Wednesday, we (Joseph, Benjamin, Anna, and I) spent a lovely afternoon at Apple Hill.
Actually, there is no place on the map (anywhere around here, anyway) named Apple Hill. It is an association of growers and ranchers - mostly apple, but also, pumpkin, Christmas tree, and many others - that have become a (mostly) fall destination for many Californians, just east of Placerville, about an hour from Sacramento. Pick your own pumpkin. apples, etc. If you want. Plenty available already picked, if you would rather not. Cut your own Christmas tree. Watch apples become apple cider and taste delicious, addicting free samples. Visit crafters. Sometimes watch them work. Hay bale mazes for kids. Lots of eateries, most but not all, featuring apple pies and other apple products. Picnic tables, nature trails, hay rides, fishing ponds. Each grower cooperating to bring the people to the area, then in friendly competition to get the customer to their farm, stand, shop, etc.
It is beautiful just driving through the area. We try to visit a variety of places, but a couple are must visits. We like to look, sometimes successfully, for the perfect Christmas gift. That makes the boys willing to wander with me through numerous craft stands and little shops. (Anna had to wait in the car for some of those.) We picked delicious Granny Smith apples. I don't know how many varieties of apples are up there! Anna liked walking through the orchard! Bought a frozen Apple Hill pie to bake and enjoy later. Enjoyed hamburgers, french fries, and corn on the cob while the sun set. (Again, poor doggie waited in the car, but we gave her a couple of french fries.)
It was a lovely refreshing day. another reason to be grateful to our Veterans.