Fall Picnic Essentials

If it weren’t for snow and ice, I’d have picnics all.year.round. But in the fall, especially, when my senses are already heightened and there’s an extra spring in my step, a picnic is the cherry on top.

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A Peek at Peak: A Fall Hike in Southern Vermont

Peak foliage in Vermont is short, but oh so sweet. It seems we spend the majority of September waiting with bated breath for any sign of the season to come, for the leaves to lose their cool and earn the prized warmth that only comes with chillier weather. But like most things in life, once it begins, it takes hold quickly; autumn-time must be spent deliberately, with purpose. But the beauty of enjoying any season is that its purpose is up to you. You can spend it bouncing around farms and festivals and all the best leaf-peeping vistas, or you can pick one place, just one chair, blanket, or parking spot, and watch it turn with the same excitement as if you never stopped moving.

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Autumn in Washington, Conn.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram you know I have a deep love for Washington, Connecticut. I’m thrilled — and lucky — to have to opportunity to regularly share this adoration on Explore Washington CT, and I hope you’ll keep up with my latest pieces fit for the season. I’ll be sharing day trip ideas and itineraries, autumn events and activities, and great places to grab a bite and a drink! My latest posts are linked below — now get out there and have some fall fun!

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Dorset & Manchester, Vermont

Five years and countless return trips in, those first seasonal memories of the Green Mountain State have actually become more vivid, growing into a lifetime of adventures not yet taken. We come up frequently to our home away from home. In the green of summer, the warm glow of autumn, and the winter white blanket of snow. Each time we come we discover new adventures to be had, treats to be eaten, and sights (and sites) to be seen.

And isn’t it high time I share a few with you? Below are my all-time favorite picks for this most wonderfall time of year in the Dorset/Manchester area, just in time for peak leaf-peeping.

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Summer Day Trip to Washington, Connecticut

“Where are we going?” My husband, Luke, turned the wheel, absent-mindedly following the directions I was giving him, his tone a blend of curiosity, confusion, and the quite accurate assumption that I had no real answer.

I had found and saved a list of Scenic Roads on Explore Washington and was secretly determined to hit them all. The service on my cell phone was fading in and out, and without GPS in the car, my poor directions caused us to bounce around the area like a pinball; we zig-zagged all over the villages and across Route 202 several times before Luke asked that inevitable question.

The first of what would be many trips for us, it set the tone for those to come. There is a serenity in the unknown, in spontaneity and exploration; a peaceful thrill lies around every bend of never before trodden road, in being “lost.” 

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Day Trip to the Great Point Light, Nantucket

Though often shrouded in mist and fog, the Grey Lady’s spirit is a far cry from its moniker. Humbly boasting a historic downtown with cobblestoned streets and overflowing with charm, the often nautically-themed shops and exquisite food alone could take you through a couple days. But Nantucket only begins there. Four nights and four full days didn’t do the island — or us — justice...with so much to offer from Steps Beach and Surfside, scenic drives to lighthouses, the Bluff Walk in ‘Sconset, and biking to home-envy, we’re already planning our return in the quiet of the off-season. (Speaking of homes, I could go back merely to walk Union, Orange, and Cliff roads — not to mention all of ‘Sconset — to take note of the charming door knockers and rose trellises alone.) Bustling but equally quiet, this New England island reeks of the salty fairytale-like charm you read about in novels, and gifted us a rather inimitable adventure.

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Peanut Butter &... Ice Cream

It's National Peanut Butter Cookie Day today and I can think of no better way to celebrate it and these warm summer days than by making one of my all-time faves: the ice cream sandwich. (Eaten outside, picnic-style... What kind of frozen summer treat would it be if the ice cream weren't melting all over my fingers?)

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Roses Are Red Velvet

By the Way Bakery, a completely gluten- and dairy-free bakery recently opened its doors in Greenwich. (It turns out they already had three locations in New York, but I'm absolutely thrilled they ventured out to the 'burbs of Connecticut and opened up a local shop.) Though my diet is not dairy-free, the artisans here have definitely broadened their potential customer base as it's a common issue, especially among those who can't tolerate gluten. More importantly, I couldn't taste the difference...

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Dinner at Washington Prime

There is no shortage of great food purveyors around me as Fairfield County, Connecticut is endowed with access to the freshest ingredients, top-notch chefs, and knowledgeable and well-trained staff (a key component to the vulnerable food-intolerant guest). 

Washington Prime in South Norwalk (SoNo as it's fondly called) is one such gem. A new-American venue taking pride in steak, so there are consequently GF options available (at least if you're a beef-lover like me). They have a pretty substantial selection of gluten-free items, all clearly indicated by a nice red "GF" next to each, from apps to sides to main courses and desserts. This past weekend I was treated to a few of their tastiest GF offerings, and there was not one I wouldn't recommend.

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All Hallow's Eve

October graced us with both warm and crisp autumn days, brightly colored leaves, deep blue skies brought to us by dry air, and pumpkins dotting porches - all some of my favorite things about Autumn. And as Halloween draws near, I always love to see the houses in town decked out in seasonal and spooky decor, laying in wait for the annual onslaught of giggling kids in costumes stuffing bags with what is only the start of the seasonal sugar ration. Yesterday I took a stroll with Hunter down South Avenue, the main trick-or-treating drag of New Canaan, to see what folks were dressing their houses in this year...

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