Travel - New England Part One, Princeton NJ and the Pumpkin Patch

October 26, 2017

If I was starting this in chronological order I should really be telling you all about our five days in New York that came before this trip to Princeton, New Jersey. But I have about six hundred photos that I've narrowed New York down to so far and so starting with these lower key couple of days first seemed preferable. {A NYC full city guide will be coming soon though}. We planned this trip last October when my husband & I had airmiles to use up and New York is one of the places that they are easiest to book seats with, there being multiple flights per day there. Which was lucky for me as it's one of my favourite cities in the world. So we decided to fly in & out of there {more on that in the NYC post} but as we'd visited a few times before, wanted to add something different on to it this time. More small town America {in particular for all things Fall and Halloween!} so our first stop was Princeton, an ivy league university town just an easy train ride out of the city where we could then pick up a car for heading North. Technically New Jersey, south of NYC, probably doesn't count as New England as much as say Vermont or Maine would do further North? But to us it felt just like it and we really hit the jackpot on planning this 2 night stop, it was probably our very favourite part of the trip. Small town America really is magical, especially after we'd spent five days gallivanting and walking our socks off around the hectic city that never sleeps! So; a travelogue of our stay below if you'd like to see. Including the most amazing pumpkin farm! 

We took the New Jersey transit train out of Penn Station in NYC and travelled about an hour and a half south out of the city.

We'd booked an Airbnb {this one, it was just a room but the reviews were so amazing we decided to go for it. PS you can use this code for 25 pounds off your first airbnb stay} so our lovely host was waiting at the train station for us. I really didn't know if we'd feel uncomfortable being in somebody else's house but it was definitely a highlight of the trip, they were so fab, the house was beautiful and just what we expected from this neck of the woods and they let us use their bikes to explore Princeton before we picked up our car.

The minute we arrived we knew that we'd just love this town. In fact, even just the bike ride into town past all of the insanely beautiful mansion style homes and I was head over heels. 

The first day was overcast and really still, we were so happy it was cooler than the hot temperatures we'd had in New York and it finally felt like the fall we'd come in search of. The town was compact, with mostly independent stores which again was just what we were after but had all the big brands we love {target, a huge mall, chipotle, whole foods etc} just a 10 minute drive away. I wanted to live here!

Most people visit for Princeton University, one of the best in the country and covered in Ivy {hence that Ivy league status..} which we loved walking around. It reminded us a lot of Oxford back home, although of course not quite as old and a lot of the buildings here - some of the churches especially - have been built to mimic that kind of style. It was beautiful and fun seeing all the students on campus, a real American college.

Just like Oxford or Cambridge back at home, there were bikes aplenty.

For America actually it's quite rare to have towns that you can cycle or walk around safely without too much traffic/highways. It felt very European but you still knew you were in America, I think that's why we loved so much. It would definitely be a dream place to live, the fact you're an hour and a half from the big city, near Philadelphia too, there are rivers, lakes, forests and cute little farms nearby.

It was the first of the fall leaves that we'd seen. Some were huge!

We spent our first afternoon just wandering around, taking in the slower pace and doing some shopping. The J Crew had an amazing sale on here and my husband even enjoyed the shopping for once. There were beautiful stationery stores where I stocked up on Rifle Paper co and the best cafe ever for home made salads followed by pumpkin ice cream from the Bent Spoon. Best ice cream ever ever.

It was one of my favourite days in a long time, just wandering around, taking it all in, cycling the streets and discovering the amazing grocery store and looking at all the big houses decorated for halloween.

We didn't intend to match that day! People kept asking us if we did!

Doesn't this just remind you of Home Alone?! Imagine at Christmas!

We adore American supermarkets, they just have so much to look at and buy. We cycled to this one just out of town and ended up getting dinner here {ha!}. 

That night we stayed in with new episodes of This is Us to watch {our favourite ever series} and then got up early for a bike ride to the river before going to pick up the car.

We couldn't resist another cycle through the campus as we knew we'd be leaving v early the next day. Honestly we wished we could have had longer. Not because there was loads to do but just because we loved the vibe.

There was a farmer's market in town which was fun to have a look at, but we knew we'd be seeing hundreds of pumpkins that afternoon at the farm.

Leafy streets!

We went to the mall for a couple of hours to do some shopping now that we had a car and didn't have to carry bags through the city like we would in NYC or Boston. We didn't think we'd do any shopping before we left England with the exchange rate but we got lucky with lots of sales on and most shops seemed to then take an extra percentage off the clearance making a lot of clothes really great value.

We then spent an hour or so going around the big stores that we loved from California, Target etc just soaking all of America up.

Halloween crazy.

Part of our plan for the trip from the very start was to find a great pumpkin farm since we love growing them in the UK so much and pumpkins and all things fall/farms have come from America over here. Part of choosing Princeton for our stop was for the famous Tehurne Orchards. 

It was my kinda heaven, filled with fields where you could pick your own apples, pumpkins, a corn maze, wagons filled with autumnal blooms, a cutting flower patch, a farm shop barn, bakery and famous apple cider donuts! 

And of course, more pumpkins than you could ever count.

Orange, white, big, small and everything in between.

Just excuse all these photos, PUMPKIN OVERLOAD.

I have this thing with pumpkins...

Cutest names for farm dogs, Apple & Peach! We were lucky that we visited on a weekday rather than a weekend in October as it gets packed, they host fall festivals which are v popular.

On the way back to the house we drove through some ridiculously beautiful streets. Apparently they're amazing on halloween for trick or treating because they give out the most expensive candy ha! 

We were leaving for Boston v early the next morning so took one last walk through town desperate for more ice cream from The Bent Spoon!

And then we packed all ready for our road trip.

I don't know when but I really hope we'll return to Princeton someday, until then I'll always be remembering those magical couple of days.

More from our trip coming soon

R <3 xx

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  1. Wow love this !
    Where’s your shirt from, the red check ruffle one, it’s gorgeous? xx


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