Culture / The Saint

Autumn in Grand Rapids

autumn.jpgStory by Dominique Tomlin, Reporter
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Schoof

The first official day of fall was Sept. 22, yet the record high temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit made that hard to believe.

Fortunately as mid-October hit, it began to actually feel like fall. From the cool chill in the air to the leaves in the trees changing colors, the little things that make fall so special began to resurface, as they do each year.

With the wonderful season finally here, many are deciding how they are going to enjoy it. Since there are so many exciting fall things to do, where do you even begin?

Are you 21? Grand Rapids is well known for its beer, but many are coming to appreciate the ciders offered in the area as well. Luckily enough, many orchards in the area offer hard cider for locals to sip on as they eat their pumpkin donuts. And if you are not yet 21, you can always substitute hard cider with some of the regular kind, which is still quite delicious.

Although many people at Aquinas go to Robinette’s Orchard, my family has always gone to Klackle Orchard. Of course, there are also several other orchards to choose from in the West Michigan area. No matter which one you choose, apple picking, hay rides and searching for the perfect pumpkin should keep you busy for a while. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up with some cute pictures to post online when you leave. And later, you might put your creativity to use and carve those pumpkins and roast some pumpkin seeds, or turn those apples into a nice, warm apple crisp.

If you aren’t feeling up for a trip to the apple orchard or it isn’t quite in your budget, a simple walk through downtown Grand Rapids is also a great way to spend your day. The cool air will leave you feeling refreshed, and there is almost always something interesting going on downtown.

When your fingertips are cold and your nose is pink from the chill, be sure to check out a local coffee shop and grab a salted caramel white mocha or a pumpkin spice latte. When I want a taste of fall, I always head to a coffee shop. One that I’d recommend would be PaLatte. Who doesn’t love drinking a smooth, handcrafted drink in a cafe full of beautiful artwork?

What about a nice drive down a back road with your radio turned up a little too loud? Exploring is always fun, but exploring in the fall while the trees flaunt their colorful leaves is absolutely breathtaking. I accidentally experienced this as I made a turn down the wrong road, but it is definitely possible to plan a beautiful fall drive. After all, there is a market for color tours in Michigan.

If you would rather spend your time on campus but still want to celebrate, don’t forget about Fall Fest on Nov. 4, Aquinas’ first ever haunted trail on Oct. 31, or all of the other opportunities available around campus this season.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to appreciate fall before it ends, because soon the uncomfortable chill of winter will sneak in and take over.

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