and I showed all the women my gorgeous ring, we had a short engagement shoot around the pumpkin patch that Rich had arranged.

The rest of the day we spent out on the east end of Long Island apple picking and enjoying a light lunch before celebrating with a homemade apple pie from the apple orchard we stopped at.

Thank you to Krupski's farm for having us every year from here on out to pick pumpkins and for hosting our engagement at your lovely farm. And also to Judy from Vivid-Visions Photo and Graphics for the wonderful photos provided for this post and for documenting our day leaving us with lasting memories.

Here are some of the sweet photos from our day.

It's going to be an emotional experience to head back to Krupski's next year to pick some pumpkins. It'd be fun to take a photo on their bench every year. Creating traditions with Rich is exciting and I can't wait to see what others we come up with.

What kind of traditions do you have? Have any advice for me as I embark on the wedding planning process?

Fall Fun: Apple Picking!

Whoddathunkit - you can pick your own apples! I guess I should have known better considering I grew up in Florida where you can pick Oranges and other citrus fruits. Since moving to Long Island I've discovered so many cultural outdoor activities you'd never find in Florida and apple picking is one of them. After missing out last fall, I made sure this year was different. I look forward to fall activities all summer and I was not going to miss out again. If you get the chance to make it out to Long Island's East End in the fall, I recommend you visit are as many of the vineyards as possible, a pumpkin farm (where you can pick your pumpkin straight off the vine) and of course - an apple orchard. And Woodside Orchards in Jamesport, NY is the perfect place to start.

Driving down the residential roads leading to the Orchards, you'd never know a delicious treasure was hidden within. The pebbled driveway leads you directly to the Apple Shed.

Once inside you're overwhelmed with the aroma of fresh baked apple pies and breads straight out of the oven. Of course we had to splurge and walk away with a homemade pie made with homegrown Idared apples.

You could choose either crumb or regular. We chose crumb. It.was.sinful.

Ok back to apple picking. There were 3 types of apples you could pick off the trees at Woodside - Red Delicious, Mutsu, and Idared (great for baking). I wasn't planning on baking anything with the apples, just eating them so we opted to only pick Red Delicious and Mutsu. For $15 you get a paper bag to fill to the brim with apples. The only rules: no throwing apples, no climbing trees, and you go anywhere you want.

Apples look so delicious and crisp! Rich and I had a lot of fun picking apples - it was our very first time apple picking together. Sorry for cutting off your head babe.

On to some Mutsu apples! These were my absolute favorite. They came in small, large and on steroids!

Mutsu apples are crisp, juicy and slightly tart. They are on the verge of being my favorite apple  - definitely a tough call between Mutsu and Honeycrisp.

Hey look - I got one!

We had such a great time picking apples last weekend. If you've never been you're definitely missing out. Next year I think I'm going to pick a few of the Idared apples and give baking with apples a try. I also plan to purchase a bag strictly for Mutsu apples. We've got only 1 left - I might have to hide it somewhere before Rich eats it.

Have you ever been apple picking? What are your favorite apples to eat and for baking? Leave a comment below.