Let's Go Mama!

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to travel with a toddler, then you're in luck. I hope that you enjoy reading about our vacations, and that it inspires you to get together as a family, and just go.

Monday, September 6, 2010

24 Hours in Raider Land...and... An Apple a Day...

We didn't have a whole lot of time this month (imagine that) to devote to travel. We decided we would take an overnight trip to Lubbock to visit the Apple Country Orchards about 5 miles from Lubbock in Idalou. We had a great time! We came home with over 40 lbs of apples between what we picked for us and what we went back and got for Grammy the next day.

We started out on Saturday morning, getting as far as Canyon (less than 11 miles for those of you not familiar with the Amarillo area). That's right...10 minutes before our first potty break...this was shaping up to be a LONG drive! While in Canyon, we were fortunate to happen upon the Donut Stop. This is a memorable event for two reasons: 1. Donut Stop beat out Krispey Kreme in Amarillo and 2. Their Cokes are to absolutely DIE for. That being said, they also have an amazing bar area where you can have breakfast (or lunch right?) and watch them make donuts, fritters, and cinnamon rolls to sell to lucky customers throughout the day.

Finally we're on our way to Idalou! The drive is an easy one, straight down I-27, then winding around the farm fields to find the orchards. Once there, you're invited to have lunch in the gift shop. Their menu varies daily, but you get what they have, no picking and choosing here. We had "Chef's Choice" BBQ sandwiches and all the trimmings, a wonderful feast to prepare us for dragging the buckets behind us full of apples for over two hours that afternoon. They work on the honor system out here, so you're invited to pick all you want, and then pay once when you're leaving with your apples, jams, jellies and other treasures.

Rylee quickly made friends with the Orchard's mascots, two stray lab mix puppies who showed up a few weeks ago, and have adjusted quite well to their new roles as jungle gyms for children.

Rissy and I had to help Rylee pick some fruit higher in the trees, there was plenty of apples at Rylee level, and she had a ball picking (and eating) as many apples as she could I was informed while there that they only have one rule, "Eat as you pick!" They also offer roasted Hatch chilies and cider, not to mention the gazebo, water fall, and the other fruit and vegetables they offer year round.

We all had a great time at the orchard, and can't wait to go back next time.

Up next in our whirlwind adventure was a trip to the Stars and Stripes Drive in Theater in Lubbock. They have three screens, a playground, and a 50's style restaurant on property. It was an amazing West Texas evening, and we enjoyed the movie very much. If you go, please watch out for the goathead stickers in the play area, we were all covered in them when we got back to the room.

OK..so by now, you're probably wondering where the "Raider" is in this post right? Well, let me tell ya...on game weekends in Lubbock I've learned that you'd better be wearing you some red. Rissy was fortunate to have brought a red shirt, Rylee and I were the oddballs in our other colors. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE was wearing some form of "Raiders" gear. From refrigerators to flip flops, beer keg holders and baby blankets, it was all red all weekend while we were there. Lucky for us, Hotels.com did us a great favor and found us a room. I think it might have been the last one in Lubbock!

Finally, on our last day, not only did we return to the orchard for more apples, we visited Orlando's Italian Restaurant.

They have an all you can eat special, and Rylee and I enjoyed the spaghetti, while Rissy had a pizza. The best news of all? I left my phone on the table, and they called Rissy (last number dialed) within about 5 minutes of us getting out the door! That's service! One last thing to mention: they give away their old bread as "Duck Bread." What an awesome idea. Very kid friendly indeed.

Until next time....I hope your vacations are fun filled, you're days full of happy times, and your nights full of sleepy kiddos.

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