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Joe's trip to the Oak Glen Apple Orchards then a DCA Halloween trip

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  • JoFi
    replied
    I just went apple picking for the first time on Sunday. What a fun experience! And the treats afterward were even better! Fun trip report!

    Leave a comment:


  • mre200200
    replied
    Originally posted by sbk1234 View Post
    Wait a minute! Is Ian right? YOU’RE The Tooth Fairy?! Why didn’t you leave more money for my kids when they lost their teeth?! 😜

    but seriously, great trip report, as always.

    I took a class of kids on an overnight field trip to Riley’s Farm about ten years ago, give it take. They had a great program to teach kids about colonial America. Even had a man in character come speak to them as Patrick Henry.

    my son went on the same overnight field trip there the year before, and came home with one of those massive pies that he won for their contest for who could make the best toast. His winning entry, “To the continued bad health of King George III!”
    Even though we know the tooth fairy isn't real, Ian did have some speculations on the Tooth Fairy.
    We discussed what the Tooth Fairy might do to the with all those teeth, plus the economics of giving money for all those teeth. Ian thought perhaps the Tooth Fairy plants the teeth and they grow into a coin tree.
    Ah, but Ian, you got a bill and not a coin.
    Well maybe she trades the coins for bills.
    That then evolved into discussions about whether the coins were specific to any particular country or if the people she traded the coins to gave her money specific to each land. It was an interesting though experiment.

    An overnight trip to the apple orchard sounds like fun. How fun that he won a mile high pie for that!

    Leave a comment:


  • sbk1234
    replied
    Wait a minute! Is Ian right? YOU’RE The Tooth Fairy?! Why didn’t you leave more money for my kids when they lost their teeth?! 😜

    but seriously, great trip report, as always.

    I took a class of kids on an overnight field trip to Riley’s Farm about ten years ago, give it take. They had a great program to teach kids about colonial America. Even had a man in character come speak to them as Patrick Henry.

    my son went on the same overnight field trip there the year before, and came home with one of those massive pies that he won for their contest for who could make the best toast. His winning entry, “To the continued bad health of King George III!”

    Leave a comment:


  • mre200200
    replied
    Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
    What a lovely trip report! It's so nice to see the beautiful excursions you take with your family.

    What weekend did you make it out to the farms? I stopped by Riley's Farm just this past Saturday (9/28) with my girlfriend and some friends! The fog was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The apple haul wasn't the strongest, but once the fog burned off we had a lovely lunch at the Hawk's Head Tavern. We finished the day with some archery and ax throwing, which I had never done before. It was a blast!

    I actually went to Los Rios Rancho last year with my girlfriend in early November. It was a perfect afternoon for apple picking and hot cider. We grabbed some large apples and had fun in their corn stalk maze (maize maze?). Perfect low-cost autumn activity.
    That's awesome! We were out there 9/20 and 9/21.
    I saw that they've changed up quite a few things from last year at the Oak Tree Village. No more pony rides there or chickens and ducks to feed. Perhaps in a few more years we'll try our hand at the new archery and ax throwing challenges.
    It's definitely a great autumn activity.


    Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post
    Another great trip report, I always look forward to these.
    Thank you!



    Originally posted by bamato View Post
    What an awesome trip report, thanks for sharing Joe! I couldn't think of a more fun way to get the family into the fall mood, and with a bonus Disney trip at the end of the weekend no less!
    Going to the orchards has been a fall tradition now for a while. All that tasty cider, warm donuts, and picking apples in the cool air is the perfect start to a good fall. Thanks Brian.



    Originally posted by BECCA1007 View Post
    "I don't know of anything special on the Egg Toss game."
    On the Hamm & Eggs game, if you clear everything from the barn (horse and mice I think) the barn will flip over to show inside. If you clear all of the mice from inside the barn then a bunch of the targets on the fence lines will turn into 1000 point targets (gophers)
    Oh nice. I knew that the barn flips over, but I didn't know there was anything special to get after that! Ian will be excited for something new to unlock! Thanks for letting me know.

