Apple Picking: An Autumnal Rite of Passage

Growing tired of studying for midterms and counting the days till family reunions at Thanksgiving, the turn of leaf and weather suddenly has us craving all things fall: cozy sweaters, colorful punnikans (translation: pumpkins), hot cider, fuzzy socks, crunchy leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, the list goes on.

Autumn brings with it an indefinable longing for years past. It’s a season of nostalgia. Simply, "autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go." With the brisk fall wind and the vibrant changing leaves, we’re suddenly caught daydreaming of our younger years, picking out pumpkins and gourds for the front stoop, deciding what we were going to be for Halloween, going apple picking with the family. — Err, we guess now is as good a time as ever to bare a short confessional:

I, Katherine — self proclaimed lover of all things fall — and I, Maia — Miami girl through and through, who’s mastered the look of overalls during "winter" for strawberry picking — have never been apple picking.

(This is made especially preposterous considering I, Katherine, live right beside an apple orchard in Michigan). Going to school in New England, the Mecca of all apple orchards, thus made apple picking a mandatory college bucket list item. Plus, what better way to escape midterm examinations and its fond companion stress? 

This Saturday, thanks to a handy Zip Car membership, we, with a few friends, set off for Honey Pot Hill Orchards, located some 30 miles beyond the Cambridge bubble. Honey Pot Hill is a Massachusetts institution, a full-scale apple-and-all-things-fall operation, perfect for fulfilling a few of our autumnal goals: 1. To finally go apple picking 2. To go on a hay ride, and 3. To eat our weight in cider donuts. We happily type this post having fulfilled all three. 

All and all, our sojourn made for a wonderful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of on-campus life. We drove down leaf-laden roads, dappled in the rich warm glow of an autumn day - miraculously avoiding the rainy slump that has characterized these past few weekends. We jammed to some tunes — from indie to Marvin Gaye to Biggie. We ~sort of~ picked apples (it seems that Honeycrisp season has passed us, and our desire for Red Delicious was minimal), and some of us, who will remain un-named (*cough* Maia), finally realized why Apple calls them "Macs".

We did in fact eat an admirable amount of cinnamon-sugar-coated-warm-gooey donut goodness (this is also coming from Katherine, self-professed non-fan of donuts, and received a stamp of approval from Maia who has stuffed herself with almost every donut Boston has to offer). And, despite having to dodge a slightly aggressive barrage of branches, our hayride ended up quite, well, let’s say bumpy. We even found time to wander around some of New England’s quintessential backroads, happening upon a beautiful mill in the process.

While fall weather seems to have briefly left us (as we sit outside on a picnic blanket writing this, the forecast now projecting into the 80s for the next few days), we don’t believe there was any better way to ring in the new season. We hope you enjoy the following snaps from out little trip and feel inspired to venture out of doors on your own autumnal jaunt.

Xx, Katherine & Maia