Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple Annie's

This year we decided to check out Apple Annie's Orchard in Willcox, about an hour and a half away, where in addition to the apple orchard there is a pumpkin patch, corn fields and other produce, as well as an advertised "Fall Pumpkin Celebration". While the "Celebration" left something to be desired, J's whole family went together and we made a celebration of our own!

We all decided to meet at the orchard at 8:30 am, when the pancake breakfast at the orchard opened. This meant we all needed to leave Tucson between 6:30 and 7, and unbelievably, we were all on time. More than on time, we were a few minutes early, and pulled in like a caravan - J and I parked, and saw J's older sister's family and then his younger sister pull in and park right in a row next to us, and we hadn't even seen each other on the drive! For a family in which tardiness is practically part of the genetic code (and I can say that because I fit right in!), this sparked a lot of amazement and laughter.

Our day at the orchard started with a pumpkin pancake breakfast at the apple orchard - they served apple cider syrup with the pancakes and it was delicious enough that I keep thinking we need to drive back to Willcox just to buy some. No other reason necessary. We ate at picnic tables in the trees, and it was lovely.

I was simultaneously nursing SS and taking this picture.

My cowboy

After breakfast, we headed into the orchard, where we spent the next couple of hours searching for apples - due to a big freeze, their crop wasn't very good this year (for apples and other produce) which was a bummer for the produce shopping, but gave us a fun challenge in trying to spot the few good apples still in the trees. We threw the rotten apples lying on the ground, and the boys played lacrosse with their apple-getting-stick-tools (those things must have a real name, but I have no idea what it is).


The "lacrosse" I mentioned. Matt and J discovered this, and then of course J had to teach BB

Serene found a beehive

Here she is showing it to BB

The whole family apple-hunting and fetching

More apple fetching

Swinging with Daddy and Nacky

Me and SS getting in on the fun

Shortly after these pics were taken, I felt like SS had peed through his diaper onto me so it was time for a diaper change and a trip to the bathroom for Mama. We plopped SS right down in the apple cart, and J and his mom took over while I went to wash the pee out of my shirt. It turned out to be a good diaper change to miss, from what I was told :)

How do you like them apples?

After we were fresh and clean again (turned out SS hadn't leaked, I had just felt the warmth from the full diaper, score), we snapped this picture. SS started getting really fussy. We realized the rest of the family had disappeared. We decided to go find everyone else. SS continued fussing. We realized he had been perfectly happy in the apple cart. So we put him back, as an experiment. No fussing. Picked him back up, crabby baby. So back in the apple cart he went, and that's how he rode around the orchard while we searched for our family.

Loving being pulled in the apple wagon

Turns out the rest of the fam had found a donkey and were trying to feed him apples! We were reading a Christmas book a few days ago, and BB saw the donkey, which he usually calls a horse, and he said, "Donkey....donkey eat apples," and it took me a minute to realize that he was remembering the orchard donkey!

After we had our fill of the orchard, we bought our apples, I bought a freshly-baked apple crumb pie from the shop, and then we drove down the bumpy dirt rode a few miles to the produce and pumpkin farm. The advertised "kids area" was pretty sparse, but BB didn't notice because he was fully engrossed with the one attraction - bins full of corn kernels for the kids to play in.

I heard his Nacky picked him up by his feet after this and kernels poured from his pockets.
I found corn kernels in his diaper later that day.
(Those pictures were courtesy of Nacky, since SS was eating his lunch with mama in the (air-conditioned) car - did I mention the temperature got up to the 90s?)

BB climbed all over this pumpkin display

All boy

Like father, like son

The Produce and Pumpkin farm also had a hayride to the pumpkin patch and a corn maze, but by this time we were ready to pick our pumpkins and get out of town. We camped out at a picnic table while BB climbed on the pumpkin display, enjoyed some shaved ice courtesy of J's dad (root beer flavored, yum), fought off the many fearless bees that wanted to share our shaved ice - J's dad sustained a sting on the elbow, and then J was convinced he got stung on the tongue when he took a big bite of the shaved ice and then got a weird stinging sensation. I couldn't really see anything on his tongue other than a little redness, but we all remember J's last episode of pumpkin-patch-induced-hypochondria. :) Just kidding. J is actually the one who remembered that, when we were driving home discussing the possible-tongue-bee-sting.

Anyway, once we were done with the roasted corn, shaved ice, and bee-swatting, we skipped the hayride in favor of just hiking out into the patch. BB picked a big orange pumpkin and a little white one, and the we headed home with some apple butter.

Of course, you know we snuck in some family photos along the way - I just saved them for last:

Decked out in plaid and boots with SS in overalls for a day at the farm

Our family of four in the apple orchard

BB adores his cousins and auntie and uncle, and often when I ask him what he dreamed about, he lists off "Bewel, Tada, Auntie Seen, and Mattttt." Uncle Matt taught BB how to flip on his cowboy hat fancily when we got to Apple Annie's, which BB turned into more of a hat spin on his head trick.

J's sister's beautiful family,
taken after our pancake breakfast

Cousins in the apple cart

Papa and Nacky with all of their grandkids

(Somehow Shawna escaped the family portraits, but you can find her in the group shots!)


  1. Oh, I like them apples ;) Also, I forgot to say in my forever long e-mail comment...Hannah LOVES eating corn off the cob too :)

  2. I love this! I kept thinking as I was reading, how did she find time to post all of those pictures? :) And I admire your ability to both take pictures and breastfeed :)

  3. Aw! It looks like you guys had a truly magical fun family day! :) Thanks for sharing! :) Love all the great pictures - wow!