It was a beautiful fall weekend in the Boston area last weekend. Despite the stone-like chameleon appearance of pumpkin in the photo above, most of the area is currently infused with color so antioxidant-rich you want to drink it all in before it's gone, along with the remaining warmth.
We took a drive out west of the city on Saturday to leaf-peep not far from home, starting in Concord with its mix of colonial history, modern upscale shops, and base camp for bicyclists and kayakers. We poked around a few stores and galleries, but the warm sunshine -- and food -- called to us. The Colonial Inn (original structure built in 1716) sits on a corner of Monument Square and its front porch is open for dining in warm weather, as was the case on Saturday. We got a nice spot on the porch to enjoy our lunch with a view.
Returning to the car, we continued west to the Nashoba Valley Winery, which I remember when it was a tiny outpost selling fruit wine back when I lived and worked in Central Mass. A friend of mine lived just up the same road, Wattaquadock Hill Road (the name rolling off my tongue like, well, blueberry wine), her back patio graced with a view across the valley to Mount Wachusett. Anyway, the winery has mushroomed into a Business, with a big wine tasting room, a beer tasting area (they have a brewery now), a gourmet restaurant, and crowds of people. I did go to an Oktoberfest event there almost 10 years ago with an oompah band and offering selections from a German buffet with your entry ticket (my friend C asked, pointing to a steaming dish, "Is that gratis?" "No, that's sauerkraut.").
Anyway, D and I figured since we were there we should do a tasting. We forked over $5 apiece for 5 tastings and complementary wine glasses, waiting in the stifling, overcrowded room to taste, um, not so great selections of white grape, pear and apple wines. Oh well. The glasses were nice, as was the scenery.
We may as well have stayed in town for foliage viewing. On Sunday, we walked across the footbridge to the Esplanade and walked upstream as far as the Boston University Bridge so we could watch some of the Head of the Charles Regatta (reporteldy the world's largest 2-day rowing event). It was a lot gustier on Sunday, making for some choppy waters, but at least it was sunny and still relatively warm for late October. Since we were at the start of the race, which begins at the BU boathouse and runs 3.2 miles upstream under 7 bridges to the finish line just past Harvard, we never saw who won any races. But it was fun to watch the beautiful boats and their athletic rowers skim the blue waters amid fall foliage on a gorgeous day. [source and more info if you're interested]
I've uploaded a few more photos from the Head of Charles here.