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Visiting Apple Hill – so close to home, yet far away

September 28, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Last Friday, I talked about my ideal travel partner and the ups and downs of traveling with my best friend.  Traveling so far from home can teach you many things about yourself.  Our adventures in Spain, France, Eastern Europe, and others to Seattle, the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, and more have been good and bad but always memorable.

Apple Hill

For the big anniversary celebration, we visited one of my favorite places close to home – Apple Hill.  With the food, the peace and quiet of the nature, the apples, the festive atmosphere, getting away from the norm – it’s an enjoyable getaway in northern California.  I was looking forward to our outing together as a family.  However, things didn’t start the way we planned.

My older son cried numerous times on Thursday night – something he never does.  I even had to go into his room and lay on the floor just so he would calm down and go back to sleep.  We realized later the next day that he was sick and had trouble sleeping.  But instead of starting out about 9:30 that morning, we didn’t leave until 11 giving us little time in Apple Hill.

We went to one of my favorite farms/orchards (there are close to 50 of them throughout the area – all within a quick drive or walk for arts, crafts, foods, apples, and various things to do). – Apple Ridge Farms.  It’s a great location because it has a pumpkin patch, animals for kids to pet and feed, a great picnic area, and a nature trail for a walk.

When we arrived, it’s the least amount of people I have ever seen here.  It was early in the season and on a weekday so it was nice to enjoy the area without the crowds.  We parked and walked past the pumpkin patch and headed straight for the animals.  We walked around, laughing at my older son who would go up to each animal and say “Hi cow!”, “Hi pig!”, or “Hi goat!”  After washing up, we enjoyed our picnic lunch and did our best to control our 2 year old who wanted to run around.

After our lunch, we walked past the animals again before taking a walk on the nature trail.  Pushing a dual stroller uphill over rocks and dirt was quite a workout.  I don’t ever remember the walk being that difficult before (thank goodness we took the one labeled “easy route”).  Granted, I never did this with a 2 year old and 8 month old before.  After our walk, it was nap time and the kids were a little cranky.  So we loaded up and headed home.

While Apple Hill was the same as I remember it, my life had changed a little since the last time I had been.  Last year, we had one kid instead of two and the older one was much more active this year.  Not to mention, he was sick, hadn’t slept much, and wasn’t feeling well.

So close to home, so far away

A quick day trip takes so much more effort and planning now.  Being flexible and realizing things don’t go according to plan is something I have to accept.  Dealing with tired, sick, hyper, and hungry kids adds to the adventure.  Being so close to home, it seemed so far away – especially through the eyes of a child.

I readily admit I am not the most patient person in the world.  However, experiencing moments through the eyes of a child (even a sick and tired one) can create memorable moments you can never experience on your own.  While we weren’t far from home, we were a world away in the eyes of our kids.

Our sons got to pet cows and goats.  They got to see a pumpkin patch and have a picnic.  They got to see an apple orchard and see that apples grow on trees.  I see the organized, neat freak side of my older son who insisted on picking up all the cups which were used to feed the animals and throwing them in the trash.  And if you ever take for granted seeing a cow, pig or goat, watch the eyes of an 8 month old as he sees these animals for the first time.

No, it wasn’t the perfect day.  There was a lot about the day I would have liked to change.  It made me realize that this is hard work and showing my kids places is going to take patience, planning, and perseverance.   You don’t have to go far to feel like you are far from home.  It takes effort and desire but seeing things through the eyes of kids makes home seem so far away.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2010 1:15 am

    Your story reminds me of my dad. We went lots of driving & travels when my brother and I was young. Many times we took a nap in the car, you know, car ride can be boring. The most exausted person is the driver – I know now but didn’t know that back then. Time to time, my dad yelled at us to wake up and look outside. ‘We are out here and you guys are just sleeping’ something like that.
    Well, I thought if I want to see, i will see. That’s true but my father was right at some point though. He took an effort to go out like that and we were ruining it-kind of. :)
    Here’s to fathers! :)

    • September 29, 2010 1:31 am

      That’s definitely an interesting view on things. It’s funny how our perspective changes when we get older. For example, it’s too bad I didn’t take some of my classes from high school and college now when I’ve grown up a little more and know what really interests me.

      As a child, you don’t appreciate those moments of long car trips with family. As you get older, you become quite fond of them and thankful for the memories and times you had. I guess you could say “don’t forget the little things” and to look at what is around you so it doesn’t pass you by. Ironically, it’s my kids that have taught me to see things again for the first time through their eyes. Then as we get older, the fascination wears off.

      One thing I will say is different now. On the way home, I WANTED my kids to sleep in the car. :)

      • September 29, 2010 2:00 am

        haha! :) You have some great kids!! :)

        Well, you know I was never a noisy kid. I was stubborn for sure. The biggest, but never noisy. hehe


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