Falling for Autumn

A few weekends ago, I visited my hometown in Connecticut.  It felt like the quintessential "only-in-New-England" kind of weekends. Though it brought up many personal memories for me, activities like this can be replicated by travelers interested in experiencing small town Connecticut charm.

It started with visiting my elementary school, the oldest part of which is still the original wooden structure. I peeked in the gymnasium windows and recognized the same circus seal mural painted on the wall. I was immediately transported back and recalled the excitement of the first grade slumber party, the festive halloween parades, and the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I looked up at the rope ladder in gym class. I love that this building remains, for the most part, unchanged.

Next, we stopped by the annual Congregational Church Yankee Fair. Spread across several buildings, it's a giant tag sale featuring different rooms dedicated to books, furniture (name your price) and even a 'men's cave' of electronics. By the time we were ready to leave, everything you could fit into a bag was only $1.00. A bargain!

After we shopped, we continued to Blue Jay Orchards. It's another place that holds many of my childhood memories. Haunted hayrides, picking a pumpkin to carve from the patch, and even a school field trip to see how apple cider is made, are all images the sight of this farm makes me recall.

A small bag for apple picking was $20 which felt a bit expensive.  On top of that, the quality of the apples was poor (due to a storm earlier in the season, I'm told). We struggled to find the ones worth picking. Nevertheless, once our bags were stuffed to the brim with jonagold, granny smith, and fuji, we made our way back to the bakery and shop on premises. There was no way I was leaving this farm without their sweet cider donuts, a sugary treat so irresistable, we cracked open the box in the parking lot to enjoy before heading home. I can't think of a better way to spend an autumn day in New England.

Marie Frei

One Carry-On is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a travel expert and photographer with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for culture and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.