When you first move to a town it’s hard to know how to be a part of it. I speak from experience. When I moved to Albany over 6 years ago I wanted nothing more than to leave town every weekend. And that’s exactly what I did. I found ways to leave town, go home, or just keep myself occupied so I wouldn’t feel so lonely in a new town. I wish I had at least gone apple picking, maybe the apples would’ve befriended me? Ha! Kidding, kinda!
I think that’s normal. However, I finally (6 years later) feel like I’m a local and fit into this little Albany community. That being said I still make sure I do my best to get out and about and not just slum it at home every weekend. I’m hoping I can give you an idea of what to do in Albany and/or your own hometown so you too feel like a local.
I think the biggest things this year that have made it easier to get out are the 26’er challenge at Nine Pin, the Capital Craft Beverage Trail, and Trivia Night at Fort Orange. Of course, my gym and friends help me get out too, can’t forget that support system. It’s all about finding your crew, getting out of the house, putting down the phone (except for a few photos for social media/the blog), and learning to love where you live.
The great thing about fall is that there is a lot to do in the area and you won’t be sweating out your eyeballs or shivering through your 10 layers. Besides the perfect temperature, the festivities are endless. We already have a lot on the agenda but we wanted to make sure that we went apple picking before it got too cold and before everyone and their basic becky friends picked the apple trees bare.
If you are in the Albany area, find ways to get out and enjoy all that our town has to offer. I’m personally planning to enjoy Drink Albany on Friday as well as Stratton’s Brew Fest on Saturday and am considering Nine Pin’s Cider Sunday on, you guessed it, Sunday!
If you are not in the Albany area, a few places I’d recommend checking out Facebook events, local online news sources, local Instagram tags by restaurants & food establishments, local farms/farmers markets and of course good ol’ word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to get out and explore, what’s the worst (or as Michelle Poler says “BEST”) that could happen
Apple Picking Season
Okay so obviously this post was supposed to be about apple picking, but I got sidetracked by all the events that are occurring this time of the year. I’m a scatterbrain at best so bear with me.
There are a few great places to go apple picking in Upstate NY. Indian Ladder Farms happens to be the closest to me and it’s a great spot for the whole family. My friends and I had been talking about going and we found that last Sunday we were almost all available so we somehow/someway all met up there mid-afternoon.
Indian Ladder Farm
At Indian Ladder, there is plenty of parking on both sides of the road. I’d recommend if you are planning on hanging out at the beer tent/garden to park on the side with the barns so you can start/end there.
However, if you want to strictly apple pick, you’ll want to park on the side where it says pick your own. Here you can pay for a bag or 2-3-4 and get to work. There are signs at the beginning telling you what apple is grown in what row but as you get lost down the rows, you’ll soon be confused as to which apple is which. Also, if you happen to lose your party, I highly suggest playing a good ol’ game of Marco-Polo as we did that and it seemed like the entire orchard was playing along.
There were so many apples to choose from. You can grab them at eye level, at the tippy top (if you have tall friends), and even off the ground if you wish. I’d suggest not throwing them at one another, but with my crew, it was inevitable. We may have even snuck some apples for snacking as we were picking, I’m sure that’s not allowed, but hey, they are the freshest apples you will ever have so I have no regrets.
Capital Craft Beverage Trail
Once you are done picking your apples you can head home OR you can head to Indian Ladder’s new-ish outdoor beer & cider tent/garden. There is plenty of standing room, my only wish is that they had more open seating. If you want a table and food on a beautiful fall day, expect to wait for an incredibly long time. Luckily we all ate a few apples and grabbed beers/ciders and were content to just hang out. They have some chips and a whole gift shop up the hill (with a LONG line for donuts) if you’re so inclined. I’ve heard their apple cider donuts are BOMB, might I suggest you go on an off day so you don’t have to wait an eternity for a donut that will last you a second.
The other neat thing is that Indian Ladder is a part of this year’s Capital Craft Beverage Trail. We have been trying to fill out our passports for the last few months and were excited to go apple picking and get some stamps. This passport is your ticket to some free swag as well as (if you get 20 stamps) free tickets to a bunch of local events in 2019. We have around 7-8 stamps and are on our path to completion, woohoo! You can check for passports (although I think they’re almost out) at any of the participating locations!
How to Pick Your Own
Not sure how to get out in your own community? Google is a huge resource as is Yelp. Just check out pick your own farms & orchards near you and get to picking. You can also head here as there is a listing of many that are found by state.
I enjoy staying in my town nowadays as I know I will find something fun to do with friends. I’m excited to get to cooking with the apples, stay tuned for some fun recipes soon!
What do you do to get out in your community and be a “local”??