Apple Picking

Picking fruit on the farm

Picking fruit on the farm

I love so many things about the fall and living out in the country. One of my very favorite things is picking apples. I remember, as a little girl, getting loaded up in to the car and going apple picking out at this farm that isn’t actually a farm anymore but it does still exist as a store and winery. Since I can’t go there for apple picking anymore I have found other places to take Sydney. This year we headed out to Macintosh Fruit Farm to pick some apples and enjoy a nice day on the farm.

apple picking

apple picking

Sydney was so excited about this. I knew she wouldn’t be too much help, but she did pick a few before she just picked up an apple and started eating it. She loved running through the apple trees while I filled our bags full of apples. After we picked our fair share of apples we headed towards the back of the orchard and found some Asian Pears so we filled up a nice bag of those as well.

pulling an empty wagon...riding in a full one

pulling an empty wagon…riding in a full one

It was nice to fill up a couple bags of fruit, straight off the tree for us to take home. After we filled up our wagon we headed back towards the farm for some shopping in the store, some play time, and some lunch.

play time on the farm

play time on the farm

Sydney is currently obsessed with farm animals so it was awesome that they had a couple houses and a donkey for us to check out. She played on the playground and even played in the little sand pit they had. She was so happy playing that she didn’t even want to go eat lunch even though I knew she needed to eat. I eventually was able to pull her away and we enjoyed a yummy lunch and then picked up a few things in the store before we headed out. Overall it was a really great day and I think we’ll actually try to go back before the season is over. Now… what to do with about a bushel of fruit? Lots of cooking and baking for sure.

 

Wilsons Wild Animal Park

Petting Zoo Fun

A couple weeks ago Sydney and I had a whole Saturday ahead of us with no plans and nothing to do. Since she had such a great time at the Zoo when we went this summer I thought maybe she would also enjoy a petting zoo so we headed to Wilsons Wild Animal Park.

Feeding animals

Feeding animals

Sydney was not particularly interested in feeding the animals with her hands like I did but she was plenty happy to give them access to the bag of food so it was probably a good thing we got two bags of food.

animals!

animals!

There are so many animals at this park from zebras, to alpacas, to deer, and emu, and sheep and goats and birds and chickens and so many different animals to see and feed. The animals were really friendly and so excited for all the food. We got there pretty early which made it a really nice trip since we weren’t fighting a lot of people to get access to the animals. Not that it ended up being super crowded before we left, but there did end up being quite a bit of people by the time we left.

Camel selfies

Camel selfies

I couldn’t resist this guy. He was so friendly that I couldn’t resist taking a selfie with him. It took a few tries but we finally got it and I’m pretty glad he didn’t try to like eat my hair or anything.

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

She really had a blast and I loved every second of her excitement over all the animals. We had such a great day and Sydney is at such a fun age that these little adventures of ours are definitely something I greatly look forward to.

County Fair.

What’s a summer without a fair? Not a good one, that’s what. I love going to the fair – the sights, the sounds, the rides, the games, the food. It’s always a good time. We went last year and there was no way I was missing this year. We’ve gone every year since we’ve lived out here and I don’t see that changing either. Plus, I’ve created a tradition with this picture and obviously it would be sad to stop.

Fair. 3 years running.

Fair. 3 years running.

This year was all about the rides for Sydney. I wasn’t sure she would be big enough to ride them, but after spending time in Ocean City for Memorial Day weekend when she could ride rides by herself I suspected she would be able to.

Rides are fun!

Rides are fun!

And I was right – she’s 36″ which is just as tall as she needs to be to go alone. So she went on like a dozen rides all by herself like she’s some sort of big girl or something crazy like that. And riding all these rides made her the happiest little girl ever. It was actually pretty difficult to pull her away from the rides. We managed to for a little bit, but we had to go back to ride a few more before we left. We even stayed WAY past her bed time because she was having so much fun I couldn’t pull her away. I mean. This face, right?

Happy girl

Happy girl

Before we got there she was really excited to see the animals and while she didn’t want to leave her beloved rides, she did for a little bit so we could see some of the animals. I think this chick was the cutest one there!

Cutest chick ever.

Cutest chick ever.

There are so many animals to see – farm animals mostly – and some of them are HUGE. I always forget how big cows are until I am standing within inches of them. We even saw a cow named Sydney. She wasn’t quite impressed by that because it wasn’t doing anything but laying around. She waved to a couple goats and said “hi goat” and she LOVED the pigs and we basically had to stop and see every pig we walked past.

Animals!

Animals!

