Saturday, July 31, 2010

The annual family and fruit pilgrimage

We went on our third annual family and fruit pilgrimage north. It actually started in 2006, but we skipped 2007, which was the summer (August) the twins were born. I call it the family and fruit pilgrimage because we meet Grandma Dee and Aunt Krissy in Mansfield to pick blueberries and apples or peaches (depending on the month). Since it is about midway between the the three of us, we meet there to spend some time together and the bonus is it has a ton of great orchards.

The day's pickings... the next day, I made a big batch of applesauce and blueberry ice cream (frozen yogurt) and froze tons on blueberries and peaches. And, of course, enjoyed peach bellinis with a couple neighbor moms.

The first place we went this year was Blueberry Patch (which also has raspberries, not yet in season) where the blueberries were bursting off the bushes. It was fabulous! We happened to hit two days after that section of bushes were peak. Last year, however, we were not so lucky... and two years before that, it was much of the same (though the first year we ended up more in raspberry season, which was also good, aside from the ginormous very colorful spiders hiding in all the bushes... between the thorns and the spiders and having a one year old, picking sounded a little like "ouch, AHHHHH!, mom, take Ethan out of here before something eats him!"). So, this year was awesome! We picked five buckets... in about 1 1/2 hours... with a five year old and twin two year olds... who were eating, not picking. They pretty much ate their way through the patch... which made for an interesting day after... if you know what I mean. I can't blame them though, blueberries right off the bush are so good. The boys actually did really well even though it was seriously the hottest day of the summer - really, I think that is what they actually called it on the stations. It was miserable. Collin only darted a couple of times and Ethan and Oliver pretty much stayed with us (dare I say, it just might be getting easier... uh, as long as there are three adults along too!)
Look at all the blueberries... they were like clumps of grapes.

After blueberries, we ate lunch then headed up to the peach orchard, Apple Hill (also an apple orchard obviously). I was super excited about the peaches since there have been very little in Ohio over the last three years due to spring frost. This year, however, they were bursting. We picked a 1/2 bushel in a half an hour, so much less painful than blueberry picking. The boys liked it, but really had more fun playing with sticks, dirt and a peach tree pretending to be rescue heroes... I think. I also snagged a couple bags of Pristine apples from their market store (they are not open for u-pick apples just yet).

This photo cracks me up. It's one of like 30 that I attempted to take (with Aunt Krissy and Grandma Dee behind me dancing and begging them to look and smile... good thing no one else was around), none of which turned out great. This one makes me laugh because of the stances and faces.

Rescue hero central.

We then headed over to a park down the road from the peach orchard, where the boys ran and played as if they got their second wind. On the other hand, there was not a shade tree near the playground, and I am pretty sure that the three of us adults were half melted at that point. Really... melted... I'm not joking. The boys had a blast, though. Both Ethan and Oliver were scaling everything, tall and scary (to me).

Still very much in rescue hero mode, Ethan was climbing everything.

Oliver followed Ethan up this... Oliver believes he can do anything Ethan can do... and most of the time does it. After I took this photo, I was underneath him the entire time spotting him.

Looking down at me once he got to the top. "Ha! I did it mom! What were you afraid of, that was a piece of cake!" He then did it at least a dozen more times.

Collin liked to climb the stairs and then run along the top portion of this giant play structure. He would stop in this little open area to talk to me... and then hang out forward just to mess with me.

These are from the old metal section of this playground. The paint is peeling and it looks nasty, but they have this super cool "clubhouse" like structure. It's kind of like a round short cage like thing, which you climb up into on a latter through a small hole. We are always pressed to get them out of this, once they get in because it's "their clubhouse." (or as Collin calls it "our hubhouse")

This face cracks me up.

It was a great day of spending time with family and picking oodles of fruit... even if it was a million degrees.

(however, on the way home all I could think about was how much I couldn't wait to take a shower the minute I walked in the door... actually dreaming about it excitedly...)

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