My friends and I were driving back from Placerville this weekend where we had spent the day in Apple Hill. To keep us occupied on the two and a half hour drive back to San Francisco, we listened to comedian Iliza Shlesinger’s stand up bit about girls loving fall. Have you seen it? It’s hilarious because it is so true. Girls love the leaves, wearing boots and coats, and pumpkin everything. And the fact that us girls had just spent an entire day in Apple Hill, the epitome of fall, made us the exact people Iliza was making fun of but I don’t care. Apple Hill was gorgeous and smelled heavenly and reminded me why I love this cozy, festive season.
I didn’t even know that Apple Hill existed but if you didn’t either, don’t worry. You probably have a girlfriend who knows a similar area near your hometown where you can visit orchards, go apple-picking, and buy every apple-related product imaginable. Girls have a radar for this sort of thing. As soon as we arrived at our first stop, High Hill Ranch, I was happy to smell the fresh country air and see the wide open spaces and red, orange, and yellow trees. I don’t get to enjoy all of that back in the city.
We went straight to the donut stand at High Hill and bought an apple fritter and four different kinds of apple donuts – chocolate, crumb, cinnamon sugar, and plain – and took them to a bench outside overlooking a pond and snacked. It was the morning sugar rush we needed after a long drive.
After browsing through the craft stalls on the ranch and resisting the urge to indulge in their pies and caramel apples, we drove to downtown Placerville for lunch at the Heyday Cafe for sandwiches, wraps, and pizzas. Downtown Placerville is full of friendly people, cafes, knick-knack shops, and horses and carriages riding down the street. It was definitely a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco.
With our bellies full we went to nearby Boeger Winery for a wine tasting. The tasting was only $5 for six tastings! That is super cheap compared to the tasting fees in Napa. The vineyards were gorgeous but I loved the picnic area the most where visitors can sit outside under the colorful trees sipping, eating, and listening to a live band.
On site at the winery was Billy the blacksmith and he did the nicest thing for my friend. She wanted to buy an iron wine bottle and wine glass holder that can be stuck into the ground – pretty much one of the coolest things to have in your backyard. Billy said that there was a catch though. That iron stand was the 100th stand that he had made and he made a promise to himself that he would give it away for free to the next person who would pull out the cash. My friend didn’t have any cash on her but I whipped out my two twenty-dollar bills and Billy insisted my friend take the stand home at no charge. A good deed happens when you least expect it.
We made one more stop at Boa Vista Orchards and like High Hill Ranch, the orchards had a big supermarket with fresh produce, jams, sauces, and pies. While my friends bought some apple beer, caramel apples, and slices of pie, I bought an apple pie to take home (to get a head start on the Thanksgiving holiday of course) and I also stocked up on fuyu persimmons which were only 3 for a dollar! Persimmons are my favorite fruit come fall and I just had to stock up.
What’s not to love about fall? Donuts, colorful leaves and trees, wine, pies, fresh air, persimmons. I’m glad I took the day to escape the city and indulge in the season, even if it’s such a girl thing to do. Happy Thanksgiving!
What do you love most about the fall?