By Maya Frankel
Once upon a time, there was a girl from Florida. She had never experienced fall, let alone gone apple-picking nor apple-cider-donut-eating. Then one day, she traveled to a faraway land called Boston, where she went on a quest to find the perfect apple.
Just to clarify, that girl is me.
I love being surrounded by palm trees and having an ocean 10 minutes from my house in Florida, but the one thing I have always longed to see is the leaves on trees change colors. There is something magical about watching them go through their different stages, being the most beautiful right before all their leaves fall to the ground.
I’ve dreamed of apple cider donuts and hot cider from the moment I stepped foot in Boston and saw the first leaf change from green to a beautiful yellow. Pumpkin- and berry-picking I have done, but I have never picked apples.
I didn’t realize that because it’s spooky season, the time for apples is almost over, so I immediately called my friends and we found one of the few orchards with apple picking still available. We managed to get a car and a slot to pick apples at Honey Pot Hill Orchards.
Sunday finally came around and we headed away from Boston toward the colorful trees adorning the highway. Each one was a different hue, causing a color explosion in front of my eyes as my camera continued to click. My Instagram has become, as my friends call it, “a fall stan account.”
So the quest continued: the Floridian girl drove and drove until she finally reached her destination, a magical place called Honey Pot Hill Orchards. She hopped out of the car and looked around, taking in the view and fresh air. She entered the orchard and walked around, searching for the perfect apples.
She watched her friends climb the ladder and reach for apples, until she finally did the same. She climbed a ladder as it leaned against an apple tree and reached for the farthest apple, extending her arm as far as it could go without falling off the ladder (constant fear in her mind of falling).
She finally grasped the apple and was filled with a sense of happiness and serenity. She felt as if she were on top of the world for a moment as she completed her quest.
I took a bite of the beautiful red apple, immediately realizing this was the best apple I had ever had. I could feel how lucky I was to be standing in an apple orchard picking apples with my friends, laughing and walking through the rows of beautiful trees.
Eventually, we filled the bag to the brim with apples and bought a couple apple cider donuts and hot cider. If a food could taste like fall, the apple cider donuts certainly did.
I never set high expectations for anything because I don’t want to be disappointed, but my expectations for this day were as high as they could be, and they were met. Nothing beats apple-picking and eating cider donuts with friends on a cool fall day.
So the Florida girl completed her quest. Here’s to many more fall days like this one: happy, serene and filled with laughter.