The kids saw some TV show where the characters went apple picking, and ever since they’ve been begging us to take them. “We can pick apples and eat them and make pie let’s goooooo!” Our schedules have been so nuts this fall that we didn’t think it would happen. Buuuuut then we remembered that there are some apple orchards in Central California, and we thought, hey, we’re driving from Southern to Northern California for Thanksgiving! We can stop on the way!”

On Wednesday morning, we loaded up the car and hit the road.

road trip time!

Traffic on Thanksgiving weekend is notoriously awful in the LA area, so I’d packed a ton of stuff to entertain the kids: books, iPods, puzzles, you name it. We had a loaner GMC Acadia (seriously obsessed with that car, thanks for the hookup, GMC!) and we discovered it had a built-in WiFi hotspot. You guys. That was so freaking clutch! I was able to get some work done on the drive, and the kids were able to watch Netflix cartoons on their phones. It was the most painless drive ever…I mean, it still took us forever, but the kids didn’t whine and I was totally comfortable so I’m calling it a win!

ANYWAY. We were about halfway through our drive when we pulled off the highway to drive through the winding farmland of Central California. We were all happy to get out and stretch our legs when we arrived at Gopher Glen, the cutest little apple farm.

Gopher Glen

Those of you who have any sense of seasons are probably thinking, “Isn’t apple picking season over?” and the answer is YES. However, Gopher Glen still had a few apples on the trees, and they were happy to let us walk around the orchard to see what we could find. It was nice to stretch our legs in such a pretty setting.

gopher glen

gopher glen

Gopher Glen

picking apples

I could have spent the whole afternoon there, it was so lovely (and as James kept saying, “It smells like applesauce!”). And since the season was almost over, we had the orchard to ourselves.

apples!

The people who worked at the orchard were so nice, and they were especially great with Annie and James. They got to taste several varieties of apples, and they couldn’t get enough of the amazing apple cider.

tasting apples

apple cider

We bought five pounds of apples, and we hadn’t even finished the rest of our drive to Northern California before we realized five pounds wasn’t going to be enough. James ate THREE apples on the drive, and between my kids, my niece and nephews, and us adults the apples were gobbled up right away.

eating a fresh, juicy apple

Annie was a little upset about that. “I thought you said we were going to make a pie!” Which was true…I had said that. But Mike diverted the crisis by saying, “We’ll just stop for more apples on the way home!”

And we did!

apple country

Gopher Glen

more apples
Instead of cheese, they’re yelling, “Apples!”

We still haven’t made an apple pie, but we’ve made applesauce and cinnamon apples, and Annie and I are about to attempt making our own cider.

Next year, we’re definitely going to go to the orchards during the height of picking season…and I know to buy like 20 pounds of apples!