Making the Most of Autumn
Being from small-town New England I can verify the authenticity of one time-honored TV stereotype – leaf peepers. They exist and they come out in full force this time of year. To be fair, though, if I lived in a city with concrete at all turns, I too might be enticed to pack a bag and go for a casual drive up the Merritt Parkway – something that any native Connecticuter would avoid at all costs.
I recently took a windows-down, 20 mile drive north on this pseudo-highway up to my parents’ house and was reminded just how ideal this time of year can be. Temperatures are crisp, but not hibernation-cold, leaves are brilliant shades of orange and red and hot chocolate is a treat, not a necessity. While I will always be a summer girl, Autumn definitely does have its perks. So before we fall back into another polar vortex (one of the more ominous weather descriptions in history, if you ask me), try getting out and enjoying the season with some of these activities.
One of the best ways to soak up Fall is by becoming one with Mother Nature and going for a hike, or a walk in the park if hiking’s not your thing. Personally, my family and I always try to take a trip to the Berkshires before winter and hike some of the trails there. With streams cutting through pathways and amazing panoramic views, we definitely get to experience the best of the season.
One trip, however, my cousins and I took a wrong turn and ended up off-trail, stuck in the woods for almost five hours. At that time, it would have saved the day to have one of the hiking GPS units that Garmin offers, such as the eTrex® 30 or the Montana® 650, to lead us back to civilization, as our trusty smartphone maps were not doing the trick. These devices are handheld and offer advanced satellite tracking capabilities to ensure that you don’t end up like we did. Thankfully, it was early enough in the season that it stayed light out and the ice cream shop was still open for a much needed post-hike treat.
Another staple of the season is tailgating. With many colleges having homecoming games and the NFL being in full-swing, football and tailgating are a requirement for the average fan’s weekend in the fall. No tailgate would be complete without a cornhole board and the grillables. In fact, 63% of all tailgaters say that a portable grill is their number one item to pack (Weber, 2014). Grills like the Smokey Joe® or the Q® 2000 from Weber are excellent tailgate solutions.
Another important factor to a successful tailgate, especially those early morning ones, is a hot beverage. Whether you prefer coffee or cocoa, cider or tea – nothing feels better than wrapping your hands around a steaming cup. Satisfy your crowd with a portable hot pot and oversize travel mugs that will help keep them warm until the final play.
For the overachiever out there (or the Instagram junkie looking for the perfect #nofilter opportunity), fall is a great time for sunrise runs. It’s early enough in the year that there is no frost on the lawns and, thanks to last week’s time change, the sun is up much earlier making running warmer and safer. I am not a morning person, as anyone at Lapine can attest to, but I do envy those early birds that can check workout off their list before 8am.
For those lacing up their sneakers early, try investing in a running watch with a heart rate monitor from brands like Polar or Garmin to help track your progress. By the time the holidays roll around, you’ll be able to go after those cookies guilt-free. It’s also important to round out your workout wardrobe with moisture-wicking and other performance apparel that will help regulate your body temperature as the morning air shifts.
These are just a few ways to capture all that fall has to offer. Don’t forget, there’s also the idea of adding pumpkin to pretty much anything you’re making in the kitchen and incorporating fall flair into your home décor.
Enjoy the season while it lasts – people have already had their first snowfall!