If you have been following the adventures of The Avocado Sisters, you know that we have been enjoying exciting avocado adventures ever since we met last September. Rachael (La Fuji Mama) and I began hatching a plan to include more friends in our adventures a few months ago. We came up with the idea of gathering a group of 6 – 8 bloggers to have a day of relaxation and rejuvenation with avocados as our theme. There would be no pressure; just a day to enjoy each others’ company, learn from our collective experiences and step back from our busy lives.
Our band of adventurers included varied interests, backgrounds, ages, and life circumstances…it just happened to work out that way as we mentioned our plans and found people who were willing to come aboard for an adventure without guarantees! Besides Mimi Avocado (yours truly) and La Fuji Mama (Rachael), the group included Diane (Created By Diane), Laura (Family Spice), Allison (Sushi Day) and her companion Son, as well as Kristen, Rachael’s delightful sister-in-law from Salt Lake City. Driving in from San Diego, Escondido, Corona, El Segundo and Murrieta, we started our day in Temecula to tour the Eco Farms avocado packing house.
We were treated to a personalized tour of the packing house by Enola Price. My husband and I have known Enola for many years as avocado buyer as well as a personal friend. Our children went through school together in Valley Center and several of them went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at the same time. She is the one who interfaces with our family farm as we sell most of our avocado crop to Eco Farms. From there the avocados are shipped to retailers, including Costco and various grocery stores, and food services. We also have a gift box and monthly subscription service for folks who want to buy premium, hand-selected fruit direct from our farm, called California Avocados Direct.
Did you notice the stickers on these avocados? Always check to see that you are getting California avocados!
Next we drove through the hills and canyons of De Luz, Calif to reach the Avocado Capital of the World: Fallbrook, CA! We arrived at the quaint and funky Wayside Cafe on Main Street. We were seated at a huge table on the back porch…a private dining room! We lost no time in ordering Fried Avocados with two different options for dipping: ranch dressing and powdered sugar.
Of course, we couldn’t eat them right away! Bloggers take photos first and eat last!
We feasted on delicious entrees that feature California avocados. I had the Tortilla Stuffed Hamburger with horseradish cheese, fresh greens, and avocado! It was so nice to have a leisurely lunch with plenty of time to visit…no rush!
After lunch, we drove up Main Street and found parking in front of the Retro Candy Shop. Signs lured us inside….Avocado Fudge!
Inside we found a selection of flavors, plus fun vintage toys and games, old fashioned candies and sodas. We were having a great time looking around when the owner came out and offered to let us sample the fudge!
We enlisted Diane to cut the fudge samples…so the rest of us could take photos! We were treated like royalty, enjoying the friendly and informative chat with the shop owner, and his very generous hospitality. Of course we all bought some fudge to take home!
We did some more browsing in the cute shops, finding fun avocado-themed tee shirts, ornaments, lotions, postcards… who doesn’t love shopping?!
Finally our caravan drove south to our avocado ranch so we could take a walk through the groves and see the last of the avocado flowers as well as the baby avocados beginning to grow. The mature avocados that arel being harvested this year are also in the trees. An exciting time to visit!
It’s always fun to see how people who have never been in an avocado grove are excited to see the things that we take for granted. Baby trees sprouting in the thick carpet of leaves, fruit hanging over our heads in the tall trees, bees attending to their work in the blossoms, fallen fruit that has softened on the ground and has been tasted by wildlife that live in the grove. We took quite a hike around the ranch, stopping to see the stumped trees that will be out of production for several years. We visited the room where gift boxes are packed for California Avocados Direct customers. Since we hadn’t carried any water bottles along, we picked sweet tangerines to give us a little boost as we headed back to the house.
Our last and very special treat of the day was a personal bag of chocolate peanut butter heart cookies from Diane! The perfect ending for our avocado adventure day! It was everything that Fuji Mama and I had wished for: a day with friends, learning and sharing, becoming better acquainted, and best of all….relaxing! We hope to have more adventures with friends too, so if you want to come along on one of our special days, just let us know!