"New England has a way of doing this to people; they can be homesick for it even if they have never seen it."
~ Mark Van Doren
~ Mark Van Doren
It is now October, and autumn is in full swing. Maybe not really yet here in Texas, but we did have our first 60-degree day on September 22nd, the autumnal equinox. I took a solitary stroll through the neighborhood at lunchtime. As I left for my walk, I snapped a small sprig of rosemary from a plant by the curb and held it between my fingers the whole way - a sniff here, a whiff there. Nature's aromatherapy.
Autumn, to me, means destinations - adventure and discovery of new places. For the last four years, the season has brought along beside it a trip to the northeast, the best place to spend the fall in my opinion. I grew up there, you know, in New Jersey where in autumn we retrieved our J. Crew sweaters from hibernation and donned duck boots as we raked leaves in the front yard.
In celebration of the best season, I thought I'd share some of my favorite autumn experiences over the last four years. 2005 was when it began. That September, I went on a mother-daughter trip to the glorious state of Maine. Maine is where I officially fell in love with New England - lobster boats and all. Sure, I had visited New England before as a child and teenager - Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Mystic, Connecticut; Newport, Rhode Island. But Maine is in a league of its own. Its anonymous cottages tucked in the woods, sparsely populated fishing towns, and hibernation-inducing winters simultaneously make Maine cozy/quaint and the material of ghost stories. I understand now why Stephen King based so many of his novels there...
Our trip was spent in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, and it was a true New England experience. Bales of hay and mums decorating the steps of general stores...restaurants on fishing piers...tea and popovers...tiny towns lit by street lamps and lanterns. Here are some of my favorite photos from that trip...
only in maine...
lobster boats in castine
a typical maine scene
general store in castine
fall breaking through acadia national park
stunning view where we had popovers and tea at jordan pond house restaurant
sunset in acadia national park
Stunning. Restful. Just how autumn should be. It's why everyone has a love affair with New England, even if they've yet to see it with their own eyes.