Autumn in Orlando

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It’s no secret that I had a rough time adjusting to our move back to Florida from Connecticut. But if you were to ask me now how I am doing, I would be able to tell you with 100% confidence that I feel like I am home. I feel like I have planted roots here and I’m happy to grow now. I have done bloomed where I done been planted.

Except for one thing.

Autumn.

(sigh)

I just cannot get my head around autumn in Florida. It’s hot here. I mean, like, 90-plus degrees every day. A few weeks ago we had a “cold spell” and the temperatures dropped into the 80’s. But, it’s Florida. That just sort of comes with the territory. What is freaking me out is that everyone keeps talking about how much they love fall and I want to take them by the shoulders and shake them, shouting, “HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?!?!?”

I miss the sweaters and the hot cider and the apple orchards and the pumpkins and the oversized cardigans. I miss the smell of wood burning fireplaces and the flannel pajamas and the leaves changing colors. It just doesn’t feel like fall without those things.

So, this weekend, I decided to fake it. Our house during autumn in Connecticut was one of my favorite places. It was warm and cozy and felt like home. In our new house, I want to feel those same things.

I had Chris help me dig through the mess of unpacked moving boxes in our garage and we pulled out all my fall decorations. I hug my first wreath on our new front door and felt a little warmer inside.

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I took the autumn garland that used to go on our fireplace mantle in Connecticut and strung it up along our banister.

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I took our backdoor wreath and hung it on the door going out to our garage, which I love because it is scented so our entry way smells like cinnamon now.

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I put out my favorite fall decoration on the ledge going down the stairs from our living room. Now, I have a constant reminder to be thankful.

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And then I went to Walmart and bought $4.00 apple cinnamon candles and $3.00 bags of scented pine cones to make my house smell as warm and cozy and it now feels.

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I think I’ll always miss fall in Connecticut and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to live there and experience it. Everywhere you live should have some special significance in your life even after you leave, don’t you think? But my home is now in hot, sunny Florida where we have to light candles that smell like fall and buy fake fall foliage to adorn our banisters. Is it the same as before? Not at all. But fall is just a season and I still love it.

Fake cinnamon candles, plastic pumpkins, and all.
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38 Thoughts to “Autumn in Orlando”

  1. I so know how you feel….in Tokyo it has been in the 90s as well…except for the typhoon we are having right now…but definitely nothing you could call fall. πŸ™

  2. I agree that fall down here is nothing like it is further north. But, I have to also agree with the people you would love the shake and scream at. I am in Palm Beach County about 3 or 4 hours south of you and I have been feeling fall for the past three weeks. It’s still very hot, but not as hot as before. The leaves don’t change colors but the air smells different and is drier and crisper. ‘Seasonal changes’ in South Florida aren’t as prominent but they are still there! Once you’ve been back here for a few years it will all come back to you and you’ll be able to feel the difference again and you’ll be excited too! Decorations do help though, can’t wait to get ours up! I love your front door wreath! Happy Fall!

  3. I couldn’t even imagine! I love fall – still waiting for it to get cooler here, but I can’t wait to decorate either!

  4. Katie N.

    I totally know how you feel, Katie! I am from New England as well, and now I live in DC. Although DC has more of a Fall than Florida, for sure, DC’s Fall is not exactly spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, and I ache for Fall in New England each year it rolls around. It irks me, too, to hear people say, “I love fall!” because it’s 72 degrees instead of 90 degrees and they see a tree turn from green to deadish (no beautiful reds and oranges and yellows!). But, as my husband – who moved around frequently as a child – always says, “No one ever made friends by telling people how much better things are back where THEY’RE from.” I try to abide by that as best I can…while secretly judging people for thinking they’re actually experiencing Fall while they still have flip flops on πŸ˜‰

  5. Nikki

    This is my favorite season! Even though in Texas we don’t have a major change, it still feels different. I get so excited when the north wind starts blowing and the crisper air moves in. The Fi is from up north and he says he doesn’t know why I get so excited for minor changes. But I figure I need to make the best of what we have, so our fall decorating will take place tonight!

  6. Meghan

    I agree completely! I love Florida and I love being down here. I wanted to get away from up north because of the winter months, but I do miss fall. I am bummed that I won’t be able to take Gabe (my two year old) to some fun pumpkin patches and apple orchards down here but we are getting ready to move into a new house and I’m planning on doing the same thing you did and decking it out so it still feels like fall in my house ^_^

  7. Fall is great in the North East. Starbucks here just switched over from coconut syrup to pumpkin lattes. It’s officially fall. This is the one season I would miss if we were to move. However, Halloween in Florida must be nice up here all the kids have to wear parkas and you can’t see their costumes. Forget being a princess in the snow and wind up here! You have to all be polar bears to survive a night of trick or treating.

