The falling leaves drift by my window …
It’s soon November, and fall season has officially begun. Fall is the time of Thanksgiving in the US, a national holiday where families will come together, and share, amongst other things, Turkey Roast and Pumpkin Soup. The seasonal colours of orange and red are splashed across window displays and in cafés, pumpkin lattes are the flavour of the month. The festive feeling is in the air.
I never experienced Fall until I moved to the Bay Area. In Singapore, we didn’t have any seasonal changes – it is balmy and tropical throughout the year. When temperatures would dip to around 27°C or 28°C, many Singaporeans would start wearing light sweaters ! After moving here, I began to appreciate the different seasons a lot more. That being said, Bay Area isn’t famous for its Fall colours. Fall colours, or fall foliage, as we like to say, is when the leaves start turning yellow, orange, red and plum in preparation for the arrival of Winter. Once the leaves change colour, they will soon start to fall off, and in Winter, most trees will be bare. The best places in the US to see the vibrant fall foliage are in Vermont, DC, North Carolina, Tennessee – in other words, the East Coast.
We recently made a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee to witness the famous changing of the colours. Sadly, we didn’t get to see the vibrant hues, as we missed it by about 10 days. Timing is absolutely crucial. The window for viewing autumn colours is very short – too early, and the trees will not have changed, too late, and the leaves will have fallen off. Although we didn’t see the fall colours, we enjoyed the Park thoroughly. We did multiple hikes – including some really lengthy ones at 11 miles! The best way to explore National Parks is by hiking. The hikes can very often be long and strenuous, but the views you see once you reach your destination make the effort worthwhile. On one of our hikes, we met an extraordinary young American, who was hiking the Appalachian Trail. For those who are not aware, the Appalachian Trail is the longest hike in the world at 2,190 miles, spanning 14 States across the US ! The person we met had been hiking everyday for over 4 months, and had another 2 weeks left to complete the trail. Indeed, an incredible example of willpower and the strength of the human spirit!
Apart from the hikes that we did, we explored the charming town of Gatlinburg in Tennessee. It was a bustling street full of bars, pubs, shops and pizzerias. Everywhere we went, we encountered the warmth of the Southern people. A lovely getaway that I highly recommend to visitors in the US.
I’m Veerangna, and I currently live in sunny California with my husband. My parents are Indians living in Singapore, and that’s where my brother and I grew up. After studying Law at King’s College London, I spent a few years working in law firms in Singapore before moving to San Jose. For fun,I am learning to play the Piano, and have recently developed an interest in hiking. My new appreciation for nature has helped me become a calmer person – I do believe in the healing power of Trees!