Apple Picking + G’s Restaurant

  Our weekends have been pretty low-key since school started, and we were trying to think of what to do today when I suggested apple picking last night. We’ve gone every September since I was born (kudos to my parents for pushing a stroller through rows of trees and a pumpkin patch). So today we headed to Soons Orchards in New Hampton, our favorite spot of recent years. It’s small compared to the farm we went to when we were younger. There was a petting zoo and hayrides there, and that’s nice if you want to make a day trip out of it. But this place is perfect for a morning, especially since it’s still so hot this late in September (which I am not unhappy about, trust me).

IMG_7938

  We decided to go with half a bushel, since that’s enough apples to last us a month or so anyway. Apple picking has gotten expensive, and forget about the places that charge you to park or even to access the orchards. Soons has free parking and a pretty large bag for $25, which is a pretty good price if you’re thinking ratios (You can do the actual math). After glancing at the reference for apple types, we decided to go with gala, lady jean, and golden delicious apples. We actually picked too many of the other two and never got a chance to grab some lady jeans.

IMG_7939

  The gala rows were picked almost bare, and it seemed like there were more apples on the ground than in the trees.  Somehow, we found a bunch in the back few trees and filled half the bag (and ate a few too). IMG_7952IMG_7946    Once we finished up, we headed down the street to the Orchard’s Market. It’s like the inside of a barn-turned-country-store, and it’s adorable. They sell all sorts of produce from peppers to zucchini, and of course, apples! They make their own salsas and peanut butters, which I had to sample. The stone fruit salsa was the best.

IMG_7956 IMG_7961

  They also have a wide variety of baked goods and ciders. We always get at least half a dozen of the apple cider donuts and a gallon of cider. And I just had a donut now. Reheated in the oven. And drizzled with honey. (Because this whole thing is about my happiness, too, right?) Along with the donuts, we make sure to grab a jar of honey, which the farm sells for an apiary in Westtown. For some reason, my sister grabbed the largest jar available, on the bottom shelf, which is the size of my head. Eighty ounces of honey. Hopefully it lasts us a long time.

IMG_7957 IMG_7959

  After the sampling and the buying and the lugging things back to the car, we headed into Warwick to get lunch. The town is adorable and if we had more time to window shop, I could have spent a few hours there.

IMG_7963 IMG_7968

  We ended up at G’s Restaurant, which had beautifully painted windows for fall (which I poorly captured in the photo). There was a sign outside advertising pumpkin spice coffee, and I was tempted. I decided to forgo after some miserable attempts with Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. I’m just not a big fan of nutmeg in hot beverages.

IMG_7962

  The restaurant inside was nice and airy, and we sat in a booth. I ordered a house salad with lemon pepper chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. My mom got sweet potato soup and a mesclun salad with balsamic. My dad got a grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries and Carly got a burger with fries. The sandwich came with normal fries, so the waitress brought out a plate of sweet potato fries for us for free, which happened to be in the center of the table… Very close to my hands…

IMG_7967 IMG_7966

 After lunch, we headed back to Rockland. The Season 9 premiere of Doctor Who airs tonight and tomorrow, we’re heading into the city to see Les Misérables on Broadway. This is my last week with a vacation day before we head into two straight months of five-day weeks, and i’m putting my energy into enjoying myself while I can.