Monday, June 18, 2012

Autumn leaves are in my future

Anyone who has known me for very long knows that one of my dream vacations has always been to visit New England in the fall to see the autumn leaves. For the 32 years that I worked for our local United Way, we were generally discouraged from taking time off during the fall. It was our fund-raising season and, as the special events director, it was pretty much impossible for me to be gone for more than a day or two that time of year. 

While winters here are lovely and mild. One of the downsides of living in South Texas is the lack of seasonal changes. We don't really have fall or winter. In really cold years, we might have a few nights where the temperature drops below freezing. But it's never cold for very long. The other factor is that we don't really have trees with leaves that turn colors. Most of our native vegetation is mesquite and huisache. They are more shrubs than trees and have lovely blooms in the spring which make me sniffle and sneeze. But the leaves don't turn colors. 

Photo credit
I always hate it when we're still having 90 degree temperatures and I start hearing that the leaves are turning and temperatures have dropped. When autumn rolls around each year, I change my screensaver to a beautiful shot of colorful autumn leaves. And for many years I told my friends that the first year I was retired we would finally take our fall New England trip. Since I left that job unexpectedly three years short of retirement, we were not in a financial position to take such a trip. But now, six years later, I'm finally going to get my fall leaf trip.

Grandad told me yesterday that he has to go to the home office, which is located near Boston, for three days in mid-October. Then he asked if I would like to join him and stay a few days in that area. I got so excited it made me giggle like a schoolgirl.

I immediately got online and started looking for information about where to go and what to do. We spent a week in the Boston area two summers ago. So we've done the Boston and the Freedom Trail, Salem, and Plymouth. We're looking for something different this time. Our trip will start from Boston on October 18 and we'll be there about a week. There are just so many options. I know that leaf peeping is very popular and that popular places are likely to be crowded.

So I'm looking for your advice. Have you been to New England to see the autumn leaves? Do you have any advice for us? Should we head north or south from Boston? Should we rent a car? Should we take the train? Should we join a tour?  New Hampshire? Maine? Vermont? Connecticut? Pennsylvania? So many options. Please share your experience and your expertise and opinions. I'll keep you updated as our plans develop.


  1. Luckeeeee! Boston is on my bucket list, so unfortunately I have no advice.

    But I share your love of leaves. I grew up in the midwest which also colors every year. In fact, we got married in October specifically to take advantage of the fall color. Our guests from California were amazed at the leaves.

    When I go to Boston I am eating lobster rolls, hanging at Harvard, and soaking in some history. Hope I get to go soon!

  2. No advice, here either, but I am so profoundly jealous! I grew up throughout Cali, mostly northern California, and the seasons are wonderful. No snow where I lived, but aweb pretty clear cut division of seasons. Still, growing upup I wanted to visit Main and New Hampshire and the like, Fall is my favorite season! I have been in Arizona for 16 years now, and Autumn here is more of a concept here in the Phoenix Valley than a reality. In the north, Flagstaff, Prescott, Cottonwood, Eager get fall foliage, but not in the desert!
    My husband and I have left our home of 6 years to help renovate my in-laws and hopefully save some money. We are moving to the Pacific Northwest, we are only 30 with only 2 kids, and his job is in demand up there so we are a bit more free to move than some families. Sorry for rambling, but I am so excited about Autumn! The crisp cool air, the brilliant foliage, the magic in the air.... anyway, congratulations for your wonderful opportunity! Don't do too much, take your time to sit and walk and experience and explore. Have a blast just being there.

  3. I have no suggestions either but I sure can't wait to see your pictures! I'm so happy for you that you get to do this. Having grown up in Michigan the leaves are spectacular but you just can't know their true beauty until you see them in person! Have fun!