My childhood falls were filled with camping, playing even harder ouside since it was not as hot (note: I did not say cooler). Pumpkins were picked in a "patch" at a church or along side the road and it was imperative that Halloween costumes were light weight because it was almost certain that it would not be cooler than 75 degrees. There was nothing spectacular about fall in Florida. No peak foliage, no scarves, and no bitter good-byes to flip flops. I never knew any different until we started travelling.
Japan was much like living in Virginia, I'd say.A mild fall, where the leaves changed and you got cozy in your sweaters and scarves. It wasn't the fall I had dreamed of as a kid. I always imagined the epitome of fall to be a magical event that only happened in Maine. I mean, I know it's gorgeous elsewhere. But, Maine...
Our next duty station was Monterey, CA. Fall in that part of California was still on the edge of an Indian Summer. I wasn't complaining, considering the other 10 months of the year it was cold and damp. We did get to experience our first real pumpkin patch! It was neat to pick out a pumpkin that was sitting in the exact spot it grew. After Monterey, we were lucky enough to be in New England.
When fall came it just made me melt and fall in love with Rhode Island. The smells, the feeling of that crisp air and the ambiance (is that true of nature?) make you feel like a kid! I'd give anything to be there right now with the boys the ages that they are. There really is nothing like warming up to soup or cuddling up on the couch and actually needing a blanket. Did I mention that Fall means LAAAHBSTAH?