The Fun Side of Pumpkins

I’m not a huge fan of Halloween in general and never have been. The whole scary costume thing and gory decorations isn’t something I embrace. Scary movies? Not me!

Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Carefree Arizona

My tastes fall along the lines of cute and funny. I enjoy seeing little kids dressed up as princesses or cartoon characters. Keeping things light and funny is much more to my liking. Throw in some fall colors, the smell of apple cider and cinnamon, pumpkin carvings and there ya have it … I’m all in … fall fun!

In my last post, I already shared photos from my visit to an engaging pumpkin exhibit, but since it’s Halloween, I felt compelled to share even more images from the pumpkin event.

Pumpkin Carvings

Visiting the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden in Carefree, Arizona, was my kind of autumn entertainment. These pumpkin displays are a delight for people of all ages, but especially for those of us on the mature side. To compliment the amusing display is an equally humorous newspaper.

Check out the Stem Enhancement Clinic

And even a coupon for stem enhancement in the newspaper …. This is too funny!

(To enlarge photos in a gallery, click on any photo. To return to the post, click on the x at the top. To read the newspaper articles, you may have to zoom in via your internet settings. Sorry, I tried my best scanning the newspaper.)

The jail exhibit was comedic. While the sheriff bends over to pick up money on the ground, a mouse on a stick is lowered down to grab the jail keys from the sheriffs hip. Someone is trying to escape from jail with the help of his buddies!

I had the opportunity to visit the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden on three different occasions, and during each visit, I noticed more pumpkins carved and a few changes here and there in the scenes. Talk about creative, imaginative, and talented!

I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into putting on such an entertaining exhibit. The show ran from October 19-28 and every evening the pumpkins are collected by the local fire department and floated in the fountain pool¬†… 1. to keep the carved pumpkins hydrated and 2. to keep them out of reach of javelinas.

Near the end of the exhibit, rumor has it, the night guard fell asleep in his truck and javelinas started noshing on the 693 pound pumpkin that the sculptors had yet to complete carving.

You can see where the javelinas started eating this 693 pound winning size pumpkin, bottom left.

Every morning, the pumpkins are returned to their display/scene. The sculpted ones are sprayed with water periodically throughout the day to help keep them from dehydrating, but many do not last for the entire show. Thus, new pumpkins are carved regularly. Yep, it takes a lot of talented people to provide us with this free entertainment.

And a few more photos just for fun …

Happy Halloween everyone …. hope you enjoy YOUR kind of day!

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Too Many PumpkinsLEGO Seasonal Set Thanksgiving Feast

A hauntingly good time

October!¬† With a briskness in the air, it’s¬†the time of year to¬†enjoy¬†fall colors, carving jack-o-lanterns, sipping pumpkin spiced lattes, and embracing ghosts and goblins.¬† Halloween is one of my daughters favorite holidays and since this October finds her living in Phoenix, Arizona, I knew just the place to take her for a ghostly adventure.Jerome

JeromeFirst –¬†on the home front, it didn’t take¬†Ashton long to¬†settle into her new home.¬†She’s become quite proficient¬†at moving. ¬†This however, is the first time she’ll be living with¬†two straight guys¬†– her¬†roommates (one of which is her brother).¬† Her entrance into the home might be compared to that of a tornado whipping through Kansas.¬† She obviously has no trouble taking charge of a situation.

The first thing¬†the whirlwind¬†did was reorganize the kitchen and clean out the fridge, followed by some house cleaning and the rearranging of furniture.¬† I’m not sure the guys¬†initially knew what hit them, but¬†they seemed to be ok with¬†her take charge attitude¬†and actually like some of the changes she made.¬† I know they certainly aren’t complaining about¬†Ashton’s culinary skills.Jerome

So once she felt settled, I took her on her first Arizona excursion.¬† A little over an hours drive north of Phoenix is the quaint mountain town of Jerome.¬†¬†Jerome prides itself as being America’s largest ghost town.

Jerome This former copper mining town grew from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community and is now¬†a bustling tourist and artistic community.¬† On the outside, Jerome doesn’t appear to have changed much over the past 100 years.¬† Many of the buildings built in the late 1800’s are still standing and have been proudly renovated.¬† However, due to the 30 degree incline of the mountainside, some of these historic buildings have slid a bit down the hill from their original location;¬† the most famous being the town jail.

