Monday, October 19, 2015

Our Apple Hill Experience

We've been hearing about Apple Hill since we moved up here 1 year ago. It is apparently "the" place to go this time of year. It is a group of farms 1 hour away from us with pumpkin patches, apple picking, bakeries, and seasonal activities for kids. We heard from a few people that Abel's Acres in particular was a great farm to take our kids to. So we loaded up the car on Saturday morning and set out for Apple Hill.

I was picturing lots of beautiful photo ops. Bringing home a big bag of freshly picked apples. Picking out the perfect pumpkins to carve together. Hot apple cider. Wide open space for the kids to run. Perhaps a tractor or some hay for the boys to climb on.

3 long hours later we were carsick and really irritated.
Apparently every family in the greater Sacramento area had come to Apple Hill that day. It took us an hour just to drive about 1 mile from the freeway to the farm. The boys kept asking us where the pumpkins were. And we kept saying "I think they're just around this bend!" And then 20 minutes later we'd make it around the bend.....and we'd see another mile-long stretch of cars.

When we finally found Abel's Acres, we were MORE than ready to get out of the car and have some fun.
 First order of business was finding some lunch. Ryan was excited about his pizza.
 Adam and I shared the hog fries.
Once we looked around we realized there were no pumpkins or apples in sight. There were basically a few craft vendors, a bakery, and a couple kids activities. Where was the apple picking? The pumpkin patch? The hay?? And where did all these people come from?
This is Adam and I trying our best to smile and look excited, but we were honestly really frustrated and cold and disappointed.
Even Jenna was less than impressed.
 We found a maze. It wasn't even made out of corn or hay. It was a $3 wooden fence maze. It distracted the boys for about 20 minutes.
 Then we found a pile of rotting pumpkins next to the maze. Another 5 minutes of excitement!
 There were a few cute wooden cutouts that provided a cute photo opportunity.
And that was it. We drove over 3 hours to do a $3 maze and eat some greasy expensive food. I was pretty sad that there was no apple orchard or pumpkin patch. I started really missing Ardenwood, the local farm that was 5 minutes from our old house. I would rather have driven 2 hours to go there!

We considered driving up the road to check out another farm, but the bumper to bumper line of cars was still there. And the thought of sitting in the car on those windy roads again made me nauseous. So we decided to head inside and drown our sorrows in the baked apple goodies.

It was packed inside the bakery. We had a hard time maneuvering our kids and stroller around the small store. We were just picking out a couple things to buy when it started pouring rain outside. And everyone who had been outside rushed inside the tiny bakery, and just like that we were trapped in the corner. We literally couldn't move more than an inch. I pictured everyone rioting and ripping open the baked goods to survive on. 

After a little while the place started to clear out, and we were able to buy a couple pies for the freezer, and a really delicious apple fritter.
The ride home was a more reasonable hour and a half. The kids all fell asleep and I started thinking about our day. Adam and I were both frustrated because we felt like it was such a wasted day. But I realized that neither boy had once mentioned the lack of pumpkins and apple picking. I think they were young enough to just be excited about the maze and the adventure of going somewhere new. It was mostly Adam and I who were grumpy. If anything, this day was an opportunity for our kids to see how Mommy and Daddy handle frustrating situations. Because our children are always watching and listening to us, and looking to us to model good behavior.
If you come to our house anytime soon don't mention the words "Apple Hill". At least the pies were good!

No comments:

Post a Comment