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  • Writer's pictureLillian E.

Harvest Festival 2021

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Chino Hills, CA


Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard, Yucaipa, CA

Let's celebrate Fall!

A crisp and sunny October morning is the perfect time to do so.

Marco and I had a few hours to spare on Saturday morning before our plans kicked into high gear, so we wandered down the street to the twin restaurants Met Him/ Her At a Bar looking for food and nibbles. Met Her At a Bar specializes in waffles and brunch, while her brother across the street serves *spectacular* pastas. On this particular morning, there was an hour wait for waffles, so we wandered across the street where they served us.... waffles. Just because they specialize in pasta doesn't mean they can't cook a superb breakfast!

We both agree that Marco's truffle parmesan waffle fries stole the show.

*best friends doing things!

After breakfast we meandered back down the street towards home, pausing occasionally to point out a passing dog.

We scooped up my roommate and piled into the car, heading east. About two hours later and many Disney songs (we started talking about Disneyland and needed something to maintain the mood), we joined some light traffic on one skinny road on top of a mountain ridge. The road was lined with different apple orchards- if one was full or the line was too long, just walk a hundred yards over to the next one! That's exactly what we did. When one told us their apple supply was running low, we skipped next door and picked up some baskets and a special apple-picking-stick. I love a good stick.

When we'd picked our favorites and enjoyed enough mountain air and sunshine, we paid for our fruit (and grabbed a couple bottles of fresh-pressed cider from the ice bucket), and hopped back in the car.

We arrived in Marco's childhood hometown of Chino Hills just as the sun was setting. Marco, who knows the place by heart, drove us right up to his old church in time to join the 5pm mass crowd in heading out of the church, across the pavement, and through the gates of their annual Harvest Festival fair!

(Partial view from the top of the ferris wheel, taken much later that night)

Our first stop of the evening was to join the line for Filipino food (Marco's recommendation), scooped fresh and crackling into boxes as soon as you order. It was honestly some of the best food I've had since coming to LA. Pictures don't do it justice!

After we cleared our plates, we all wandered around trying to get our bearings. Nearest the entrance we passed a tent full of auction baskets. There was a corner of the festival reserved for food, another for games, rides were mostly towards the back of the grounds, and there was music and dancing smack in the center of it all. Off to the side, around the corner was a huge bingo tent, and I'll admit we went back twice to play several rounds.

Another favorite game of ours involved paying a dollar for 10 dimes and then joining the crowd to throw the dimes at a teetering tower of glassware. If your dime landed inside a glass, you could take the glass home. We ended up with a random assortment of 4 glasses total between the three of us. None of them match, but you feel oddly protective of *your* cup.

We rode the ferris wheel, ate some funnel cake, I got my face painted (because why not?) and played more bingo. The whole thing reminded me of the May Fair hosted in New Canaan every year and was a good reminder of home-away-from-home. In all I'd say it was a successful Saturday night and I would happily go back :)

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