Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Apple Orchard Fun

The minute Andi's plane wheels hit the ground last week, the kids and I took him to the apple orchard for a family evening of fun. I know Andi was exhausted from two weeks of work on the road, but I was desperate for some quality time together. My world orbits so much better when he's in it -- when we're together as a family -- and the weather was too gorgeous outdoors that day not to get out and enjoy it.

We visited Apple Jack Orchard on a Monday evening and the place was practically empty. It was AWESOME. Several of the kid's activities weren't operating that evening because it was a weekday (the big jumping pillow, corn pit, etc.) but that's perfectly fine with us. At age three, Tory is none the wiser and there was still plenty for all of us to do together. Best of all, there were no lines, no crowds and plenty of gorgeous scenery to soak in.

First things first: the obligatory "How Tall Are You" photo, at which Tory shouted, "I am three units!" (I can't decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing she's citing mathematical measurements from her favorite Team Umizoomi television show).

And, of course, a "How Tall Are You" pic with Brother Bear as well. In true Aden form, he shoveled a gigantic handful of dirt into his mouth the second I set him down for a photo. 

Shortly afterwards, the farmer hollered he was giving the orchard's last hay rides of the evening. Andi purchased a few tickets and we hopped on for a tour through the apple orchard.

Love this one my favorite guys looking into the orchard. It makes my heart happy to see these two together, and I'm also strangely enamored when I notice ways Aden resembles Andi. The back of Aden's head and his ears are dead-ringers for his dad. So cool. Aren't genetics amazing?

Family photo!

After our hay ride, we went back to the cafe / gift shop to grab dinner. Andi, Tory and I shared a cider brat, chili-cheese brat and a hot dog, which were all pretty gross if I'm being honest, and a apple cider donut for dessert. We crowded around a little kid's picnic table, per Tory's request, and were swarmed with bees vying for our food. (This part of our apple orchard visit wasn't so picturesque).

Then, we cut Tory loose to play on the kids activities nearby. The great thing about being some of the only people at the orchard that night was letting Tory run to her heart's content. She went right for the maze of hay bails that lead to a purple slide at the end. I bet she ran through there fifty times. She loved it!

Aden driving a pretend wooden tractor (with a little assistance from Mommy).

We stopped by the small petting zoo with goats, sheep and chickens. Tory wasn't so sure about the animals at first, and definitely wasn't interested in feeding them. After a few minutes, she picked up some straw from the ground and shoved it into the feeding trough ... which, I'm not sure the goats really appreciated. 

Really, is there anything more adorable than kids sitting amongst a pile of pumpkins? Love Tory and Aden's faces in this picture. It's so -- them -- the way Aden is watching Tory with admiration and Tory's being a cheese-ball.

A visit to the apple orchard was just what our family needed to reconnect after a unusually long and stressful two weeks apart. I love these three so much; so happy they're mine. And, so happy we get to enjoy beautiful Minnesota evenings like this one together as a family.


  1. Looks like so much fun!! : ) I love Aden's overalls, adorable - and Tory is becoming so grown up. Can't wait to see you all soon!!

  2. So sweet! (get ready for lots of comments - my work computer doesn't let me access blogspot blogs so I've been saving them up)