    Leave a comment:


  • BECCA1007
    replied
    "I don't know of anything special on the Egg Toss game."
    On the Hamm & Eggs game, if you clear everything from the barn (horse and mice I think) the barn will flip over to show inside. If you clear all of the mice from inside the barn then a bunch of the targets on the fence lines will turn into 1000 point targets (gophers)

    Leave a comment:


  • bamato
    replied
    What an awesome trip report, thanks for sharing Joe! I couldn't think of a more fun way to get the family into the fall mood, and with a bonus Disney trip at the end of the weekend no less!

    Leave a comment:


  • mickdaddy
    replied
    Another great trip report, I always look forward to these.

    Leave a comment:


  • WaltDisney'sAlec
    replied
    What a lovely trip report! It's so nice to see the beautiful excursions you take with your family.

    What weekend did you make it out to the farms? I stopped by Riley's Farm just this past Saturday (9/28) with my girlfriend and some friends! The fog was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The apple haul wasn't the strongest, but once the fog burned off we had a lovely lunch at the Hawk's Head Tavern. We finished the day with some archery and ax throwing, which I had never done before. It was a blast!

    I actually went to Los Rios Rancho last year with my girlfriend in early November. It was a perfect afternoon for apple picking and hot cider. We grabbed some large apples and had fun in their corn stalk maze (maize maze?). Perfect low-cost autumn activity.

    Leave a comment:


  • mre200200
    replied
    Happy Sunday! It's been a busy weekend already. On Friday and Saturday, we were in Oak Glen picking apples from the orchards there. Sunday could be a down day... or we could go to Disneyland! Disneyland it is! Let's go!


    The drive was an easy one and the lines were thankfully short to park. We were directed to park on the top of the Mickey and Friends lot, and I was happy to see this new walkway across the top of the Pixar parking garage to the bigger bank of elevators and the walkway on level 2.


    And speaking of the walkway, it was great to be able to use it again! It's so very much faster than waiting at all the lights to cross.


    This grassy area needs to either get paved or blocked off. So many people have taken the shortcut across the parking lot here that it's turned the grass into a muddy walk path.
    Love the new walkway. Once again it only took 10 minutes to get from the car and through security.


    It's the Oogie Boogie man! It's been a while since we've visited DCA.


    Alli, where are we headed first?


    Oh no! The Emotional Whirlwind is frightening! Someone could lose an eye! Poor Fear.


    Alli found a part of it stuck to the ground.


    Here you go Fear. A little piece of your eye is back.


    The park opened an hour ago and the crowds still have not arrived. The kids and I walked right on to the Emotional Whirlwind and thank goodness no one lost an eye.


    Over at Mickey's Fun Wheel (I still have a hard time calling it the Pixar Pal-A-Round) the kids and I chose the swinging gondola, meaning T stayed on the ground.


    These brave kids took the biggest of swings with their hands and feet in the air! Ian even tried to not touch his back!


    From the very top the kids looked down to see what we could see.


    Hi Mommy!


    Our fastpasses for Toy Story are due! Ian and I dig really really well. He wanted to open up the hidden robot on the Alien Ring-Toss screen. I told him that there's even more hidden items available, and together we opened them all!
    I don't know of anything special on the Egg Toss game.
    But, on Dino Darts the two of us caused the volcano the erupt, and were able to trigger the meteor.
    With the Green Army men, our aim was true and we triggered the hidden tank that launches 5000 point plates.
    At the Alien Ring-Toss, we launched the Little Green Men rocket and uncovered the robot.
    And finally at Woody's Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Gallery, we cleared every target on the main screen and were rewarded with a bonus screen of 2000 and 1000 point targets.
    Nice shooting buckaroo!


    And our scores reflected our prowess. Not too shabby for me and that might just be Ian's highest score ever.


    Looking at our Disneyland app, Mater is only a 5 minutes wait. But when we arrived, it was even less than that. Just 1 load cycle and we were on.


    I like how they can change this area with Halloween theming and special Halloween music.


    Never one to pass up a good photo opportunity, a photopass photographer took some great family photos of us.


    Possibly good enough for next year's calendar. We'll see!


    When it's not busy the kids like to ride Luigi's.


    Today it seems to be taking a little bit longer than usual though.


    Well that certainly explains it. Normally there's 20 of Luigi's cousins here for a dance. Today there's only 11.


