Cue the sad trombone; the summer is officially over… despite the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been seeing in Chicago this week. No more barbecues, beach days, or iced coffees for us. It’s time to trade in our t-shirts and flip-flops for boots and sweaters and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Even though we may be a little sad to see summer go, there is something about fall that we can’t help but love. The leaves change colors, the cool breeze in the air, and all of the delicious Fall flavors! Here at GAINS, we wanted to share some of the things we love most about fall. So break out your hoodies and scarves, and grab a pumpkin spice latte (or not). Here are some things the #GAINSgang’s things we love most about fall.
Jenny, Marketing Manager “I recently moved to North Carolina from Chicago, so fall is much different. We get to enjoy the seasons. Granted, the warmer seasons here are longer, so we can be outside for more of the year. The trees turning colors are beautiful, and it stays that way for a long time. But I will say the only downside to Autumn in the South is that we’re raking or blowing leaves for two solid months. They fall so slowly. It’s not like we can say, ‘All right, we have two weekends of raking, and we will be finished.’ It’s every weekend for at least two months. Although I do enjoy getting out and doing yard work when it’s nice and crisp out, versus in the summer when it’s 90+ degrees. Pumpkin spice? Oh no, no pumpkin spice. Nope… hard no. My favorite thing to eat in the fall is butternut squash soup with roasted sunflower seeds on top. I had it for lunch at a restaurant in Chicago once, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna make this at home!’ I buy the soup box at the grocery store but adding that extra touch makes all the difference. When I was younger, my parents would take us to a place just past the Wisconsin border called Apple Holler. They had everything… apple picking, hay rides, and a pumpkin patch, especially apple cinnamon donuts. We went every fall for at least a few years, and I loved it; you’d just come home with this giant bag of too many apples. Plus, you’d get full while walking around there because you can eat apples as you go. That’s just how it is at Apple Holler. You can hang out all day and eat apples!”
Claire, Professional Services Consultant
I think fall is my favorite season. I grew up in Indonesia, which is on the equator, so the weather is tropical all year round. The weather is either super-hot or it’s rainy. Even when it’s raining, it’s sweltering. So, I appreciate being able to be in a country with a little breeze. When I first moved to the US, I lived in the Bay Area, which doesn’t have seasons. It’s windy all year round. So that felt a bit like fall, but not quite. My first memory of thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, the fall is beautiful,’ was when I started school in Indiana. The campus was covered in trees, and I would spend so much time walking to my classes; that’s when it struck me how remarkable the change of the seasons could be when the trees looked so pretty.
Autumn is my favorite season because it’s the perfect time for outdoor activities. I love to play golf, and when you do, you’re outdoors for hours. You’re frying in the sun on the course in the summer, so fall golf is much more fun. When the trees turn red, yellow, and all that, it’s so pretty. It makes me want to be outside. I love walking around in the fall here in Chicago. Indonesia is not a country where you can walk around easily. Very few sidewalks and no pedestrian crossings. Over here, being able to walk is excellent. I don’t want to miss out on the trees because they don’t last long, maybe only a week or five days. I love walking around, holding a hot drink, coffee, or something, and enjoying the moment. It just gives me happy vibes; it’s very peaceful.
Brendan, Community Manager
“I have mixed feelings about fall. It’s probably my second favorite season. I like the weather, but it’s also sad because I know what’s coming next. I like the color of the trees and a little cooler weather, but in Chicago, I know snow and ice are close at hand. So, there are some mixed feelings. During the fall, I would have rehearsals for youth symphony on Sundays, and my mom, a great cook, would always cook something hearty and warm for dinner on Sunday; Beef stew or Beef bourguignon over egg noodles and football would be playing on the TV. Just an excellent homey midwestern memory of fall.
I don’t like any of my clothes every year when we get back into sweater season. I look in my closet and say, ‘I need to revamp this whole situation.’ So, I run out and go thrifting and get a bunch of jackets and sweaters and stuff. It’s fun for me, especially living in Chicago, in Avondale and Logan Square, there are tons of thrift stores, and everybody’s wearing secondhand stuff. Maybe I’m inspired, and it’s a different sort of back-to-school shopping. This year I’m into corduroy. Also, I wear a lot of denim in this in-between weather. It works well.
If you are in Chicago in Autumn, you should do Octoberfest. I don’t know why drinking beer outside in the fall is so refreshing. Maybe it’s a Chicago thing? Or there is a Mexican bakery near my house, which does beautiful Día de Los Muertos decorations. There are a lot of Día de Los Muertos parades in my neighborhood; I would highly recommend them. If it’s around that time of year, go check out a parade, get some Pan de Muerto, eat some food, and support the locals.”
As you can see, fall is one of the #GAINSgang’s favorite seasons. There is so much to love between the changing leaves, cool breeze, long walks, and delicious fall flavors! So, get out there and enjoy this season while you can because, as the ill-fated Ned Stark once said, “Winter is coming.”
What are some of your favorite things about fall? Leave a comment and let us know. We would love to hear from you!