Saturday, October 9, 2010

weekend ideas for my Chicago peeps...

It is going to be a gorgeous weekend here in Illinois! I can't believe it is going to be 86 degrees and sunny today! Hello?? October?? Where are you? I am in the mood to get out and about this weekend, so thought I would share a couple of things I am agenda for my local friends. (Or any of you that are ready and willing to jump on a plane and meet me for some fun this weekend!)

My weekend plans also include taking in an auction or two, a local small-town fall festival and of course another trip to the apple orchard!

So many of my Chicago customers were asking me at my show last weekend about the apple orchard in my area of Illinois they had heard of...and I promised them I would post about it so here is goes.

Ok, now I know there are apple orchards everywhere.

I have been to quite a few around my area. But if you are anywhere in the vicinity or Northern Illinois, you must...and yes, I mean MUST...take a day to visit Edward's Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, IL. It is an apple orchard like no other.

The family that owns this gorgeous farm has been offered every decorating magazine spread known to man...but they refuse every one. They want to keep it 'local'....not too 'commercial'...and to be quite honest you can go there on a Wednesdday afternoon and every parking spot is full. I can't imagine what it would do to the feel of it if suddenly the country roads were a traffic jam because of their new-found magazine fame. I love that about this family. They are humble and gracious. And that is what makes people come back year after year.

It is a gorgeous country drive...I love all the pretty farmhouses along the way...but once I get there I am lost in a little dreamy wonderland for a couple of hours.

The first thing that comes into view when you arrive is the owners house. Isn't is dreamy?? I am so in love with it. Do you ever look at a house and wonder what it would be like to live there? Trust me, with this one, I do. I am a house-dreamer. I admit it.

It is officially my dream property. Gorgeous farmhouse. Huge barns.

And an adorable Golden Retriever named Ollie and an old truck that sits in the driveway. Seriously, how could you not want to move right in??

This apple orchard is part of family tradition around Northern Illinois. Families have been coming here for generations...but a couple of years ago it was almost destroyed by a tornado. The huge old barns were lost, as was the original famrhouse.

Not wanting anyone to lose that sense of tradition when they came out to visit, they rebuilt the farmhouse and barns just as they were, using as much salvage as possible from the wreckage.

Isn't it amazing they could rebuild??

I am always in awe of the inside. It is massive, and the way they reused the old barn wood was genius! Love the signs...but the best part is now there is a big window where you can watch them making the apple cider they sell. It is soooo good. Nothing like the cider from a store. It is like eating a whole apple. Pure love, I tell ya!

And these sweet ladies make the BEST fudge. I am sure it is some sort of sin to leave without trying a piece...or a pound. So worth every extra minute of the treadmill.

(On a design note, this orchard has the BEST light fixtures! I know, so weird to notice things like that, isn't it, but there are barn lights everywhere!)

This is the porch outside the restaurant. I loooove the light fixture.

There is so much to can pet the goats and ooh and ahhh at their babies...and there are baby cows and pigs, too!

Or you can take a ride out to the orchard to pick your own apples to take home. There are even pony rides for the little ones! favorite part...make your manly-man husband feel like a total fool by making him stick his head through the turkey and take lots...and lots of photos of him! He will love it...I promise!

Oh, and I almost forgot the BEST part! There is nothing better than taking home warm apple cider donuts that they make fresh all day...and of course some freshly squeezed apple cider. And have you tried the Autumn Beauty apple yet? It is like candy. So sweet and fabulous!

So if you are out and about...perhaps taking in the Na-Da Barn Sale today...make the extra drive to will LOVE it! I promise!