We went apple picking in Julian. 

Locals know that if you say you went apple picking in Julian, all you’re really saying is that you are screaming for something to feel like fall; somewhere to pull on a sweater, a scarf, a pair of boots; some place to smell a tinge of woodsmoke in the air and watch radiant colors drift to the ground.

It was 92 degrees.  I wore boots, nonetheless, and traipsed around in parched aisles of picked-clean Golden Delicious trees; the pungent smell of smoke from a nearby brushfire stung our noses. I didn’t see even one colorful thing fall from the sky except the sparkly pink shoe of my youngest daughter that had been plucked from her foot by my oldest son and thrown maliciously at my middle daughter.

I’ve come to realize that family outings with teenagers are difficult.  Someone always demands to stay home, another someone always demands to stay in the car.  But, I also realized that if you temper the demands with a lot of bribery and the promise of apple pie and ice cream after standing in line for 68 minutes with the rest of the Fall-craving freaks of San Diego, then the hot 3 hour drive home in weekend rush hour isn’t all that bad, maybe even, borderline, enjoyable.