    Both kids wanted to ride with a cousin that had luggage, because those are special for some reason.


    That means I'm riding alone in an orange car that matches my pumpkin hat.


    On the Monsters Inc Scare Floor, both kids sat in the front row by themselves.


    Back in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trails, I'm definitely seeing an improvement in how well the kids can climb the rock wall.


    Both of them are able to make it to the very end of the wall and slap the Finish sign.


    A short time later, one of Ian's friends from school arrived! They met each other the day before school started, played on the playground together, and have been buddies ever since. Every time I've seen them meet each other, they give the best hugs with the biggest smiles.


    The three kids had a blast on the slides, going down them, then running up the stairs to go again and again.


    Disneyland is always better with friends!


    Let's ride Soarin!


    Alli is showing her braveness by holding her hands in the air for the whole ride.


    The kids are super adorable, walking as a trio and all holding hands.


    Lunch was a stop at the Pacific wharf. The seasonal soup is Bacon and Cheddar Ale, which is delicious for dipping sourdough bread in. And today it was an even more special treat. I always ask for the soup on the side and get the bread bowl sliced for dipping. Instead of grabbing a bread bowl that was pre-sliced, they grabbed one hot from the oven and sliced it.
    The result was a hot loaf of bread that was steaming up the plastic bag they put it in, and so delicious. There's not a whole lot of things that are better than fresh baked bread.

    The kids have been missing the ducks and saved all their crusts to feed them.


    And the ducks were happy to see them too.


    Such fun.


    What's a short line?
    The little mermaid can fit 3 kids plus an adult.


    And Ian and Alli both love the Jumping Jellyfish.


    Mater was still a super short wait too!



    It was a lot of fun meeting up with friends today! The kids had a lot of fun going on rides and playing together. We'll have to do it again! We said our goodbyes and then took off for just one more ride.

    As soon as we entered the park this morning, I grabbed fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers. It's going to be our last ride of the day.


    Three in the front and one in the back.


    Once they grow a few more inches these photos will be better. Right now their faces get covered by the windshield.


    On our walk out, I wanted to make sure to stop by the giant Oogie Boogie treat display in the Grand Californian lobby.
    For the past few years, Disney has done something special here for Halloween and Christmas.
    There's 13 Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout. Think we can find them all? Read here to find out!


    After looking around the Grand Californian, it was a short walk back to the structure. The direction we were coming from didn't involve going over the new bridge, but instead meant crossing the street to get to the parking garage. The signs directed us to go this way too.


    But... all the gates were locked. The sidewalk is a dead end. And there weren't even any doors that were unlocked to get into the parking structure.
    Normally this gate is open with a cast member standing there to stop foot traffic when a tram is coming. Today though it's got a padlock across it.
    So thanks for leading us into a dead end Disney. Still a bit more to figure out with this new parking garage I suppose. We went back to the traffic light, waited to cross, then walked back towards the Downtown Disney security gates to join up with the bridge, and finally made it over to the parking garage.


    Today was a fun Disney day. I love all the Halloween decorations Disney brings out and it's always fun meeting up with friends.

    Leave a comment:


  • mre200200
    replied
    It was a fun visit to Riley's Orchard this morning. And I'm glad we got there early. But that also meant getting to the other orchards later than desired.
    Our next stop was the Los Rios Orchard that we visited yesterday. The regular lots were full but thankfully we found a spot in the overflow lot. It's 10:40am and it's just starting to get busy.
    In the dirt overflow lot we happened upon a grasshopper! Those don't come around our house too often, so it was special.


    Alli, do you want to hold him? I'm going to name him Fritz.


    This is what we're here for. The U-Press Cider Mill. Outside were giant crates of apples ready to be chosen for cider. These Fujis are sweet..


    And these Granny Smith apples are tart. Mix the two together and you've got the makings of a cider.


    Pop Pop - I didn't know they grew them with the stickers on them already.
    That's an interesting find. Here I was thinking all these apples were from the Los Rios orchards. Down at the Riley orchards they were supposed to have U-Press but didn't have enough apples available to make into cider. I wonder if Los Rios is buying their apples in bulk for the cider. Last year all the apples were in Los Rios fruit crates.


