The first thing you notice is the sunlight, brightly streaming through your floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows, shadows already dancing on the floor. It’s finally fall and you can’t wait to head out into the crisp air for an early morning run. Out the window, you notice a few auburn leaves falling to the ground and feel a surge of gratefulness that you don’t have to worry about raking the yard and maneuvering around piles near the sidewalks.
At the ruffle of noise as you get up, your black lab comes running into the room, tongue out, tail wagging, ready to lead the way out the front door. You give her a quick pat, step into your walk-in closet, and pull on your running clothes. Once outside, you start at a brisk pace, the two of you setting out along your usual path through the neighborhood, working up to a light jog.
After a full morning, you head home, slipping into the garage to take off muddy shoes before heading straight to the kitchen. Your favorite room in the house, the gourmet kitchen always makes you excited to cook something delicious. With plenty of room to spread out and everything you need to cook, you grab the ingredients for breakfast and whip up an omelet.
After a quick breakfast outside on the rear deck, you walk over to the Shops at Wildwood where you're meeting friends for coffee. You order your usual vanilla latte and join the group at a nearby table. As you prepare to leave, you see another neighbor and decide to stop in at South Moon Under and pick up a few last minute items at Balducci's for your dinner party that evening before walking home together.
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Back home again, you grab your favorite book of recipes from the coffee table and head upstairs to plan an additional dish for your party. On the loft level, you open the sliding glass door and step out onto the rooftop terrace. There's a chill in the air, but it's refreshing after a busy morning. You grab a blanket from the couch in the loft and settle in to read, your dog napping at your feet.
You get a couple great recipe ideas before you remember you need to pick up a gift for your neighbor's birthday brunch the next morning. You decide to stroll over to Westfield Montgomery Mall and browse the shops before finally deciding on an Under Armour gift card since you know his favorite fall activity is hiking through Cabin John Regional Park down the road.
You take a quick shower and start getting ready for the party. Just as you pull your first dish out of the oven you hear a knock at the door. You run down the stairs, open the door, and welcome your closest friend with a long overdue hug. The two of you fall into conversation as you finish getting the house ready.
An hour later, the doorbell rings and the party begins. A mix of friends, neighbors, and coworkers filter in, placing appetizers on the island and bottles of wine on the dining room table, where you've set up a bar with glasses and cocktail ingredients.
Guests mingle in and out of the kitchen, filling their plates, refilling their drinks, and eyeing the cake boxes resting on the counter. Groups settle in cozy nooks of the living area as an improvised game of charades starts to take shape. Gathered around the fireplace, the game gets competitive as alliances form and teams start keeping score.
The game breaks up as you serve dessert and a few guests head upstairs to enjoy their cake on the terrace. A couple hours later, the party begins to wind down as guests start to say their goodbyes and head home.
As you close the door behind the final guest, you decide to leave the cleanup for tomorrow and head upstairs to make sure your friend is getting settled in the guest bedroom. After saying goodnight, your dog follows you as you make your way back to your room.
After brushing your teeth and pulling your PJ’s on, you climb into bed, turning out the bedside lamp. You send a quick text to your neighbor, confirming the time to walk over to your friend's birthday brunch in the morning. Exhausted from the day's activities, you pull the covers up, close your eyes, and drift off to sleep.
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