I can see our trips to the fair being more and more fun for her as she gets older. I also see how I will probably have to spend more and more time there as she gets older because it’s going to be so hard to pull her away from those rides she loves. As long as she keeps taking pictures like this for me, I’ll let her spend as much time on the rides as she wants. Because if she is happy, I am happy.

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

Rt. 11 Crawl

It’s probably no secret that I love (love!) a good yard sale. I love a good deal in general. Especially when it comes to getting stuff for Sydney. Baby/kid stuff is expensive and in general they grow out of everything from clothes to toys so quickly it feels silly to pay full price for something. I rarely pay full price for anything, anyway, even for myself. Give me a good sale and I’m a happy girl!

YARD SALE!

YARD SALE!

Every year there is a HUGE yard sale event near me called the Rt. 11 Crawl. It is a glorious 42 miles of yard sales. I’ve gone the last couple years and this year was no different. The only difference this year was that I wasn’t really in the market for the big baby stuff or even new toddler toys. This year it was all about Sydney’s wardrobe. Fall is coming and she needs some new clothes. We both ended up doing pretty well this year. I ended up finding a couple items for me which was quite surprising, but also pretty exciting. She made out with a pretty good start to her fall/winter wardrobe. There are a couple consignment sales each season that I shop at so I’m pretty sure she’ll be all set as far as clothing goes pretty soon. And without breaking my poor wallet. Win-win.

yay clothes!

yay clothes!

My parents and my uncle always set up a table at the yard sale so after we did our shopping we hung out there for a while. It’s a lot of in and out of the car so I wanted us to have plenty of time to stretch our legs. Sydney set herself up a little play area and went to town in the dirt. She played there for like a good hour or so. Every once in a while she would bring me some treasure she found from one of my parents boxes. We did not end up bringing home any of those treasures because, well, no.

Just playing.

Just playing.

After a long day of yard sale shopping, dirt playing, ice cream eating, and Nana & Grandpa spoiling time we ended our day relaxing on the couch. It isn’t often that she will just lay still like this but it is what she asked to do and I happily obliged her because I was beat and was happy to have some rest time of my own.

All tuckered out after a full day of shopping

All tuckered out after a full day of shopping

Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum

Da Plane! Da Plane!

Da Plane! Da Plane!

Sydney and I had the opportunity to visit the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum near us. It was a nice little museum, but it definitely doesn’t compare to the one in DC. Sydney really enjoyed seeing all the planes because she loves watching them in the sky and both our parents live in the flight path for Dulles so she has a lot of opportunities to see planes fly overhead.

Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery

When I was pregnant the Space Shuttle Discovery flew in to down and has been housed at the Udvar Hazy museum so we got a chance to see it up close and personal. It almost doesn’t look real because it kind of looks like it’s made of puzzle pieces. It’s really cool to see in person though and Sydney was pretty fascinated by it.

Enola Gay

Enola Gay

In addition to seeing the Concord and a whole bunch of other awesome planes we also got to see the Enola Gay which is not just a famous plane it is a really cool looking plane. I love how museums bring history to life. That’s my inner nerd shining through.

Sydney loves planes

Sydney loves planes

Sydney was a bit hard to capture on film during our trip because there was so much to see and so many people to watch she was too busy to stand still for a second. This was one of the best pictures I got of her all day and I’m just glad I was able to snap one or two that she wasn’t moving too much in 😉

Overall, it was a good trip. I can’t say it was truly worth the $15 to park because we were only there for a little more than an hour but it was still something fun to do. I think if Sydney had been a little older she might have actually appreciated what she was seeing, but like I said she loves planes and she loved looking at all the planes so she was happy at least. If you’re looking for a quick afternoon trip but don’t want to head all the way in to the City this would be a fun place to take the kids to. They do have some guided tours and I saw a little activity set up, but it was just ending so I didn’t pay much attention to how often or what kind of activities they had on a regular basis.

Summer Bucket List

I’m itching to get out of the house and be outside this summer. Sydney is at a fun age and she is also at an age that she has so much energy and she needs to do something with it. Since I’m a working parent I want to capitalize on our weekend time but I don’t want to pack so much stuff in to our weekends that there isn’t any time to actually relax and enjoy our summer time together. With that in mind I put together the beginnings of a summer bucket list. Some things we’ll definitely do and some things I’m not sure if we’ll actually get around to doing but I don’t want to get to Labor Day and realize we’ve done nothing but coop ourselves up in the house all summer long. That doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable summer at all.

Museums.