Ashton in front of the sliding jail
Ashton in front of the sliding jail

Checking out the famous sliding jail was first on our list followed by shopping.¬† My daughter and I¬†always enjoy strolling through shops¬† especially when there are unique, one of a kind items like the huge kaleidoscope assortment at Nellie Bly’s.

the most unique kaleidoscopes you'll ever see can be found at Nelly Bly's in Jerome, Arizona
the most unique kaleidoscopes you’ll ever see can be found at Nellie Bly in Jerome, Arizona

JeromeIn addition to¬†the world’s largest collection of¬†kaleidoscopes there are other one of a kind collectibles.¬† Ashton and I were enthralled with the creative talents displayed in the numerous shops in¬†Jerome.¬† But all that shopping¬†had us working up an appetite.

Haunted Hamburger
Skeletons seem to be invading the Haunted Hamburger Restaurant

After climbing a bunch of stairs (remember this town is built into the side of a mountain and there’s nothing flat around here), we arrived at the Haunted Hamburger.

Dining with a view
Dining with a view
Someone is scaling the wall wanting to join us
Someone or something is scaling the wall wanting to join us
note the skeletal fingers as Mr. Skeleton attempts to join us
note the skeletal fingers as Mr. Skeleton attempts to join us

We dined outside and enjoyed drinks, a great meal, and an awesome view.¬† But no ghosts.¬† Only skeletons.¬† Supposedly the building is haunted and you can read the story here if you’re interested.

JeromeWith nothing spooky happening at lunch, we continued our search and trekked up the road to the Jerome Grand Hotel.  Constructed in 1926, this Spanish Mission style building was once home to a modern and well equipped hospital.

By 1950, the hospital closed due to the slow down in mining, and the building stood vacant for 44 years.  In 1994, the building was purchased, renovated, and turned into the Jerome Grand Hotel.  There seems to be a high level of alleged hauntings, from strange moans, to coughs and images, to doors slamming without explanation making this a very popular destination for amateur ghost hunters.

The Jerome Grand Hotel displays some of the most gory Halloween decorations. Daughter love it. Me? Not so much.
The Jerome Hotel displays some gory Halloween decorations. Daughter loved it. Me? Not so much.
Zombies, blood, and gruesome are the things I dislike about Halloween much preferring little kids dressed as princesses and teddy bears
Zombies, blood, and gruesome are the things I dislike about Halloween much preferring little kids dressed as princesses and teddy bears

Glass BlowingAfter I was totally grossed out by some of the decorations, it was time for me to pull daughter out of the haunted Jerome Hotel…… not that we had any paranormal encounter mind you, but the place¬†in general¬†gave me goose bumps, and not in¬† good way.¬† Was it the decorations or the aura?¬† Didn’t matter, it was time to move on.¬† Somehow I didn’t sense Casper, the friendly ghost, lived here.

Next stop; the glass blower.¬† Watching this artist create little glass blown pumpkins was much more to my liking, although daughter is still laughing about my unease at the hotel.¬† Aren’t these glass pumpkins adorable?Glass Blower

The town of Jerome is well-known as being haunted and has been featured in several paranormal television programs and publications, but the over all history and vibe to this town is what¬†keeps many¬†returning…. me included.

"Mommy, I want that"
“Mommy, I want that”
interesting items available in a shop
interesting items available in a shop
Jerome is home to some fabulous art galleries
Jerome is home to some fabulous art galleries
Be sure and stop in at Nellie Bly
Be sure and stop in at Nellie Bly

Ashton and I shared a fabulous day exploring Jerome and October seems to be the perfect month to visit for a hauntingly good time.¬† Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for the mine tour or wine tasting (much to daughters dismay) or exploring some of the side streets.¬† Having merely scratched the surface of this quaint town, she and I are already talking about a return visit.¬† Next time Ashton wants to spend the night, some place haunted preferably.¬† I don’t think so!!!

Numerous places for wine tasting
Lots of great dining options
Could this place be haunted?
There isn't a bad view in Jerome
There isn’t a bad view in Jerome


The Everything Ghost Hunting Book: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Exploring the Supernatural World