Monday, September 22, 2014

IT'S FALL! VIRGINIA IS NOT JUST FOR "LOVERS" BUT FOR CIDER AND APPLE PICKING TOO AT GREAT COUNTRY FARMS ...

Fall is upon us. Officially so at 10:29p EST today. If not yet in the mood for cooler temps and if like me, savings on your utility bill, I have just the event that will surely get you in the fall mood. My #heelstothewheels series featuring Kia continues. If you've been following my chronicles via Instagram at bagladies (you should be), you've noticed that I've been pushing the sleek, sophisticated and luxurious 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid sedan. But my latest jaunt to the Apple Gala and Cider Fest at Great Country Farms located in Bluemont, Virginia featured the just plain fun 2014 Kia Soul, referred to as the "Urban Hatchback."
The inferno red color of the Soul had me at curbside delivery. It's called inferno but it is more candy apple. It was bright and vibrant and eye-catching. And that color combined with the shape of the Soul made it feel like the best romp around vehicle. My three little ones took the trip with me to Great Country Farms and the Soul was really the perfect accompaniment. It just so happened that our trek was one of the most gorgeous September days in Washington, DC
and the temp was perfect, a mild 72 so not too hot and not too chilly. 
Road Trip Essentials
Upon loading up the Soul which included jackets for all, a few snacks and for my preferred roll dawgs aka, my kids, they each had new books. For those of you who are Mommies, I don't know if you suffer the typical road trip woes and the constant, "don't touch me" or "get off me." My remedy, you put a good book in the hands of my children and they go silent. And couple that with Watercolors (I'm a jazz fiend) on SiriusXM (a fave feature of the Kia Soul), it's peace.
My Son Reading Jason Segel's new book 
Soothing sounds for the road

The trek was about 1 1/2 hours and with the exception of my kids asking when they could indulge in snacks, their noses were buried in their books like worms. I was able to play around with some of the features of the Kia Soul like UVO which is an information system you can control from a free smartphone app even, Bluetooth and one of the most adorable features, a function that allows you to set the front speakers to change colors either by the beat of the music or by the mood of the music so every few seconds, the speakers change colors from purple to blue to green, etc. At night, it's awesome and had my kids in awe. I was quite a bit impressed too.
The Kia Soul yet compact is surprisingly spacious with a trunk that while not huge, does a great job of maximizing so you can get the most out of the "urban hatchback" design. The performance and handling is quick and nimble. It's easy to navigate without being cumbersome which for me being a city dweller, is something I always keep in mind particularly when parking. I am particularly fond of the rear camera which ensures you get it right even when tight. I previously thought the Kia Soul might be a bit immature for me but I was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise. There is something to be said for a vehicle that while fully loaded with all kinds of fun features and mobile capabilities, those same features don't require studying the manual for a day to get it. The features are very user friendly and it was fun discovering all the Kia Soul can do.
We're Here!
Headed to the Orchard to pick our own apples
My Son Picked 
My Daughter Picked
My Other Daughter Picked Too
And me too!
Upon arriving at Great Country Farms, we immediately caught the wagon ride with other visitors to Great Country Farms own apple orchard and picked a few varieties of fresh apples. Afterwhich we strolled the grounds visiting everything from a Giant Pumpkin Jumping Pillow of which I had to beg my kids to get off of so we could take in other activities, to Double Barrel Slides, Rope Swings, a giant chess board and soooo much more.









Unlike other farms that promise so many activities and you arrive and finish all actives in 2 seconds, Great Country Farms has more than enough. So much so, that the kids and I didn't do everything. There was live music and a serene area where families could lay out and just chill. The kids and I visited the marketplace that had loads of goodies which included .10 smarties and nerds and all my fave sweets as well as cookies and treats. After downing a few hot dogs and fries, the kids and I paid one more visit to a rather cute exhibit of which they could search for exotic stones. Whilst they did that, I took a sip of a couple varieties from featured Virginia winery Corcoran Vineyard. The Black Jack was a fave so much so, I went home with a bottle in hand. 
#WhatsSippin
Exhaling ...In deep thought ...
As much as there is to do for the kids, there is plenty for Parents to do as well. Great Country Farms has a gorgeous layout and the setting is just beautiful. You arrive and you almost just want to exhale. It's a great departure from the city for a day. Close enough whereas you don't need much prep but far enough whereas you do feel like it's an actual get-away and one we can't wait to sneak away too again for November's pumpkin smashing. But the Apple and Cider Fest runs through the end of the September so you still have another weekend to get it in. Visit www.greatcountryfarms.com for details and upcoming events.
Our hand picked apples are loaded up and ready to go.
And that's a wrap!
Meanwhile, I put the Kia Soul on cruise and the kids and I hit the road back to DC. Virginia is not just for "lovers." However, if you love a quick get-a-way, I highly recommend. 

Are you in the mood for fall? What do you do to usher in the new season?


This #heelstothewheels series continues. Follow my "Heels To The Wheels" chronicles featuring the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX on Instagram and Twitter @bagladies, hashtag #heelstothewheels.

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