I know I’m going to jinx it by saying this but I think fall has finally arrived in San Diego. We got our first rain storm of the season last week, when we usually don’t see a drop of rain until some time in November. Now that’s something to celebrate! The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are warm, fall is in the air!
These past couple of weekends, we’ve done a few things to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall. First we took a daytrip to the mountains and visited the small town of Idyllwild, where we vacationed this past June. I was wondering what it would look like after the two large wildfires they suffered during the summer but the town was untouched and most of the wooded areas around were left intact. And what a beautiful day we picked to go there! Take a look at the view as we were making our way up the mountains. Not a single car on the road in front or behind us, beautiful pine trees bordering the road, and a great blue sky.
We had breakfast in town, then went hiking, enjoyed a picnic in the woods, and hiked some more. While hiking in Idyllwild Park, we volunteered to fill a paper bag with acorns. The oak trees produced a lot of them this year and if too many new oak trees start growing, they will take away precious water from the older trees, which may dry up and become a fire danger. As we were picking acorns off the forest grounds, my 7-year old compared the activity to an Easter egg hunt, but with acorns. Very observant boy!
In exchange for our hard work, we were offered to fill two small bags with polished rocks. BEST reward ever for “helping to save the forest”, as my oldest said. Here’s our stash. Hey, there are even a few pink and purple rocks for me!
We continued our taste of fall last weekend by visiting the town of Julian, California, about an hour east of San Diego. The very hot, very strong Santa Ana winds were in full force that day, blowing dust all over the place. The boys got to experience their very first windstorm but we had to find places that were immune to the wind drafts in the morning. One of them was Mom’s Pie Restaurant, where we bought a boysenberry pie. It was still warm out of the oven and so the three of us got forks and started digging into the pie for a midmorning snack. Best pie ever!
The winds died down in the afternoon so we took this opportunity to go apple picking, and get fresh fruit off the tree. When I got home, I baked apple pie and made applesauce with the leftover apples. As you can see, I had my work cut out when it came to peeling these delicious apples!
The day after was a no-school day so we went on another fall adventure, this time to visit Bates Nut Farm, a very popular pumpkin patch in San Diego. It was deserted on a Monday morning and the perfect time to go!
Of course, you can’t go to a pumpkin patch without visiting the pumpkin fields. That’s a lot of giant pumpkins! And that was only one field out of two.
Do you know how much fun it is to play with the pumpkins? Oh, look, this pumpkin has bunny ears!
I know this is just the beginning of fall in San Diego, as Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. But guess what my favorite sight at the pumpkin patch was? The Christmas decorations inside the store! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s only 71 days away!