  8. You failed to mention THE LOVEBUGS. I mean, honestly. LOVEBUGS. Eew. We left 100 degree days at Disney World and landed back in Connecticut to be greeted by a balmy 58. Nate is fully decked out in corduroy jeans and long sleeve shirts. We’re planning to go apple picking this weekend. If it were possible, we’d send you some apples. πŸ™‚ Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons on the mainland, something I never experienced in Hawaii. But Nate wants you to remember that the blessing of living in Florida is swimming weather every day of the year!!!

  9. Kelly H.

    Fall in the Northeast – there is nothing like it. The angle of the sunlight, the colors, the cool weather. I will make sure to enjoy it enough for both of us.

  10. Fall is awesome with its beautiful colors and a nice chill in the air. But on the bright side, come January, while we in the midwest are dealing with windchills below zero, you’ll be at a balmy 50 degrees.

  11. Katie N – of course Fall in Florida is nothing like Fall just about anywhere else, but it’s still our Fall!, 72 degrees after a brutally hot and humid summer is definitely a relief! So is our ‘Winter’ of a few weeks of 40 and 50 degree weather. There are definitely good and bad parts of the year no matter where you live. We may not have ‘real Fall’ here but it’s still something to get excited about! I’m sure you agree with that! πŸ™‚

  12. So, I am totally one of those people that don’t actually know what fall feels like, since I have never lived north of Savannah, GA. However, it also drives me crazy that people are talking about how it feels like fall here in Florida. NO IT DOESN’T, PEOPLE!! 94 degrees does not autumn weather make.

  13. This is my first fall back in Oklahoma after living in New Hampshire for 6 years. I see people wearing sweaters and talking about how they love fall and I think the same thing. It’s 80 degrees folks! New England does fall like no other place. It’s pretty hard not being there but you are right. Being happy where you are is very important. Be happy in the now. But I do hope to take my daughter back to New England one day to get to experience the foliage. truly amahzing!

  14. Meredith

    AHHH New England Fall!! My absolute FAVORITE time of the year. I’m in Boston and oh the leaves, and pumpkins and cider and chill in the air and cinnamon and oh oh oh…I just want to wrap myself up in everything fall. Good on you for bringing some NE fall to Florida. And your wreaths and garland remind me of my mother’s fall decorations. I should really steal some from her. They remind me of home home, and her and growing up. Now I’m a little teary….

  15. So when you do your cross country book tour, you’ll be booking fall dates across the midwest and northeast, right?

  16. AAAaaaaahhhh! I know EXACTLY what you mean! I grew up in Florida and I HATED that we didn’t have seasons. I spent my childhood dreaming of colder places. When I was 23 I moved to Michigan for 2 years and loved every second of it. I love the seasons. I love apple orchards. I love sweatshirts under jean jackets. I love having an actual need for hot beverages. I love the leaves. I love the snow in winter. I love that you appreciate spring so much more when you’ve experienced an actual winter. I’m getting off track. I’ve felt the same itch as you…I’ve almost decorated my house for fall just to pretend…but I can’t because it would actually tick me off too much to see the fall decorations and feel the 90 degrees outside. Here’s to November in Florida…when it actually does get crisp…if only 3 months late.

  17. Trish

    We live in New Orleans and it’s still hotter than all get out here. I’m from Kentucky..I’m used to beautiful fall foliage…so, this past weekend..we dug out all of the decorations and put them out. That wasn’t enough for me…so, I made apple butter in my crock pot and made a couple of pumpkin rolls. My house smells WONDERFUL. It’s supposed to be in the mid 80’s this weekend..I’m excited πŸ™‚ cold spell, ya know πŸ˜‰

  18. Rhona

    I have lived in AZ for 40 years (moved here from Ohio) and I still yearn for a real Fall every year. I too have to resort to candles and faux leaves. Oh well.

  19. I’m in Tampa, so no fall here either. Love your fall decorations!

  20. Christy

    It’s funny because I was just talking to my fiancΓ© about how much I love fall even if it’s only Orlando fall. Every year we open up all our windows usually at the end of October or beginning of November. Our utility bills go down to about half of what they are during the summer and I get super excited about that! Also, the air feels different. I wish I could experience the leaves changing colors, or snow, or snow days….I have to live vicariously through northern bloggers. One year, I would like to stay in a cabin around Christmas time and see real snow. We might go this year depending on driving conditions. I’m very green when it comes to the whole seasons thing.

