Sunday, October 24, 2010

Autumn in Albany

Autumn is my favorite time of year, anywhere on earth.  I have always felt fortunate that my job allows me to experience the season in many different parts of the world.  One of the two places that I don't want to miss visiting in the fall is Albany, New York.,_New_York

My brother Pat and his wife, Laura, live in Albany, near the Empire State Plaza.

Visiting over the years I have come to love the city, and enjoy it's small town feel in a big city.  The Albany State Capitol is absolutely magnificent, and worth the time it takes to tour it.

My favorite coffee shop is located here on Lark Street.  The Daily Grind roasts all  of their own coffee on the premises, and you can smell the wonderful aroma as you walk down the street.  My idea of heaven.

I have a new cafe to add to my Lark Street favorites.
We had dinner one night at "The Wine Bar and Bistro.  Great Atmosphere and great food.

The reason I come to Albany in the fall is two-fold.
Besides visiting with my family, I love to see the trees change into their fall colors, and Pat and I go on a quest to find the "The Great Pumpkin Ale".

Of course, this involves a lot of analytical tasting, a grueling chore.

Pat and I both enjoy cooking, and we often talk on the phone and share recipes.  He and Laura have a plot in the community garden on their street.

I got to enjoy one of his delicious garden soups, and fresh tomatoes, while we sampled the 7 ales to which we had limited our search.

This year the Southern Tier "Pumpking" was our unanimous favorite.

It was raining the day I arrived, so we headed out for a drive in the Upper Hudson River Valley.

The rain intensified the colors            

and released all the smells of the autumn leaves.

We had been looking for Canadian Geese and finally found them at the Tomhannock Spillway.

I had to cut my trip short because of sold out flights, but on the way to the airport we stopped at the Ann Lee Pond at the Watervliet Shaker Community.

Then I left autumn behind and headed back to Texas, where the temperatures were still in the 80's and the
trees are still green.

Sometime in November we will begin our autumn, feel our cooler temperatures and see our fall colors.

Until then, I will keep these pictures in my mind.

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