The weather yesterday was too good not to go out for an adventure. I decided we'd stay local since we had plans for the evening and didn't want to be gone all day. Our town librarian told us about a field that was only 11 miles from our house that we could go pick our own strawberries. We've always traveled farther to another place years prior.
Why had I not known about this place before now!?!
We headed out on our big adventure and stopped along the way to look at the clouds and admire some of our favorite farms. I decided to surprise the boys and we stopped at an old gas station/pizza place/post office/ice cream parlor in a nearby town. Yep.... one of "those" places. Where you can find just about anything and you can get your gas from a vintage pump where the numbers turn like an old clock and you have to go inside and pay. Love these!!
The boys thought it was pretty cool to be eating in the middle of a gas station, grabbing pizza right out of the box, picking out a pop from the cooler to drink with it, and admiring the racks of candy and chips surrounding them. You would have thought they were in junk food city!! And no.... this mom didn't give in to any requests.
So, we were back in the car and on the road again. We traveled down one lane roads and took in all the sights, animals, landmarks, and talked about the history of the couple towns we drove through and the people who had farmed this land years ago.
The boys had a fun time pulling the buckets apart. We each got a bucket to carry and then we dumped them all together before we checked out.
Austin seemed to enjoy this adventure more than Derek, surprisingly. He got right into the picking and found "the perfect spot". Derek was more interested in walking up and down the rows, checking out the watering system, and playing with the Wiener dog another couple brought with them.
Derek did find what he called the "Big Daddy Strawberry" just laying on the ground that someone else had probably dropped from their bucket. This was the first one we washed and ate when we arrived home.
A while later, we found our buckets were getting full and we needed to go back to the farm and pay for our sweet gems. Austin questioned this system and how the owners kept track of the other fields and of who payed and who didn't. It was a nice opportunity to talk about the 'Honor System' and how it's hard to find places around like this anymore.
One of these beautiful hanging baskets came home with us.
And of course a little bear of local honey that Derek just loved. He asked if he could keep the bottle when it was gone to put our other honey in. It's the simple things in life, isn't it!?!
The ride home was just as nice and beautiful as the ride there. The clouds looked like, "stairs to heaven."
One more stop at the Dairy Bar in our town for some ice cream and then we'd be home.
I tried out a Lemon Italian Ice and thought it was pretty tasty.
Back at home we poured the strawberries into the sink to give them a good wash and put them out to air dry on towels on the counter. Needless to say, there were a few dozen missing from the group within a short period of time. It was so nice to have freshly picked, warm, sun-kissed, delicious strawberries to enjoy!! We just might make some freezer jam today. (If there are enough left by then. Otherwise, it's back to the fields tomorrow for some more!)
That evening we all loaded up into the car to meet some friends at a Minor League baseball game. We had a fun time, even though our home team lost. Austin was lucky enough to catch a ball that one of the outfielders threw into the crowd after a third out in the inning. And guess where the camera was??
on the counter,
next to the strawberries.
It was a beautiful day from start to finish!