Apple- and Pumpkin-Picking with Li-Li
Our annual apple-picking venture was so much fun, although a bit less idyllic and pastoral and somewhat more fraught with suburban roadblocks — some real, some figurative — than past years.
We made plans with Alyse, Kira, and Tess to coordinate our departures to Honey Pot Hill orchard, synching our GPS systems and checking in frequently on the hour-long triangulation. As we drew close, traffic slowed, meandered and just plain stopped for long stretches. We figured we were only half a mile, maybe a mile from our destination, so we parked along a side street, hoisted the not-so-wee one atop John’s shoulders, and hoofed it past the cars snaking slowly along. We scoped out the farm stand, we watched the billy goats gruff scampering up high on their wooden walkways, we visited bunnies, ducks and chickens, and worried about the fate of the third piglet, seeing only two among the little straw house, wooden house, and brick house. Our bellies grumbled as the smell of cinnamon and sugar coated cider doughnuts wafted everywhere. We stood on the hill above the hedge maze, trying to plan our exit strategy in advance.
Almost an hour after our arrival, our partners in picking arrived at the parking lot entrance to the orchard. While John stood in line for those wonderful doughnuts, Li-Li and I raced to the meeting point. By cell phone, we described the ticket booth, the parking lot, the path way, the hayrides going by at that very minute. But we couldn’t see each other. We were in the same place, but apparently not at the same time — excellent, I thought: parallel apple picking universes, I knew it! Actually, there were two similar parking lots — quite far apart, especially when dealing with 8 very delicate little feet. We moved slowly towards one another, picking and along the way, and finally met for a last push to fill those terribly expensive apple bags near the blueberry bushes before saying goodbye. The two hour wait for pies and doughnuts was worth it, though.
More recently, we stayed close to home (just around the corner, to be specific) and hit the Big Apple.