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A few days after we returned from Cape Cod my friend Polly texted me and asked if we wanted to go berry picking. "YES," I texted back in all caps, dying to take a road trip and "keep the vacation vibe going" and this was it. This was perfect. This was something I had wanted to do for years. Forever, actually. It was one of the things I was dying to do that for whatever reason, I never did. We never did.

So last month, we packed up kids (and ourselves) up and headed north toward Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark.
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Underwood Family Farms is about an hour outside Los Angeles and a hot (temperature wise as well, phew) Halloween season destination I am told. Apparently we were the last people to know such a place existed. Again. But now we know. NOW WE KNOW! Now we know and are adding Underwood Farms to our "Better than Theme Park" list because:

1. The price is extremely right.
2. There are no crowds. (Not when we were there, anyway.)
3. Fruit picking is a solid family bonding activity that toddlers can totally participate in. Even if they pick stuff that isn't ripe and take tiny bites out of everything and find the only mud puddle in the entire field and sit in it.

Beyond the fruit and veggie picking, UFF boasts a vast assortment of wonderful for kids and adults of all ages. Here is a photo montage of some of those things ready go:
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Bo had a full on meltdown after the pony ride because she did NOT want to remove her body from the pony. We tried to soften the blow with emus but it didn't exactly work. Not for longer than three seconds, anyway.
IMG_9094 IMG_8860 IMG_9101 Moving on... 
I rarely turn up in photos so when I do it sort of weirds me out. Polly snapped this and now I know what I look like when I'm trying to make sure everyone is one place and not lost. 
(Hal had to run back to the camp to pick up some waters because Bo spilled our water everywhere and we didn't have a back-up hydration situation and hold on, I think I see a man on the back of a truck with a bag full of water oh hello there, sir. Wink wink, whistle whistle.) 
IMG_8950 "Water?"
IMG_8952 "Water."
IMG_8962 Then we proceeded to pick some berries.
IMG_8964 A whoooole lot of berries.
IMG_9008 (Bo may have sampled a few.)
IMG_9002 Hey, guys!
After filling half a dozen containers of strawberries we packed up our wagons, purchased our bounty and set off for home. 
IMG_9104 The. End.


But wait! There's more! Our little sojourn happened the day before Father's Day, a day we had plans to spend with friends. So? We decided to make "berry awesome" father's day gifts for the "berry awesome fathers" in our lives, Hal included.
I realize that Father's Day is long over but I feel like fruit baskets are pretty evergreen in the easy-for-all-ages DIY department so here's a quick and easy recipe for "berry super gifts for berry super people":

Clear plastic wrapping "paper"
 Reusable berry baskets (I found mine at the "dollar spot" in store.)
Tiny gift cards
Fable's rainbowpower/markers

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IMG_9193 IMG_9194 (P.S. We ate the remaining berries with cold pizza and pea pods.)
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What about you guys? Do you ever go fruit picking with your family? Do you have a favorite local farm you frequent? What do you do with your bounty? Make pie? Jam? Eat everything really fast before it spoils? Pull your kids around in carts and enjoy the scenery with awesome friends?
(Because the berries were great and all, but hanging with our peeps was by far the best part.)
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