Growing up in Virginia, we have always been proud of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail. As I child, we would often get in the car as a family, drive up to the trail and go hiking for the day. In college, I had several friends at schools in the New River Valley and along the mountains…so we were often making weekend trips to see them. Again, lots of hikes and such during those years.
As I have grown older, I haven’t gone on the hikes as much as I used to. That doesn’t mean I haven’t made my way to the mountains though, especially during the fall months. The Blue Ridge Mountains are filled with some amazing wineries and the fall is filled with wine festivals at resort locations and parks all along the smaller roads that are scattered throughout Virginia. These are always fun to attend with a group of friends and they make for a great way to relax and unwind after a long week.
One of the other fun things to do is hit the various apple orchards.
There is one orchard in particular I am thinking about that I love to go to each year. Its only about 30 minute drive from the University of Virginia and sits on the side of a smaller, beautifully rolling green mountain. Like the wine festivals, it is filled with music and amazing food. The arts and crafts are incredible and all of the products this orchard makes is just amazing. Whenever I make it there, I always come back with apple butter, apple sauce, fresh apples, mull cider, crafts and more. A lot of what I buy I end up giving as Christmas gifts though I make sure to keep just enough in my home to spoil myself a bit.
After a day at the orchard, I love to make a few fresh apple pies. I usually keep one for myself as a treat for the week. I also make two or three extras to take to the office for my team. I think my team has been a bit upset that I didn’t make it there the past two years with everything I have had going on between work and school. I heard one team member complaining about not getting an apple pie for their shift this fall.
I’ll make it up there next year though. And while I don’t plan to still be in my current job next fall, I think I will have to bring them a couple of apple pies to my current team as a little surprise.
Maybe the orchard will have an additional festival this year since the leaves haven’t really started to change here yet. I could use a day to escape from everything. Couldn’t you? ♥
See it on Flickr!
an lar [poses] – The Ulla Series – Three (m) [Closed Oct 31, 18. 😦 ]