Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cazenovia Homecoming/Alumni Weekend Part I: Breakfast and Critz Farm

Wow what a day was had at the 2013 Cazenovia Homecoming/Alumni weekend. This was actually my third year attending, and had I known it was an invite to alum before that I would have been going each fall for years. It has possibly got to be one of the best times on the cheep I have ever had. The first year I went, Mary and I added up the total it must have cost in soda, food, snacks,  Cazenovia stuff, activities, and fun  to over $80- per person. I know it's not all about the FREE or cheep, but it sure makes it MUCH more fun when your not paying any big price tag for the FUN your having. This year, although they have cut back on some of the FREE stuff, DID not disappoint. Mary, who has always been my ANYTHING Caz related gal pal, was unable to stay for the whole day, so to keep the entertainment going I brought Tami and her daughter Allie as my guest. Gavin and Alex (Mary's son) anticipate this weekend every year since our first trip out in 2011. That year the four of us went and had a blast, in 2012 our families joined us, and this year...well thats what I am going to BLOG about.....so you'll have to read if you are interested.  

Little Blurb:
I have a unique relationship with Cazenovia unlike most people have with their own colleges of past attendance. I did my two years undergrad like most people. Graduated, and tried life on my own, tried Syracuse University found it way to BIG, plus I was working full time and just couldn't juggle it all. Returned to Cazenovia for my Jr year. Found out I was pregnant about four weeks after school started. Had my son the week before finals. Spent my senior year passing this child among my peers and my father who happened and still is a professor at the school. Needless to say I made an impression on the teachers, and the school made an impression on me. Let me add .....two of my close friends today are married to their husbands as a direct result of my attendance at Cazenovia, and I still communicate often with some of the other friends I made there today. Needless to say Cazenovia was an important part of my life in so many more ways then some.

Let the trip begin:
 I have been invited to several College alumni events, reunions of the sort and other college related events add some invites from colleges my hubby has attended, and the list of potentials is quite long. Cazenovia HAS ALWAYS BEEN one of the BEST attempts of keeping former students involved as I have ever seen and I have never once looked at the days activities of events and choked at the price for one of their events. My husband just recently got an invite to his medical school reunion, and the events included.....lunch at the local zoo for something like $30- per person (it may have been even more), multiple medical lectures.....with a fee of course and BORING! a tour of the school...that was free...and at least three meals with a price tag of some where in the $75- $80- range per person. Thats your reunion????
Cazenovia has had; Bingo, luncheons, free receptions, movies, tickets to local attractions, food, food and more food. Carriage rides, haunted tours, dance parties, Karaoke, themed dinners, caricatures, pony rides, firework displays, boat rides, tours of local historical houses, live theater performances, musicians, comedians, magic shows, balloon animals, tie dye, stuffed tigers, jewelry making, sporting events, access to the gym and pool... (the list could go on and on) and tons of extra little things that I cant begin to list...and these things are included in one small fee with your registration. So its cheep and FUN! Gotta love it.
So I stray.....yesterdays events were none the less FUN FUN FUN! This years event cost me $13- for the whole day of fun. (Plus Tamra and her daughter) and we got Caz t-shirts (Gavin is holding his in the  picture above)

We started out the day with breakfast in the school cafeteria. This is always great fun for the kids, and what an opportunity to PIG out!

Look at this edible stash!
Once we completely stuffed our faces with breakfast, we were off to Critz Farms for a morning of everything Autumn. Critz is a farm that offers pumpkins, apples, hay rides, corn mazes, and lots of fun! Whats great about Critz's admission fee is you can you the same pass all season long. So you can come back again and again all season. Add that it was FREE as part of the Cazenovia Homecoming weekend and wow! We usually don't make a return trip, but its nice to know that if we did have a free weekend or afternoon we could come again at no charge.
There is so much fun...where do we go first?
We decided on the not so scary Haunted House....
Scary only if you are terrified of these fella's...and even as vampires, Pooh and Tiger are not making the scare grade.

