Welcome to the best four months of the year. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Let me explain…
September: As this week proved, September is when the air starts to get a little cooler in the mornings, and night time walks with the pups require a hoodie or a fleece. Absolute best feeling ever. Football season has officially begun, including tailgating. You have an excuse to do back-to-school shopping, and Hound Ears is less than a month away.
October: Now fall is in full swing, pumpkin flavored lattes, cakes, muffins, ice cream and even pancakes. It’s everywhere, and you will never find this girl complaining about that. You get to start brainstorming Halloween costume ideas, scouring thrift stores, and hosting pumpkin carving parties. Add in a corn maze and the North Carolina State Fair, and you’re as close to a 10 as a month can get. Plus, it’s now officially okay to start listening to Christmas music. Don’t even bother commenting on that one. No one will ever convince me otherwise.
November: Halloween may be over, but the pumpkin foods are not. Now we’re getting excited for a much needed Thanksgiving break, and a trip to the mountains. It’s officially cold and I can start wearing my favorite hats and scarves. Christmas music is now popping up on the radio and in malls…
December: Rejuvenated from Thanksgiving break, you’re now ready to attack the holiday season full force. Christmas shopping, apartment decorating, holiday parties and visits with Santa at the mall. Pumpkin is still available most places, in addition to some delicious gingerbread options. Add in a nice 1-2 week break, and I’m loving life. A lot.
So when it got cool this week and I got to really think about the season we were approaching I realized it was time to share a little of this joy with others. Thankfully Jill was in town from DC, so we got a chance to start the celebrating. Including our first high school football game of the season…
SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME: 7
Despite the sky spitting on us all day, and throughout the night, I’m pretty grateful KIPP was playing locally. Gave me an excuse to throw on a hoodie, brave the rain, see some of my favorite students, and witness a huge win for the Panthers! -3 for the rain (meaning we couldn’t sit down, my toes got pretty wet, and my body took about 2 hours to get rid of my goosebumps).
KIPP CHEERING SECTION: 9
HIGHLY entertaining. Not always the friendliest of comments (hence the -1), but I loved how disproportionate our vocal presence was to our physical presence 🙂
PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES: 9
Yup, after diving in on Thursday I’m worried the seasonal addiction has begun again. Loved every second of this guy.
Still not over the price 😦
After some afternoon shopping at Southpoint, Jill and I headed to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.
JILL’S ABILITY TO HANDLE THE LARGE, BOOK-LIKE MENU: 2
20 minutes later she was ready to order.
MUSHROOM LETTUCE WRAP @ CHEESECAKE FACTORY: 9
I’m loving several of their vegan menu items, and decided to go with their Mushroom Lettuce Wrap. Sauteed mushrooms with crunchy rice-like noodle guys, and giant pieces of lettuce to wrap it up in. Seriously delicious! And only $5.95. Meaning I left Cheesecake Factory paying a total of $8. Unheard of. Even at the food court.
Was hungry a couple hours later, so not the most filling meal, but still worth it 🙂
After some serious Felicity marathon watching, and a visit to City Bev with great people, we headed out to the mountains.
HANGING ROCK HIKE: 7
I’ve heard a lot about Hanging Rock, and since visiting Blacksburg more recently I drive by the sign on the way there and the way back. So this weekend was the time to check it out.
2 hours later we arrived. A bit deceiving, as it was easily 30 minutes off of the highway where I thought it was going to be. -1.
When we arrived we were presented with several options for hikes. We went with the classic ‘Hanging Rock’ hike, a total of 3 miles round trip. Rated ‘Moderate’, I would say that was a bit of an overstatement. ‘Light Moderate’ would be more accurate. There were some steep portions, but it was pretty short and not very rigorous.
This is great for an afternoon stroll, but I like to earn my views. I also like to avoid loud children. Especially when there are a lot. And the more strenuous the hike, the less loud children. And people in general. -1.
That said, boy were the views amazing. For an hour hike up, we were definitely rewarded with some of the best views I’ve seen since Maine last month.
Now I know you’re wondering about the last point. See the ledge we’re sitting on right there? Yeah, it’s a straight drop down. Which not only makes me nervous for myself (which it does), but also for all those people I mentioned earlier. Especially the kids. NERVOUS. WRECK. -1.
HIKING WITH MURPH: 6
I love how much Murph likes to hike. I love how tired he is after a long day of hiking (as I type, he’s sleeping next to me quietly). And one of the reasons I wanted a dog in the first place was to take him hiking.
However, what I didn’t have in mind was him dragging me up mountains. And then down again.
I swear I use twice as much muscle on every hike just pulling the opposite direction of him so I don’t tip over. Case in point:
Don’t worry. We made up once we got to the top.
Once we finished we still had plenty of day in front of us, so we drove home (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’, while Jill slept like a baby in the passenger seat and Murph napped peacefully in his bed in the back of the car) and headed to the Tobacco Trail. My new apartment complex offers free bike rentals and I’ve been meaning to try them out. After handing over a check for $350 (which I got back as soon as the bike did) we were on the road again.
TOBACCO ROAD BIKE RIDE: 10
I love biking. And you can’t beat a nice paved road with minimal hills, and good company. I love biking with music, but I like biking with conversation even more. Plus the temperature was PERFECT. Long-sleeved shirt, no sweat, a nice fall breeze, and occasional whiffs of burning wood.
What a great way to end the day 🙂
Until next time, just living for the tens!