Sunday, April 13, 2014

Apple Picking Day Trip - Bethel, CT

New England had the best fall in years, or so people told me. The tri-state got slammed by Superstorm Sandy last year and then hit with Hurricane Irene the year before. So we were long overdue for a nice, long fall, which thankfully, we got. Every time I'd head up to work in Connecticut, the changing leaves got more and more beautiful. We're talking strikingly stunning - I would just stop and stare. Growing up in Arizona, falls were pretty much non-existent. And while in Utah, the falls I had were gorgeous, but so short-lived. My Mississippi fall was beautiful too, but there was just something special about my first New England fall that I became enamored with. Looking at these pictures now makes me want to live it all over again. Only if we can skip winter though. Brutal. 

I had done my homework and asked my native New Englander co-workers where the best orchards were to do some apple picking. I also bugged them about the best drives to take to do some prime leaf-peeping. I didn't realize either were a thing until moving to the Northeast. We wanted a place that would give us the full experience. Time and time again Blue Jay Orchards in Bethel was recommended. We had our spot! We rented a SUV, grabbed the Wilsons and Komendas, and traded the Big Apple for the real thing.

First stop, the cutest general store for those coveted apple cider donuts. A little pre-game treat for all of our manual labor ahead. 

This place was oozing with everything fall. The pumpkin patch, the apple cider truck, and the brightest orange, yellow, and red leaves. I love that picture of Old Glory flying high. I've never seen so many American flags in front of houses, businesses, etc., as I have seen in Connecticut. I'd imagine the rest of New England is similar. There's so much history to be celebrated and the patriotism is evident. 

We made our way through the lines of trees and took our time apple picking, leaf-peeping, and cider donut eating. Sign me up for New England falls forever. 

Kenz and Matt

They look like little boys here and it makes me laugh. 

I love this group. We feel so blessed to have the best of friends out here with us. They truly are family. 

                  Here is Scott being oh so difficult for a picture. 

We decided since it wasn't too far out of our way, it would be in our best interest to check out Woodbury Common, the closest outlet stores. Most of us had never been and we spent some time looking around. But then the real magic happened. We drove an hour and a half to the closest Cheesecake Factory in Jersey, waited another hour to be seated, and then enjoyed the cheapest and biggest three course meal we'd had in months. Give us a car and watch what we do with it. 

This day encompassed the whole season for me. It was made of all the good stuff: laughs with dear friends, exploring the great outdoors, and a gigantic, delicious meal to top it off. Fall, pretty please don't leaf. 

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