Wednesday, October 22, 2014

These Days, It's All About Apples And Pumpkins

What does it do to you to see apples floating in a bucket of water?  Does it make you a kid again?  In a place that just absolutely can't exist any more?  Somewhere like, oh I don't know...the past?  Back there where those very apples actually tasted like apples?  Back there where there were only two kinds of apples:  Orchard apples and Red Delicious Christmas stocking apples. Oh the lovely, lilting, bouyancy of the word itself.  Apple. (Somebody should definitely name their child "Apple.")

Hey, what?!  Like 40 or more varieties of apples?  In one grange hall?  The idea is to walk the perimeter, taste each and every one of them and take notes to return to your favorites.  I couldn't hang with those hard-core apple tasters, though.  After a few bites, I got a bit full of apples.

However, no matter how many samplings of apples I had, I just couldn't walk away from these dewey little drops of immortal ambrosia.  WICKSON CRAB APPLE.  At once tart, tangy, noisy, crispy-clear and sweet.  Like an apple stolen from the past.  Like an apple's apple with the flavor of a real apple!

Just ask this kid; he'll tell you.

So with all apple tales come stories of spiders and caterpillars and the ancient art of examination and discovery.

Another day, another tractor ride. And wagon ride and bounce walk. And kittens in the hay. Maybe a pumpkin or two.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Another Day In The Cascades--Peshastin, WA

Really only down the road from Leavenworth right off the highway at a little place called Smallwoods Harvest, where they sell fruit and related miscellany, and have a handful of attractions for children.  I'll just make this a picture post.  (The horses were corralled behind the Wedge Mountain Inn motel where we stayed for half the price with about double the amenities as our stay at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA!  This place helped fasten the feeling of being on an old-fashioned road trip.)

One Day In The Cascades--Leavenworth, WA

I had been looking forward to our little trip to Leavenworth for more than a year!  German Christmas traditions seem to hold me in thrall more than any other, although if you put the word "Christmas" before any other word you're speaking, you definitely have my attention.  I thought we should try to get there during the holiday season, and we probably would have if recent circumstances hadn't drained the coffers as they did, so we went on a cheaper weekend just in time for the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival, replete with real, "the way they should be" parade and attendant festivities.

The best part about this parade was how easy it was to watch!  No clamoring crowds with big ol' adults jockeying for a good position in front of the kids, no endless lines of sleeping bags and sweaters holding places on the sidewalk hours before the start time.  When was the last time you went to a real parade and had such a good spot to watch from as did this little fella with the sun-kissed noggin? There were a lot of people in town that day, but I think the parade route was long and winding enough for us all to spread out in the perfect weather and enjoy ourselves...not very far from our $5.00 parking spot, as well,

Did I say it was a real parade?  It was.  It was festive and colorful, interesting and moving and had a lot of marching bands and pony-drawn carts and royalty sitting on convertibles and carefully constructed floats.  I love a good parade and hadn't had an experience like this for a long time.

 Desmond thought he should have those horses.  After all, hadn't he just spent the morning at the corral out behind our motel making friends with them?  (more about that later)

The town was pretty much closed off for the festival, but after the parade was over, my interest waned a bit, except for getting to the nutcracker museum to further fuel my relish for all things nutcracker!

The weather was autumn-warm, the sun high enough to elicit a squint or two and some tiny beads of sweat on baby's nose as he eventually slept in the stroller.  In this little Bavarian Village with a big reputation, I bought Italian bacon, suausage and sauerkraut.  Katy found the bakery and a Sophisticated Hippie boutique, which did not reflect hippie ideals in their prices, so all she bought was a couple of pastries.

Then we left town to have supper at Big Y diner on the road to Cashmere.  Should have got two slices of that piled-high-meringued lemon meringue pie, of which the meringue was golden and delicate but the lemon filling was the real hidden gem!