It's officially fall... which means it's officially the best time of the year. That's right, I said it. Fall is easily the best season in the New England area. It's so awesome it is frequently referred to by two names because its wonder cannot be contained by just one name.
Why Fall Is The Best
Fall foliage. Jumping in leaf piles, especially as a kid, is the best. Raking leaves may not be fun, but neither is clearing snow off your car or dealing with pollen. Fall is, hands down, the prettiest season. Dreamysigh. Fall foliage is such a big deal that there are entire websites dedicated to mapping out the best times to see the most magnificent colors. (This live map details the peak times to visit.) People travel to New England just for the experience of seeing fall foliage, much like they'd road trip to see the Grand Canyon, because they understand how awesome it is to see the vibrant colors in person. The changing leaves are not representative of death so much as the circle of life — and, since I know how much we all love "The Lion King," we should be pleased that fall is pretty much the epitome of the meaning behind that song. Thanks, fall!
Pumpkin everything. Each fall brings a new time to go pumpkin picking, carving, painting, and (best of all) tasting. What other time of the year is pumpkin such a prominent flavor? None. It's reserved specifically for fall because fall, like pumpkin-flavored food and drink, is the best. Obviously the two would go hand in hand. No other season — except for winter, with peppermint, blech — has its own flavor. The return of pumpkin coffee is such a big deal that Starbucks even had a "special code" that lets people get their drinks far in advance. (On top of that, fall also gives us apple spice-flavored items, as well as hot apple cider, both of which are delicious.)
Sweater weather. Don't be fooled by this idea that summer is somehow the best time to be outside. It's hot and humid and gross. Fall is the best time to be outside. It gives us a nice break from the blistering heat. Those days when it's warm enough not to wear a jacket, and then by the evening, it's just cool enough to toss on a sweatshirt? That's the best. Not the days where your skin is crawling from humidity and the night doesn't even give any relief. Not the season of rain (hi, spring). Not icicles and hail and blizzards. Seriously, good luck wading through several feet of snow and keeping your sense of joy and optimism intact.
Fashion. I guess this one applies only those who care about clothes, so I will keep it short: sweaters! Cardigans! Riding boots! Scarves! Yes please.
Fairs/carnivals. One of the most obvious signs that fall has arrived is that there are fairs or carnivals to attend every weekend. There, you can try new foods (you can find any variation of fried food at the Big E, after all), buy handmade crafts, go on rides, visit animals, view gratuitous butter sculptures. Fairs give everyone a chance to be unabashedly hokey.
Fall TV shows. Spring decimated our hearts with the end of our favorite shows, and then we had to wait all summer long for our favorite TV shows to come back to us. (If they even did, since spring also brings about the series finales, too.) In fall, we get an entirely new set of TV shows to choose from, in addition to the programs we already love. It's pretty much the only time of the year when shows are reliably on each week.
Football returns. I'm not a sports person but even I know how big of a deal it is that football returns in the fall. It's not just NFL, but college football, too. You can cheer on your favorite teams, or your alma mater (go UConn!), or see a game in person and tailgate. Friendly reminder: there is no football in the spring, just boring ol' baseball. The only good thing about baseball is the World Series, and guess that? That's in the fall.
Halloween, Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving. Sure, winter gives fall a run for its money when it comes to holidays, but the fall season has its own holidays — and they are much less stressful than the winter holidays. First, there's Oktoberfest, which is an excuse to drink. Then there's Thanksgiving, an excuse to eat. (Okay, and give thanks for how lucky we are, but whatever.) Then there's Halloween, which is not just a child's holiday. Halloween arguably has some of the best decorations of any holiday, ever. Carved pumpkins, bats, fake spiderwebs, witches, black cats, skeletons, ghosts... and what other time of year do you get to be creative and wear costumes? That doesn't even factor in haunted hayrides, haunted houses, and CANDY, regardless of whether you're the one Trick-Or-Treating. So. Much. Candy. Thank Halloween and, by extension, fall for that chocolate goodness.
In conclusion, fall is the best. The other seasons are not. We can all go home now.
All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.