I grew up in the midwest of the United States. A region where I was fortunate enough to experience four seasons each year. Sure, I got sick of the harsh winter come February. But it come Spring? It made the buds on the trees and the warmer temperatures all the sweeter.
As for fall? It is one of my favorite seasons. Apple cider candles burning, crisp leaves falling, trees changing colors. The cool mornings and warmer afternoons. Boots. Pumpkin lattes. Football. Chili. You get the idea.
I remember our first year overseas: I was missing fall scented candles like something fierce. My mom sent a care package full of yankee candles and I opened that box inhaling every scent like there was no tomorrow. (Since that year I have been sure that scented candles have always made my packing list!)
I may be able to pack candles, boots, jeans and sweaters. But one thing I can't pack? Pumpkin patches or apple orchards. With Kaleb getting older, these are traditions that I crave even more.
Enter the Ludwisburg Palace Gardens. Surely, a magical place. The pumpkin festival had me at hello. So much in fact, that I bought a year membership with only two months left of the "year." This my friends, has made up for missing the past seven years of pumpkin patches back home. Sorry Vala's, but you got nothing on this palace.
Pumpkins line the walkways. Enormous creations are made of pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds are being roasted in cinnamon and sugar and are sold to those passing by.
Children play in the hay.
Parents chat over lattes and pumpkin bread. Or pumpkin strudel. Or pumpkin muffins. Or pumpkin cookies.
My favorite? The pumpkin soup. I can't go back for enough of it.
Apparently this pumpkin festival is the largest in the world when it comes to variety. Pumpkins comes from all over the world to show themselves off. I see you guys, you little beauties you.
It's kind of funny how it works, right? You don't know what you are missing until you have gone without you. Sometimes that is what it takes to make you appreciate the simpler things in life. I mean in the whole scheme of things, pumpkin patches really aren't a big deal. But, when you go without something for a while it makes you stop. Breathe. Appreciate. Cherish.