We live in New England and as you can probably imagine, we are currently surrounded by fall. The girls had requested a pumpkin patch outing but unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperative during our free days and if I can be honest, I'm not really a fan of the closest pumpkin patch. It's overpriced, always crowded and if you don't visit early in the season, you won't find many pumpkins in the fields. I know this isn't supporting local farmers but we purchased a big pumpkin at Target for $4 and then the girls received free smallish (but not tiny) pumpkins at a local grocery store.
It was the same deal this year with apple picking. Emily asked once after a classmate shared that she had been with her family. Some of the orchards in this region lost a portion of their crops due to the wonky spring weather and I didn't feel like driving over an hour away for an expensive outing that lasts all of ten minutes. Well, in the girls' defense, that was two years ago. Maybe next year, we'll plan better.
This past weekend, we visited a local farm that was less than an hour away. This farm does have apple picking but you are required to make reservations and by the time we called (the end of September), they were already sold out. They still had plenty of apples and cider for sale.
There was a tractor ride (hayride without the hay) up through the orchards which the girls loved, mainly because it was so bumpy. The adults enjoyed the views.
We did purchase some apples and cider donuts and visited the pumpkin area. The aroma of fresh apples filled the store and even outside, which was quite refreshing As we were leaving, I asked the girls if they had enjoyed themselves and made a comment regarding "the fall experience." For me, childhood memories of fall revolve around searching for beautiful leaves, the sound of crunchy leaves underfoot, wearing handmade or hand-me-down sweaters to play outside in the crisp air and the smell of smoke from fireplaces. I sometimes think about how the girls' childhood differs from mine but the world was a different place 34 years ago. Somethings should and will remain the same though.
* I was attempting to finish writing this post last night while talking to Rich. When I discovered that I had typed out "fall asleep" instead of "fall experience," I decided to power down for the night.