As the calendar inches towards autumn, a palpable excitement fills the air. Depending on your location, you may already notice the subtle shift in temperatures and the telltale signs of fall. Here in our corner of the world, fall arrives with a symphony of scents and festivities that make it our favorite season.
The Aroma of Green Chiles
Fall kicks off with a sensory delight: the intoxicating scent of green chiles roasting. It’s a fragrance so captivating that our state lawmakers have officially declared it our state smell. It’s a reminder that the harvest season is in full swing, and local markets are bustling with fresh produce.
State Fair Magic
One of the highlights of the season is the opening of the state fair. Whether you’re a fan of indulging in fair food, seeking thrilling rides, or admiring the hard work of 4H displays, there’s something for everyone. Though this year, other commitments might keep us away, I can’t help but reminisce about the time when we used to live at the end of the parade route. The fair always kicks off with a vibrant parade that sets the stage for days of fun and entertainment.
Soaring Balloons and October Excitement
Another unmistakable sign that fall has arrived is the sight and sound of hot air balloons taking flight. Memories of waking up at the crack of dawn to drive to Balloon Fiesta Park flood in. We’d arrive before sunrise, eager to witness the first launch, hoping for calm winds. And, of course, there were the delicious burritos and coffee or sweet rolls and hot cocoa to keep us warm. The chill in the air made me invest in a sweatshirt and stocking cap that first year, a tradition that continued. However, the last time we attended, we discovered the convenience of the park and ride option, granting us an extra hour of sleep and significantly reducing stress.
If you’ve never experienced the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, I wholeheartedly recommend considering it. It’s the largest balloon launch in the world, with over 550 balloons taking to the skies each morning. Attendees can get up close and personal with these majestic aircraft, and if you keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel, you might even be handed a guide wire to help the crew. Just remember to respect the equipment and stay out of the crew’s way unless asked. https://balloonfiesta.com/FAQs
Fall Foliage Drives and Autumn’s Splendor
Both Marlee and I share a deep love for fall. The changing leaves are a sight to behold, especially during our favorite mountain drives. Two of our cherished routes include the Jemez Mountains from San Ysidro to Los Alamos on Route 4 and one of the picturesque routes around Durango, Colorado. https://www.durango.org/blog/post/fall-scenic-drives-durango/
Halloween and Thanksgiving: Treasured Holidays
Fall brings with it not just the beauty of nature but also two beloved holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving. While Halloween holds fond memories of childhood, complete with the thrill of candy, our adult celebration of the holiday has been more subdued. Unfortunately, our new neighborhood seems less enthusiastic about trick-or-treating, with few kids and most houses surrounded by fences and gated driveways.
Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is a cherished holiday in our household. We relish the opportunity to host friends and family, celebrating the bountiful harvest. It’s a time of hospitality, delicious dishes, and creating lasting memories. In recent years, we’ve embraced the idea of crafting a menu with ingredients from our property. Marlee’s inventive crostini, topped with a fig jam made from our own figs and locally sourced goat cheese, has become a highlight. And my scalloped potato dish, originally found on Emeril Lagasse’s website, features leeks we’ve grown ourselves, adding a personal touch to our feast.
As the leaves change, so do our activities and traditions. Fall is our favorite season, and from the harvest festivities to the stunning scenery and the cherished moments spent with loved ones, it never fails to fill our hearts with warmth and joy.
What are your favorite fall activities? Share your autumn adventures with us!