Monday, July 26, 2010

Blueberry-Picking + Shooting Range + Driving Range = very exciting weekend


I heard about a place to pick your own blueberries from a coworker that lives in Milton and I immediately knew that's what I wanted to do - we've gone to pick apples, cherries, and strawberries, but never before had we gone to pick blueberries.  Plus, the blueberries she's brought from that farm were so big and sweet and flavorful - nothing like the ones you get in the supermarket.  I am a big fan of blueberries and so is my baby brother Kenneth (OK, so he's not a baby anymore, now that he's even taller than me, but he'll always be my *baby* brother), and we were very excited.  We had planned to go on Saturday, but then the weather forecast predicted rain in the afternoon, and by the time we were ready to leave Kenneth already went out for breakfast.  I guess breakfast would have been instant gratification and blueberry-picking - well, you gotta put in some efforts.

We got to the farm in 20 minutes, and even on the way there it started to drizzle a little bit.  We picked up our baskets and decided to walk to the blueberry patch.  The further we walked in, the more  berries we saw.  I had never seen a blueberry bush before, but I didn't expect them to be this big and tall - some were even taller than B!  We got down to business and taste-tested each bush before we started picking, because some bushes were sweeter while other bushes were more tart but more flavorful.  There was a rule imposed by the farm to limit tasting to 2 to 3 berries for economical reasons, but I'm pretty sure they meant 2 to 3 berries per bush - how would we know which bush to pick from otherwise?  Before long, B got distracted by butterflies and taking pictures with his Nokia phone, and I was left with the task of picking the berries.  It got more hot and humid, so even though we only had half a basket filled, we moved on to find raspberries.

Unlike the blueberry bushes, the raspberry bushes were shorter and very thorny.  The berries were also mostly hidden, so that you would have to reach in to get the berries.  There were also many more mosquitoes around that area, and I was bitten in at least 5 different spots before we gave up.  Then tragedy struck - our basket tipped over, and the fragile raspberries all splattered on the ground.  We salvaged what we could, which wasn't much, and decided to find the black currant patch.

The black currant patch was down the valley beside the raspberry bushes behind the flower patch, and we actually managed to pick some more raspberries along the way.  We didn't know what black currant trees look like (the only forms of black currant we are familiar with are Ribena and Fruitips) - but we managed to find out from a little old lady who had the top half of her body buried in a short shrub that happened to be a black currant plant.  There were few fruits left and the ones we tried were all tart with a bitter aftertaste.  We gave up as it had started to rain, and we hurried into the store to pay.  The store offered black currants and other fruits that were picked and packaged and we tasted the black currants there but they weren't any better.  We were quite disappointed.

Our tour there ended with some wine-tasting - there is a winery that uses the fruits from the farm to make fruit wines.  We tried one called "True Blue" that was made with blueberries and a "Black Currant Truffle", but the ones we liked the most was the "Strawberry Fields" and "Cassis".  The strawberry wine paired really well with clams that we had for dinner.

Shooting Range

Michelle had invited us for a trip to the shooting range on Sunday, and although I wasn't crazy about it at first, B was excited to have the chance to fire a real gun.  The shooting range called Target Sports wasn't too far away - the drive must have been less than 30 minutes.

We geared up with ear-muffs and safety goggles, and after signing the liability waiver and a brief lesson on safety and how to hold a gun, we were led through double doors into the range.  Booths were set up with the different guns - a glock, a S&W militia and police, a sig, another glock, and a shot gun.

It was definitely an experience of a lifetime.  The loud bangs, bullet casings flying everywhere, and the thrill of hitting the target - it was way more exciting than I thought it would be.  Turns out I was a better gunman than B :)

Driving Range

After lunch, we met up at the driving range across from Angus Glen for a different kind of exercise.  It must have been the first or second time I've been on a driving range this summer, and honestly, I can't remember how to swing properly anymore.  Not that I hit any better last season - all my irons and woods go about the same distance, which isn't that far to begin with.  But I could swing the driver - even if the ball doesn't go far, at least I usually get the "pong" sound I love to hear.  B, on the other hand, had a couple nearly perfect shots.  I think it's time I get back to seriously practising my swings.

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