One of the best parts about fall is going to the cider mill. One of my fondest childhood memories was going to the cider mill every year. The cider mill we always went to was Apple Charlie’s. I don’t remember details of what we did there. I just remember we HAD to get donuts and cider. I’m assuming we ate them there and looked around, but I don’t remember the little petting zoo, I don’t remember looking at pumpkins, and I definitely don’t remember the Barn of Blood. But what I do remember is the feeling I had.  The trip to the cider mill was a summary of what the fall season was. Everything fall was compiled into one spot with cider and donuts as the stars. The cool crisp fall air, the dry colorful fall leaves, fall jackets, everything imaginable made from apples and pumpkins, fall decorations, fall produce, and polka bands. And now that I have my own family, I’m very excited that I get to show Ellie why the cider mill rules!

As we got out of the car we could already smell fall in the air. The sun was shining through the clouds and there was a light crisp breeze. Ellie looked around excitedly as we walked towards the cider mill. We went to the little petting zoo first. I’m not sure why apple orchards have petting zoos, but all the good ones do. They have all the classics, too. A goat, a sheep, some chickens, a horse, a llama, and an ostrich. Yep, your typical barnyard apple loving animals are all there and accounted for. We skipped over the Barn of Blood and made our way to the main attraction: Donuts!

While waiting in line to purchase our donuts and cider I started to realize how cosmopolitan the Apple Charlie’s Cider Mill crowd really was. When I picture fall, I don’t think of Addidas track suits or faded Detroit Lions pajama pants, but apparently this is cider mill attire. After enduring the sights and sounds of the local safisticants, we made it to the front of the line. Donuts! Cider mill donuts are the best donuts ever made and they are always best consumed at the cider mill. If you can’t eat them all at the cider mill, then they must be consumed in the car on the way home. Once the uneaten cider mill donuts enter your house, their value and flavor drastically drop. It’s not my opinion, it’s a scientific fact. Although I could have eaten my dozen donuts right there, I stopped myself after four. Next stop, the pumpkin patch.

We didn’t need any pumpkins, but you’re at the cider mill, you have to at least walk through. It’s part of the experience. And who knows, maybe I’d get one anyways just to add to the excitement of the trip. We walked around analyzing the pumpkins looking for the perfect one. We also couldn’t pass on a cute picture opportunity with Ellie. And we weren’t the only ones, too. There were at least three other families with dad’s with big camera equipment posing their little babies by the pumpkins. “Who’s my little pumpkin!? Yes you are! Yes you are!” I had my camera equipment too and as I snapped the first picture I realized I forgot my memory card. Ahh! I even brought different lenses. What a waste. Now I’m definitely not buying a pumpkin. Luckily Aya had her camera I could use. It wasn’t the “gung-ho I’m ready to strategically place and pose my child and snap a gazzilion photos” kind of camera, but at least it got the job done.

I was a little bummed out that I forgot the memory card, but Ellie seemed to have really enjoyed the experience, and my mood quickly changed when I realized I had eight donuts waiting to be eaten on the way home. I had to eat them. It’s a cider mill rule.

One thought on “THE CIDER MILL RULES

  1. Apple Charlies didn't have as much when you were a little guy as they do now. We also went to another mill that was smaller and less crowded but the name escapes me. The Barn of Blood just doesn't belong at a cider mill!

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