Apple of my eye.


So of course its still hot here in San Diego, but once it hits September I become fall minded. I "fall" in the expensive cycle of pumpkin spice lattes and well, just pumpkin spice everything. Such a shameless sucker for the clever marketing ploys. Being a San Diego native I've always felt like a black sheep because I hate hot weather and LIVE for cold gloomy days. 


Obviously to welcome the first official day of fall we had to make a trip up to Julian to celebrate. Julian is a small town about an hour or so from San Diego and it well known for their apple pies. They also have a ton of super cute shops and fantastic wineries. Definitely drop by Witch Creek Wine tasting room and The Blue Door tasting room. So worth the visit.

Every year since I was pregnant we've made almost a tradition of going up to Volcan Mountain Winery to go apple picking and sip on some amazing wines. If you ever go, try the apple wine. It's  fantastic. But we weren't here for the wine this time. Julian has an annual apple picking festival to celebrate the end of the apple picking season. 

That was our M.O.

Did it happen?

Let me tell you the story.

So Teddy and I drove to pick up my sister and we were happily on our way to apple everything heaven when our plan was thwarted. Apparently along with everyone else. We didn't realize that the festival was being held at the above mentioned orchard. which is located at the top of a windy two way road. To spare you the details, the festival wasn't letting anyone in because it was too packed and people had been stuck in downhill traffic for TWO HOURS. we immediately turned around somehow. (Thanks to my sister for her skills.)

If you want to know what hell feels like let me explain.

Its stuck on a mountain in completely stopped traffic with nowhere to go but forward and with a very fussy and antsy toddler who is screaming at you. Also, with no cell service. 

Measures were taken, lots of snacks and a chocolate milk bribe later all sanity was restored.

Once we finally made it down the mountain (an hour later) we decided to ditch our original plans and just wing it.

First stop: The Julian Mining Co. 


This place has it all. 

Petting zoo? Check. Gold Panning? Check. Birdhouse Building? Check. Apple picking? Check.

I really could go on and list everything, but you get the gist. They even have a house built from all glass bottles! Teddy had such a blast looking at all the different bottles and ended up fascinated by a jar full of leaves.

Definitely time to move on from there.


This place is super quaint and kind of tucked off the road so I was really surprised they had so many different things. Especially a petting zoo.

Well, I wouldn't exactly call it a petting zoo but we did make some new goat and pony friends through the fence. I guess you can pet those furry babies by appointment. 

I would've been down. I love goats.


We saved the best for last. 


Half assed apple picking. By the time we got there most of the apples had been picked so we just wandered through the trees. The orchard is pretty quaint, but very lush and gorgeous. Teddy was picking up all the ground apple offerings left by previous pickers.


He has recently discovered a love for apples and the word apple which he pronounces "Appo".   Its makes my heart melt to hear his little voice. I die.

He was so proud of his apples that he found.

Auntie got lots of half eaten apple gifts.

(I feel the need to clarify; I did not let my child eat the ground apple offerings of other people.)

apple boy.JPG

Moving on to our second stop: Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures

Drawn in by the sole fact that not only did it have archery & tomahawk throwing, but it was across the street. We like weird things, my dear sister and I. My sister took her try at archery and tomahawk throwing (she wasn't half bad!) while I was obsessing over this tent situation. 

SO dreamy.


They had all sorts of other activities. Candle making, haunted hayride, slingshots, pick yer own pumpkin. All that good stuff. We even got treated to freshly made apple cider!

We had such a fun time roaming around and exploring. Traffic getting into Julian was still insane so we stopped for some dinner after. Worked out perfectly because this place is right across the street from the Julian Cider Co. & an AMAZING taco place called Mr. Manitas Taco Bar & Fruiteria. 



Thanks for reading about our adventure!

See ya next time!