Sep 11, 2009

Summer is at an end… as much as I love the warm weather, I have to admit: I love autumn in New England!

The trees are beautiful, with leaves in vibrant reds and golds, and there’s a slight nip in the air that begins immediately after Labor Day, like clockwork. The anticipation of the impending holidays is pretty exciting as well.

My brothers and I have an annual tradition of taking the kids on a family outing to a farm in Princeton at this time of the year. It’s a bit of a drive, but definitely worth it. We always select a brisk, sunny day, and the first thing we do upon arrival is visit the corn maze, where we pick a few ears of corn, which we then feed to the sheep and goats.

We don’t spend much time listening to the live country band; rather, we take time to check out the chrysanthemums and collect sunflower seeds from the sunflowers.

Afterwards, we tour the barn, which is decorated in different autumn themes every year, like Johnny Appleseed or the History of Corn.

Finally, we pick our pumpkins before stopping at the country farmhouse store for some sweet apple cider, warm apple cider donuts, and fresh pumpkin or apple pies. Then we head to the orchard.

The orchard is about a mile down the road from the farm, and it is the coolest place ever! (Although many argue that I’m not a very good judge of cool.)
The apple trees are about 7 feet tall and the branches are low enough even for my 2-year old niece to pick.

I prefer the Golden Delicious, but we all meander through the orchard, picking indiscriminately, eating crisp, juicy apples along the way.

By the time our bags are full, we’re all contentedly weary, and we say our goodbyes and prepare for the drive home.

This isn’t the end, however. We still have to make Jack O’Lanterns and apple pies, and pumpkin mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, and of course, roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s so autumn-y and cozy and fun!

So on brisk autumn days when my sister calls me from Trinidad to boast that she’s sitting on the beach in Maracas, eating a bake and shark and drinking a Stag, I don’t feel bad.

Well… not very.

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