Then on Saturday morning, a friend posted on Facebook a flyer advertising a nearby pecan farm's fall harvest festival. We'd previously made plans to spend the day hiking at Sam Houston State Park, but by the time the four of us were up, dressed, fed, and ready to go, the idea of driving nearly two hours to the trailhead was less than appealing. The opportunity to spend the day a little closer to home and at an authentically Texan establishment, on the other hand, sounded just perfect. (The possibility that Hallie might learn the truth about the Texas state tree was icing on the cake.)
We took the tractor-pulled hay/wagon ride across the farm and through the orchard; examined a few pecan trees and pecans up close; tasted pecans, coffees, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and wines; and bought a few Christmas presents from some of the local vendors selling their wares. Oh, and a lovely young woman painted a heart - which lasted all of seven minutes - on Hallie's cheek.
|Tom, Will, Hallie and I have visited plenty of apple orchards, |
but Royalty Pecan Farm's pecan orchard was a first for all four of us.
|Tom and Will waiting for the hayride tour of the farm to begin.|
|Tom and Will rode in front on the hay, while Hallie and rode in the back on the wagon.|
|A pecan up close.|
|The stripes of light and dark were even lovelier in person.|
|We rarely see Hallie's "natural" smile these days.|
|It's a shame, because even though I like her silly faces...|
|…and her "pained" faces, I miss her beautiful real smile.|
|Aside from having your entire face painted like a Disney princess,|
you can't get much girlier than a pink heart on your cheek.
This trip to the pecan orchard, though not a permanent replacement, proved an adequate substitute for the time being. And while there were no donuts, at least we came home with pie.
Note: Hallie is still unwilling to admit that she's wrong about the coconut tree.