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While hiding out from Irma, Andy and I had the opportunity to get a jump on fall activities and go apple picking with my mom. While there are literally dozens of orchards within a hour’s drive of her house, we ended up at Mercier Orchard, a wonderful place that we have been visiting for years now. Usually, we are just there for lunch and to load up on baked goods since we’ve never been in town during apple picking season.
Now there wasn’t hay involved, but we did load into a wagon pulled by a tractor to get out into the permium apple picking are of the orchard. The guide hanging onto the back of the wagon told us that they grow 53 different varieties of apples on the property, along with other fruits throughout the year.
I have a sneaking suspicion that our trip was as much for my mom as it was for us. I’d jokingly mentioned apple picking in passing and she latched on to the idea and made. it. happen.
We picked either 6 or 8 of the varieties currently available, and I wish I could tell you their names, but they all sort of looked the same in the bag. The only ones I remember for sure are Red Delicious, Candy Crisp & Macintosh. Andy heard the name Candy Crisp, and he was back and forth checking every single row until he tracked those babies down.
I was also surprised how athletically my mom hiked around. Not that she doesn’t walk every morning, but damn, you should have seen that woman practically sprinting when she spotted some especially vibrant purple-y red apples.
We ended up with almost an entire bushel of apples. I thought my mom/extended family would want some, but they decided we should take them all back to Florida. It filled the entire bottom drawer of the fridge.
I’ve managed to use about a 1/4, but I am thinking I am going to have to up my baking game to get through everything while it’s still at peak freshness. Andy has valiantly offered to eat as many cinnamon apples as I care to make. He’s a giver like that.
It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiiiiiiime of the yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaar! I mean sort of, I love fall/autumn, and while I am by no means basic (the Buzzfeeed quiz proved it) if I was ever tempted to be, it would be now. I like doing fall things! A lot. And though the thermostat is holding at the low 90’s, and I’ve lived in Florida long enough to know better, my little cinnamon sprinkled heart hopes that it will magically drop to allow me to enjoy what others refer to as “sweater season”. I got the apple picking part of things out of the way early this year, but here are some other things I’d like to do before the winter insanity sets in.
- Wear all the plaid
- Shun the PSL enthusiasts
- Stomp in large piles of colorful leaves
- Burn something cinnamon scented
- Decorate pumpkins
- Sip some spiced cider
- Wrap myself in a really cozy scarf
- Find a pair of boots to rock
- Buy an autumnal lipstick
- Make spice cookies
- Make s’mores
- Use the fireplace
- Don an over-sized, crazy soft sweater
- Paint my nails burgundy or copper
- Warm my cold toes on the back of Andy’s perpetually warm calf
- Watch Practical Magic, Sleepy Hallow, The Craft and The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Make a seasonally appropriate wreath for the front door.
- Use some of my handpicked apples to make apple crumble
- Go to a harvest festival
- Enjoy a warm beverage outdoors (if it dips below the mid 80’s that is)
What’s on your fall list? Are you ready to basic it up with me?
Images from here.
Things got Basic the weekend before last. Inspired by the hint of chill in the air, I donned plaid one day and the next loaded up Andy, my mom and my friend Tori and headed to the corn maze at Aunt Louise’s Farm in Monticello, FL. Neither my mom nor myself had ever been to a corn maze before, so there was a decent amount of fluctuation between cautious excitement and down right childlike glee over the prospect of seeing what we could see.
