Showing posts with label day trips from Reno. Show all posts
Showing posts with label day trips from Reno. Show all posts

Friday, October 30, 2020

Pine-O-Mine Ranch #41 A Small but Charming U-Pick Apple Farm

2620 Carson Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667

(530) 344-2112

Pine-O-Mine Ranch is among a collection of 50+ farms that make up the Apple Hill Grower's Association- A destination visited by thousands of apple lovers every Fall.

When visiting the hill, apple picking is always on the list of things to do.  Me and my kids thoroughly enjoy hunting for and tasting apples.  Nothing is as juicy as a fresh-picked apple and in most cases, apples at the grocery will never compare. When biting into fresh-picked apples, it is so fresh that apple juice trickles down your arms.  These apples, along with all the other apples on the hill, are notorious for making some of the best apple cider ever.

In addition to the freshest apples, I love showing the kids where our food comes from and how much work farmers put into nourishing people.  

Usually, we love to pick our apples at Denver Dan's #14, but this year we were looking for a new experience.  That's when we came to Pine-O-Mine.  

If you're a parent like me, you'll love Pine-O-Mine because it's a fun-yet-educational place to take the family.

We entered the farm and drove a little way down before we were met with a bright red barn lined with apple trees and a pumpkin patch.  If you've visited High Hill Ranch, this farm will be small in comparison, but don't be fooled: it has a lot of charm.

The farm has several of the most popular varieties of apples to pick from- Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious & Red Delicious.  You grab a bag from the barn and return to get them weighed after you've picked your apples. 

After a fun time hunting for apples, me and my family grabbed a bag of caramel corn from the tent that we overhead people raving about.  The caramel corn was delicious and kind of took me back to my childhood, reminding me of Cracker Jacks.  Not only was the caramel corn delicious, it was sold by passionate people from a family-owned business inspired by their grandma's recipe.

The farm also has hot food brought to you by Brawt Envy.  Their sausages were fresh, juicy, and delicious.  The guys that made our food were down to earth and made our experience much more enjoyable.  

In accompaniment, we had the mandatory caramel apple milkshake, which never fails.  Next time I have to get the Apple Pie Milkshake, which is an apple milkshake with a piece of pie added in.  A worker told me how good it was and I was sold at that moment.

The farm has great scenery, food, dessert, nice people, pumpkins, U-Pick apples, photo opportunities, scenery and a great and relaxing environment.  From now on, it will be added to our list of farms to visit during our trips to Apple Hill. 

-Apple Picking is all about timing and weather.  Call the farm to inquire about availability and best time to pick apples.  Their orchard is on the smaller side and can run out after some time.
-Masks and safety enforced 
-Limited selection of apple goods inside barn.  Frozen pies, jerky, alcoholic beverages, apple cider & nuts available for purchase.
-plenty of parking available
-various food trucks available depending on availability
-cute pumpkin patch
-great place for photo shoots
-limited picnic tables 
-Porta Potties and hand washing station available 
-If you drive all the way to the barn, there might be parking available, depending on how busy it is

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Granny May's U-Pick Strawberries, A Sweet Family Tradition

2 Hours from Reno
7246 Auburn Folsom Rd, Granite Bay, CA 95746

Strawberry picking has become a special tradition that me and my kids have been enjoying since the time they started walking.  There's nothing like picking fresh, juicy, and sweet strawberries (natures candy) and here at Granny May's, our tradition continues.

We usually pick at Swanton Farm when visiting family in San Francisco, but due to the pandemic, we chose to keep family safe and pick here at Granny May's, one of the closest U-Pick farms from Reno (2 hours).

Granny May's is taking the steps to provide good, safe fun at the farm.  Reservation are required ahead of time (follow their page on Facebook for available dates and visit their website to purchase tickets) to ensure the number of people are limited so as to enable social distancing.  Everyone is required to wash their hands before entering the field and there is a 1-hour time slot for picking.

You pay admission and they supply buckets/boxes.  Admission also includes all the strawberries you can fit in your bucket/boxes.
*Adults (17 years old and up): $12
*Children (4–17 years old):$6
*Ages four years and younger are free and one pint basket provided.

They also have a farm stand with seasonal veggies and fruits available.  Call ahead of time to make sure they're open and to see what's available.  They are open until they sell out.  When I visited, I saw: watermelons, jams, strawberries, blackberries, green beans, garlic, pickles & tomatoes.  I tasted their watermelon and it was super sweet and so juicy that when I cut it, it leaked all over my counter.  Their jams were so fresh and tasty.

