I have lived in LA for almost 5 years but have explored very little of California. On my checklist was to explore the state capital so last labor day weekend Jeff and I travelled up to Sacramento.
We began on Friday with a drive to Placer County to see my brother and sister-in-law in Rocklin. Their colorful and well designed home is nestled right near Roseville and is in the heart of the greater Sacramento metropolitan area. It was nice to leave the city and get a fresh perspective on suburban California life.
Even though I have always been a city girl at heart, I grew up in the suburbs. There is something that is still so calming and safe about rows of identical houses and abundant parking at shopping centers. Rocklin reminded me a lot of my home town in Ohio, a green and tan metropolis of box stores and sub-divisions. I mean that in a good way. There is a warmth about the suburbs, a feeling that you don't need to try or fake it, you can just be as you are since that's where many of us came from. Rocklin was neighborly and open, and it felt like the sun could hit every inch of it. I know I would struggle living far from a major city but with Sacramento only 22 miles away - the small town didn't feel as "out there" as I had expected.
My sister-in-law Laurie grew up in the Sacramento area and we were blessed by her knowledge and planning. On Saturday we journeyed up to Apple Hill to experience the first tastes of fall.
Apple Hill was literally the sweetest day trip. We parked in the arbor with loads of other cars and walked down row after row of apple trees. The farm and market area sit on a hill overlooking a small pond. There were vendors and tables and families in every direction.
We started with lunch in the farmers market and naturally chose a box of apple donuts to share. There were picnic tables lining the hill with ample views of the pond and children frolicking below. It looked like something out of a story book.
Afterwards I got lost exploring the bins of jams and butters and was very tempted to stock up on all kinds of unnecessaries. I could live off of sweets and had to stop myself from purchasing every caramel apple in sight.
I eventually found my way over to the farm house and the family watched as the truck dumped apples into the grinder. I kept having flashbacks of going pumpkin picking with my family and always being excited by mounds of colored apples. I used to stuff them into those white paper bags and something about it always made me happy, that and the cinnamon candies.
We wove our way through kitschy stalls of handmade jewelry and home decor. I secretly love all of those country and woodsy chachkies that people buy to fill up their homes. The small craftsman village at Apple Hill is tucked back in the woods, and I loved being surrounded by all the evergreens.
We closed out the day with apple beers and apple milkshakes (yes, that is a thing) and grabbed all the apples we could on our way out. Apple Hill was such a nice start to the weekend and I could definitely see it becoming a #LowndesLaborDay tradition. The best part is, since we are in SoCal it was about 70 degrees that day. Can't beat a fall like that!
~ A ~