Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Would you like to come aboard?



This my friends, is my apple orchard. Although it’s shared by loyal customers from miles around, it’s still mine. When I think of Autumn, just as the leaves begin to fall to the ground, glorious in their bright red-ish-orange hues, and the air has a coldness to it that smells like October; This place comes to my mind.

Fall would not be complete without a visit to Spicer’s apple orchard in Hartland, Michigan.


Knowing Ryan needed to leave for Arizona (to complete one of his drill weekends with the Air National Guard), we had to go a little early this year.

The leaves hadn’t started changing quite yet, and we had just missed them putting out the pumpkins, but it was beautiful regardless.

Picnik collage1

Their shop is filled with yummy gifts, donuts (that’s reason enough I’d say), candy apples, cider (cold, hot or slushy) and my personal favorite their wine.

Yes, that’s right my orchard has donuts AND wine.

Amen to that!



These are what apples are supposed to look like.

Did you know;  the ones at the grocery store are coated in a wax substance to make them look pretty and shiny? It’s true… unnecessary, and a bit gross.


Being able to come here,  was something I missed every year that I was in Arizona. It’s like an itch I need to scratch.

Last year, I tried to convince Ryan to drive three hours, in search of the nearest apple orchard in Arizona.- Long story short, it didn’t happen. - But he’s not from here, so he wouldn’t understand.


Traditions like this are something that will stay with me forever.  It makes me feel at home, and that I’m right where I belong.


And being able to share it with my son is beautiful.


He literally just swiped a white powdered donut, and shoved it in his mouth before I could stop him.

When he sees sugar, it’s like he completely shuts everyone out, and must have it.

Nothing will stop him.  He’s like a zombie.  Must-eat-brains-sugar.


One day, far from now, when he thinks back to his childhood, I hope he remembers Octobers in Michigan. Because I’m not sure it can get much better than this.




Lonely Wine

Finally the best part.  Here is their wine tasting room.


I’m not a big drinker, I absolutely can’t stand beer- I want to like it so bad, but every time I've tried it – it reminded me of (what I think) dishwashing detergent would taste like.

And before I had tried their cranberry wine, I really didn’t like drinking wine at all either.

True story.


Carriage House Cellars, cranberry wine is simply Ah-mazing.


With nothing but good intentions, I gave my mother in law a bottle of it for Christmas last year, and (oh man, this is horrible) every time we got together I would bug her about drinking it with me.  I know it was a gift for her, but I saw it just sitting there, lonely, un-opened, I just couldn’t take it.

(Plus, at that time they weren’t offering long distance shipping, and we lived across the country. It wasn’t like I could  just run up to Wal-Mart and pick up a bottle.)

Even though, I think she was onto my little plan,  she did end up opening it. And as my husband predicted,  I practically drank the whole thing, right in front of her.  It was wrong.   But it’s really that good. 


[note to self: mail her a replacement… and pick up an extra bottle just in case.]


Another great thing about this orchard is the children’s play area. [I think] it’s about $3.00 per child and it’s worth every penny.


We grabbed some cups, a gallon of cider, and a big bag of cinnamon sugar donuts and headed toward the play area.


Walking, listening to the crunching of leaves beneath my feet, I realized my heart was content. This was exactly where I wanted to be.




Picnik collage2

As Ryan went to get on the ship, I heard our little man yell out:

“Would you like to come aboard?”  Not sure where he heard that from, but I love that he knew to say it.


Can I just take a second to say,  how much I appreciate that Ryan is such a involved father.


How amazing is it that he will get right on that ship with him?

Seeing that, puts butterflies in my stomach and makes me fall in love with him all over again.


Corn House & Giant Sand Box

When my little man really likes playing with something,  he calls it “work”.

He constantly has to wash his cars in the kitchen sink, and says; “Mom, go in the living room, I’ve got lot’s of work to do.” which really means– leave me alone, so I can play cars and get water all over without being yelled at.


Moving this corn around was no exception. He had major work to do.

Right away, he took on the supervisor position, bossing around a younger employee.  Basically telling him that throwing corn was inappropriate behavior, and that he would need to start doing his job or he would need to pack up his diaper bag, and leave -immediately.


We moved to the sandbox in hopes of a nicer work environment.


After playing there for awhile, we decided we should go ride the bicycles, then see the animals.

We tried telling him it would be really-cool, obviously, he wasn’t convinced.


After we told him he could have more brains another donut, he cheered right up.



Have you ever seen something like this before? Besides at Spicer’s, I’m not sure that I have.


The goats walk up on this really high bridge, while people send up treats for them.


They must have recently remodeled it because I remember it looking a lot more dangerous. No railing, and definitely not that wide.

I often imagined a goat getting too excited from someone promising a treat,  that it runs up the ramp a bit too fast, trips, and falls straight to the ground, while kids scream in the background.

That never did happen (or maybe it did, and that's why they changed it, I don’t really know…) , but thank goodness they fixed it.


They’re almost intimidating.

They’d be great at door to door sales, how are you supposed to tell that face no?

He’s basically saying “Dude, I just walked all the way up here for you.  How you gonna play me like that?”




It’s hard not to get distracted by those smiles.


I mean, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is…



There we were, a happy little family, on a mission to make some memories.


The kind that stick with you.


The kind that last.


Have a great week,


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