*Tickets sell out FAST during start of season
*There's a nice patch of sunflowers and a cute giant strawberry background you can take pictures in front of.
*Two big trees available for shade
*Plenty of Parking, some shaded
*If you're visiting with kids, they may get restless in the heat, so visiting right when the U-Pick season begins and/or visiting early morning will make all the difference.  If you want to get your money's worth, I suggest coming with another adult that can do all the picking if you have to tend to your kids.
*Don't forget to bring your hat, water and sunscreen
*I brought snacks and a portable toilet for my little kids
*There are other vegetables growing on the farm that my little ones enjoyed looking at.
*They also have thornless U-Pick Blackberries (reservations)
*At the time of my visit, they had four varieties to choose from, clearly marked (we loved Albion, but enjoyed tasting all of the other varieties).
*No sampling allowed while picking due to sanitary issues.
*They take cards
*Strawberries have a short shelf life- wash right before eating and consume within 2–3 days.

*You can just buy pre-picked strawberries from the stand, but there's nothing sweeter than picking berries yourself.  Looks for the most red berries and you won't be sorry.

What makes the whole U-Pick experience more special is the people that enable us to enjoy it.  The family that runs this farm is hardworking and down-to-earth.  They were so accommodating with me and family's needs (I visited with my 1,4 & 5 year old), and I couldn't be happier with my visit.

We will be back for more.

Categorized under "U-Pick and Seasonal/Holidays"

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Take a Ride into History at the Virginia & Truckee Railroad

166 F Street
Virginia City, NV 89440
(775) 847-0380

Throughout the year, Virginia & Truckee Railroad has so many awesome event trains, including the very popular and well-known:

A Day Out With Thomas (Held late October)
The Polar Express (December)
Pumpkin Patch Trains (October)
Father Day Trains (June)
Polar Express (December)
V & T Candy Cane Express (December)

Along with A Day Out With Thomas, my family has also been on the Candy Cane Express train twice and the everyday 35 min round-trip ride up to Gold Hill.

The people that work the events are so kind and work so hard to make everyone feel the magic.

Virginia City (where you'll find V&T) is a charming little city that really makes you feel like you're in the "Wild Wild West," with its wooden pathways, saloons, history and ranchers.  I fell in love with this small city the first time I visited and the railroad became the cherry on top.  

Visit Virginia City's Website to get more tourist information. 
They also have a visitor's center where you can find out everything you need to know to make the most out of your trip, including lodging, attractions, restaurants, tours, shopping, event information, and more. 

Virginia City's Visitor Center
86 South C Street
Virginia City, NV 89440
(775) 847-7500

*A Day Out With Thomas
-Be on the lookout for tickets long before the event.  They sell out fast due to popular demand.
-35-min round trip to Gold Hill (views are amazing and sometimes you can see wild mustangs and other wild life)
-you get a certificate at the end of the trip
-Photo opportunities with Thomas (who talks and moves his eyes) and Sir Topham Hatt (you can take photos with your phone or  purchase the ones taken by them)
-free gift (wheel with names of trains) after completing stamps on passport
-eating station inside a train (pizza, hot dogs, snacks). The pizza was nice, hot, and good.
-face paint, balloons for sale
-gift shop
-lots of fun carnival games including ring and bean bag toss
-kids get to ride miniature trains
-mini golf set up
-mini train tables for play
-coloring/stamp/temp tatts sections
-cartoon viewing inside one of the trains
-free bounce house
-ride a hand car

-Before your trip, check Accuweather for hour to hour weather so that you can plan accordingly. 40 degrees F temperature with wind makes for biting weather.
-Arriving 15 minutes early is generally enough time for check-in at the gift shop
-Trains operate according to season. Call in for schedule.

*Candy Cane Express Train
-50 min. round trip to Gold Hill where you will take a brief stop halfway and witness Santa and his elves at work in the "North Pole"
-during the trip they read T'was the Night Before Christmas
-hot cocoa or apple cider
-cookies, candy canes
-pictures with candy cane sisters
-at the end of the ride Santa comes out for pictures
-sing-a-long Christmas carols
-greet people with Dec. birthdays
-nicely decorated train cars and depot
-heated indoor train cars
-Throughout the years, they changed things up to keep the ride interesting

We LOVE the Candy Cane Express train because it's pure magic.  The candy cane sisters that hand everything out are always full of cheer along with Santa, and the whimsical train and depot is hard to skip out on during the Holidays.  Growing up in San Diego, I've never experienced anything remotely close to this event, which makes it even more special.

On the everyday ride, the (nice) conductor narrates throughout the ride. You will learn about the history of V&T and pass by some mines to Gold Hill. The views are always amazing.

There's also a 1.5-hr ride to Carson City. Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for reviews on Yelp
Lots of parking next to church when their lot fills up