If you follow me on social media, I may have been a little extra whiney lately. Sorry. The beginning of July always causes a bit of a funk (July 5 marks 2 years since my dad died)...and Columbus always seems to just get gloomy and rainy for a few weeks.

We hibernate...we take a pause in the adventuring, and it is welcome. The space between busy and wonderful June, full of the promise of summer, and August, when we hold on to every last second of golden light, fireflies, and sleeping in.

But that took a toll on my family. We were not wired to stay in, and all the things that have been frustrating to me as a mother became evident by day 14 of July. We needed an escape, a change of routine, something.

Historically, a farm has always, always brought me back to myself. So, out to the peach farm we went.

We've never picked peaches before, and I had been eyeing a local orchard (Branstool) about an hour away. The staff made us feel at home with their friendliness, and the kids did not want to leave their sweet dog. Best of all, no crowds or lines. I will travel an hour for that any day.

 waving to the tractor driver (Rhys' dream job)

My dad LOVED stone fruits of any kind, and I am a big peach fan. I don't know why it reminds me of him, but peaches, plums and nectarines (and ice cream) always add a little extra enjoyment because of him.

"See, I took a bite, mom."

Having several pounds of peaches on our counter will hopefully inspire me to try making a few new recipes. Do you have any favorite peach standbys? For our last batch, I made peach tea. Refreshing, but not so peachy. I bought some cobbler mix from the market at Branstool, and I'm hoping it is great!

Rhys was adamant that he wouldn't try one, but by the end, he held on tight to a particularly juicy one. Success!

You can't go out to Utica without stopping at the Velvet ice cream factory. My girl and I shared her first banana split...birthday cake ice cream for her, Buckeye for me. So good. But seriously, we could only eat about 1/3 of that. And then, ending the morning with their little playground was the cherry on top. Ha.

It was such a good day trip. and just what we needed. Lesson learned...don't ever think a leopard can change his spots...our crew was made to explore.

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