    According to the signs, it takes 17 pounds of apples (or one 5 gallon bucket full) to make a gallon of apple cider.


    First comes the washing.


    Everyone getting in there to clean them except Pop Pop. Can't get that cast wet.


    Everyone has a job to do. The kids are going to feed apples into the hopper.


    While the adults all took turns on the grind wheel.


    Even one-handed we can keep that wheel spinning.


    Oh no! Fritz the Grasshopper!


    Theresa giving it a go.


    Now it's time to press the juice out of the mash we just created.


    This year they're tall enough to squeeze it out themselves.


    Our buddy Nestor taking our juice and pouring it into our glass jug, while the kids hold the strainer and funnel.


    And there we go! One gallon of fresh squeezed cider. Great work guys! Thanks for the fun times Nestor!


    It wasn't busy at all when we arrived, but boy did it get crowded! There's lots of people in line for the two cider presses.


    Time to go check out the store. There's quite the variety of apples outside available for sampling.
    And if you're reading Amanda, it was nice to meet you here this weekend. Thanks for saying Hi!


    Theresa's happy to have lots to taste.


    Yesterday there weren't many apples available to buy, and they had ran out of the Fuji's we'd wanted. Today there's a dozen large crates filled with bags and bags of apples.


    Theresa it looks like your hands are getting full. Need a cart?


    There we go. And yes Ian you're right. That is an apple cart.


    T asked if you could buy them individually, but no joy. The 3 pound bags are the smallest size they have. So... Theresa bought a whole bunch of varieties to try.


    Last year we had a fun taste test with my family with 7 different types of apple from the farmer's market. This year T's trying to beat that record.


    Whew! That's quite the haul!


    One last stop before we go. Back to the Snow Line orchard for some treats.


    Everyone got a little something they wanted. More flavored cider, cider slushy, cider float, and of course mini donuts.


    We found a table in the sunshine and enjoyed the weather and the atmosphere on this beautiful day.


    And to go along with that atmosphere was some live music, courtesy of Johnny Crockett. To the delight of some it was country music with a strong twang to it. My mother isn't a huge fan of country music, but boy my dad sure is.
    The kids really got into it too. Songs like "All My Exes Live In Texas". I'm sure it's their first time hearing it, but they'll catch on to a chorus and singing it back loud as best they can.


    After a few songs hearing Pop Pop sing along to all of them, the kids asked Pop Pop what his favorite country song was. Anything by Garth Brooks.
    They headed up to see Johnny between songs and asked "Can you sing anything named Garth Brooks?" You got it!
    Somebody needs to teach that boy some dance moves... But I love how free and excited he is about everything.


    It's been fun but it's time to go home.
    We had a late lunch from Chick-Fil-A while we were on the road, and I was very happy that Ian requested a sing-along on the drive home too.


    2 hours later with decent traffic, we were home.
    Here's the results from our trip (or at least what is still left). 10 different varieties of apples, 1 bag of pears, 1 bag of peaches, raspberries, cider, cashew brittle, fudge, and a mile high apple pie.


    Just because I'm curious, I decided to weigh a few of these bags of Oak Glen apples. I could tell a few of them were lighter than others. Much to my surprise we're getting more than our money's worth. The bags averaged 3.5 pounds with some bags coming in over the 4 pound mark. Everything was at least a few ounces over 3 pounds.


    Time for a teaching moment. I said those speckled jawbreakers were my favorite candy a few posts ago. I bought a medium size jawbreaker from the candy shop and Ian bought a small one. Let's see what's inside it!
    With a hammer and a chisel, Ian helped me break them open. First mine.


    And then his. Very pretty. Love seeing all the layers built up like this.


    I had a really fun time this weekend. Theresa did a great job booking everything and planning out our day. It was a lot of fun to have my parents with us too, doing stuff with the kids and just hanging out.

    Leave a comment:


  • mre200200
    replied
    Our first day in the Oak Glen Apple Orchards was a blast.
    It's important to get an early start. The orchards are going to get busy the later it gets, so we were awake by 7am and eating breakfast at 7:30am. The kids were amazed by the automatic pancake machine.


