Fall Fun in Rochester
Most people will tell you that one of the best things about Rochester is that we have four distinct seasons here. I can't completely endorse this because winter is probably my least favorite thing in the world (yet I still love this school–go figure!), but I wholeheartedly agree that fall in upstate New York is amazing. You haven't truly seen fall foliage until you've been through this area, seen hills filled with vivid red, orange, and yellow trees. And the seasonal food is awesome! It seems like every on-campus group is sponsoring some sort of pie and cider event these days (which I have been taking FULL advantage of), and my new favorite thing to do is to take the red line to Java's cafe near Eastman, order a hot caramel apple cider, and sit in a comfy chair while I do homework.
Last weekend was especially festive and fun. In addition to being the start of Halloween parties, last Friday was also the annual Class Council-sponsored Haunted Hayride, something my friends and I look forward to going to every year. Rochester students also get a great deal; tickets for the general public are $17 but we get everything (including transportation!) for a total of $5! The Hayride is about 45 minutes away from campus, but the long bus ride is totally worth it. By the time we arrived it was completely dark, casting a perfectly eerie hue on everything. The lines are always ridiculously long, but we got to skip them all and go through the "VIP" section. After meeting our fearless trail guide, the "Mad Hatter," about thirty of us piled onto a hay-covered wagon and made our way through a winding forest filled with scary monsters and abandoned barns. This is probably the part where I should admit that I'm a giant chicken when it comes to these things — I can't even watch scary movies! But it just wouldn't be Halloween without the Haunted Hayride, and as long as I have at least two friends to cling to when something jumps out at me, I'm good to go 🙂
After our ride was over, we had some free time to wander and see what else was around. My friends and I shared two fall favorites, fried dough and kettle corn, as we listened to a local country band play and we mingled with other UR students. There were also a lot of scary creatures wandering around — my friend Zach, pictured below, is always meeting new friends!
The Haunted Hayride is a fun, cheap, and festive way to kick off "Halloweekend"; I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate fall!