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Everything Autumn

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
― Lauren DeStefano, Wither

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This past week, fall has finally come to the island — and I am feeling super nostalgic.

The weather has been crisp and cool with clear skies, and it breaks my heart that I have to be at work (I know you know what I’m talkin’ about). I’ve been staring out my window imagining what I would do with a day off, and my mind always goes back to Michigan. I don’t care what anybody says, Michigan does autumn best.

VerHages Fruit Farm and Cider Mill
VerHages Fruit Farm and Cider Mill

The drive down any of the back streets near my neighborhood takes my breath away every time. Vibrant colors of yellow, orange, red and maroon cover and surround the road, and I find myself driving slower just to take it all in, not wanting to rush through the picturesque scene. Something you MUST do is drive to an apple orchard. The orchard I have gone to for years now is VerHages Fruit Farm and Cider Mill, where you can go apple picking, you can watch apple cider being made, eat their fresh donuts, purchase caramel apples, go on a tour of their property, and even ride a zip line.  Check out the link because they have a lot more awesome things there, too! The farm is gorgeous, and it’s nearly impossible to leave there without taking home a jug of their fresh cider and a big bag of homemade donuts. For those of you who know me, you know that my favorite food in the entire world are donuts (not kidding). Here they offer apple cinnamon, blueberry, buttermilk, cherry, devils food, plain and pumpkin — and they are all super addicting.

Gene the Pumpkin Man Kalamazoo, MI Google Images
Gene the Pumpkin Man
Google Images

You should also go pick up a pumpkin on your perfect Michigan fall day. In Kalamazoo there is the famous Gene the Pumpkin Man who has a farm of pumpkins in all different shapes and sizes. Gene is also known for wearing all orange and driving his bright orange Cadillac year round. You can also find your perfect pumpkin on many of the back roads from small farmers, their pumpkins and gourds displayed on the side of the road with an honor-system money box where you drop in your few dollars for whatever you purchase. At home you can drink your cider and carve your pumpkins, paint faces on them, or just cut them up and bake them for pumpkin pie/muffins/bread/etc. Obviously pumpkin carving (and fall) wouldn’t be the same without baking the seeds. I grew up with the classic oil and salted recipe, but here are a ton of other easy options if you’re feeling more adventurous!

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds recipe
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds recipe
Spiced Maple Pumpkin Seeds recipe
Spiced Maple Pumpkin Seeds recipe

And finally, of course, there’s the special autumn coffee situation. You know what’s coming: Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Nothing screams fall like this once-a-year liquid comfort. Thick, creamy and spicy with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top = get me in a cozy sweater and thick scarf so I can curl up outside a coffee shop with a good book or magazine. For those of you who aren’t big coffee drinkers, there’s always the hot and spicy chai lattes or teas, as well as a hot caramel apple cider (my favorite from Water Street Coffee Joint, made with their homemade Dolce de Leche sauce).

Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks Google Images
Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks
Google Images

Not living in Michigan anymore (or the USA for that matter), I don’t get to experience most of the comforts from home (although my moms are awesome and recently mailed me candy corn!); however, I do get to experience how people on this side of the world ring in the autumn season. Some of the trees start to change color, so when I look into the mountains I can see patches of red and orange. Pumpkins are definitely in season, and I’m really looking forward to baking pumpkin everything until the beginning of December.  I’m also extremely happy that oyster season is back!  There is a restaurant here on the island that serves a giant pot of steamed oysters in their shell, as well as a to-die-for oyster pajeon (like a savory pancake).  Unfortunately, Pumpkin Spiced lattes do not exist here (although, I just read that if you get one pump chai and one pump white chocolate in a latte, it tastes just like pumpkin spice.  Will be trying this ASAP!).  What Starbucks does offer for their specialty fall drink here in Korea is a Caramel Chestnut Latte which has a smooth, smokey flavor.

Needless to say, I’m enjoying the transition from shorts and sandals to sweaters and jeans.  What do you do to honor the fall season?

Geoje Autumn
Geoje Autumn
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Author:

I have circumnavigated the globe, I have lived overseas, and now I'm back in America about to marry my beautiful fiance, Renee. Follow our adventures in travel, getting healthier with Plexus and starting a brand new life.

5 thoughts on “Everything Autumn

  1. Love love love Michigan in the Autumn! I am also homesick for our mitten state right now, especially because of the season. But, regarding Autumn in Geoje…where is this oyster restaurant??? Details, please!

    1. Snow has now come to Michigan, so I’m not missing it so much at the moment now. Lol. There’s this great oyster restraurant in So-obee (not sure how to spell it. It’s right next to Gohyeon/Jungok area). We should meet up sometime and go there together! I know you work late, so we should pick a weekend (after the 10th, that’s when we get paid)!

  2. Michigan has the BEST autumns ever. So beautiful, windy, with all the trees changing colors. I miss it a lot. I’m in South Carolina, currently, and it’s a warm 60 degrees outside. Also, the trees don’t change colors all at once and as epically as they do in MI.

    Even though I didn’t really like going to school at MSU, nor did I like East Lansing, from mid Sept to mid Oct it was basically perfect.

    Oysters. YUM. I also really wanna try that Caramel Chestnut Latte.

    1. My younger brother went to MSU and loved it, but it was never my scene, although it was really beautiful in the fall, definitely. I went to WMU in Southwest Michigan, and the colors were explosive there! Being here in South Korea the temp. is in the mid 60’s as well, much nicer than Michigan who already got snow.

      The chestnut latte is good! I mixed the white chocolate and chai together and it makes a pretty similar pumpkin spiced latte, although it’s a bit sweeter.

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