Written by Grace Tramack
After living in California for almost four years now, I can honestly say that one of the things I miss most about New Hampshire is fall. Not the 70-degree, barely cool enough for jeans and still-looks-like summer kind of fall that Palo Alto has. Sure my friends on the East Coast are jealous of our beautiful year-round weather, but to me, nothing beats the crisp sweater weather of New England.
First of all, no season that Palo Alto has experienced can compare to the beauty of a New England fall—right around the beginning of October, the leaves yellow, then orange, and finally a deep red. They are so beautiful and important to a New England fall that when my grandparents heard that the trees don’t really change color in Palo Alto, they sent us a bag of New Hampshire leaves (true story).
Also, it’s cool enough to wear big, comfy sweaters and fuzzy socks without getting too hot at any part of the day. Sure, it’s chilly in the morning but by noon it’s the perfect temperature for your favorite soft clothes.
Weather and leaves aside, where in Palo Alto can you go to participate in real fall activities? My first fall in California, I remember missing apple-picking with my family, fields of sun flowers and piles of pumpkins. Maybe people who have never enjoyed fall as much as I do think that this all seems boring and a little (okay, a lot) cheesy, but to me it is one of the greatest traditions at a place I call home.
One of my absolute favorite things about fall is the amazing food. As much as pumpkin spice flavored products are popular in California, they are a fall necessity in New Hampshire. Pumpkin muffins from Dunkin Donuts are my personal favorites. Fall is also the season for apple cider with fresh maple sugar. I can honestly say that nothing beats the feeling of coming inside after a chilly day to a cup of hot apple cider and snuggling into a blanket by the fire. My dad used to do “Soup Sundays,” too, when we would make different kinds of soup, watch the Patriots game and have family dinner. So many of my memories from fall are spending time with friends and family, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Okay, so maybe I’m a bit of a romanticist when it comes to fall in New England. And it’s not that I don’t love fall in California too, but my sentiment for both have been established for very different reasons. A Palo Alto fall may not have brilliantly colored trees or fields of apples and sun flowers, but at least it’s not followed by a blizzard- filled winter. Nevertheless, I miss brightly colored trees, apple picking and the distinct fall smell. I miss pumpkin muffins, cozy sweaters every day and apple cider. Most of all, I miss the times I spent with friends and family, enjoying the beautiful fall days in New England.