As much as I complain about how much I hate seeing summer go, a little part of me secretly loves the anticipation and the arrival of fall.
Watching the trees gradually change from a lively, healthy green color to a vibrant, flaming red/orange color in a span of a week, the sound of crunching leaves beneath my shoes, watching store shelves stock up on caramel apple/pumpkin spice everything, being able to lounge all day in sweatpants and a hoodie (even though it seems like that’s all I wear 9 months out of the year anyway), are just some of the reasons why I’m a big fan of fall.
Oh, and boots. All the boots. Don’t even get me started on shopping for the perfect pair of boots.
And the fact that fall also means that no one will ever know if you don’t shave your legs for the next 7-8 months. And that you will also be forgiven if you don’t bother on getting pedicures from now on, since it’ll be too cold for flip-flops and sandals outside anyway.
Last weekend it was 90 some degrees here in Minnesota, so Brian and I decided it’d be the perfect weekend to go hunt for some pretty fall foliage, since according to every single news channel and multiple websites, fall leaves were at their peak north of the metro.
So the mister and I decided on the St. Croix State Park, which 50-75% of the leaves have turned colors, according to the state park website. We packed up my camera, stocked the car full of snacks, and made the hour-long drive up north, excited to take some gorgeous photos. (← #signsthatyouregettingold)
After much disappointment and getting attacked by swarms of mosquitoes, I came home with a few satisfactory photos. The state park was sort of a let down, as we drove around a lot and the location the website recommended for “perfect fall photos” didn’t have a single red leaf on its trees.
Not to mention my mosquito bites swelled up within hours and turned into huge welts all over my arms that left me itchy for daaaaaaays.
Ironically, most of the best foliage photos were taken by me sticking my camera out the car window while passing various small town neighborhoods.
After we got home, I was exhausted, hot, sweaty, and itchy, and proceeded to pour myself a large cold glass of this sparkling apple cider I made the day before.
If where you’re at is still too hot for hot apple cider, this is definitely for you! However, if you’re not a fan of spiced apple cider, feel free to substitute the amount of spiced cider in this recipe for plain cider, although I do think the addition of orange slices and subtle notes of cinnamon and cloves does elevate the original to a whole new level!
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 orange, sliced (leave the peel on)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 cups club soda
- In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider, orange, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Bring to a boil, them reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard all the solids.
- Fill 4 tall glasses with ice. Fill each glass with 1/2 cup of the cooled spiced cider and 1/2 cup of club soda. Serve immediately.
- Makes 4 cups (4 servings)
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