Stribling Orchard Apple Picking

I was able to cross lots off of my Fall to-do list with our annual apple picking day (here is last year’s Fall day!) recently, and boy, was it fun! A couple years ago, when we were apple picking beginners, my friends and I realized a little too late that prime apple-picking season is in September and early October in Northern Virginia… whereas we had assumed it would be later in October. So since then, we kick off Fall by going apple picking in September, and the weather on this blissful Sunday was a whopping ninety degrees. Now you know why I was wearing shorts on that day! Despite it being an unseasonably hot afternoon, it was great to get out of the city and drive out to the mountains of Virginia for a day filled with apple picking, pumpkin choosing, apple eating, and winery visiting. The apples, of course, are so fresh and crisp, and it’s such an inexpensive option to pick your own. I’m pretty positive they taste better that way, anyway! We love visiting Stribling Orchard in Markham, Virginia, and there are also several great wineries (Chateau O’Brian and Naked Mountain Winery) right down the road, too.

Fall Weekend in Charlottesville

Have I mentioned recently how thankful I am that my darling sister and her hubby are only two hours away from me in beautiful Charlottesville, VA?! I love that I can drive down to visit them in such a short amount of time, and it’s a gorgeous destination, too! I was also lucky enough to be their first overnight guest this past weekend – lucky me!

When I arrived Saturday evening, they told me to come hungry + thirsty… always a winning combination! We had apple bourbon sangria (recipe here), a delicious salad, and homemade chicken parmesan. Bridgette is quite the chef, and it’s so fun to watch her cook in her new home! Since it was rainy, dreary, and chilly outside (a recurring theme of our weekend), we just curled up in the living room chatting and laughing after stuffing ourselves at dinner. I adore nights like these with some of my very favorite people! Bridgette and Rob are such gracious, fun hostesses.

We woke up Sunday to more rain. That didn’t stop us (initially!) from setting out to enjoy our all-things-Fall day together! After kicking off our morning with apple cider waffles, Bridgette and I had grand plans of heading out to Carter Mountain, where we would pick apples, eat apple cider doughnuts, pick out pumpkins, and have a picnic while enjoying the vista of stunning Fall foliage in the surrounding mountains!

…rainy weather fail! It was chilly, rainy, and oh so cloudy. The roads were thick with mud and you couldn’t see anything. Despite all of this, I’m still glad I made it to Carter Mountain, picked up a couple small pumpkins, pretended to enjoy the mountain view, and thoroughly enjoyed my fresh, warm apple cider doughnut! Next time, it’ll be a little more picturesque!

Bridgette was still feeling under the weather + the rain didn’t help, so we decided to just head home. We definitely made the best of it and curled up on their couch with our delicious picnic lunch and some mulled red wine. It was so nice to relax together and soak up some great sister time, even if our plans were a little skewed! Rob, Bridgette, and I enjoyed a Thai dinner before I headed back to DC. Like I said before, I’m so incredibly thankful that these two are just a couple hours away. I just love them! Next time, we’ll have better weather, I’m sure!

PS: Here’s what Carter Mountain looks like in its prime! http://letloveguide.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/sunsets-at-carter-mountain/

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