The beginning of autumn.

The beginning of fall always herald’s the end of summer – the best season in the world, and also my favorite – which in my opinion is sad news. But in spite of the almost instant, dramatic drop in temperature here on the east coast (which forces me to put on layers, my least favorite thing to do), the arrival of new seasonal adventures forces me out of my post-summer funk and into the outdoors – usually to go apple picking.

I piled into a car full of friends and headed to Milton, NY on Saturday, home to Prospect Hill Orchards. I must pause here and tell you about a terrifying discovery my friends and I made in Milton last year. This is a town without working public restrooms.

Remembering the difficulty we had last fall locating a working ladies room in this little town, we decided to start the day off right by locating a working restroom right away. We stopped at at a gas station mini mart. And we were disappointed. Our first search turned up exactly what we hoped we would not find – an out-of-order restroom. Two of them, in fact, which led my dear friend Katie to ask not for the nearest gas station, but for a plunger so she could fix it herself. (Ladylike? Perhaps not. Smart? You betcha.) Here’s the proof.

Thank goodness for can-do ladies like Katie! As a pat on the back for our efforts, we picked up celebratory drinks on the way out (shockingly, we didn’t get any pats on the back from the mini mart employees…).

Back to apple picking.

Prospect Hill Orchards. I love this place, mostly because they show up at the farmers market near my old apartment in Washington Heights every week with the most delicious apple cider donuts known to mankind. Seriously, if you’re ever in the area, do yourself a delicious favor some Tuesday morning and pick some up! I think they also have a booth at the farmer’s market in Union Square.

It was such a fine day for apple picking!

This particular weekend turned up plenty of red delicious, crispin, and macintosh apples. The honeycrisp trees were bare, though, and there were no fuji’s or granny smith to be found. (I’m going to make pie with the macintosh apples, and I’ll post the photos here.) The best part about picking apples is that you get to eat them right off the tree!

It turns out that I’m the only person I know who likes red delicious apples. Fiber, people! The thick skin is good for you.

I lied when I said the best part of apple picking is eating apples off the tree. The best part is climbing the tree! And having a drink in it.

All in all, I welcomed fall with good friends, sunshine and a smile.