A few weekends ago, my best friend Sarah and I went on a day trip down to Belleville, Ill. to go to Eckerts orchard. I am very familiar with Eckerts because it was a tradition my parents did with me every year growing up. September is apple picking season, my favorite season. After driving for two hours to get there, we waited in line to take the wagon, hauled by a tractor, that took us out to the apple trees. There are people in the orchard that show you where the different varieties of apples are located, and you can stay as long as you want wandering up and down the rows, picking apples right off of the trees and even eating a few.
When we finished picking apples we took the wagon to the grocery store to see what other goodies we wanted. We shopped until we dropped and then I surprised Sarah by having my mom meet us for dinner at the restaurant and dessert at the custard shop as well. It was a treat day loaded with chocolate and apples. We even took some pictures, which is still not my favorite thing to do but since it is part of my senior year goals I did it for the sake of it.
After we were done with our day of gluttony, it was time to head back to Charleston. My mom told us to follow her back toward the highway since it was a quicker way to get home. After we parted directions, I was on the lookout for Collinsville exit and just as soon as I saw it there were orange cones blocking the exit. Sarah then saw they had detour signs up and helped me follow them; however, the detour signs were not helpful because they did not get me back onto a highway so Sarah plugged in her GPS and helped me find a way to the highway. Once we made all these twists and turns we got onto a highway headed toward Mt. Vernon. I had never been down this highway before and it was dark, which just made it that much better.
This two-hour drive ended up being a four-hour drive, including bathroom breaks. To keep us entertained we played trivia, reminisced about being roommates freshman year, and listened to our favorite songs, singing along at the top of our lungs. Four hours may seem like a lot, but I would do it all over again because it was such a fun day. When Sarah and I share a retirement home room together, we will sit back and laugh about our fun adventure going to and from Eckerts. Hopefully, neither one of us will croak from the laughter.
Kate Rehwinkel is a senior management major. She can be reached at [email protected]