Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Well Hello There, Fall

Hands down, fall is my favorite season, due in no small part to my Northern blood and desire to bundle up. While spring is the season of re-birth, summer the time to make the most of the outdoors and winter was made for Hot Toddies, fall seamlessly combines the best of all seasons for me. The air is crisp and dry, the skies are clear, and all of my favorite cool weather clothing comes out of hiding for the long haul. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite five components of Fall in New England:

1) Fall Cooking & Food: It’s an obvious given in my world of food obsession, but fall food encompasses all my favorite flavors. I love it all- pumpkin lattes, Hungarian mushroom soup and rich chowders, hearty fresh-baked loaves of bread (preferably made by my husband!), slow cooked roasts with seasonal vegetables, and of course the quintessential Thanksgiving feast- the foods of autumn represent time spent with loved ones and memories made. There is a sensory intoxication that seems to overtake the self when you walk into a warm home wrapped in the smells of a meal cooking, are handed a glass of red wine, and invited to just unwind and enjoy. I tend to want to linger over these relaxed fall meals, kicking off my boots and listening to stories told by others, finding a good soundtrack to the meal, and afterwards, falling into sleep full, warm, and happy.

2) Boots, Scarves & Sweaters: When I can get away with it, I do my damndest to wear boots year round. My collection is relatively utilitarian, with the ability to be both work and personally functional. My two favorite pairs are both of the brown knee-high variety- one a flat soled riding boot(pictured above), and the other a pair with stacked wooden heels that belonged to my mother in the 70s (even better!). They go with anything from jeans to pencil skirts, and never let me down. There is nothing like the comfort of a soft, snuggly sweater on a brisk fall day! Merino wool or cashmere in any color is always a perfect choice, and if made well will last a lifetime. As mentioned in my previous post, my Brooks Brothers merino cowl necks are what I usually reach for. And nothing says “Hello October!” like a well layered scarf!

3) Fall Getaways: I adore fall travel! Prices drop after Labor Day, and even more so after Columbus Day, making it much easier to visit some of the best seasonal destinations during the skirt season. A lot of hotels off getaway specials during off-peak times, and it’s a great way to see a favorite destination or discover a new place without breaking the bank. If you’re not able to get away for an extended period of time, there are so many fairs and festivals come fall time (around these parts we have the Foliage Festival, Oktoberfest, Newport Boat Show, Food & Wine Festival and my favorite back in Maine, the Common Ground Fair), that a day trip is a great way to take in the best of the season, enjoy a beautiful drive up or down the coast and sample the local tasty treats.

4) Birthday & Holiday Celebrations: All of my immediate family’s birthdays fall between the end of September and end of November, so it makes it easy to remember them all. When we were all living in Annapolis, my brother, husband and I would have at least one big fall party to celebrate birthdays while it was still warm enough to be outside, but cool enough that the A/C wasn’t cranking obnoxiously in the background. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of all, due in no small part to the loads of homemade food, the gathering of family, and the kicking off of the fall/winter holiday season. Kyle and I really enjoy hosting Thanksgiving for family & friends in our home, inviting them to kick back, watch some football, maybe take a walk to two around town and eat to capacity. This mantra is repeated at least three or four times over a the long weekend.

5) Fall Sports: I am a dyed in the wool New England Patriots fan, so September marks the start of the greatest sports season of the year for me. Beyond my fanatical dedication to my beloved Pats, I am crazy about the entire culture of football- watching games with friends, dreaming of going to the live show @ Gillette (still working on this one!), tailgating, late Sunday and Monday nights glued to the last moments of the 4th quarter, the whole rig! It’s the only time of year where pre-gaming on a Sunday at 10AM is acceptable and bowing out of plans because “the game starts at ________” is completely understood. Just thinking about next week’s game against the much loathed Ravens makes me giddy. The start of football marks the winding down of Red Sox baseball, my second favorite on the sports roster. Fall games bring a crispness to Fenway, and on occasion a pennant chase or two. This year I crossed one of my biggest sports “to-dos” off the list by attending my first Red Sox/Yankees home game. As an added bonus, I went with a great crowd of old & new friends, and it was the farewell game honoring Mike Lowell. Although they weren’t quite able to pull out a win, it was a hell of a fun time to go and be a fan.

This week is truly the culmination of all that fall has to offer for me: Sunday I saw the Red Sox play at Fenway, Monday the Patriots stomped the Dolphins (squish the fish!), today is my incredible mother’s birthday, and this weekend Kyle and I take off to Block Island for a long weekend to celebrate our birthdays and get away from the world for a while. I can’t wait to climb around the island, sample the best of what Block Island has to offer, and breathe in the salty, crisp air. I’m only apprehensive that I might burst into flames from overexposure to awesomeness.

What are the finer points of fall that draw you in? Your favorite fall memory or traditions?

No comments:

Post a Comment