The upper midwest is a place full of variety, most notably in the weather. As recently as yesterday it was still late summer, but today it is fall. All at once. Granted, you can never write off a season around here without several stops and starts. Warmer temperatures are supposed to be back in time for the weekend, however I’m going to take this moment to muse on what I absolutely don’t want to miss out on this fall. You might want to think of it too, if winter comes as quickly as fall did, you may not have as much time to get in all your fall fun as you think you have.
- Going to the apple orchard. I love apples in pretty much any form. Fresh apples, apples bathed in caramel, apples baked into pies, apples squeezed into cider, apples used to flavor cookies, apples wrapped in puff pastry…well, you get the idea. So, to get my fix, I make a trek out to the apple orchard. It is an absolutely mandatory and not negotiable fall activity for me. And, loaded up with good baking apples, I like to bake a couple of apple spice cakes I can freeze and keep on hand for a quick dessert whenever I want to have a spicy, caramel apple treat.
- Cruising Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue in St. Paul is one of my favorite areas with restaurants and shops clumped together all down the street. I like Grand in any season of the year, but fall is my favorite season, so it automatically becomes my favorite time to visit Grand Avenue. And, when compared to ducking in and out of the air-conditioning cold to be smacked with sticky heat, strolling along in light sweater weather always seems preferable to me.
- Tea time. In the summer it is all about patios and enjoying weather that isn’t trying to turn you into a hypothermia or frostbite statistic. But in the fall I like to rediscover tea time at cozy indoor haunts. I love sipping warm, fragrant tea and eating scones, and in the local tea shops there are so many different varieties of tea that there is something to make just about anyone happy. I’m a fan of a black tea blend called Autumn in Como Park.
- Looking at leaves. Part of the charm of living in a place like Minnesota is the variety of seasons. Winter has it’s snow and ice clinging to the landscape and softening the edges, spring has a purple and pink explosion of lilacs perfuming the air, summer has an extravagant sweep of green, but autumn brings out all the warm and bright shades of red, gold, orange, and purple. It practically requires a day trip to a state park to wander around marveling at the colors and collecting leaves to press so I can hold onto the colors just a little bit longer.
Those are four of my absolute musts for fall. With as quickly as the seasons can change, you never know just how much time you will have to get all of your seasonal fun in. What do you want to do this fall?