10. Everything pumpkin...especially lattes and whoopie pies.
9. Fun apple cider drinks (this year, we made an apple cider sangria inspired by the one served at a local restaurant).
8. Apple cider donuts (these vary from place to place, and some are much better than others, but I enjoy taste testing them wherever we go!).
7. Picking apples at the local orchards (this is almost as fun as picking blueberries here in the summer...Amelia and I have enjoyed both activities since we've moved here).
6. Harvest festival at Sam Mazza's (there is ALWAYS a festival every weekend somewhere in Vermont and we like the festivals at Sam Mazza's because there are lots of fun things for Amelia to do and it is only a short drive from our house).
5. Making apple crisp with Vermont apples (I do think they are better than those elsewhere).
4. Beautiful colors (yes, the reds, yellows and oranges are more abundant and brilliant in here than anywhere I've ever been, even Northern MN).
3. Pumpkin carving party at Gretchen and Aaron's house (this year is the first time we've done this, but we hope they continue to have this party yearly because it was a blast! Although pumpkin carving can be done anywhere, not just in Vermont, we've started to really get into the Halloween spirit while living here since Amelia has become old enough to really participate in the festivities).
2. Visitors from home (people like to visit Vermont in the fall, and we love visitors...this year we had Rob's parents, my parents, Rob's sister Suzanne and her husband Matt, and Stephanie Bratney from Iowa....last year we had both sets of parents, Suzanne and Matt, and also Tom and Joe from the Iron Range, and Thomas Maust from medical school).
1. This year, the very best thing about Fall in Vermont is the addition to our family of Annabelle Kathryn Ward. She was born on September 29 at 11:13 am, weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces and measuring 22 inches long. She has brought much happiness to our family, and her big sister, Amelia, adores her.
Now that I have written this, I think maybe I should write a list of everything I love about winter in Northern Minnesota since that would include Amelia's place and time of birth. However, I don't think that list would be very long, because I remember the month after her birth being so frigid cold. I don't think the temperature ever got above negative 20 degrees that first month, and I do believe she got a little frostbite on her cheek. On second thought, I'll just stick to reminiscing about Northern Minnesota in the summer!