Friday, October 10, 2014

Visiting the Erie Apple Orchard

I'm a bit behind on getting this last trip report from Michigan finished.
On our last day in Michigan, we all visited the Erie Orchards. We try to get out here every year to pick apples.

It's a little late in the season for apples, but it's the perfect time of year for pumpkins. Hi Ian!

While looking at the pumpkins, we found this little orange and black caterpillar. We took turns letting him crawl over our hands and even gave Ian a turn. He was okay with it crawling on him, but then he grabbed him and gave him a squeeze. Yikes! The caterpillar was fine, but we'll not let Ian play with him anymore.

I love all these pumpkins piled together in a crate. It reminded Theresa so much of Fall that she's made it her iPhone wallpaper.

Hi Ian.

I took this next picture back in 2010. They're all so little.

Fast forward to 2014 and finally we have a driver for the bus!

Daddy, I want a pumpkin this big!

Ian posing with Aubrey and Abby.

Next it was time for the petting zoo. Pee-Wee the deer wasn't here anymore, but there are some goats and chickens.

Ian is getting his waving down pretty well now.

All these goats are eager to get some feed.

After that, it was finally time to go pick some apples. All three vehicles loaded back up and drove back to the orchards.

Like you'd expect, the orchard is broken up into different sections based on the variety. This crew always likes to go to the Honeycrisp section first.

I guess we came a little late this year compared to previous years because the trees were all pretty bare. There were a few apples here and there, but you had to look hard to find them.

Theresa was happy to be outside walking through the orchards. She just loves fruiting trees.

And this year it was Ethan who found the "butt" apple.

Smile Ian! This boy is going to be spoiled with all the fun things we get out to do.

Ian tasting a fresh off the tree apple. He made good use of his 4 teeth and was able to scrape off some little chunks.

I was really hoping to see more colorful trees during this visit, but those brilliant color fall trees were few and far between.

Tyler brought the football out to play some catch with the boys.

Well the Honeycrisp section was a bit of a bust. Over to the Golden Delicious section to try our luck there. Nothing near to the ground, so the kids went higher in search of some fruit. Austin took to the branches.

Aubrey used her Papa Don's shoulders.

And Ethan even found a ladder.

There were a couple more up high, but not many.

Ian found a little apple that was just his size.

What kind of apple is this?

In the end, the entire group of 18 people came away with less than a half bushel bag of apples. Well this is also a cider mill, so let's go there.

Ah, this is where all the apples went.

They're on their way to becoming delicious cider.

The pressing room wasn't running while we were there, but they've got plenty bottled for sale.

If you didn't find the apples you wanted out in the orchard, you might have better luck inside.

Our group is here for two things though. Apple cider and cider donuts!

Frozen cider sounded good to T and I. I asked if she'd like to split it, and she told me I needed to get my own cup.

Try some frozen apple cider buddy?

I think the cold surprised him a little. After the initial shock, he liked it a little better.

We took our donuts (thanks Jim) and cider (thanks Richard) outside to the enclosed patio.

Ian was really interested in getting a bite of one of those donuts. Theresa gave him a taste and of course, he liked it. What's not to like about fried dough and sugar?!?

Getting hugs from his Aunt Rita.

And getting some love from his Uncle Don.

Any time Theresa would go to take a bite of a donut, Ian would move in to take a bite too.

Loves those donuts.

I don't know what it is about this stretch of road, but I've seen some interesting things on it. Back in 2011, there was a life-size Lego car on its way to the opening of Legoland in Florida.
This year, there was a Jurassic Park Jeep on a trailer headed somewhere. Cool!

The next day, we left Michigan and flew back to California. We had a nice long visit and a lot of fun. 

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