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Apple Picking and Fall Bike Rides

Another year, another round of apple picking. Usually we try to stay away from the places that have hay rides and photo ops, but now that Meadow is older I thought she might enjoy it. I tried to find a place with animals and corn pit, but didn't have much luck. I settled on Deardorrf Orchards and Vineyards.
We went on a Friday afternoon which was great because it wasn't busy. The majority of the people there were there for wine tasting.

I wanted to get out of the house and eat some apples.

Sadly they only had one variety of apple available to pick and since it was the first row of apples no hay rides.

Meadow got a wagon ride instead.

Meadow helped by picking all the good apples off the ground.

I'm not sure all of them were "good."

We had to walk a ways back to find any good apples.

There were a lot on the ground.

These were the smallest apples we've ever picked. We've also noticed that the apples haven't looked good at the co-op. It must be a bad growing season.

Despite the less than stellar apples this place was quite scenic.


We didn't come here for just the apples after all.

Meadow loved looking at the animals. I was hoping it would be more like a petting zoo. 

She still enjoyed watching them from afar.

She could've stared at the animals all day.



We spotted some horses down the hill.

They came right over to us. Meadow kept signing more to pet him.

These two were the highlight of our apple picking adventure.


Meadow also loves pretending to drive things. 


It was nice letting her run around without big kids getting in her way.

On Sunday I made apple big pancakes. The recipe I followed was a little heavy on the vanilla extract.

We had been gifted a nice head of napa cabbage. The first thing I thought of when I saw it was kimchi.

I started the process by wilting the cabbage and prepping the rest of the ingredients.

Meadow has really become a pro with her little bike. She's figured out how it works and how to steer.

We had plans to go to an open house in the area and to bike to an animal event at a nearby park. I put Meadow down for a nap early in hopes of making it to those things, but of course she was sleeping extra long today. She also was really slow at eating. We had to skip the open house and catch the end of the animal event.

I had recently discovered that the regional parks in the area offer lots of events and classes for kids. North Mississippi Regional Park near us had a family fun day where you got to feed their animals.

I had never actually been in the building so I didn't know what kinds of animals they would have. It was mostly turtles and frogs, but Meadow still liked looking at everything. This little boy kept trying to get Meadow to look at a frog.

The last time I was in this building was while photographing my tornado documentary. The park had been hit hard by the storm.

Outside they had a kiddie pool with a turtle in it. The bigger kids got to go around and collect bugs to feed the turtle. I'm not sure Meadow learned anything, but it was still fun to watch.

Then of course Ms. Meadow wanted to go for a walk. 


She just kept on going. 


Eventually she started to get really sweaty and flushed.

Since she didn't eat much for lunch. We gave her snacks on the walk back to our bikes.

Brooke carried her this bike ride.

Eating a prune while riding in style. 

We continued north on the Mississippi River Trail.

The trail takes you all the way from Louisiana to the headwaters in Itasca State Park.

I'd love to bike the whole thing someday.

We mostly biked through Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids and Fridley.

We crossed over to the other side of the river at 210 in hopes of finding a Mexican market.

Crossing the river took us to Coon Rapids. There were some great mid-century homes along the route. Sometimes I yearn for the idyllic suburban life.

We stopped at a park to change Meadow's diaper and let her play, but the mosquitos were so bad we had to leave right away.

The trail took us past the Northstar commuter rail station in Fridley.

Then the trail continued between the river and East River Road.

Eventually we could see Minneapolis way off in the distance.

We finally crossed back over the river at the Camden Bridge. We were both pooped at this point.

The extra weight of Meadow was slowing me down.

For dinner Scott made zucchini blossom quesadillas and stuffed poblanos.

The quesadillas have oaxaca cheese, corn, cilantro, zuchs and their blossoms. The recipe is from the guy who catered our wedding and teaches classes at Nordic Ware. So damn good. 

Meadow approved.

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