    Ian said he could tell how it worked because he could see the gears. Gears are important for engineering huh buddy.


    Our first stop of the day is Riley's Farm, and we pulled in to the parking lot around 8:30am. Things are supposed to start up around 9am, so we've got a little bit of time. There was only 1 other car in the parking lot too, so we've definitely beaten the crowds. We walked around exploring the grounds a bit. And there's plenty to see here.


    Any excuse to take a photo.


    There's so much to do here, they've got a map of everything on their property. I'm glad we made it here today. Riley Farms is one of the sites we didn't get to see last year.


    You can smell them before you see them, hi sheep!


    Finding stray bits of hay that the sheep came over to devour.


    U-pick apples starts at 9am, so we hiked up to the first spot.


    Waiting while the water tank goes by to help keep the dust on the roads down.


    I'm not old, and I'm not giving tours.


    Ten minutes before 9 we found our first booth, got our bags, and headed to the orchard to pick some apples. These first apples are Senshu apples, described as a sweet and crisp eating apple.


    They don't like you eating apples in the orchard without paying for them, so Ian picked 1 apple and Alli picked one apple and we brought it back to the register to weigh them and pay for them.
    Ian has a nice red one.


    Alli found one she likes.


    Once we paid for them, it was time to eat them. Gram brought water to rinse them off. An important step as we'll soon find out.


    Ian's got a pretty loose tooth so he's got to bite into them on only 1 side.


    The apples were still cool and crisp from chilling out overnight. Everyone agreed that these were delicious. Let's fill up our bag and get some more!


    Easy to get to these apples. I suspect they're all grafts of dwarf trees.


    That's an interesting combination. I really big trunk with an itty bitty trunk of a Senshu apple tree grafted onto the top.


    Get those good ones way up high Alli!


    You too Ian.


    As we continued our picking, suddenly a white dog appeared.


    He was very friendly and wanted to see what we were doing.


    T started reaching for an apple and he was underfoot. He stuck his nose up onto the one she was holding...


    And took a nice big lick of it.


    He seemed pretty happy with himself after that too. The kids already were loving him, but when he licked that apple they laughed and loved him even more.
    And that's why it's probably a good idea to wash your fruit before eating it.
    I read his tag and learned his name.
    Say hello to Fritz!


    Back at the registers we learned that Fritz lives at the farm next door, but sometimes like to come visit over here. He seemed really interested in the apple I was eating too. He wouldn't eat apples from the ground, but did like to lick the juice off the one I had bitten into.


    The next two varieties are a bit of a hike into the farm. And it looks like Fritz is joining us! The kids were both encouraging Fritz to come with us.


    They'd sure love a dog.


    Always keeping an eye on him.



    Fritz spent a good 20 minutes with us. It was probably a good thing we were with him too. After sniffing his way through these blackberry bushes he came out limping.


    We've been pulling these thorns out of our shoes since we got here. T even had the unfortunate luck to step on one with bare feet inside the hotel room overnight.
    And when I caught up with Fritz I wasn't surprised to find one of these in his paw. They're nasty.


    Finally at the back of the orchard there were 2 more varieties to try.
    Snow apples - Sweet eating apple. Very crisp and juicy.
    Maiden's Blush - When fully ripe it's a nice eating apple. When slightly unripe it's tart and tangy like a baking apple.


    Similar to before, Theresa found a couple of each kind that she liked so we could buy them and taste them before picking a bag full of them.


    I took a big bite of the snow apple and...


    You said it Ian. These I do not like. Neither the flavor nor the texture. Everyone else agreed. These can stay on the trees.
    Fritz decided that he was going to take off so the kids waved their goodbye, and were always trying to watch and see if he would come back. "Where's Fritz?" is something we heard quite a few times after this.



    Now let's head back to the entrance and see what else we can do.


    There's a small patch of raspberries we saw walking in. Ian loves loves loves raspberries. For $5 prepaid we got a small container to fill up.


    They warned us that it was likely going to be slim pickins, but with 6 people it wasn't too bad. Besides, we're paying for the experience, not the berries so much. The hunt is half the fun! It wouldn't be much fun if we got everything we wanted on the first bush without any effort.


