This fine fall weekend we’re going to a 50 acre botanical garden in Orlando with a friend. I’m excited for the outing and I can’t wait to see what kind of pictures we get.
I consider it a minimalist weekend outing. We’ll drive and use gas, pay an admission, probably eat at some point, but we won’t be adding anything to our homes. There won’t be any Leu Gardens fridge magnets sneaking home with us. Sometimes outings and experiences create a lot of stuff, like window shopping, and sometimes they’re like our planned trip to the garden, simple and serene.
I got to thinking about why I had so much anticipation for this weekend and I realized it’s because it’s fall. Fall is such an exquisitely special time of year for me. I relish the fleeting changing of the seasons.
Sometimes Fall whips by in a flash so quick I don’t know what happened between summer and winter. Other times fall lingers for a while, letting me savor it’s brisk, windy flavor.
Given how much I’ve been internally waxing poetic about the nature of fall lately, I figured it would be fun to share a few of my favorite simple fall activities with you. Consider them minimalist outing adventures. :)
A Happy Rat’s List of Simple Fall Activities
1) Botanical Garden: Visiting your local botanical gardens can be almost as delightful as walking down a hiking trail in the middle of some hidden woods. It’s a chance to reconnect with nature and see some of the beautiful things that live in the world with us. The sights you’ll see on a nature walk are like nothing you’ll ever find on the nature channel. The real experience never pales from the tv version.
2) Camp Fire: Fall is the perfect time for campfires, and it’s not just little kids who love a campfire, it’s for us grown-ups too. A campfire doesn’t have to mean camping. It can mean a lovely campfire party in a friend’s backyard, or for an even more civilized version, a chiminea party. All are beautifully fun ways to experience fall. I’d say every one of the best parties I’ve ever attended involved a little fire burning in the backyard. The best aspect of a party like this, is you can make it so comfortable and casual. BYOB, potluck, chairs around a campfire under the stars=stress free awesome perfection.
3) Squash Eating: Forget everything you think you know about squash, and cook some fall squash this weekend. There is nothing on this planet like an acorn squash soup or a baked butternut squash seasoned with savories instead of sweets. I didn’t discover the scintillating joy of hard squash until I moved to rural parts, and if you’ve never lived in the country hard squash may be something you’ve never tried. On every ounce of trust you have in me, I say run out this weekend and bake yourself a spaghetti squash, fork it around to loosen all the spaghetti tendrils, then mix in some marinara sauce and a few capers or olives on the side. It’s vegan, low-calorie, gluten-free, cooks in less than an hour, and it’s made out of good carbs instead of bad carbs. It’s worth the adventure. ;)
4) Star Gazing: I can’t end a list like this without covering my favorite of past-times, fall star gazing. Are you old enough to remember the movie E.T.? I was around nine when it came out and I think it was targeted right at my age range. I was a turbo E.T. fan, complete with E.T. sleeping bag. Remember the part of the movie where the little kid is sleeping out on his lawn chair waiting? That’s the part of the movie I loved. It seemed so adventurous and wild. I couldn’t imagine at that time ever being able to stay up and watch the stars late into the night. Ever since then I’ve stargazed and cloud gazed. To me spring and fall are the perfect times to do a little extra star gazing, the sky seems crisp without being super cold.
What about you? What are your favorite simple things to do during fall?