The next day, we came up with a general plan for the trip. With all the places to go and things to do in the area, we decided to base most of our activities on kid-friendly hot spots. And there was nothing more kid-friendly than yummy Danish pancakes topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream from the famous Paula's Pancake House. Okay, it's very adult-friendly too--you won't regret trying the breakfast there, and your pocketbook will thank you as well. We began both mornings at Paula's to start the day right, and with three pages of tasty breakfast platters and combos to choose from, we all tried something new each day before heading out.

After stuffing our tummies at Paula's, we took a short 2-mile drive to the Apple Lane Farms to pick some apples. These local apple orchards are one of many beautiful locations that allow you to get a hands-on experience as you harvest your own apples. At this time of year, the Gala apple season was just about to end and Golden and Red Delicious apples were just about ready for the September harvest. We walked around the Gala trees, picked a few apples with my nephew, and then paid for them at the cute little red stand at the mouth of the farm. Located not far from the apple orchards was the Morrell Nut & Berry Farm where we got our hands dirty picking fresh raspberries and blackberries. All this fresh-picked fruit would make for a healthy chopped orchard salad with raspberry vinaigrette once we got back home.

We headed over to the Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch, which was within walking distance from the berry farms. We parked the Terrain under the tall trees that lined the entrance right next 4-foot fence that surrounded the green pastures. Then we opened the rear hatch to have a tailgate picnic. We watch the horses graze on fresh grass as we grazed on homemade sandwiches and fresh-picked fruit. The Quicksilver Ranch has been breeding horses less than 34 inches tall since 1983. The ranch isn't a petting zoo, nor does it offer any cart rides pulled by its fleet of tiny horses. The ranch does let you walk around its breeding grounds to get an up-close and personal view of the miniature residents. We got to watch a caretaker bathe two horses in a shower within the main barn and were told that the months of April and May are to best time of year to visit the ranch. They're expecting some 30 new foals next year. We were also told our GMC was a great-looking 'ute by one of the caretakers. It should've come as no surprise that the miniature-horse breeders would like GMC's "miniature" SUV.