Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Finding Fall

In our search for Fall in southern California we (meaning I) decided to venture north of Santa Barbara to go apple picking. I found a couple of spots but was not sure what to expect as the websites were ancient and had not been updated in years. We made it a family affair with Uncle E, Auntie Rach, Benji, Goppy and Grandpa Lee. 

First up was Seein' Spots Farm in Solvang. They are really a miniature donkey and rescue animal ranch that also has apple trees for picking.  When we arrived we were told all the apples were already picked since it was an unusually early season. We hung around to explore all the animals.
This turkey was beautiful! He did a lot of gobble gobble gobble sounds.
These ducks are the funniest looking things I have ever seen! They have little fro's on their heads! Very fancy.
The mini donkeys are very calm and friendly. There are brushes you can use to groom them. The girls had a great time.
Gemma might like one as a pet. They are for sale and only cost $1500.
Ben was not so sure. Maybe because his dad wanted to sit him on top of the donkey!
They also had a donkey/zebra called a zonkey. He was behind the electric fence so we will not be getting one of those.
I swear Benji smiles a ton in person. He is just perfecting his serious look for the camera.
Lily took her job very seriously. Grandpa Lee aka Indiana Jones had a good time too.
Alex was trying to pet the piggy while the goat above got jealous and started trying to nibble his head.
After our fun at the animal farm we headed over to Apple Lane Orchards. They too had an early ripening season and it was the last weekend they were going to have picking. There were only granny smith left but they were actually a lot sweeter than the usual granny smith.
Good thing we had our tiny pickers because the apples that were left on the tree were pretty high up and hard to reach. Lily and Gemma earned their worth on this trip.
Ben had a great time too, he could anticipate the home made apple sauce already.
We all had a great time and will try to return again next year and see what other varieties they have.
After we picked our fill we rested in the shade. We may have found Fall activities but we did NOT find Fall weather. It was in the mid 80's!
Then it was time for family photos in front of the sign with our bags of apples. So much for using this one for the Christmas card thanks to Uncle E's photo bomb.
This one is actually decent.
Next family, line 'em up!
I think I like this one the best! Wish our other two cuzzies could be here too. They have some serious apple picking in their neighborhood!
After all our hard work we headed to Los Olivos for lunch. They were having a big festival and the street was closed. They had food, live music, and all kinds of vendors. E and Rach got this cool bench made from a wine barrel. It is perfect for two little munchkins. Lily and Gemma bought these fun bouncing spiders with their own fun money they got in the mail!
We made one last stop at a local winery for some refreshment. Eric and Rach are club members so we all got to taste for free. It was so beautiful out and we relaxed in the shade.
This little spider was weary! He had fun trying to catch the wiggly spider.
We headed back to the beach house and all the littles napped in the car. We made a stop at Padaro grill for pupu's and a pitcher of beer. It felt almost like we were on a family vacation to Hawaii again!

Once home and after dinner we had one more activity to do. Goppy brought a halloween gingerbread house to decorate. We finally learned our lesson through the years and built the structure the night before. Now it was time to decorate.
They took their job very seriously. The candy eating job that is.
I think Lily may have eaten half a can of frosting herself!
The finished product turned out pretty good! It adds another element of spookiness to our home. 

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