I often think that if there were a place in the world that had fall weather nine months out of the year, spring, summer and winter the other three months, I would happily move there. By this time of year I am so done with summer that I can’t stand it. So I booked a mountain vacation for October and am counting down the days.
Initially I was thinking that just me and my little boy would go and chill in a cabin for the weekend, pick some apples and pumpkins, and go to a zoo that has a kangaroo experience that I probably want to participate in more than my kid. I used to do the whole family vacation thing with my parents and sister, but it inevitably ended with someone crying, and a vow that I would NEVER do it again.
I was inclined to do that again this year, but then my Daddy got sick. Since time is limited, I figured this would probably be our last family vacation, and that I would make sure we took separate cars so that we could all get away from one another if we needed some space.
Because I am all about fall and mountains, we booked a cabin during the Apple Festival in Ellijay for the whole family, plus some family friends. If you’ve never done the apple picking thing, I strongly recommend it.
Best place for apple picking is Hillcrest Orchards, plus they have pig racing and a petting zoo – tons of fun junk for the kids. Or for me, whatever. Make sure you get some fresh cider and an apple dumpling or donut. They make them there and it’s on a whole other level.
While you’re in Ellijay, take a short drive to Dawsonville to Burt’s Pumpkin Farm. It’s THE place for pumpkins from teeny tiny to massively huge. You can pay a little extra to go on a hay ride into the farm and see the huge pumpkin patch and an amazing sunflower field.
Check out the North Georgia Zoo, which is different from your standard zoo in that it isn’t ridiculously expensive, so you can spend the extra $30 to do a kangaroo or wolf or other random animal experience.
This is something I have done with my family since we moved to Georgia – the whole apple and pumpkin picking thing. And when I had my son, we continued the tradition. The renting a cabin thing isn’t an annual event, but it’s a chance for us all to get together – possibly one last time.
So whatever you do, make sure you do it big this fall. Whether you’re with your family or just your friends, everyone likes apples and pumpkins, right? And if you give me a person who doesn’t like the idea of a pig race I will buy them some apple bread.