This past weekend, we set off for a day trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit with James’ family. The drive up was beautiful, and the more north we drove through Georgia the more fall-colored leaves tunneled us on each side. Being surrounded by this scenery, these views, does this tired Mama heart so much good. How can one not love the mountains, the fall season, the great outdoors?
We met up with the Hobson family at Mercier Orchards, which placated my desire to visit an apple orchard this fall. It was overcast and a bit cloudy, but the temperature was perfect and we all had a jolly time perusing the rows of apple trees and searching for worthy picks to fill our bags, as it was almost the end of picking season.
Beaudozer had a blast, procuring one apple in each hand at all times. If he dropped an apple, I had to replace it immediately, or else he’d pick up the nearest apple off the ground and start munching. He must have eaten one third of roughly six apples by the time we left.
James Michael chose a different approach. He stuck with one apple and ate halfway through the core. He loved the freedom of running through the rows of trees and exploring just a small snippet of the 300-acre grounds with Daddy.
Scarlett spent her time entertaining Grandma and Grandpa and receiving lots of ooohs and aaahs because of that cute pink bow we tried our hardest to keep on her head. And the thumb sucking. Always the thumb sucking.
The cousins rode ponies at the orchards and peeked through the fence at all the animals in the little petting zoo before we sat down for a big family lunch. We then ventured to the cabin that James’ sister and her family rented for the week.
All the kids tried their best to stave off naps, but we managed to get the three youngest to bed, even if it meant going on a short hike with Beaudozer on my back.
The cousins played so hard together, which was great to see since they live so far away. After dinner, the kids roasted marshmallows as Grandma led campfire songs.
And this is what childhood is all about. Not big fancy toys or trips or larger-than-life Disney characters. It’s about a two-year-old picking apples all by himself. It’s about three-year-old cousins playing tag until they’re exhausted. It’s about breaking bread with family amid the laughter and unavoidable chaos. It’s about squeezing in as many moments of adventurous togetherness as possible. This is exactly the kind of day I want my children to reminisce about as they get older.