This recap is by both of us, so at some point it will say “my brother”, that’s Norm’s brother, and Joyce will mention “Norm”, he’s not referring to himself in 3rd person.
It is about an hour drive to Placerville/Camino so we headed off right after breakfast. It was fun for the girls to watch the scenery change on our drive from the city into the orchards. We stopped off at only five orchards. They are all so unique.
The first apple orchard we visit was Abel’s Apple Acres. There were a pair of bears out front so we took a couple of pictures with them. We then bought some apple food as a snack (cinnamon roll and a donut-looking thing (it was advertised as an Apple Fritter)) before lunch. There were some merchants selling merchandise in booths at the side of the building and one of them had some cheaply manufactured kid-sized guitars that Emily and especially Melody enjoyed. We had thought the pint-sized kids corn maze was free along with other kid-related activities, but they started charging for them so we decided not to do them. There was also some photo cutouts and a height chart on a tree we took pictures at.
Next stop was Boa Vista Orchards. In the Apple Hill Catalog, it showed that they had the biggest variety of apples to buy from. There was a sample stand that we were at for awhile which also had apple cider along with apples and plums/peaches.
We then went to Kids Inc. because they had a kid’s cooking demonstration and some farm animals. We missed the cooking demonstration and there were only a couple of goats and some chickens. There was also an arch covered in Morning Glory flowers and an artichoke plant that was of interest.
Since it was lunchtime and the kids needed to use the bathroom, we stopped at Rainbow Orchards. There were TONS of cars (and TONS of dragonflies) there because it turned out to be the county’s Teddy Bear Picnic for homeschooled children. We bought some burger/hot dog with chips lunch and barely found a place to sit on a picnic table while we watched the show that was being put on by the many groups of the area. A nice grandma was sitting our table and generously gave Emily a free teddy bear she gotten earlier in the day. She though Emily was so cute. Emily was thrilled.
Our last apple orchard we visited was Denver Dan’s Apple Patch. We got to feed the llamas and goats there. It also had apple picking, but it was getting late and the kids needed to nap. While inside the barn, we got to sample some apple crisp. Yummy!
The disappointment about visiting Apple Hill was that the place that served Apple Milkshakes (Honey Bear Ranch) closed. =( The girls were so looking forward to drinking some Apple Milkshake. Maybe we’ll find a recipe to make.
Two apple orchards we didn’t visit, but my brother, his fiancee and my mom visited were O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch and Grandpa’s Cellar. O’Halloran’s has large buckets filled with apples of a kinds to pick/buy from and sample. Grandpa’s Cellar has apple butter that we requested to be brought back to us for later consumption. It’s great on toast, bagels, etc.
We were hoping the girls would get an hour nap during the car ride back to the hotel but they didn’t. So we played ZINGO To Go! We got to the hotel around 3ish? They fell right asleep…and I did too. We really wanted to make it to the train ride so Melody woke up at 4:30pm, and Norm seriously swept Emi up and brought her straight to the car, and off we went.
Old Sac train
Norm dropped us off to get tickets. I was hesitating on buying the tickets because Norm and Len were both still parking the cars and this was the last train.
Me: I’m not sure how many tickets to buy. My husband is still parking the car.
Lady: *looks at clock* Well, he still has 7 minutes.
Me: 6 adults and 2 kids
Conductor: *comes into ticket area* 2 more minutes!
Lady: Wow. It went from 7 to 2 minutes really quickly.
With one minute to spare…as the conductor was calling people onto the train, Norm arrived. The girls really enjoyed the ride so I am really glad we didn’t miss it. Although it was stuffy inside the car we were on (there is another one that is not enclosed), it was nice to just sit down for about 40 minutes. After the ride, we did a little more exploring of the Old Sac shops. Actually, Emily and I went looking for the bathroom. We finally found one and it was not that great. =/ We found that we got a parking ticket when we got back to our car because it was over the line. It is a big vehicle, and in Norm’s defense, there was a huge Escalade that had parked over as well so that he couldn’t fit in there.
Chicago Fire Pizza
Norm did a review of Chicago Fire Pizza already, so check that out. It was a fun meal. I’m a thin crust fan if anyone is wondering. At the end of the night we said our goodbyes to Len and Bonnie who were headed back to the Bay, and then got ready for bed.
Whew, you made it the end of our long post!
Click HERE for Day 2 album or view slideshow below (if the slideshow brings you to the album, just close that and come back here to watch it run):