  21. I miss fall, and I’ve never even experienced a true fall. I got to experience it a little when I went to college further north (but still in Texas). But here in Texas we’re about the same as Florida. 90+ degrees and holding. Sigh.

  22. Love your decor! If I ship some autumn leaves your way, will you ship some warm sun my way come January? ;o)

  23. Right there with you, Katie! Fall in Louisiana simply does not exist. But at least you got to truly experience the season for a little while….warm Septembers and Octobers are all I know!

  24. Anna Mary

    I love fall. I always have. However, I grew up in Louisiana and didn’t really know fall until I moved to Chicago. I had five real falls (though being in a city full of buildings I didn’t get true fall because there weren’t a ton of trees). However, I can tell already that it’s the thing I will miss most. Luckily for me I married an IL boy so we’ll be back every year for Thanksgiving and I’ll get to see it in action again.

  25. Lisa

    Moving to Southern California after YSD helps me understand EXACTLY what you are talking about. There is no where in the world like New England in the fall. I too have hung my plastic pumpkins on our front door, my fiance and I drove over an hour to go apple-picking this past weekend even though it was over 80 degrees, I bought a pumpkin from Trader Joe’s the first day I saw them and have stocked up on spicy/apple smelling candles. It’s autumn in our apartment and our hearts even if we’re sweating through it!

  26. You are handling that way better than I would. Fall is something I look forward to each year. I’m glad to see you have it all in perspective. I’ll have to remember that if I ever move πŸ™

  27. Oh gosh, I am that person you want to shake! I was born and raised in Alabama…but fall is my favorite season. (Which in Alabama translates to football season! Roll Tide!) But I would give anything to live in a place with four whole seasons rather than not weather related seasons. (We have Summer, Football, Christmas and Summer again) I dream of thick sweaters and apple orchards =)

  28. Cindy

    I can honestly say that I am not missing the cold weather and all the dead leaves that you have to rake. I just moved to southern Alabama and I am LOVING autumn in the south!!!

  29. Bravo for creating “fall” in a way that makes you happy! You’ve motivated me to do the same. Tonight, it’s my apple cinnamon candles, then off to buy pumpkins and decor this weekend!

  30. I love fall, and really miss the falls back home in California. But we are having a beautiful fall here in Colorado. I think (hope?) that I learn to love it here, but right now I am not exactly blooming where I am planted. I am missing home more than a little bit. πŸ™

  31. Monique

    Ah Katie, I feel for you… You can come visit me anythime here in Holland and experience autumn! In fact, we’ve ‘enjoyed’ autumn all through summer this year! So, just so you don’t feel too bad; it’s hard for me to enjoy autumn this year, since we haven’t had any summer to speak of!
    Have a cinnamon latte on me!

  32. I just pulled out my fall decorations, too. However, my toddler has decided to use the box as a ladder. Sigh.

  33. Opposite problem: it got cold in MN way too fast! But I’m trying to love it nonetheless after spending some time living on the equator…I missed fall that whole time too!

  34. I’ve never lived somewhere without the four seasons. I would miss all of them so much. You’ve got a good solution though – just fake it! πŸ™‚

  35. deana

    As a fellow Orlando person dont forget about the two big fall events. The fall festival at St. Mary Magdelene in Maitland and GreekFEst in Altamonte. Two things I always look forward to with fall coming in Florida. πŸ™‚

  36. Claire

    Autumn here in Sydney is pretty special, especially when you travel out to the mountains, or down to the highlands – the crisp air and the changing colours are so beautiful. At the moment, though, we’re just coming into Spring, so everything is starting to warm up – looking forward to a long hot summer and Christmas season!

  37. Ash

    As a lifelong Floridian, I can promise you that when I say I love Fall, I don’t do it to offend the northeners (well, usuall not. Haha) Summer days here get into the high, humid 90s and 100s, as you well know. So when our “Fall” temperatures get into the 60s and 70s and the humidity drops, we get excited. Just like our winter of 50 degrees feels awfully cold. ;] But some of the trees do change and we have pumpkin patches all around here in the panhandle. No apple orchards though- darn! Glad you’re feeling at home. :]

  38. I lived in Connecticut for the first 25 years of my life. I transplanted to Florida in March of 2002. The loss of real seasons was the most difficult part of the transition for me. (I still miss them, but I am aware of the fact that there are parts I don’t miss as well.) So, I made the decision to manufacture the seasons for myself! I have decorations for each of the seasons, I burn only seasonally-appropriate candle scents, I have specific season-related traditions that I carry. Now if only it would FINALLY be cooler than 90 degrees… Even 80 sounds wonderful right now.

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