So we took a long drive up the thruway to pick apples. Huge gray clouds made the trees look even prettier. Traffic in the town and then there we were. Us and a huge crowd of Chinese families with diplomat license plates on their cars. We heard Chinese throughout all the rows of the orchard - the haywagon drove scores of people with long reaching apple-picking poles around and around looking like invaders from a foreign army. We tasted all the kinds of apples we picked, took home 66 pounds, and then moved on for the homemade donuts. Cider donuts. Warm, sugary, cakey. And then we saw the woman with "the apple explosion." A cored and sliced apple, topped with warm caramel sauce, then soft vanilla ice cream, then whipped cream, more caramel, and then peanuts. We had to have one - and of course, had to critique it. Coulda used a touch more caramel, hard ice cream not soft, and Ma added "couldn't they have baked the apple for us?"