The Fall List 2015

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Fall!  My favorite season!  I love pretty much everything about fall.  Although I can’t get enough summer heat – it’s true – I also love the cooler days, the bright blue skies and flaming colored leaves, the crisp evenings, the excuse to sip cocoa and watch the stars with a warm blanket wrapped around my shoulders and Steve next to me… I love that fall includes my birthday, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and that it’s the long lead-in to the Christmas season.  I love apples, pumpkin spice lattes, warm socks, and the return of hockey season.  (I do not love the cold rains, or the return of football season.  But even in the fall, one cannot have everything.)  And even though fall is half over now, I’m still going to muster up a to-do list.  Indulge me?

  • Take the kids apple and pumpkin picking.
  • Visit my brother and sister-in-law in Colorado.
  • Drink hot cider from Main Street Coffee Roastery.
  • Host family and friends for Nugget’s baptism.
  • Read some Sarah Vowell.
  • Bake pear-almond bread.
  • Have a zoo playdate with friends.
  • Take Peanut trick-or-treating (for real!) for the first time EVER.
  • Re-read Anne of the Island or Emily of New Moon (or both!).
  • Finish our our year of hiking in a different place every month and take our last seasonal walk through Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve.

Not a bad list, right?  I think it’s totally achievable, and if I get even half of these things done it’ll be a happy fall season indeed.  What’s on your fall to-do list?

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21 thoughts on “The Fall List 2015

    • My favorite, too! I love to make it at home, but Main Street Coffee has a deluxe cider that involves cream or something, I don’t know what exactly, but it’s SO good.

  1. Have fun trick or treating! That’s exciting that this will be her first year. Fall is my favorite season too – for all the sights and smells and coziness that comes along with it.

    • Thank you! We had such a great time! Last year she was very timid, and even trick or treating at Dad’s office and at a sweet local heritage village were practically traumatizing to her. This year was a completely different story – she loved it! Only tears came when we decided that we’d been to enough houses and told her it was time to head home – ha!

  2. “I do not love the cold rains, or the return of football season. But even in the fall, one cannot have everything.”

    Ditto! We’re having a warmish rain today after a couple of gorgeous fall days. It’s been a beautiful October in my area.

    The picture is absolutely adorable! What kind of apples were you guys picking?

    • I’m glad to hear you had a lovely month! October is my favorite month of the year – my birthday month, and the best weather of fall, in my opinion!

      We were picking Gala apples! They were delicious – crisp and juicy. We ate quite a few of them out of hand, made an apple crisp, and the rest became homemade applesauce that we are still enjoying. Apple picking is one of my favorite fall traditions!

      • Thank you! I had a great day. 🙂

        We missed Gala apples last year (I always forget how short the U-pick season is, but this year I was on the ball) and I’m so glad we got them this year. They’re so delicious!

  3. GREAT list! Mine was sadly short and just about finished.
    Watkins Glen visit/hike-Done
    Toronto Zoo visit-Done
    Carving a jackolantern
    See Crimson Peak-Done
    Becker Farms
    Beaver Meadows Audubon Center

    Enjoy the rest of Fall!

    • Your list is pretty great, too! I’d like to take my kiddos to the Toronto Zoo – I’ve heard it’s a decent one. What was your impression? And what is Becker Farms? Do share, please!

      • Happy Halloween!
        Becker Farms is an apple orchard, veggie farm with U-pick & they have a little goat petting/feeding zone and do lots of fall activities. They have a country store and ice cream parlor and cider tasting. http://www.beckerfarms.com/

        The Zoo was fantastic. I went about 10 years ago and remembered that it was enormous but this time I was blown away by the size of it. Large enclosures, active animals, lots of woodsy areas and trees. I think you’d enjoy it because you’re not afraid of a hike at all and the animals don’t look miserable–I remember talking with you about the zoo conundrum before. I’m going to post some zoo pictures soon and I’ll leave you a link so you can see some of the grounds.

      • Oh, I’m so glad that you thought it was a good zoo! That makes me happy. I often think about the conversation we had about zoos, and I think we were really on the same page, so to hear that you felt good about the Toronto Zoo is really great. I’m going to bump it up my list because I’d love to take my daughter to a really good zoo.

        Thanks for the info on Becker Farms! We usually go to Stonehill Orchards for apple picking, but I’m going to check out their website to see if they have any holiday events. I’ve been looking for reindeer petting or some sort of Christmas event that isn’t too flashy or in-your-face, and I thought maybe one of the local farms or orchards would be a good bet, but haven’t been able to find anything like what I have in mind. Maybe Becker Farms will fit the bill!

