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Our spontaneous day trip to the mountains last year was magical. On our way home that afternoon we were already planning our return trip for this year. We knew we wanted to make a longer stay out of it and that we wanted to invite all four grandparents along for the fun. The planning began... and a year later, we hit the road for the mountains!

On the first day of our trip, Patrick and I dropped the girls off at school, went out to breakfast at our favorite Original Pancake House, went home to pack up the car, stopped by Chick-fil-a to grab our lunch, and then we were back at school to pick the girls up at noon. Our goal was to get on the road just in time for nap time so hopefully the girls would sleep most of the way to Hendersonville.

I’ll let you go ahead and guess how that went. Evans was asleep before we even pulled out of the parking lot and Riley talked to us the entire way to Hendersonville. So much for that car nap for her!

Once we arrived, we unpacked, got settled in, and threw a batch of chili that I had made and frozen the weekend prior into the crockpot. The grandparents hung with the girls while we made a quick run to Ingles for a few forgotten groceries, plus some craft beer for the weekend. I don’t know what it is about Hendersonville grocery stores but they have the best selection of local craft beer. We always make it a point to shop for some when we’re in town.

Friday morning, I had everyone up bright and early for the pumpkin patch. We loved the patch that we stumbled across last year but opted to try out a new one this go around called Nix Pumpkin Patch. Highly recommend! We had the entire patch to ourselves that morning. It was easy to navigate through the pumpkins, there were hundreds to choose from, and they had plenty of things to peruse inside the shop at the entrance to the patch.

Evans could not have cared less about the pumpkins, she was more interested in seeing how many people she could convince to carry her through the patch.

Riley wanted to bring every pumpkin home with her.

From there, we ventured into downtown Hendersonville to eat lunch at HenDough Chicken and Donuts (another place I’d highly recommend!) The food was outstanding. We ate outside since it was a nice day and because we were still trying to do our part to social distance. They had plenty of space to dine outside, but we were dealing with flies and yellow jackets the entire time which was the only downside to our experience.

It was back to the house after lunch to get the two littlest on the trip down for naps while Patrick and I enjoyed a drink on the porch. The grandparents opted to walked around Hendersonville instead of coming straight back to the house with us. After naps, it was off to one of our favorite breweries: Sierra Nevada! It was conveniently located just 10 minutes down the road from our house.

If you're headed to Seirra Nevada anytime soon, make a reservation. That's the only way you can grab a table inside. Everything outside is first come, first served, and if it's a busy day you're likely to not be able to find a seat.

I think it might now be Riley’s favorite, too. She was in her element running around everywhere, climbing rock walls, rolling down hills, dancing, making friends, and just getting all of her 2.5 year old energy out. It was so crowded that afternoon that we had to make friends and grab rocking chairs as they freed up, but the weather was perfect and so was the afternoon there.

On Saturday, I had everyone up even earlier than I did on Friday. We had to hit the road early to get to Jeter Mountain Farm! Every. Single. Person. on Family Mountain Weekend asked at least once if it was necessary for such an early start. I insisted. We left the house by 8am and we were at Jeter Mountain Farm by 8:40, a full 20 minutes before they opened. I think we were the 3rd car in the lot.

After diaper changes and bathroom breaks, we purchased our baskets for apple picking and some for picking raspberries. The women at the checkout stand suggested we do the raspberry picking first which ended up being a great idea because we were the only family that got to pick raspberries that day! Our three baskets picked them out of all available ripe raspberries.

Raspberries went back to the cars and we hopped on the tractor ride to make our way around the orchard to the section that was available for picking. When she was a baby, I wore Riley in a carrier maybe 5 times. I attempted to put Evans in a carrier one day during maternity leave when she just did not want to be put down… and never tried again because it was such an epic fail. Baby wearing has never been our thing. This apple picking adventure had me wishing 100% that it was our thing! Evans crashed hard during the tractor ride in my arms. She was out cold. So guess who got to tote a 16lb sleeping baby around for half an hour while we picked apples? That’s right. This mama did.

Riley had even more fun picking apples this year if that's even possible. Patrick had her up in trees grabbing every apple she could reach, and when she wasn't in trees, she was running through the orchard and hollering "You coming? Let's go!" back to the rest of us.

As we waited for the tractor to come back around for our return trip to the main base of Jeter Mountain, we chatted with the guy that was greeting people as they hopped on and off the ride. He ended up being the owner of the farm! We got a lot of great information from him about how he and his family started the orchard and the plans they had for continuing to grow it.

We hopped back on the tractor to take our apples to our car before settling down for lunch. Jeter Mountain Farms was packed at this point and we were two steps ahead of everyone else. While the tractor rides were completely full to go apple picking, the line at the BBQ food truck was short and there were still picnic tables available for us to grab. The BBQ was amazing (that mac and cheese!) and all of the adults enjoyed an apple cider with our meal. Yup, that's right. Jeter Mountain Farm has a cidery right there on site and they make delicious hard apple cider.

Jeter Mountain Farms was such a cool experience. You can tell that the owners thought about every detail of the customer experience and they have made it a destination orchard. Beyond the apple picking and the cidery, their orchard is also a wedding venue. They have a food truck on site, a massive indoor playground for the kids, a pumpkin patch, bathrooms that would rival the most luxurious bathroom you've ever been in, a gift shop, and so much more. By the time we left at 12:30, everyone was glad that we had gotten there so early and had beaten the majority of the crowds. If you go next year, definitely go earlier than later in the day. Another pro tip: Get your cute kid picture at the beginning, not at the end when your littles should already be 30 minutes into their nap.

The girls fell asleep in the car almost as soon as they were buckled into their car seats—they were exhausted from the morning's fun.

We scrapped our afternoon plan to go to another brewery and instead hung out at our mountain house. We had a great double deck that had plenty of room for Riley to play and lots of chairs for the adults. Evans hung out in her portable baby playpen, Riley washed pumpkins, and the rest of us kicked back our feet with craft beer and listened to football on the radio.

Our mountain weekend was a blast, and we couldn't have had better weather. Shout out to Patrick and our parents for coming along on all of the adventures I had planned. When I go on trips, I like to pack in as much as possible and I don't like to waste time (... aka I'm going to have you up at the crack of dawn so we don't miss a single minute!)

Are we planning a return trip next year? You bet! We might consolidated it to a Friday through Sunday kind of trip rather than Thursday through Sunday, but I think after two years that we're onto a solid fall tradition for our family.

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