Friday, October 16, 2015

Apple Orchard {2015}

Mark's family has a tradition of going up to the mountains in October to visit an apple orchard and spend some time at a few fall festivals/craft fairs. I started going up with them before Mark and I were even engaged and it's become one of my favorite trips to take with his family. Mark and I actually missed last years trip because Reaghan was only 3 weeks old at that time and we missed the year before because I was running a marathon and traveling for a cousins wedding. We hadn't been on this trip since the year we got married, so we were really looking forward to taking Reaghan to the mountains!

Mark is able to get a condo at the Massanutten resort through his work for a very good price! We are able to get the top and bottom units (that are connected but could be rented separately) to share with his family. It works out really nice. Mark and I stay on the bottom and his parents and sister and brother in law share the top. We'll probably have to change up that arrangement when more kids come in to the mix, but it works great for now!


We left Friday morning and decided to stop for lunch at Short Pump in Richmond. I had never been to the Short Pump mall before, but now that I've been, I definitely want to make that a frequent stop on road trips. It has everything! And it's an outside mall, so the fall weather made it enjoyable to walk around and get fresh air before hopping back in the car for a few hours. They have these little courtyards with seating and fountains and even play areas for kids.

They also have this adorable train that drives around the courtyards. We hopped in for a ride and Reag thought it was the best thing ever.

Saturday we went to Dayton Days Autumn festival. We stumbled upon it by chance in 2012 and we thought we were going to miss it this year because it was scheduled to take place the first weekend of October. Lucky for us, Hurricane Joaquin got it rescheduled to the weekend we were going to be there! We walked around, looked at the crafts and ate apple pies, kettle corn and cupcakes. Delish! I bought Reaghan a few homemade bibs for the holidays and a couple of little bows. Also a knitted pumpkin hat that I totally forgot to take a picture of!

Here we are ready for our day and enjoying a morning view of the autumn colors on the mountain.

(I couldn't get enough of her in this outfit. The leggings. The boots. The sweater vest. Gahhh. The cuteness was too much for me that day.)

After the festival we went to the windmill shops. It has a little food shopping area, a fun vintage toy store, amish furniture and other antiques and homemade items for sale.

Cousin conversations by the water wheel. <3

My loves.

Talking their "BB" into buying them some yummy snacks. ; )

We found a great Christmas idea for these girls ; )
They couldn't get enough of this kitchen set at the toys store.

The girls were a delight the entire time, but our favorite was after they would take a bath together and  then play in their jammies. They were sweet and loving and very giggly. Here's Reaghan trying to convince Brooklyn to share some of her snacks - which Brooklyn was happy to do!

On Sunday we took a quick trip to a Lavender Farm and explored the grounds where they had some farm animals to see, a giant checker board to play on and a small pond to explore around.

That evening we went to the resort's indoor water park. It's actually pretty pricy, so we weren't sure if it would be worth it - but we had 50% off coupons and we got the twilight discount for going after 5pm - so we thought it would fun to try it out and it was a really fun time!

Reaghan enjoyed walking around the kiddie pool area. We took them on the lazy river too, but the girls weren't as excited about that so they sat with BB and TomTom and ate snacks while we went down a few water slides. :)

The last day we were there was finally the day for apple picking!
We've found a new orchard than the one we used to go to and the one that Mark went to growing up. It's a little closer to where we stay at Massanutten now and you can pick you're own apples off of the tree {the other one you just picked the apples out of a bin ;)} so his family was okay with making the switch to the new place.

Reaghan was better at taking the apples out of the bag then she was at putting them in.

Unfortunately all of the delicious apples we picked fell out of the back of our 4Runner when we went to load it up the next morning and then proceeded to roll down the hill that we were parked on. Womp womp waah. Mark did track them all down and we brought them home, but they are pretty traumatized. I think I'll be baking lots of apple pies now instead of straight eating them.

On our way back from the Orchard we stopped at the Route 11 chip factory and got to sample sweet potato chips hot off the machines. So good. I also got some of my favorite cream soda. You can't get this stuff here in Hampton Roads so every time I saw it while we were in the mountains, I treated myself to one. 
(I never even knew I liked cream soda until a certain friend of mine got married this past August!)

That evening we drove down to the park near our condo to enjoy the warm weather that we were having and spend our last night playing with the girls together.

They couldn't get enough of the swings! Reaghan didn't want to get out. 

We saw dozens of deer walking around the resort that night as well. This one was in the condo parking lot and was hoping to get some food from our neighbors who were eating on their balcony.
I admit - I also threw out a few cheerios for them and they gobbled them up. I'm sure I'm a horrible person for feeding a wild animal - but these deer looked like they were already pretty used to being fed by humans.... so.... I don't think I made them any worse off ; )

We are, once again, so blessed to be able to take these family vacations. I think this makes this our 6th trip since May! Wow! What a great year of getting to travel, spend time with family and make memories with our sweet baby Reag. She's our favorite.

Reaghan learned to walk completely on her own while we were there.
She's now a full on toddler following me around on wobbly legs all over the house.

It's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

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