Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Apples and cider and pears! Oh my!

I'd been so excited for our expedition to the hills of Virginia that I was worried something would surely go wrong and quash the outing.  Oh, me of little faith!  It was a glorious day, and everything ended up being no less than perfection!

The air was crisp but not cold.  The sky was bright.  The colors were vibrant.  

...and we were off!  Our first big sight was Pilot Mountain dressed for Autumn.
The drive was, in a word, beautiful.

...and at times breathtaking.

We were on a quest though.  Apples!  and  Cider!   So upon arrival in Clark, VA (just north of Floyd), we headed right to the trees that were loaded down and ready for us!
Completely organic, juicy, and delicious--just the right mix of tangy and sweet.
(About half of those apples came tumbling down on me, when my niece's husband shook that branch as I stood there underneath being amazed at how beautiful the red and green looked against the blue sky.  He was totally focused on the fruit and didn't even notice me there until I was shouting, "Hey!  Wait!" as I stumbled out from under the barrage of apples.)

We loaded the apples into the bucket of the tractor and rode the tractor wagon back over to where the apple press was set up ready to extract that mouthwatering nectar I had been craving.
We even pasteurized it for safety's sake and drank our fill!  It was lovely--all hot and tangy, sweet.  It even tasted spiced, but there was nothing in it but the juice of the apples.  I know, because I was there the whole time helping and watching.  Heaven!

I pulled out some apples and pears (that was a surprise that I didn't know about ahead of time), made sure I had some cider to take home, and gathered them up with my camera bag, Elizabeth's sketch book, and Maggie's poncho.  I didn't want to forget anything.  (Like I'd forget the cider.  Ha!  Not a chance.)  The sun was getting low and we were about to start the roasting over an open fire.  

Elizabeth hates hotdogs, but she decided to try one in honor of our perfect day.  She ended loving them cooked over the fire and ate 3!  Holy Cow!  That's a first!  Here she is with 2 of my nieces moving on to the marshmallows and loving that too. (I had no question about any of the kids loving that part.  Maggie wasn't too sure about the black ones that she roasted, but with a little help she finally got some perfectly roasted and yummed them down.)

Maggie was dying to drive the tractor and got very serious about it while it was sitting still.

David was more interested in riding around on the go-cart with his cousin.  I'm not even sure he got any marshmallows--hotdogs, chips, and apples, yes, but he was back to riding the go-cart when the marshmallows came out for roasting. 

The sun was bringing our day to a close and fire to the trees.
So we collected ourselves and said goodbye to the rustic surroundings...
...loaded into our van as the sun set and the moon came out.  The day bid us farewell as we did the same.
The ride home, with the sun burning up the sky and the kids drained to a peaceful quiet, was sweet.

So there you have it!  Our trip to Virginia was all that and a bag of marshmellows slow roasted to perfection over an open fire!  I'm just counting all my blessings!  Hurray!


Lioness said...

Hey! You forgot to mention my unexpected prowess at the very delicate art of marshmallow roasting!

lotusloq said...

Yeah! Sorry about that! What the heck is going on with my horizontal pix? They are getting cut off. Hmmm?

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What a GREAT post! You took awesome pictures. I love seeing your kids--and the color and the cider! Yum!
I will stop gushing now.

I forgot y'all live in Winston! I used to go there in high school to tour the yearbook publisher.

lotusloq said...

Did you do yearbook in high school? So did I!