|Picnic are at the bottom of the Rancho|
|magical i tell you!|
|The hike before the hill|
|The petting zoo at Los Rios Rancho - they had a llama!|
|The view at Los Rios Rancho|
|Gorgeous Granny Smiths|
|Five faces! Amazing!|
|Beautiful wild sunflowers|
|Apples for the cider making|
|i love everything about this picture!|
I know we dont need any more people complaining about the heat in so cal right now...but i will contribute anyway...i read posts like this and this and can't help but shake my fists at the 100 degree heat we had this weekend. i have been rather cranky about the weather...our house holds in the heat like its going to store it for the winter...but alas winter comes and our house is freezing...it apparently has no insulation except when keeping insanely hot weather in...ugh...all this to say i was ready to bolt it this weekend. I started looking up hotels with pools and was going to just go full on vacay this weekend...but there was a lot that needed to be done and i couldn't miss out on some events happening, so instead we opted to get out for the day on Saturday.
We headed up to Oak Glen, CA to do some apple picking. Its a little earlier than we usually go and really i would love to go back next month when the weather (fingers crossed) cools down and fall starts to happen-ish. So we usually go to Riley's Apple Farm and had every intention to go there this year too, but when we arrived I wanted to eat our picnic lunch and so Bryan passed Riley's and headed up the street to try to find a park or some benches, or even a clearing we could lay a blanket down and we came across Los Rios Rancho. There was a beautiful grassy area with benches so we pulled over and kept driving down further to a park area. And I dont know what it was about the place...if my brain was a little loopy from finally cooling down and feeling so good from the gentle breeze, or what it was, but i couldnt help thinking there was a majestic quality to the place. definitely gorgeous, but beyond gorgeous the whole area just felt...well a little like magic! we walked around and explored and we were going to go on a mini hike and the whole warning about bears and rattlesnakes and mountain lions and stinging nettles didn't deter us, but the very steep incline did - i did not want to be carrying baby bodies up that big ol' hill...and also...we had some picking to do! but next year maybe we go with more time and older babies to explore that majestic place a little...
you have to walk a bit up a hill along a street and then cross that street to get to the orchard - or you can drive your car, but we didn't want to have to re-park so up we went (it wasn't a deal) and the orchard was so fantastic! it was exactly what i picture when i think of a "you-pick" orchard. the three times i have been to Riley's farm - the first year they didn't have enough apples left when i went in October so we didn't get to pick and the next two years the trees were picked pretty well, so all the picking was left to Bryan with the stick thing getting them from up high. These orchards were so much better for the littles to pick...and we gave bobby the job of picking up the fallen apples and placing them in the wood crates, so everyone had a job! i think i only picked three apples out of the 10lbs we picked. Plus the kids could run through the trees and the view was absolutely breath-takingly beautiful! i just had to keep pausing to look around at how beautiful it is up there...truly.
We went back to press our cider, but they had only one press and one family was doing 4 gallons and there was another family after that and we were needing to get back. the kids did get to help the other family a little, but they missed out on the cider. we think they will live. we got some at the store instead because the stuff is amazing and headed back down the hill.
I love this little "fall" tradition of ours. It is so fun to see the past years and how we have grown - (you can see the post from 2011 here and 2010 here) i hope our boys have the fondest memories of celebrating seasons like this - now i need to go and make something with all these delicious apples! the best part!