Another tradition in Michigan is visiting the Erie Apple Orchard.
Normally we head back to the U-Pick apples and walk up and down the rows
sampling different varieties. Unfortunately Michigan had a really warm
March which caused the trees to bud, then a few weeks of below freezing
temperatures. Erie Orchards was one of the only places left that still
had U-Pick apples because of how close they are to Lake Erie.
Finding apples on the trees this year was difficult. One of our group likened it to an Easter Egg hunt.
I'm sampling this appetizer apple. It's tiny.
The three Myers kids
And I can even eat the apples this year. In the past, I've had to worry about popping off the brackets of my braces. This year, no braces!
Somehow apples kept managing to find themselves in Austin's hood.
It's never a complete trip until someone finds the apple that looks like a butt.
Maybe a ladder will help us get to some apples.
Only finding a few apples this year.
How many licks does it take???
Heading back to the car with our apples. I think we got maybe 1/8-1/4 bushel between the 10 of us.
Here's where all the apples were hiding.
Getting to ride back to the main building in the back of the Excursion.
Theresa thought this was a Charlie Brown apple tree. It's so scrawny and looks pathetic, but it still has a bunch of apples on it.
Looking at the chickens.
And saying hi to the goats.
Sadly Pee-Wee the deer was nowhere to be seen.
After we're done picking apples, we always head back in to get Cider Mill donuts and cold pressed apple cider.
We got really lucky and just happened to be there when the donuts were coming out of the fryer. They were almost too hot to hold.
The girls pouring everyone some apple cider. And Theresa has already started enjoying a donut.
Everyone dug in and the consensus was that these were some of the best donuts we've had here.
I still don't know how Aubrey managed to eat THREE!
Taking a look at the room where they press the apples, then fill the containers with cider.
Theresa... gourds are not for eating like that.
Theresa really wanted a cider slushie. It was tasty and gave you a brain freeze when you drank it too quickly.
To finish our orchard experience, we got some kettle corn. Donald's comment was, "We bought some last time and it wasn't very good. I wanted to try it again to see if last time was a mistake. It wasn't."
On the drive back home, Donald took us by a flower supplier's place who is a friend of a friend.
Amongst the flowers and grasses, there are also small streams of water.
As well as a bridge spanning a small gully.
Quite a difference in the light between when the sun is setting and when it's behind the horizon.
Theresa grabbed a few more shots of some leaves changing colors.
And then the sun was set and it was time to head home.