After Placerville, we decided to drive further north and stop by Apple Hill for some good old fashioned Apple pie ala mode. The drive was fairly fast and easy. A billboard on the side of the freeway towered over the valley signaling that we’re near. We took the next exit after the sign and followed the signs pointing to Boa Vista.
This part of the drive was scenic, with orchards on either side of the road and vineyards appearing as though you’re in Napa valley.
We pulled up to the driveway and found a spot between a 1969 black Ford pinto and a Prius. It was surprisingly packed on a Sunday afternoon. The parking lot was buzzing with people in their overalls and straw hats. Duke commented that he should have worn his cowboy hat instead of his San Francisco Giants ball cap. Duke born and raised on a farm is used to seeing people in this attire and felt right at home. I whispered to Massimo if Duke starts heehawing it’d be our cue to leave.
The water misters strategically located around the cider stand provided much needed relief from the heat of the sun. Unfortunately, having arrived late in the day, we missed the free cider tasting. That didn’t deter us from sampling the hard ciders they have on reserve.
We walked to the back of the store where they have constructed a bar out of old wine barrels. It costs $10 to sample a bunch, which I thought was a bargain. The girl at the counter, who looked barely legal to serve alcohol, had thick rimmed glasses and wiry black hair. She had a friendly face and seemed knowledgeable about hard cider. She recommended that we start with the Apple beer, pomegranate, cherry and blackberry cider. I took one swig of the cherry cider and almost regretted it. I would say that cough medicine had forever ruined the flavor cherry for everyone.
In typical Trio fashion, we each went our separate ways after the cider tasting. Duke went to check out the produce section, Massimo went to take photos of the fruits displayed out front, while I went straight for the dessert counter.
There was only one person ahead of me. An older lady, she was slightly shorter with thick legs and toned arms. She had her short sleeves rolled all the way to her shoulders. The barbwire tattoo clearly visible and time had obviously been unkind because the once vibrant black ink had faded substantially. She turned her gaze towards me and caught me staring. I looked the other way, embarrassed for gawking. She gave me a smile and felt the redness on my face slowly dissipate. She paid for her pies, gave me a nod and went on her way.
Obviously unprepared, I didn’t know what to get when it was my turn to order. I didn’t realize that the line behind me had gotten longer since I got there. Panic stricken, I ordered one of everything. I felt like one of those people in line at a fast food restaurant who don’t have their act together, not knowing what to order and asking way too many questions when they should have known what to order after waiting in line for some time. Were they daydreaming?
I think the guys would be sufficiently happy with what I ordered. I got Apple cookies, Apple brownies, apple tartlet, and people donuts. The smile on my face faded when I realized that I forgot to buy the one thing we came here for. The Apple pie.
I went to go look for the guys hoping the line at the counter would die down as soon as I find them. I found the two discussing whether or not they should get a case of Fuji apples to try their hand at baking a pie from scratch. “There’s no line at the dessert counter,” I exclaimed. That ended the debate and the three of us went back to the counter to finally get our pie ala mode.
I read a sign once that said, “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy pie.” I couldn’t have said it better myself even if I tried.
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