We got to have a family birthday get-together on Sunday and the activity planned was a complete surprise to me.
After a delicious breakfast together, we drove an hour until we reached this lovely place.
They took me to an apple orchard! I'd never been to one before! In Czech, most grandmas or neighbors want you to pick their apples and take them off their hands. So it's strange to be in the city and not have apple trees nearby at this time of year. Although it took an hour to get there, and the orchard was a popular destination for families (they had wagons, corn mazes, bouncy houses and other things as well...this place was hoppin'!), I still loved walking through rows of trees dripping with apples.
Again, due to the popularity of this orchard, it's not the cheapest to go pick apples, and they only let you in the orchard if you payed for a 1/4 pound worth of apple-picking. It wasn't worth it to us to spend more than we needed to enjoy the experience, so just the girls went into the orchard. Meanwhile, the boys were great and hung back, amusing themselves with dried corn cobs and aiming kernels into trash cans.
We still had fun though, pretending that the orchard wasn't just an attraction, but a real place to pick our apples. Of course, we chose the best ones. And really, these Jonagolds are amazing. Obviously, they taste better when you pick them yourself. Isn't that always how it works?!
It started raining moments after this picture, in perfect timing. With warm cider and our bags of apples in hand, it was time to say goodbye to the apple orchard.
Yet more fun awaited us at Tyler and Lara's in the evening. Hayley came out and joined us (THANK YOU!), which was the icing on the cake.
Mom planned the most random, and most awesome surprise for my cake - a blossoming candle.
I closed my eyes upon request by my siblings, and opened them to see a music-playing, tall-flame-burning, expanding flower birthday candle. Best birthday cake decoration EVER.
(The music on the candle - the Happy Birthday song - played for the whole rest of the night without ceasing. We had to take the trash out with the candle in it so that the sound would go away! Priceless.)
What a gift to get to celebrate with my family (yes, that includes my "cousin", Hayley Ellenwood, too!). With lots of laughs, sweet moments and fun, I felt very loved. Thank you.