After living in Michigan for 21 years, just a short drive from fantastic cider mills like Parmenter's, I suppose you could say I was spoiled in some ways by the quick and easy access to cider and donuts every time the leaves started to fall. Even if we didn't make a huge outing of it, every year, without fail, my family would always make our way to the cider and donuts so we could munch happily for a couple of days, even if it meant we just drove up the road to Wilson's Barn.
Moving to California meant that I lost this connection with cider mills (and, quite frankly, with the different seasons since California is so mild. No crunching leaves there!). For two very, very sad years I went without any semblance of the fall weather that I'm used to and no cider and donuts. It's a pathetic way to live, let me tell you. Californians have no idea what they're missing.
However, now that we live in Oregon, we do live within driving distance of a real cider mill! Unfortunately most "cider mills" in Oregon are actually breweries for hard ciders and beer (because beer and coffee are both really big around here-- shhhh, don't tell the Oregonians that I don't drink either of these things), but we were lucky enough to find a real cider mill in Olympia, Washington just a couple of hours away!
After a lengthy car ride (which was worth it!) we arrived at Lattin's Cider Mill and found that it was much more than we had been expecting! In fact, being the cider mill aficionado that I clearly am (as all southeast Michiganders are), I would go as far as saying that it was even better than any cider mill I've ever been to! Gasp! I know, I know, I'm a traitor. But you'll see why!
- Farm animals that you can feed by hand
- Lots of local vendors that sell great things like hand-made jewelry, bags, and candles
- Food trucks
- Bounce houses (for the kids)
- Fresh local produce
- Apple fest!
- A huge store filled with homemade artisan products such as pies, soups, canned goods (real canned goods, aka stuff preserved in jars), etc.
- A pumpkin patch
- A corn maze
- Animals for sale
- CIDER. AND. DONUTS. They have regular apple cider but they also have blackberry apple, raspberry apple, and strawberry apple cider! They were all great!
We met up with Patrick's sister and brother-in-law, Renee and Jake, for the fun times! We had a wonderful time with them feeding the animals (I tried it and found that it was horrible because I already hate goats and sheep, but they're the easiest to feed, so I gave Patrick my animal food), shopping around, having lunch, and picking out pumpkins. We also brought home some fantastic produce and snacks!
Please excuse the captions on some of these. I downloaded them from my Snapchat Story and there is no way to remove the text.
Ducks for sale! They were selling ducks, chickens, and bunnies here! Very tempting!
Turkeys, aka future dinner (but it's okay, turkeys, I don't like how you taste so everyone else can eat you and I'll just have the Thanksgiving sides)
These chickens were my favorite because they popped their heads through the fence with no concern for whether or not they would get stuck-- and it did look like they were stuck because their feathers would fluff out around the fence holes! Plus all they cared about was food (like me) so if they saw that paper bag with the food in it they would all freak out and run head first towards the fence to be the first to stick their heads out through the holes. Chickens are really dumb...
Our tractor driver for the ride to the pumpkin patch.
He photo bombed us.
Here I am, trying to take a nice picture, and Patrick is trying to attack me. Typical.
Photo courtesy of Renee Navarre
At least Renee and Jake look great!
Photo courtesy of Renee Navarre
The amazing candle that Patrick bought me while we were there! I wish we had gotten the larger one because I've been burning this one down so much. It smells sooooo good! They don't have a store yet because they're still a very small project/company, but you can find their Facebook here. They've assured me that they will do mail orders, woo!
Much to the surprise of Patrick, Renee, and Jake, there was a LOT to do here and we had a fantastic time! We will definitely be going back here annually! The best part is that every single weekend in October is applefest, but the mill and store are open year-round! CIDER AND DONUTS FOREVER!
*I'll be doing a post on my fall/Halloween decorations very shortly. This post was already quite long!