I am an autumn man through and through.
As much as I enjoy the nice weather that comes with the spring and summer, and the holiday season in the heart of winter, there is no time of the year that puts me in a more blissful mood than from September through November.
The drop in temperature allows me to rock my cardigans, wool fleeces, sweater vests, plaid shirts and corduroy pants. It’s a hipster’s paradise.
And not to mention, the foliage this time of year is the stuff that cameras were invented for. So this past weekend, I visited a place that is basically the Shangri-La of autumn foliage: New England.
Loyal readers will note that I like to take advantage of my free by using it to explore new places. I’ve often recapped my travels right here on this blog, including my trips to Israel, Tennessee, California, Montreal, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Chicago.
Well let me add one more to the list: the Berkshires of Massachusetts.
Amazingly, it was so chilly when I arrived on Saturday that it actually started snowing. Fortunately, though, the clouds departed the next day, the sun came out and the weather was so pleasant that pretty much everywhere you looked could have been taken right out of a painting.
I’ve never seen more colors at once. Leaves every where in shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. Babbling brooks weaving through villages like it’s the most normal thing in the world. Book stores frozen in time. Coffee shops and pubs that exist in cottages, giving you the impression that you’re not in the right place.
When, in reality, you could not be more in the right place.
But what made it extra special was the people. I can’t recall one instance where I passed somebody on the sidewalk and they didn’t smile and say hello.
In the Berkshires, pleasant interaction is as ubiquitous as it is contagious.
It’s a land of its own. A solid 125 miles away from Boston, and just minutes from the New York border, though a good 150 miles away from New York City. One second you’re in the middle of nowhere, and then after a couple of turns you enter charming little village after village, each with its own unique flair.
But make sure you go in the autumn. Otherwise you don’t see it in all of its magnificent splendor.
It’s a place where, in spite of yourself, you won’t be able resist lying down in a pile of leaves, waving your arms and giggling like a 12-year-old child.
And any place like that is OK in my book.