Sorry this post has been delayed. I wanted to get all the photos together before I posted so it could just be one long post.
Labor Day weekend we traveled down to La Crosse, Wisconsin to stay with some friends. Our friends Nate & Bri invited us to Bri's parents house to help pick apples and make cider. We had a SUPER fun time and really enjoyed meeting Bri's family, her parents and two younger sisters. We ate some amazing food and learned all about the cider making process.
It was about a two hour or so drive there, Isaac did great in the car. Slept the first bit, then he needed a little attention the remainder of the way so I sat in back with him.
We arrived and had lunch, then got about our apple picking duties
Isaac had fun digging the apples out of the bucket
and knocking them over :-)
We all got to see this dear grazing the neighbors back yard
This year was unique because of the early frost the apple quantity was sparse! Normally they have buckets and buckets full of nice, plump, healthy apples and they toss any of the ones with the slightest sign of rubbage. Since there weren't many apples, we were keeping whatever we could find and would just cut out the bad parts. They usually don't pick from a few of the back trees but since we were practically hunting the apples we went ahead and picked from all the trees.
Once we picked all that we could, it was time to start the cider process.
First, like I mentioned, we cut out any bad part and tossed the bad pieces in the wheelbarrow to be composted then tossed the good parts in the wire baskets.
Isaac helped to inspect the good apples
The good apples would then get dunked in a mild bleach/water solution and then put in the top of this cider press where they would be blended.
Then the apple juices would come out aka cider ;-)
Once the barrel had a good amount of apple in it, they would take the press and hook it up and twist it down. Then the juices would REALLY start to flow!
Then it was strained into gallon jugs
It was a neighborhood gathering as well. Some of the neighbor kids were eagerly awaiting for us to start so they could come help.
not for long though, he had a lot of fun
When all was said and done we had 11 gallons of cider. A very slim outcome compared to their typical 60-70 gallon haul.
Bri's folks also had a pool. So after our hard work, not so hard since there weren't that many apples... we went for a swim
Here's Kyle with Isaac and Nate with their niece Harlow.
Isaac like floating around with Bri
Even though it was a gorgeous day, it was a little chilly when we got out of the water.
That evening we had a wonderful meal and sat around the camp fire visiting.
The next morning we all got up and around and headed to church. Here is Isaac making friends with Harlow.
And Isaac sleeping after church
Before we went back to Bri's parents, we went up to Grandfather's bluff to look out over La Cross at the amazing views.
A cool little bit of history, my ancestors came to La Crosse from Bohemia back in the late 1800's. I even have some buried here in the local Catholic Cemetery.
So we stopped by to check it out.
I'll have to do more research for next time we come here because we weren't able to find the names I was looking for. We did find a Stanek, but not the ones in my family line.
It was kinda weird walking the cemetery, but also kinda cool. Neat to be looking for family and how small the world is that I was in the area that my great, great, great grand parents were/are.
We came back to the house and had some down time. Relaxing and letting the babies play
We headed home that evening after supper. It was a super fun weekend and we were very thankful Bri invited us to share that time with her family!