Doing fall stuff in the Midwest

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 21, 2012, 11:21 PM | comments: 0

One of the things that I've noticed after moving back to Cleveland is that fall is definitely more cherished. In Seattle, fall is more the start of winter, which is basically the same as fall. You have super rainy November, and then less rain each month until there's almost none at all. And unless you live in a high elevation, people are still out doing stuff all winter because it rarely snows, gets super cold, or downpours. Oh, and it's still very green.

But here in Cleveland, October is pretty much your last chance to enjoy the outdoors, because before the year is out, it's going to snow, and you're going to freeze your tits off. If that weren't enough, the sky will turn flat and gray for weeks, and you'll begin to contemplate ways to harm your body. For kicks, everything appears dead, and nothing is green. It sucks.

So to get one last hurrah, people go apeshit with pumpkins, hay rides, Halloween parties, and cider. Up here, they also crowd into Cedar Point in record numbers, happy to get that last roller coaster ride, even if it dips into the 40's after dark. After all, May is a very long way away.

Looking at our calendar, we're pretty deep into the customs as well, and fortunately there are some cool things to do. Friday we did Boo at The Zoo, at the CleMetZoo. It's not included in our membership, but at eight bucks each, it's totally worth it to see the zoo at night. I grew up a few blocks from it, and had never seen it at night, and I noticed all of the fantastic atmospheric mood lighting was temporary because night operation is so rare. I've never seen the lions so active.

The preschool PTA group that Diana belongs to (yes, a PTA without the "T") had a fall party at a local farm yesterday, and that included the usual hay rides, playing in the barn full of hay, pumpkin picking, and of course, apple cider. Simon really enjoyed climbing the hay pile, but had no idea what to do when he got to the top.

Today we were considering another hit to Cedar Point, but a quick check of the Web cam showed a very full parking lot, so we passed on that (don't tell Simon, as he'll be crushed). Instead we did some stuff around the house, in the sun, including some weed management and hot tub water replacement. That should time the next water swap to January, and April after that, so only one true winter procedure.

The really cool thing that we did today was take a walk through the little nature trail in a county park at the center of town. For a lot of reasons I can't entirely sort out right now, I hate this town, but this little spot is calming and pleasant, if without mountain views. The leaves were in full blown color mode, and the sun was at golden hour. Two weeks from now you'll be able to see from one end of the park to the other, but today it was awesome.

I'm dreading winter, but it has been an action packed fall so far. We've got two vacations on the books for winter, and I imagine we'll throw in an indoor water park weekend or two to discourage suicide. Hopefully the weather helps us out for one more "Cee Po" visit next weekend. You know, for Simon.


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