I never got to experience fall growing up in South Carolina.There was the occasional trip up north to see my grandparents, and if the timing was right, I’d see slivers of yellow, gold, and orange outlining the Smoky Mountains. Then I moved to Austin where we all threw a fit if the temperature got below 50 degrees… so no fall there either.
So this is technically only my second fall and I am very/super/very very very jazzed about it. Pumpkin flavored this, Halloween decorated that. Bring on the cooler temperatures and changing leaves. I’m all about it.
You can imagine my delight when my roommate, Alix – you’ve met her several times in the Hamptons, Lake Tahoe, and hopping around the city to fancy schmancy polo matches to name a few – decided to celebrate surviving all the way ’till year 26 by going apple picking. We rented a big black SUV, tested my NYC driving skills (they’re outstanding), and headed upstate to Masker Orchards.
The drive is quick, so we only had an hour and a half to work up an appetite but that clearly didn’t hamper us.
I would call myself a fair weather apple fan. Similar to sports – if they’re realllllly good and you offer me peanut butter somewhere in the mix – I’ll probably take you up on the offer. If it requires me finding my way to the grocery store, chances are slim. Good news for all the fair weather apple fans out there (drumroll)… any apples you eat while on the property are on the house!
So we plucked apple after apple off the tree and proceeded in a 1:1 ratio. One apple goes in the bag for later, one apple goes in your mouth (totally reasonable). Again, coming from someone who is not bananas over apples…. get it?…. these apples are INSANE. They are that good. I’ve been converted.
^ This photo took a lot of skill, preparation, and rearranging of tree branches.
We stumbled upon some verrryyyy handsome fellas who also happened to be enjoying the apples…
Having picked enough apples for three years worth of apple pie, we made our way to the nearby Warwick Valley Winery. Just 15 minutes down the road, you’ll find a live band, endless bottles of wine, and gorgeous farmland filled with – you guessed it – more apples. All you need to bring is a blanket or four and a designated driver (thank you Hayley, we are still indebted to you for your sacrifice).
The rest of the goods – wine and cheese – you can purchase from the winery’s store.
It was such a great – and convenient – escape from the city. If you’re within reasonable driving distance, it’s also a fantastic day trip. Both the orchards and winery are kid friendly, so hit the road and soak up those autumn feels before it gets too chilly. Remember to bring peanut butter and a camera – they are equally important.