I'm smiling but it's hot so please hurry up and take the picture so we can get in the air conditioning again

Today my girls and I went apple picking. Kind of.

I really needed photos of a local orchard for a story we are running next week in my paper, and I never pass up the opportunity to put my kids in print. It was going to be busy today – my oldest had a party to attend at 3, and I had other work to do so we had to make an early start of it.

An “early start” wound up being 11:30 rather than the 10:00 a.m. start time I would’ve preferred. Daughter #1 took too long with her hair and make up (a new hobby of hers) and daughter 2 got caught up watching “Rambo” with daddy.

By the time we got to the orchard, which is situated on top of a mountain, it was high noon. And it was kind of hot. I walked around and took a few photos of the barn, and the apples, and the scenery, which is top notch. We then got in line for the hay ride, which is a Carter Mountain tradition for us. For one, it’s fun, but the views you get are stupendous.

Carter Mountain Backside View

We lucked out because the hay ride before us was packed to the rafters. When we went it was only us and two other families, so we could really spread out. I was actually able to grab an apple right off a tree while we were passing a particularly low, apple -laden branch. The girls got a kick out of having an instant snack.

Once the hayride was over, the girls insisted on a few of the orchard’s home made doughnuts. Had I not been strictly adhering to my diet, I would’ve had one. But, I was good and just sipped some water. I did have a few bites of an apple, and although it has both carbs and sugar, is a way healthier choice than a doughnut.

Once the snack and the bathroom and the hand washing were over, it was FINALLY time to pick some apples. But, uh oh. I realized that after the hay ride, doughnuts and water, I only had a few bucks left. It’s a good thing the girls were really hot, because I could only afford about 4 pounds of apples, which equals about 7 or 8 of these beauties. We found a good row away from the general public and I began to pose the girls in various lame and hokey apple picking poses.

The sweat began to trickle down my back, and the girls were getting grumpier and grumpier. My mind began to wander to thoughts of my 1999 station wagon with the air conditioning. I wasn’t sure if I had my cover shot or not, but I quickly surmised that I could come up with some alternative design if all the photos turned out to be duds.

I purchased my 4.75 pounds of apples, which left me with 75¢ to my name, and we trudged to the car where the AC went on full blast. Once home I changed out of my now sweaty clothes and began peeling apples. You cannot, I mean CANNOT go apple picking and not make a pie. Immediately.

It’s all baked and ready for my family’s dessert. And I can’t have any. Stupid diet.

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