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Have You Gone Apple Picking Yet?

Photo by Melody Bates on UnsplashFor the past 3 years, Ryan and I have gone apple picking at our local fruit farm and I look forward to it every year. It’s one of the many fall activities that we enjoy.
Most people go once a year, but not us. We have to go at least twice every season. If I had it my way, we would go every weekend for the whole season.

Why?

There are hundreds of apple varieties and no one apple orchard are alike. Walking through endless rows of apple trees invites my inner child to run and explore.
For some odd reason, it tickles my fancy to pluck an apple from the tree and munch on it before tossing it on the ground. (I probably did this a lot as a child).

We’ve picked apples twice this fall and we’re going pack at least one more time (Honey Crisp will be ripe the end of September).
On each visit, different varieties were available to pick.

What’s Your Favorite Apple Variety?

During our first, visit I discovered a new favorite, mollies. They’re sweeter than Honey Crisp, loads of flavor, and firm. They taste like Apple Jolly Ranchers.

I think I’m becoming an apple geek… but what do you expect from a fall baby!

Our last visit wasn’t as spectacular as the first.Courland, Fuji, Gala, and McIntosh were available but I didn’t care for any of them.

Thank goodness I tasted each variety! There’s nothing worse than picking a bag full of apples you don’t like (yep, been there, done that)!
Courtland apples are very tart and super firm.
You know, the kind of firmness that gets stuck between your teeth and can cut your gums. Eating a Courtland apple is like that Tums commercial when the food fights you back.

Galas, Fuji and McIntosh were ok in texture but the apple flavor is very mild. I was a little surprised by how mild they are.
We’ve brought these varieties at the store and thought the bland taste was due to the apples being picked before ripeness or we got a bad bunch.
Turns out that’s how they taste fresh off the tree.

Now I know what apples NOT to buy when grocery shopping.

If you and your family have yet to go apple picking, there’s still time to get out there and discover your favorite varieties.
Where else is it encouraged to chuck half eaten apples on the ground?
Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Where To Go

There are plenty of apple orchards here in Wisconsin and you can find a list of them here. Apple picking will go into October so set a date, invite friends and family, and get to picking.

The nearest orchard near me is Barthel Fruit Farm. You’ll find dates, list of varieties, recipes, directions, etc on their website. They also have a pumpkin farm, pears, and a store if you don’t want to pick your own apples.

Apple Holler is another well- known orchard and great for families. An unique orchard I’d like to try is Weston’s Antique Apples. They have varieties I’ve never heard of.
Autumn fruit picking is in full swing and with so many apple varieties to experience, it’s the perfect time to take a trip to your nearest fruit farm.

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Weekend Trip To Minneapolis

Sculpture Garden
Sculpture Garden

Our weekend trip to Minneapolis went exactly as I hoped. The 6 hour road trip kicked off with a visit with Ryan’s parents before heading across the state. The smooth ride allowed me to catch up on my reading as we drove through endless farmland.

Ryan and I kept the pit stops to a minimum and only stopped for lunch.
(Although I enjoy frequent pit stops on a road trip, we didn’t have time for laligaging).

We ate lunch at El Tequila Salsa in Wausau. The festive decor and great food made this restaurant a worthwhile stop.

Intermedia Arts

Intermedia Arts
Intermedia Arts

Once in Minneapolis, we checked out Intermedia Arts on Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis. If you’ve ever driven down Lyndale Avenue and seen a building covered with colorful murals, that’s the place.

Intricate graffiti, expressive portraits, and whimsical landscapes covered the exterior. Since my honey enjoys photographing murals, we had to stop.
Each mural was different from the next and some were so strange that I had to have a look inside.

As I tip toed through the door, and as I stood in the small entry way, I could see people in small groups engaged in deep discussion.

Feeling like an intruder, I immediately  began to turn back around.

Before I could make a break for the door, I was greeted with a warm welcome and asked if I wanted to join in the discussions. After introducing myself and explaining why I was there, the manager allowed us to take pictures and roam around.

Intermedia Arts
Intermedia Arts

Intermedia is a multidisciplinary, multicultural arts organization. Their mission is to build understanding among people by catalyzing and inspiring artists to make changes in their lives and communities.
What a cool mission and a true asset to Minneapolis!

Our next stop was the family. Ryan and I met little Marin for the first time. She slept for the first we were there. Ryan’s first time holding baby Marin was a precious moment.
We hung out with his brother and family for a few hours. They have 4 year old twin girls who are hilarious! The girls read to us, danced, played keyboard, and gave us a tour of their house.
It was a great time catching up and spending time with everyone.

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden
Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden in downtown Minneapolis was our last stop before heading home. The sun came out and revealed this charming garden, filled with quirky sculptures and playful contraptions.  The proud rooster stood at attention as the guardian of the garden.

I took in the garden with all of my senses with the curiosity of a child.  We could have stayed there for hours but it was time to hit the road and start our journey back home.

My weekend getaway pretty low key and chill. The gloomy weather was a good excuse stay in and watch Fixer Upper reruns.  It was a carefree trip. I spent time with family, learned about an amazing art organization and indulged in the simple things.  Thank goodness I put aside those negative thoughts and focused on what was important; connection and relaxation.

What are your plans this weekend?

Would you like to win a spa/golf getaway for two? Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win!  Drawing will be held September 18th.
THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG!
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