Monday, October 02, 2006

Pumpkin Patch Particulars

Last Sunday we took Tenley to Tanaka Farms in Irvine to roam around their pumpkin patch. Toword the end of October last year we hit a patch in Yucaipa with the Inland Empire FCC Play Group. At that time Tenley had only been walking for a few weeks and was toddling around and falling down a lot. This year she has been walking for more than a year and she was still toddling around and falling down a lot.

Tanaka farms was really nice. It had a very large field of u-pick pumpkins, a hay bale maze, a couple of hay bale towers to climb on, a u-pick vegetable patch, petting zoo, snack bar and tractor wagon rides. Getting into the pumpkin patch lot was a total disaster as they share a driveway with a golf course that was having a luxury auto show, and apparently if you owned a car that cost $100,000 or more it was compulsory to attend. Their $15 premiere parking lot was full and backing up out to the street so the Irvine police shut down the driveway just as we got there. After driving around through the ridiculous traffic twice, we settled on a spot a few blocks away and walked.

When we arrived we found the entrance and paid for the petting zoo and our wagon ride. Then we chose a wheelbarrow and took off into the patch to get a pumpkin. We were looking for something small to medium so Tenley could enjoy carving her first pumpkin. All three of us were climbing through the patch in different areas. Michelle and I were looking for pumpkins and Tenley was looking for anything to pick up and rip apart. Occasionally she would stop and yell for me to look at her. When I did she would lift up one foot completely tangled in pumpkin vines and say "Help!" or point to some decaying piece of vine or her dirty hands and say "Yuk! It was too funny.

There were lady bugs flying all around and we kept pointing them out to Tenley who like a typical toddler was too slow to see them. Finally one landed on her upper arm and then walked all the way down her arm to her hand before flying off. As soon as it was gone she smiled real big and said "More?"

Eventually we found a picture perfect round bright orange pumpkin, and after I talked Michelle into using a can of Libby's and out of buying a second one to make pumpkin pie, we decided to go check out the maze.

I pointed Tenley toward the start of the maze and off she went running along. About 3 or 4 turns into it we decided the maze was boring and we were getting hot so it was off to the petting zoo! We grabbed Tenley and jumped onto the wagon ride to the other part of the farm.
*Note: I would recommend doing this itinerary in reverse- petting zoo, then pick pumpkin so you don't have to haul the gourd with you. It was a good thing ours was pretty small. Also, don't bother with a stroller unless it has 4wd.

The petting zoo was two pens that were enclosed and were full of goats, pigs and a llama. Michelle and Tenley went into the zoo armed with two cones of feed ready to pet the animals. Unfortunately, Tenley still doesen't get the concept of cup your hands, put feed in, hold out to animal. Eventually Michelle ended up feeding the goats the alfalfa pellets & Tenley just held out the empty ice cream cones. The goats, for their part, were remarkably un-helpful. None of them were that interested in being fed- so odd for petting zoo goats.

We got a chocolate dipped strawberry, a huge popsicle, and a soda for our hike back to the car, and then it was back to home having happily kicked off the harvest season and a very busy October.


Grandma said...

Oh my, Tenley, how you have grown. You are Grandma's beautiful big girl. It is hard to believe that you have been walking for a whole year now. Actually, I think you have been running for a whole year now. I wish I had your energy. Next Friday you will be here. I can hardly wait to see you. Have a good week and make a pretty face in your pumpkin. I love you. Love, Grandma

Anonymous said...

I went to Tanaka Farms today with my boyfriend and his little cousin. We had a blast picking out pumpkins and walking around the farm. That's probably the biggest pumpkin patch I've ever visited.