While in Finland we really appreciated invitations from friends to go over and experience Finnish culture with them, so we decided to pay it forward. There is currently a backpacker from Germany (Patrick) who is taking Britt’s place here in the Chicago area for the next 6 months while she’s in India, and we had him over for dinner, followed by a trip to the countryside where we picked pumpkins for carving. While out trudging through the fields searching for the perfect pumpkins Patrick used the time to learn the meanings of a few new words he had learned; Redneck and Hillbilly.

Back at the house we got out the tools, some German-style Marzen and began carving! This was only the second pumpkin that Patrick has ever carved, since it’s not a tradition in Germany.

These, however, were the third and fourth pumpkins we had carved this week!

And before carving any this Halloween season, we turned a pumpkin and gourd into a cart and entered it into the local pumpkin races. We started out in first place, but then took a turn for the worse and ended up having to carry the cart across the finish line.

Needless to say, pumpkins play a big part in celebrating Halloween here in the States. And in just a few weeks we’ll take the emphasis off of the exterior of the pumpkin and start looking forward to pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving!!

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