Columbus Day is that holiday Monday in October that just cannot be ignored in Massachusetts. Even if it's cloudy.
Mid October = PEAK foliage.
On Columbus Day, there's NO excuse for staying put.
You must drive. And LOOK all around you.
But, as the woman who said the prayer at church this week put it when she sent her words Heavenward, "Thank you, God, for this beautiful Fall Foliage. BUT. I would ask all the drivers: PLEASE. Keep your eyes on the road. AMEN."
Yes. AMEN. But DO look. Safely.
If you haven't visited our neck of the woods this time of year, put it on your bucket list. NOW. And call ahead for reservations. Or you might have to settle for the overflow guest accommodations in the basement. I'll be HAPPY to host a Fall foliage tour!
As we were running errands (ALL.DAY.), I would look out the window and gasp, and point, and find myself saying things like "Who gets to drive around in this colorful place doing mundane things?--Oh right. WE DO."
And so we did.
Taxiing students, shopping for wedding apparel, repairing eye glasses, picking up contacts, visiting the barber shop and BEST of all, delivering our UMass student Enrique, back to his place in Amherst; with clean laundry, some honey crisp apples and a few tupperware containers of food.
He hadn't been home since this summer.
We love him!
And we love his wheels.
We also love his taste in food...
He introduced us to some Syrian Falafel sandwiches.
Falafels are a traditional Middle Eastern food--they looked like mini donuts, but are deep fried balls of ground chick peas. The man who ran the shop gave us the FULL verbal history of the Falafel, and insisted that the Syrian version is the best. He kept giving us samples with his signature cucumber yogurt dressing (with mint) that was DELICIOUS. The Falafels were then wrapped in Syrian bread (YUM) with a choice of fresh ingredients inside. DOUBLE YUM. If you haven't tried a Falafel, I am happy to heartily recommend the Syrian version.
I am also happy to heartily recommend the drive home from Amherst. We stopped no less than six times to take pictures.
And, as a reward for his patience, I took my traveling companion to Kimball's, where we purchased our LAST ice creams of the season. They always close up shop on Columbus Day. For that one tiny thing I am not so grateful, however, the whole Columbus Day package in this area is pretty fantastic.