Crowds mingling around a crackling bonfire. Temporarily dyed hair. Spirit week. Parades. The season of Homecoming is the inauguration of fall. When the yellow school buses make their reappearance, pumpkin flavored everything debuts on menus, and candy corn teases you from the grocery store end-caps, autumn’s arrival is just a tease. It’s homecoming that lights the torch for this fall-loving girl.
I’m well out of school, but I still love everything about homecoming. This last weekend we returned to my alma mater for my five year (I weep) class reunion.
The North Shore of Boston is my happy place. People of New England, continue going to the Cape for all your beachside gallivanting, because the North Shore is perfect just the way it is.
After we finished reminiscing all our favorite old spots, and checked out all the new updates to campus in recent years (can I go back to being a student again?), we launched our own proverbial homecoming parade past some of our favorite North Shore haunts.
Woodman’s of Essex
If you’re into Zagat-rated food served on paper plates, Woodman’s of Essex is the place for you. They claim to have invented the fried clam – I can’t tell you if that’s delicious or not, because I’ve never been able to pass up my standard order of popcorn shrimp, clam chowder, and fried fish sandwich. (All of which are best to split unless you’d like to be towed home.)
When you live on the coast of Massachusetts, it’s common to debate where the best chowder is served. Woodman’s is usually my pick.
To get the maximum Woodman’s experience, go on a sunny fall day in the late afternoon. Take your food outside and pick a picnic table – and enjoy. Watching the setting sun over the salt marshes and enjoying a delicious cup of chowder is one of my favorite mental snapshots of New England in the fall.
Richardson’s Ice Cream
A great dinner should always be followed up by an even better dessert. There are a number of local ice cream spots on the North Shore – and you couldn’t really go wrong. But, if you wanted to pick the right one, you’d go to Richardson’s Ice Cream. (Technically I wouldn’t even call this ice cream place “North Shore” locale, but it’s totally worth the 15 minutes to get there. Captain Dusty’s is the local North Shore favorite – and it’s good. But no one can top King Rich.)
As evidenced by the number of ice cream posts on this blog, I love ice cream. So the fact that I look forward to the fall flavors at Richardson’s should mean something!
One scoop of Apple Crisp and one scoop of Pumpkin *(note – this is a size small) and send me off to heaven.
They’ve since added some new additional Fall Flavors to choose from (like Cranberry Harvest) but I don’t like to mess with perfection.
There you have it.
A walk on the beach, dinner at Woodman’s, topping off with Richardson’s fall flavors sounds like the perfect way to usher in autumn to me.
Now – it’s October 1! I can officially start decorating for fall. So you will have to excuse me!!!
What is your favorite way to celebrate the beginning of fall? Football games? Apple picking? A hayride?