I'm new to New England. This is a distinctly different way of life than the other places I've lived--Houston, Honolulu, and Los Angeles.
For one, I've never seen snow. Well, I've seen it fall (rare occasions in Houston worthy of canceling class at school), though it melted immediately upon contact with the ground. And I've seen hard frozen patches of it (U.S. Nationals for swimming in Minnesota in April - shudder to think of what January there feels like). But I've never seen it fall and land in those soft pillowy heaps I've dreamed about, where kids scoop up snowballs for fierce play or lie contentedly in it, making snow angels as they gaze up to the magical blue winter sky, perfect delicate flakes still falling on their smooth rosy cheeks.
Word on the street is, I'll probably get to see snow this winter in Boston. At least a little of it.
Another Bostonian seasonal joy I've never experienced is apple picking. Closest I've come is carefully choosing which organic overpriced individual apples to add to my cloth reusable grocery bag whilst strolling drowsily, sipping Caffe Luxxe coffee in my Uggs and Juicy sweatpants on an early Sunday morning at the Gretna Green farmer's market in Brentwood. But apparently, apple picking is a big deal here. And it's not just for kids; adults get into it too.
In fact it's my opinion that the adults get the most fun out of apple season in Boston, because of the tasty alcoholic beverage that hard apple cider is, which is enjoyed at cideries in New England where a hip, sophisticated vibe and a love of all things local resonates through the taprooms.
This past weekend, The Husband and I enjoyed a scrumptious tasting of ciders at Bantam Cider in Somerville. My flight of 5 ciders surprised my taste buds with different creative flavors of sour cherries, smoky spices, and sweet honey. My personal favorite was Bantam's OG, the Wunderkind, and The Husband and I left with a bottle of it to enjoy at home.
Bantam is open year-round, every day, and offers free tours of their cidery on the weekends. They typically have 8 ciders on tap, and the taproom is humming with lighthearted mingling.
So far, I'm loving the New England life, and, though I've yet to go apple picking, cider is a part of the culture I'm happily embracing.
My affinity towards the 2nd of 10 snowstorms might not be the same...