Smithsonian Museums

Smithsonian Museums

One of the many things I really want to do this summer and for many summers to come is explore the museums we have at our disposal. We are fortunate enough to live so close to DC that we are free to explore all the wonderful Smithsonian Museums it has to offer. However, that does mean we generally do not explore it at all because it’s so close we can do it whenever we want. I’m in favor of visiting the American History Museum because it is my favorite and the Natural History Museum because it’s really cool but there are plenty of other museums we can visit too. We’ll see how many we get to, but I’m hoping we get to a couple for sure.

The Zoo.

The zoo!

The zoo!

I know this is one of the Smithsonian Museums, but this is something I really think Sydney will enjoy so it get its own spot on the “to do” list. There are also a couple other places that involve animals that I think Sydney will enjoy like the Leesburg Animal Park and Wilson’s Wild Animal Park so even if we don’t get to the National Zoo I’m hoping we can manage to squeeze in a trip to see some animals somewhere.

Great Falls National Park

Great Falls

Great Falls

Great Falls is a beautiful place and not that I think Sydney will enjoy the scenery for all it has to offer it is a large place she can run off all the energy she has.

Farm Life.

Great Country Farms

Great Country Farms

We have a ton of farms around here and many of them offer a variety of activities for kids, some family festivals, and u-pick fruit throughout the season. Great Country Farms is one of the many farms I enjoy visiting and I know we’ll end up at one of our local farms this summer.

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

This is one I’m not entirely sure we’ll actually get around to doing this summer but I’m not counting it out just yet. I have many fond memories of visiting Luray Caverns with my family as a kid and there is so much to do down there that I think we could make a fun day out of it. There’s obviously the caverns as a main attraction but there are also two museums nearby and Toy Town Junction which sounds awesome and I think I might enjoy that a little more than Sydney because it’s a collection of toys she won’t actually be able to play with. There is a garden maze that she could run her way through and there is a zoo nearby that is a rescue zoo with about 250 retired zoo animals and unwanted and abused animals. I’d like to go there just to be able to support and learn about the animals.

Parks.

fun time at the park

fun time at the park

There are so many awesome parks near us that we’ll definitely be heading to plenty of these. Local parks are especially nice when I’ve been cooped up at the office all day and just want to get outside and just enjoy being outside and with my girl.

What are some things on your summer bucket list? I’d love to hear about some of the fun things you plan to do this summer!

Get Your Bloom On

This weekend we filled our days with Apple Blossom events and we had so much fun doing it. I talked about our fun at the Carnival and my weekend drinking wine at the Wine Festival and today I’m going to talk about the fun we had at the parade. In years past we have gone to both Friday and Saturday parades but this year it was a little chilly on Friday night and I didn’t want keep Sydney outside when she might get a little cold so we skipped the Firefighters Parade on Friday and just went to the Grand Feature Parade on Saturday.

Get Your Bloom On

Get Your Bloom On

Sydney had never been to a parade before but I talked it up so much that she was so excited about it by the time we headed out to go watch it. We actually ended up watching the entire parade this year instead of spending some time wandering around the town along the parade route and just seeing parts of it (and in some instances seeing some of it twice depend on the direction we were going and where the parade was wherever we ended up).

Parade Floats

Parade Floats

Sydney really seemed to enjoy herself. She didn’t care of some of the loud cars and motorcycles that were in attendance because they were really loud but she loved seeing the clowns, the animals, the circus float, and she really loved waving at all the people as they went by.

She's too busy watching to take a picture

She’s too busy watching to take a picture

One of my favorite parts of the parade was seeing DJ TANNER!! Her daughter was the Apple Blossom Queen this year and that meant that she was also in the parade. It was amazing. I didn’t know she was in town this weekend and I had no idea she would be in the parade so I was a little lot excited when I saw her come down the street. The actual celebrity Grand Marshall was Joe Jonas but I could not care less about the Jonas brothers if I tried so Candace Cameron Bure was the best celebrity they had in my opinion!

DJ TANNER!

DJ TANNER!

We had a really great time and it was a really great day to spend outside. Sydney loved all the attention she was getting from Nana and Papa and some of the people around us (because she is a ham for sure). She had so much fun that she actually fell asleep on our way back to the car in the stroller. Something she hasn’t done since she was a tiny baby so I was surprised when I realized she was sleeping and not people watching like I thought she was haha. We ended up walking around town for a little longer so she could get a little bit of sleep since that would be her only chance for a nap that day.

Little Miss Apple Blossom

Little Miss Apple Blossom

This is really my favorite weekend in town because there is just so much fun stuff to do. We didn’t quite do everything that is offered this year because I didn’t want to run Sydney ragged, but we had a nice mix of Apple Blossom festivities and relaxing weekend to make it memorable but not crazy. I’m already looking forward to next year!