About 2 years ago, Tristan and I went to Oak Glen for the first time to check out apple picking for our 2-year anniversary. I was super pregnant at the time (almost 8 months!), but it was such a fun experience that I knew I wanted to take our son one day. Well, this year was the year!
We invited some friends to join us which made the trip even more special as they were all first timers!
Our first stop was to Oak Tree Village where we planned to get brunch at Apple Annie’s. There was a little wait, and I think Tristan was famished so we ended up going straight to the bakery instead. There were some perfectly baked pastries and giant chocolate chip cookies that our friend Jen got! Here’s Dominic trying to take a bite haha. It was gigantic!
While we were eating, an older man came by our table and asked if we wanted any balloon animals made. We knew Dominic liked puppies, so we asked for one. Dominic didn’t seem too thrilled. I think he was just unsure of what to do with it, but soon enough he unraveled it and turned it into a snake (see below). Lol.
Oak Tree Village has a lot of shops and other activities from a petting zoo to pony rides. I’m not really one to partake in those things, but we did find this beautiful wild peacock! It was so cute when we showed Dominic, and he pointed and said “Bird! Caw Caw!” I had no idea he even knew the sound that a bird made! He just soaks up things like a sponge these days.
I remember while some of the group was shopping, Jen and I were standing around and a young girl (probably pre-teen) yelled out “Why are we even here? There’s no wifi!” Oh. It kind of broke my heart. The signal up in Oak Glen really is sparse, but I told Jen that I hope no child we know grows up feeling that way. It made me so determined to make sure my boy learns to enjoy the beautiful pieces of life that don’t rely on technology.
Anyway, after we were done browsing around, we drove up to Los Rios Rancho. Once we found parking, we headed up to the orchards. I’ll admit, this wasn’t an expertly planned trip, but I’m happy everyone that went with us was open to whatever and were good sports despite the heat rising! The weather app was telling us the temperature would be in the upper 60s, but it was really in the 80s. That’s Southern California autumn for ya.
^ He was all giggles with his auntie!
Once we got to Los Rios Rancho, this is where the apple picking fun began! They have a main booth when you enter, and here you can sample the 4 different apples that were ready for picking. The red delicious and green delicious were amazing – but I guess we should’ve figured that out based on their names! Some photos from the orchards… 🙂
^ Lol my face as I’m carrying Dominic while both of us try to grab an apple
^ I’m in love with this photo. He loves apples, and it was his first time seeing apples on a tree!
^ Hunky hubby grabbing some of the bigger apples we couldn’t reach
After picking about 2 apples, Dominic spent the rest of his time eating them. Haha! They were so tasty and perfectly sized for his little hands. I was wondering if they were small due to the drought, but I can’t complain. Anything “Dominic-sized” makes me happy.
^ Out of focus, but I love his strut!
^ I love his face here making sure that I get a good bite!
^ Our friend has the cutest apple gumming baby ever!
Dom was pretty pooped at this point and wouldn’t cooperate for pictures anymore haha ^
When we were picking up our bags to pick apples, they also offered the option to pick some berries! I thought it would be fun to do once, so I got the small box. Turns out, the berries were pretty sparse. I barely saw any strawberries, but there were some raspberries scattered around. Everyone pitched in to help pick them, and it was during this time that we realized why raspberries are expensive. They take a lot of time to pick! So thankful for teamwork here, otherwise I would’ve been trying to fill up this box for a long time haha.
^ Our friend’s 2 month old snug as a bug!
After we all paid for our goods (and picked off a whole lot of stickers which seem to be a local weed – if you do go here, wear pants because these prickly things hurt!), we headed back downhill to grab some lunch! We had worked up an appetite.
But first… sunflowers! On the way there, we had to pass through Sunflower Lane which was so pretty. I had no idea this was even here, but it’s good to know now for future reference. Something about sunflowers always makes me feel happy.
Dominic was clearly tired at this point. Haha. He ended up falling asleep while we waited for food ^
So, the barbeque is a big deal at Los Rios. It took around an hour to order and get our food, so you can imagine the line. Mind you, it was about 1:30pm so we were thinking the lunch rush would be over! Anyway, to make it happen, we split up to handle different things, and eventually the guys took care of the kids at the picnic table they found while the ladies grabbed the food (which I thought was a sweet sign of the times. Haha).
Everyone said the tri-tip was delicious. I got the veggie sandwich which was really well made. We all agreed that the bread was amazing. Oh, there was also a booth on the other side of the building that sold some quick food, and the roasted corn there was reeeally good. Of course, we all got the cider to drink!
^ The crew!
I think one of my favorite things about this outing is that everyone that went didn’t know each beforehand, but by the end of the day, it started to feel like everyone did. It was nice being able to have friends from our different circles together, because other than birthdays or holiday celebrations, it doesn’t happen. I would love it if everyone we cared about knew each other 🙂
This is definitely something I hope to do annually as it’s one of the few ways we can really soak in the feeling of autumn around here. Besides the random neighborhoods in LA that actually have trees that change colors, we don’t have much to ring in the new season. Plus, I would love our kids to learn to enjoy more of the simple joys in life…
…and based on this photo of Dominic running off with a perfect “Dominic-sized stick,” I’d like to think we’re off to a good start 🙂