    Theresa directing everyone to get the dark red berries. The redder the better.


    Why do raspberries have that hole in the middle of them? When you pick them, the stem stays with the bush and the juicy fruit is all that comes off.


    Delicious! Yum!


    Apparently we don't have enough fruit yet because we're stopping by the peach section too. The peach section on the map is really just 1 tree from what I could see. The trees behind it were apple trees. Mmm. The smell of this peach tree is so good.


    Get the nice red ripe ones Alli.


    Perfect.


    Ian there's a bunch on that branch up high. See what you can do.


    Time to go pay for our peaches.


    We had a great time at Riley's Farm. We'll be back here again for sure. I was really glad to get here so early because it was a bit crazy when we left. The parking lot was completely full and people were waiting for our spot.


    It's 10:30am and we've already done so much. But it's not time to go home yet. I need to press some cider!

    Leave a comment:


  • Joe's trip to the Oak Glen Apple Orchards then a DCA Halloween trip

    Fair warning, this one has lots of pictures.

    Up, Up, Up. It's Apple Orchard time!
    We had a lot of fun last year at the apple orchards of Oak Glen. We're going back again this year!

    Just before noon on Friday everyone piled into the car. We grabbed Chick-Fil-A for the road and started our drive. I have fond memories of doing sing-alongs in the car when I took car trips with my parents. Since we've got my parents joining us on this trip, I thought it would be fun to break out some of those old sing-along albums. I talked up the fun times to Ian in the days before and I was happy that he was so excited for it.


    The album I remember most is this Sesame Street sing-along where Bert is in the tub and everyone keeps crowding into the bathroom for a sing-along. Both kids really enjoyed singing along, belting it out loud for "I've Been Working on the Railroad", "Old MacDonald", and laughing and singing over and over the "ABC, 123, Pigs in a tree. Don't ever sit on a woodpecker's knee." song over and over again. I couldn't have asked for more.


    Two hours later, which really isn't too bad considering it's LA traffic, we arrived at the Holiday Inn. Theresa planned this trip a few weeks earlier and we were able to get into this Beaumont Holiday Inn, which is a bit closer to the orchards than the hotel we got last year. Just like last year we are making this a 2 day event.


    Kids, what are you doing? Get your shoes back on! We're just dropping off our luggage and heading out to the orchards now!


    Less than 20 minutes from the hotel are the orchards. You can tell because the names of things starts changing.


    We're here! Welcome to Oak Glen!


    Our first stop, just like last year is the Snow-Line Orchard. I'm glad Theresa did all her research ahead of time so we know all the fun things to do.


    Out of the car and time to explore.


    Look at all the apples to sample! It's almost like a taste test we have back home!


    Mmm. The kids love apples.


    Ooh, and I love balsamic vinegar!


    Just like last year, Alli is adventurous and tries a few of them. Her favorite is still the super sweet Strawberry flavored one. I think it's hard to beat just a normal balsamic.


    Cider samples! And it was great that they had them because it let us try out the different flavors. Turns out Ian loves the cherry/apple cider, and my mom thought the raspberry/apple cider was the best.


    Yum! Time for some hot, fresh cider mill donuts!


    They smell fantastic.


    And they taste even better.


    Everyone has a tasty treat. Flavored cider, cider slushees, a cider float, and cider donuts.



    It's nice being here on a Friday when it's not crazy busy. The kids were able to play a little bit. Ian gathered some sticks and made an arrow pointing towards the doorway so people would know how to go inside. Looks great buddy. Now let's move them off to the side so no-one trips over them.


    A few more picture of the kids and then off to the next orchard.



    Next we're headed to the Los Rios Rancho.


    Last year we were able press our own cider here on Friday, even though it's normally a weekend only event. Not today though. No cider presses are running. Let's head inside.


    There's a few apple samples here, but not very many bags of apples to buy. Theresa actually ended up just buying a bag of Bartlett Pears... I know right? At an apple orchard.


    Always the social butterfly, Ian somehow struck up a conversation with this woman, telling her about his loose tooth. And how this isn't his first loose tooth, he's already lost one when he was in Michigan.
    Ian - Gram, can I tell her my secret?
    Gram - Okay...
    Ian - I know that the tooth fairy isn't real. My mom and dad are the tooth fairy.
    I hope Ian didn't shock her too much.


