The crackle of burning wood from a bonfire mixes with the peaceful sound of waves brushing up against the dark shore of the Mississippi River. Voices rebound off the sandstone riverbed walls, and my group of my friends huddled around the fire laugh about life’s unpredictable nature. The scene reminds me of something out of a commercial, and I can’t help but smile. Fall has arrived in St. Paul.
It’s the time of year when my senses come alive. Everything is pumpkin-spice latte flavored, appears a thousand times more vibrant, and my allergies reach their peak around mid-September. Living right off Summit Avenue last year was like living in a 3-D coloring book. Walking to my car in St. Paul is no longer a chore, it is an experience. The air is crisp, the sky is a robin’s egg blue, and the leaves have begun to model their new fall looks of crimson, copper, and mauve. Jackets and scarves are taken out of boxes, and boot shopping becomes somewhat of a necessity (just another reason why we love Minnesota). Even my boring cup of morning coffee tastes sweeter, warmer, and more flavorful. Hot apple cider is coveted at parties, and kicking fallen leaves becomes an acceptable activity, regardless of age.
Minnesota’s numerous lakes create glass mirrors that reflect the incredible foliage perfectly. Our grill-outs and camping trips provide us with stories to retell as legends. “Minnesota nice” store owners greet passerby as they open their storefronts every crisp morning, often greeting tail-wagging dogs as well. Football replaces baseball as one of the most frequently spoken sports words, and attending ‘game day’ in Minnesota is an experience in itself. Wearing your high school, college or Vikings colors with pride, cheering until your voice reaches a new level of hoarse, and tailgating with parents and friends are all the ingredients for a successful game day.
It is a well-known fact that New York is beautiful in the fall, and as someone who dreams of seeing it, I have no doubt that this is true. However, Minnesota holds autumn to a new standard of beauty. I cannot wait to make my Minnesota 3-D coloring book come alive this autumn.