Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Autumn Apples

Who would have thought that shopping for fruit would be so exhausting? Last weekend we took our annual family pilgrimage to Apple Jacks apple orchard. We spent about 4 hours of applicious fun. I know that we could have gotten a bag of the same apples at the grocery store for one-third of the price, but we go every year for the experience.
It was a beautiful day with the temperature close to eighty. It was a little too warm for apple picking, but it was better than the forty degrees we braved last year.
We started at the Apple Cannon. It is a hydraulic tube that shoots apples a few hundred feet into a field at a spray painted target. I came nowhere near the target. You see, the wind was blowing and the site on the cannon must have been off and I wasn't used to the trigger and the apples weren't balanced properly and.......etc. Number One Son came the closest, getting his apple within twenty feet or so. I was surprised that he wanted to shoot the cannon. Each time it fired, a loud sudden burst of air would sound. This sound did bother his ears, but he overcame his sensitivity when it was his turn

Apple target practice sparked our appetite for apples, so we got our plastic bags and went on an orchard safari. We followed the map to the 'Sweet Sixteen' section of the orchard. This is N1S's favorite apple variety. The kids loved running through the trees picking apples. I made sure to tell them to only pick apples on the tree, not from the ground. They enjoyed eating a few while gathering too.
After paying for the privilege to pick apples, the kids went on the kiddie train ride. This was ten small barrels made into train cars. They were painted like Holstein cows, each with a name, and pulled by a four-wheeler around the strawberry field.


Then we took a quick wagon ride to the haystack, the live Irish band, and the pony rides. Sweet Pea got to ride the smallest pony and was thrilled. She really likes ponies. N1S waved his baseball cap to the crowd as he rode off into the sunset.
By then, we were a little tired so we bought a bag of popcorn and sat down to listen to the band while Mom visited the gift shop. Did you know that they sell apples in the gift shop too? They also sell apple pie, apple crisp, apple butter, apple jelly, apple cookies, apple donuts, apple dip, apple candy, apple cider and sloppy joes. If we would have had more time, I'm sure we would've found apple beef jerky too.

About the only thing we didn't get to do was walk through the corn field maze. We just ran out of time. We also missed the $3 face painting. We just ran out of money.
The ride home was pretty low key. A sure sign of fatigue. We may have to go back in a month to check out their pumpkins. We may do the maze then, when it is a little cooler.

I don't know why we get so excited for overpriced apples, but we do. It must be the change of season and the colors and smells that go with it. We've gone to orchards for the last four years as a family and I can remember each one. That is probably why we keep going. Apples are only the means to bring the family together. It's much healthier than McDonald's play land and more fun. I believe family traditions are important to the strength of the family. It constantly gives us something to look forward to. And I would like our kids to look forward to family outings as long as possible. It won't be long before Lady Di and myself are no longer cool. Although, I find that hard to believe. I know we will try to find the time to pick apples next year.

Maybe they will have a pumpkin cannon by then.

1 comment:

creative-type dad said...

WOW! I want an apple cannon....

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.