    Along with the apples and cider, there's plenty of other things to try. Like jams, exotic jams. With spoons. Tiny spoons.
    Alli was keen to try anything her Pop Pop would give her.


    Still tasty.


    Last year I wrote "The kids were looking longingly at the penny-press machine and wishing their Gram was here."

    Well this year she's here and she was quick to get our her change!


    Nice!


    A fun memento of our time here.


    Pop Pop really loves apple dumplings. And here was one in the bakery. Let's eat!


    A nice apple design on top.


    Gram cut it up for everyone to enjoy.


    And I'll tell you someone really enjoyed it, though the adults thought it was a bit dry. Pop Pop remembers his favorite kind usually is really sticky and gooey.


    Sigh... Theresa and those pears. Let's go remedy that.


    Off to pick some apples!


    Just across the street are the Los Rios U-Pick Orchards. Last year there were 3 different varieties and Theresa walked away with 20 pounds of apples. Today it's just Spartans available for picking.


    The kids were really happy to head out and pick the fruit off the trees. We've been talking it up for weeks now.


    One really nice thing about the orchards here is that the trees are mostly dwarf varieties, meaning you can get to just about all the fruit when you're on the ground. No ladder required.


    Found a good one Ian?


    Perfect! Ian said that he loves "orchard fresh fruit". I don't know where he heard that, but it's true. It does taste better coming right off the tree.


    Well sometimes it helps to be able to reach up a little higher.


    Is that the perfect apple Alli?


    Looks great to me!


    The crowds so far have been wonderful. That's why we really enjoy coming up on Fridays and spending the night versus just coming on the busy Saturdays.
    Our last stop is the Oak Tree Village. A lot appears to have changed since last year.


    But the candy kitchen hasn't! Pop Pop promised to get each of the kids something.


    There's samples here too. I like the cheese and meat samples.


    In the end we bought some butter cashew brittle, fudge, jawbreakers, and candy for the kids.
    Ian saw the tip jar at the register and told the worker - I want to give you a tip, but I don't have any money.
    She said he was so sweet. I gave him some money to put in the tip jar.


    Last year, dessert was a huge apple empanada from Apple Annie's. It was delicious but this year we're trying something new.


    A Mile High Apple Pie ($19.99)! This thing is huge!


    It weighs over 5 pounds! I wonder how this is going to taste.


    Since it's Friday there's barely anyone here. We spent a while trying to get these birds to say something.


    I think they don't really talk at all and the sign is just a ruse to have people look silly trying to get them to talk.


    Ian is showing us why they call it Oak Tree Village. These acorns are scattered around everywhere.


    Getting a few family photos in the wagon.



    There was no feed out to buy for the deer and goat today either. They did come running up to us as we approached them. Ian stuck out his hand for them to sniff, and upon realizing that he didn't have anything, they took off running the other way.



    Now that he can read, he's concerned about the bears in the area.


    Ian! Hay! Hay Ian! Hay Ian!
    What Dad? What Dad?
    Guess that joke is new to him.
    He would then repeat that joke back to me the next few times we saw hay anywhere.


    For dinner we're celebrating National Pepperoni Pizza day with a visit to Domenico's Italian Kitchen.



    Alli holding both doors open for us when we got back to the hotel.


    Since we're going to get an early start tomorrow morning, tonight is the only time the kids will get to enjoy the pool. The water was a little chilly, but that didn't stop them from spending an hour running around going from the hot tub to the regular pool and back again.


    Now that our dinner has settled, let's dig in to this massive apple pie!


    Wow. That is a lot of apples.


    And everyone was surprised with how good it actually tasted. The crust was delicious, but there's very little crust compared to the amount of apples you get. And the apples inside were very tasty.
    In the end we put a very small dent in it, only managing to get through maybe 1/3rd of the whole thing.


    Up, Up, Up, It's Apple Picking Time has been in our reading rotation for the past couple weeks in preparation. It just seems right that we should read it for bed here tonight.


    Gram read to us while everyone gathered around.


    Tomorrow is going to be another day full of apple adventures!

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