Allie gave me a "faux" scare picture next to the creepiest creature in this mild child friendly haunt.
 She played along with my picture taking all day always willing to give me a pose. Speaking of pose, check Alex out in his cool shades.

Next.....we made our way to the corn maze.
This years corn resembled a horse, and at several stops through out the corn maze are hole punches, if you get all of your punches you get FREE apple fritters. Yum. Here, Mary and the kids look at one of the stops, now which way do we go?
The kids don't care if they leave us MOMS behind...they are off and running.
Bye guys....
Mary and Alex went their own way, Gavin and Allie went another. That left Tami and I looking at this. "Children of the Corn". Maybe the corn maze is scarier then that haunted house. Kids? Where are you?
Look there is a landmark sticking up behind the tall corn...lets go that way.
We finally find the bell platform and with a ring of the bell, you know you have mastered the corn.
"We did it.and look at all the miles and miles of corn!
We rang the bell, but missed some punches...better go back. See you at the end kids Mom is pooped.
The kids went back into the maze and several minutes later.
Corn maze completed!
All punches were obtained.
While we waited for the kids to come out I enjoyed the fall flowers. These had to be some of the biggest sun flowers I ever saw, Tami and I could not get over how much the heads of these guys weighed on those thing stalks.

These blossoms were sure pretty.
Maze complete, although we cannot find Mary and Alex..were are you guys. We text Mary and decide to meet her at the snack shack where we get some fritters FREE of charge, but first Gavin and Allie take a trip on the Hayless hayride. 

Have fun. These hayrides run throughout the day to either the pumpkin patch or the Apple orchard. Since Gavin and I already did apple picking, and I have plans for another pumpkin farm trip on Columbus day, the kids just enjoyed the ride!

Mary back and all our party counted. It was time for some snacks.
Look at those fritters. YUM! All three batches were FREE. I did spurge a little and got the kids some cute apple cups filled with apple cider just for fun.

Then all three kids took a hayless hayride back into the fields, just for fun.

There is a nice gift shop and a few bands played while we were there. But we were off to the Hard cider tasting, which was also FREE with admission. The three adults decided to lay down the $4- for five tastes and a souvenir wine glass instead, and it was so worth it. The hard cider was delicious.
Here are some of  the ciders we had to choose from. I choose all sweet ciders.

 I liked Cherry Moon the best.
Look at those smiles, looks like everyone is having fun.
Next stop was the Cider room. With our Cazenovia weekend pass we got 1/2 pint of FREE cider. The cider room smelled heavenly. I could have just stood inside for hours inhaling. Gavin and I finally got to see how they press the apples, and Gavin even got to help too.
Mary had to leave all the fun after that, she had a wedding to attend. Alex was offered the opportunity to stay with us and spend the night. After some serious thought he agreed and with hugs goodbye, now one man down we were off to the Animal barn.
and look at all these little cuties we found....

Tami even found a new friend.
and they had Lama's too!

The boys decided to play on Critz's huge playground and Hay tower. (I missed photo opts. they were too quick,) apparently they are much to mature for these little children's fun anymore. But all three of the kids did humor me with a fun photo in the scarecrow cut outs.
I'm not sure what Gavin was doing...that kid sometimes, I'll tell you.
With out admission we also got FREE rides on the cow train. I'll admit it was a little to immature for this lot, but I did try and convince them other wise. Guess I better accept that my little guy is not so little any more.  I guess he was not to little to make one last visit to the goats (They are not my personal favorite..but that is a story for another day.)
Goats fed, and a no MOM we are not riding the cow train, we decided to head back to the car and back to Caz. We had missed the 12pm "Zoo to you " show, but if we hurried we might make it to the Birds of Prey show starting at 2pm. Before we go the kids have a fantastic idea, hill rolling. All three of these crazy kids rolled down the hill for about 15 minutes. It was so joyous just watching them be so silly.
and their off!

at the bottom...crash!
They must have taken 20 turns down that hill, before they had enough and we were on our way, but not before we they found this little fuzzy friend, who ended up taking the trip with us.
BYE Critz.....until next year perhaps.