Mahmood and I have come to the conclusion that summer is the most under-appreciated season in California. I think it’s because most places in California are open year-round. Think about it – even the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk is open all year, except for the month of December. Don’t they realize that absence makes the heart grow fonder?

We spent the last couple days in the little beach town of Erie, PA. It’s the end of the season for Erie, as they prepare to close up shop for the next 7 months. Most of the restaurants and shops by the beach are already closed. There’s something about the vibe of this little town – as the locals stop by the ice cream shop one last time, knowing they won’t see it again until next April – that makes me realize why folks out here love their seasons so much.

It’s not that we don’t get fall colors in California – we most certainly do. And we, too, get excited about the start of fall: cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice lattes. The difference is that we don’t ever really have to say goodbye to summer. On a nice day, we can still go to the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, ride the rides and visit our favorite ice cream shop. For folks out here, fall must mean saying goodbye to all things summer for a long time – which also makes it that much more exciting when it finally arrives again after a long wait.

Being out here for the change in seasons has been a really neat experience for us. It’s not even October, and yet there are Halloween festivals going on every weekend, houses (and even campers) decorated with pumpkins everywhere we go, and haunted hayrides on every corner. I’m really excited to experience fall in the northeast, and who knows… with all the excitement around fall, we may not even miss summer!

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