Friday, September 29, 2006


This is not a story about the show- sorry to dissappoint- but it is a real life experience, something that happened just the other day on DH's birthday outing.

It began Tuesday- we both took "half days" of work- I ended at 2, he ended about the same time. The event was DH's birthday. We had decided to take some time off work to visit the apple orchard (not the Emma Krumbees orchard, it was a different one) and Emma Krumbees in Belle Plaine, MN.

It was a bit of a drive, but a much nicer one than the last time we had driven to this orchard. That time took like an hour and a half to get there from Eden Prairie due to all the weekend-only Renaissance Festival traffic. That was crazy. But this time we went on a weekday, after all the kids were done with school- so no field trip kids to steal all our apples.

We drove to the Apple Orchard of my childhood memories, the first one I had visited and remembered, from my first grade field trip. I have visited this apple orchard many times, and always had a positive experience and a great time. I am sure you can sense that my memories are going to take a detour-

DH and I waited with a large group of people to board the apple wagon to visit the trees of our chosen apple varieties. There was a small sign with a holder for the "apple picking info" papers. We grabbed the instruction sheet, and eventually boarded the wagon.

The wagon was driven by a hispanic young man, with presumably his spanish name tatooed across the back of his neck (very modern Romeo and Juliet movie- the one with Claire Danes, and that Leonardo DiCaprio guy). Others aboard the wagon proceeded to ask him questions, none of which he responded to. The wagon bumped along, through the orchard, to arrive at our first stop. Honey gold apples. We wanted some of these, so we departed from the wagon and proceeded to search high and low for these apples. Nearly all the trees were picked over, and only the apples that were rotten or at the tops of the trees remained. So, I ventured over to where I could see more apples, and began picking them with DH. We picked about a half bag full, to save room in our bag, and because there were no more nice apples that we could find, for the 3rd and last stop apples, Cortland. We looked around, and wondered while wandering. Let's go find those apples, I thought. So we walked some more, and soon thought, there must be an easier way to find them in this great big orchard.

So I said, hey Dh, is there a phone number on our apple picking paper? He checked, and there was, so I dialed the number into my silver Razr cell phone from the Raspberry Road and Lone Oak Road crossing signs in the orchard. I proceeded to tell the woman on the phone our coordinates, so she could give us better directions. I heard her say, "YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVING BACK THERE!!!" And I replied, "We are not driving, we're walking. We picked some Honeygold apples, and the driver left us." "He LEFT YOU-He WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR THE WAGON TO TAKE YOU IN THE ORCHARD! I CAN TAKE CARE OF THAT! And our call was done.

So now, we are getting yelled at for trying to speed up our s-l-o-w visit to the orchard, as the sun is starting to drop. We waited for what seemed like 30-45 min, and a smoking man in a minivan with an out of state license plate drove by us twice. Then, a group of horseback riders came by. We continued to wait, DH more patient than I. I knew we weren't lost, I had been to this big orchard before quite a few times.

We waited. Eventually the wagon came by, this time with a second wagon connected. By pointing the driver instructed us to get into the empty back section. It felt like we were in time out- for having wandered in the orchard. Our empty wagon bumped and shook along with every dip in the road, as it had only us two to weigh it down. We picked up the other batch of people who had been in the first wagon with us. The wagon continued to bump and shake along. We waited through the second stop, onto the third. The wagon passed by through the rest of the orchard, and took us all the way back to the start, without stopping at the Cortland apples. What a day. Time out, and skipping the third stop. There were only 3 total stops, you'd think it wasn't too hard to remember them.

Back at the main building, we wandered, wondering where to pay for our apples. We waited in line behind a guy who had purchased a brat at the cafe there- and had not received a bun. The other cashier was surprised as well that he didn't get a bun, and quickly remedied the situation. The cashier also offered to charge us for a full bag of apples and included a 5lb bag of the Cortland pre-picked apples. It was not our best time at the orchard- but at least he fixed the problem. It seemed like this guy's job was to do the clean up work for all the other employees who were not quite meeting the expectations. It was frustrating, but a little funny. What a day.


Amy said...

Uh oh...I think I know what orchard you went to. They've been having big financial problems, and it sounds like service is declining rapidly. So sorry to hear that. They used to be really fun.

beth said...

Eek! Sounds like you had an adventure...although not a fun one.