Back home in Connecticut, fall meant a host of changes. The leaves would seep with red and orange, the air became chilly and soon everyone was sporting their Lululemon leggings, Ugg boots and Barbour jackets. Here in California, we have palm trees, 80-degree days and everyone is still wearing shorts and a t-shirt. However, in the spirit of fall and the few trees I’ve seen that are slowly becoming infused with red, here’s a list of seven activities to do around campus in the fall.
- The ultimate “basic” drink of fall is the pumpkin spice latte, but its toxic orange color and sickly sweet, decidedly un-pumpkin flavor has never appealed to me. Instead, I’m a fan of chai lattes. In my opinion, the ones at Coupa are the best (guys, there’s a reason why the line there is always so long!). The chai lattes are sweet but not too sweet and always have the perfect level of foam. Also, sitting outside by Green Library and seeing all the bright fall leaves and hearing the trickling of the fountain — it’s truly picturesque.
- If you’re not feeling leaving your dorm room, though (and really, if it’s cold outside, as it tends to get at night, who is?) then I highly recommend making yourself some tea. (Or coffee, if you’ve already sold your soul to caffeine). I’m in love with David’s Tea because they have maybe 300 different flavors, including lots of fall ones, like pumpkin chai, apple cider, nutty granola crunch and carrot cupcake.
- And because if you’re drinking a fall drink, you obviously want a fall dessert, here’s my new favorite recipe: Apple pie-baked apples! Can anything be cuter or more portable? Also (as I like to tell myself at least), a little healthier? They’re really easy too: Just core out some apples, make any easy apple pie filling by cooking some apples, cinnamon and sugar on the stove, and then top with a little pie crust and bake in the oven for a few minutes! Sooooo good, especially if you top them with some salted caramel, like I did when I made them!
- After all that eating, you’re going to want to give your food some time to digest, so try hiking the Dish. Yes, it’s a little hilly at first, but it’s totally worth it, especially if you go with a group of your friends! Seriously, think of the cool photos you’ll get. Your Instagram will thank you later.
- Bike to town, pick up some Halloween decorations and candy from CVS, and then go out for dinner. Biking at night is peaceful (just remember a bike light!!), and your room will look awesome decorated. Plus, remembering that there’s a world out there besides Stanford is always refreshing.
- After all that exercise, you’re clearly going to be hungry again, so why not bake fall’s other favorite flavor: Pumpkin!!! This recipe for pumpkin muffins is amazing. Also, if you want to make these a little healthier (why not?), then you can sub the oil for an equal amount of additional pumpkin puree. And if you want to make them vegan, you can sub each egg with ¼ cup pumpkin puree.
- Go apple picking or pumpkin picking. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually done this yet here, but I used to do it a lot back home, and I hear there are great places to go in the area. Plus, how fun is it to bake an apple pie with all your fresh apples or carve some festive jack-o-lanterns!
Contact Caroline Dunn with more festive fall activities at cwdunn98 ‘at’ stanford.edu.