It was the first weekend the maze had been opened to the public, and since we all managed to get up and out early, we were literally the fist paying customers to walk the maze for 2016. The maze itself was a decent size and peppered with festive scarecrows, punny signs, and, oddly enough, tiny watermelons (I’m guessing a holdover from this summer?). With the exception of a few spider web mishaps, we made it through the maze in good time, quite pleased with ourselves and ready to check out the rest of what the farm had to offer… …like the corn pit. My mom blatantly ignored the rule by throwing a handful of corn down my shirt pretty much as soon as I stepped foot into the pit. I tried to roll over to prevent more kernels from lodging in my bra, and she and Tori preceded to try and bury me. There was lots of laughter and additional shenanigans, much to the delight of our fellow farm visitors. And yes, even after a vigorous shaking of garments, I still found corn in my bra, shirt, and pants pockets when I changed for be that night. Of course I found and made friends with the farms’s feline petrol officer Angel. She was very sweet and quite fond of ear scratches. The farm is home to a number of different animals, and I spent the next couple of hours walking around with my cup of feed, making friends, and getting baby animal snuggles. My mom had been teasing me earlier about my dietary choices (being pescatarian) and trying to understand why I do what I do, so I told her as we were scratching the ears of the trio of baby calves “this is why”. I don’t mind other people doing what is right for them, but the deep love and appreciation I have for these fluffy and feathered cuties is the reason I gave up land meat. I was the tiniest bit afraid that the alpacas would spit at me, but the farm hand told us that these guys were supper mellow, and they only spit at people when they got scared 🙂 Before heading home, we made a quick by the concession stand and picked up a couple of the farms famous cornbread waffles and relaxed under the shaded picnic tables. A really great trip, and it’s something I can see us doing again and again for years to come.
Florida may not have accepted that it is indeed fall yet, but I refuse to miss out on the fun. There is quite a bit of fall merriment to be had, not to mention all of the wonderful seasonally inspired items decking the halls and shelves of the stores. Because I am me and I am forever coming up with ways to be “productive” while actually accomplishing nothing, I made myself a fall inspired wish list. Even better, I got to ogle all of the pretty things and it technically hasn’t cost us anything….yet. Andy did cringe the tiniest bit when I showed him what I was working on.
- Marrakesh Dress – Free People
- Garnet Statement Necklace – Urban Outfitters
- Miss Albright Vanessa Flats – Anthropologie
- Riviera Band Ring – Banana Republic
- Ronan Plaid Throw – Pottery Barn
- UD Vice Lipstick in Backdoor – Ulta
- Hot Cider Candle – Terrain
- Butter London Nail Polish in The Old Bill – Kiss & Makeup
- At-Home Editor Tunic – ModCloth
Nice, right? I am really into garnet and warm metallics right now. Seasonally appropriate, and they tend to look nice with my coloring. I am even considering transitioning my hair color from the violet reds I’ve been favoring lately to more coppery tones. Now all I need is a mug of cider and I’ll be good to go.
While we were in Georgia, I used my wifely persuasion powers(and my super pathetic pout) and convinced Andy to take me apple picking. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life so apple picking hasn’t ever been something I’d have easy access to, but I was bound and determined to make it happen this year.
After a little research online, Andy and I decided on BJ Reece Orchards since they opened early and were only an hour away from where we were staying.
We got a little turned around trying to figure out where we needed to go since the orchard is actually on both sides of the road plus they have a store where they sell all of their beautiful produce. The good news was the entrance to the orchard was right near the petting zoo; the bad news was we couldn’t go in because it wasn’t a Saturday or Sunday. I still said good morning to all of the animals and told them how very adorable they were.
You might not know this, but going apple picking after it’s rained for four days straight isn’t the best idea. Being from Florida, and a little naïve, I only had two types of shoes with me on this trip. Flip flops and heels, neither are good for stomping around in the mud. I stuck with the flip flops, but Andy had to catch me at least half a dozen times before we made it far enough into the orchard for the grass to be thick enough to counter act the slippery mud. It’s pretty funny now, but at the time I was seriously reconsidering the outing.
Once I got my feet firmly planted, I got down to serious apple picking business. The weather was great, we were the only people in the orchard, and once we found the area we wanted (Granny Smith, please!), we quickly filled our bags.
I even got to save Andy from falling. I was really paying attention to where I was walking after the slippery mud, but my sneaker clad husband wasn’t nearly as cautious and he slid on a rotten apple. Clearly, we are meant to be together.
Before getting back on the road, we took a quick look around the orchard’s store. We bought some apple butter and some pastries for the road. They had the best apple hand pies that I’ve ever had. Seriously amazing.
And of course, I had to take pictures of the farm cats. Poor little ones were a dirty from playing in the mud, but they were having a blast rolling around in it.