      • Here’s my zoo pictures https://stillatthelibrary.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/the-toronto-zoo-in-october/
        Sorry that took so long!
        I felt really good about the zoo and I think you’d enjoy it. The bathrooms were alright too, lots of indoor exhibits if the weather is funny. The only thing that wasn’t great was the food so I’d pack snacks. I thought the scenery was gorgeous with all the autumn colors but I think it’d be stunning in winter as well and of course lively and fresh in the spring and summer so hopefully you get to go in the next year and enjoy.
        I thought there was some sort of reindeer seasonal thing at Varysburg but I’ve never been there but it’s worth a google. Becker Farms is small but fun and there’s a little waterfall along the drive to it and the stone ruins of a former mill that burned down too which are kind of neat!

      • Beautiful pictures, and thanks for sharing the link! I think we definitely have to make it to Toronto one of these days. I miss living really close to a decent zoo. (“Decent” is about the most effusive praise you’ll get from me when it comes to a zoo or aquarium…) The National Zoo wasn’t bad – well-designed exhibits and the animals seemed happy enough – but I still can’t quite get on board. My dream is to go on safari one day and see animals in a wildlife refuge. I’ll have to save my pennies for that, though!

      • I saw The National Zoo listed as one of the best/healthiest zoos especially for their conservation efforts just the other day. I was trying to find a list of the best zoos in the world based on natural habitats and other criteria, I was just curious. Yes!! A safari–you can go to that elephant place from the book you read=)
        I don’t understand the people who still go to Seaworld. For the cost of that ticket and buying food there they could save that money for a few years instead and take a whale watching boat tour.
        By the way they have a panda exhibit at the TO zoo but she wasn’t out because she’s in the maternity ward!

      • Yay for pandas in the maternity ward! The National Zoo had a baby panda when I lived in DC – his name was Tai Shan (Peaceful Mountain). He was such a cute little guy and people went crazy for him – they had a panda cam and the whole city practically would have it streaming at work. He was there for awhile and eventually went to China for romance.

        I don’t understand going to SeaWorld either. Whales are my favorite animals – in fact, the first gift my husband ever gave me was adopting me a whale from a New England research station – and the idea of those poor orcas living in bathtubs just breaks my heart into a million pieces. I don’t believe there is any bona fide educational or conservational purpose to Sea World, and I will NEVER take my kids there. Whale watching for us! My dream is to take them kayaking with orcas in the San Juan Islands.

      • Y E S! San Juan Islands would be the dream!! I agree. What’s the educational purpose? They claim the Seaworld orcas get people up close…well…okay and then what? At what expense? I’m hopeful since their announcement to phase out the orca shows but I didn’t see the details. Did you ever see the documentary The Whale? I was in tears by the end. It’s about what happens when a wild orca gets lost and ends up in a bay near people and what happens as a result of the orca and human interactions. It was surprising and went in a different direction than I’d thought it would and just broke my heart. Still, if you didn’t see it I recommend it!

      • I don’t buy SeaWorld’s claim at all. I don’t think that “Shamoo” is educating any children, and I don’t think there is any conservation going on there, either.

        I haven’t watched any of the films about the issue because, to be honest, I think they’d make me too sad. I educate myself by reading the articles, but actually seeing the mistreatment play out in front of me would just be too hard…

      • What is really appalling in the Blackfish documentary is the employees that spout off incorrect information they’ve been trained to say during tours. Same thing happens at pet stores.
        I’ll tell you a little more about The Whale then if you think you won’t watch it. If you don’t mind. If you don’t want to read just because you think it’ll be upsetting (Blackfish totally was!) just skip this!! =)
        This young orca is separated from its pod and becomes friendly with the locals around this bay. It’s very sweet but then begins this division over whether to let the orca stay, relocate it etc…and it becomes a battle between law enforcement and the local Native tribe. It was fascinating and pretty intense! Because the orca wants the human interaction and some say it’s too dangerous and it also creates a bit of a scene. Everybody wanting to see this orca. As you probably know orcas never attack people in the wild and this sweet and loveable orca doesn’t hurt a soul but rather meets his demise by the end of the documentary when he’s injured by a passing boat. It was really heartbreaking. And in the end it’s just saying “Lets leave these them alone.” I could cry just remembering it!

      • Ohhhhh, that sounds so sad. Yes, almost certainly too sad for me. I love, love, LOVE orcas and I don’t think I would make it through “The Whale,” although it sounds fascinating and well-done.

        I just got home from a trip to Colorado to visit my brother, and we visited the Denver Zoo and the Denver Aquarium while we were there. I was impressed with both – especially the aquarium. It was nice to visit an aquarium and actually be able to enjoy it with my daughter. She loves aquariums so much – I hate being the spoilsport. It felt good to spend some time with her in a space that didn’t squick me out.

      • I was sobbing after The Whale so I’d skip it! You already value them and love them so it isn’t like you need to see it to learn something about them or why they should be protected.
        That’s so cool and good to hear about your Denver Zoo & Aquarium visits. A friend of mine just moved about 30 minutes from Denver so maybe I’ll keep that in mind for when I visit her next year or at least I’ll recommend it to my friend because she loves aquariums (she got married in one!) There’s a wolf sanctuary I want to visit near there as well.
        Colorado is excellent=)

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