It’s nearly fall, y’all.

While I’m not entirely sure where August went…or July…or June, for that matter…September is officially here, bringing cooler temperatures, crisper leaves and prettier trail runs right along with it. With my favorite time of year upon us, I’m trading in any hopes of tan lines or bonfires for tailgates and bike rides in my fall “bucket list.” Also rounding out our autumn must-dos include:

Pumpkins: So I love pumpkin stuff; sue me? I have not yet succumbed to the power of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I do find myself reaching for full-flavored beers of nutmeg, cinnamon and, you guessed it, pumpkin. We also try to get out and enjoy a Sunday afternoon at the pumpkin patch and whip up a fresh batch of pumpkin bars with whipped cream cheese frosting. Which leads me to…

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Quality kitchen time: When you ask people about their favorite kind of food, most would say something along the lines of “Italian” or “Chinese.” While I love me some Fazoli’s and crab rangoons, I would peg my favorite food “type” as tailgate-style: hearty soups and sandwiches, homemade pizza, snacks and dips, bacon-wrapped anything and more scotcharoos than you can shake a stick at. I’m looking forward to trying (and sharing!) new dishes from the new Iowa Food and Family Cookbook, loaded with tried-and-true recipes from Iowa farm families and food bloggers.

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Road trippin’: We tacked on our fair share of miles this summer, but plan to sneak in a few more weekend getaways in September. This Labor Day weekend, I’m river-bound to Dubuque and Galena with a girlfriend. I’ve only driven over the mighty Mississippi and looking forward to breaking out the kayaks and winning big at the casino. (L.O.L.) Then over our anniversary weekend, Jared and I are heading to Chicago to take in the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. We’re still planning out that itinerary, but know that Geno’s pizza, Navy Pier and the Michigan Ave. Forever 21 will be on it.

Trail sessions: Although there are no half marathons on our calendar, the changing leaves are enough motivation to hit the pavement after a long day of work. We’re fortunate to live along the trail that wraps around Saylorville Lake and plan to take full advantage of it in our first fall as Polk City-nites.

What’s on your family’s fall bucket list? Any recommendations on things to do in Dubuque/Galena or Chicago-land? I’d love to hear ’em!

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2 thoughts on “It’s nearly fall, y’all.

  1. So I realize this might be a little late for Dubuque advice since you’re going this weekend but a must for a girl’s weekend is to get spa massages at Potosa Spa located in the basement of the Hotel Julien. I have been there on girls weekends and on anniversary weekends – each time has been wonderful. Also, a fun place to go is Stone Cliff Winery and if you like to gamble – the Diamond Jo there is really nice and fun. Have a great weekend!

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