Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Patch 07

Today was the day for the annual pumpkin pilgrimage. We packed up and headed for Live Oak Canyon in Yucaipa just after 10 for a couple hours of gourd admiration and fun. We knew it would be pretty crowded since this is the second to last weekend before Halloween; but LOC is so big that it never felt uncomfortable.

There were nice tall sunflowers that Ten admired, touched, and spotted bees gathering pollen from on the way in. Inside a trio comprised of a guitar, banjo and bass was on the small stage playing old time folk and country songs…right next to the organ grinder and his monkey who were raking in the cash as people schucked out $1 to shake the monkey’s hand. Jeff and I headed for the snack bar so we could schuck out considerably more than $1 for tickets so Ten could participate in all the patch’s activities.

She began with the petting zoo. First she politely held out her hand for the goats to sniff (the way you would for a dog), but the goats being goats just tried to eat her fingers. So we got her a cup of feed. Ten has never really grasped the concept of “keep your fingers together and cup your hand” – and as usual the goats managed to get a few pellets before the rest sifted through Ten’s fingers. Finally, one zealous goat had had enough and just took the plastic cup out of her hand and helped himself. Tears began, and Daddy retrieved the now empty cup from the momentarily sated goat and carried Ten from the scene of tragedy.

A pony ride makes everything better. So we washed Ten’s hands and trotted over to the ponies. LOC has this set up right: there’s a line for each pony (6 in all)- so you just go to the line for the pony of your kid’s choice. Tenley of course chose the only pony with a line in the blazing sun. But 10 minutes of sweat and $6 worth of tickets buys 3 minutes of (forgive the pun) unbridled happiness.

We dismounted Oats the Welsh pony and climbed the hay pyramid before we headed for the quad train. This is always a fun ride- one big quad with a motor pulls 4 smaller 2 seat quad cars like a train through the pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm. Ten loves this because she says it goes “super fast” and it gets bumpy. I think it’s fun because I don’t have to drive the quad… I just wish I’d remembered to wear an industrial bra.

After that it was 5 minutes of bouncing and sliding fun in the circus train inflatable, and another spin on the ponies and then we were out of tickets and much to Tenley’s dismay, unwilling to buy more. We debated buying a pumpkin, but we know we won’t be home on Halloween night and since we have an electric jack o’ lantern (I know, it’s not the same) we decided to forgo the vegetable carving ritual this year.

So I feel like we’ve now celebrated fall, but I’m still having trouble feeling that it is fall. I’d better get on it though, because we’re 4.5 weeks away from Thanksgiving and only 66 days to Christmas. Ugh.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Fun, Less Money

Nothing brings a smile to a child's face like a visit to Disneyland! However this weekend we found that we don't have to drive for over an hour and spend $60 per person to have that kind of fun. We took Tenley to Lowe's where she happily played in the carpet samples for free.

Now, for those of you who think we are cheap, we did spend money for her to have fun as well. We put 50 cents in the rides at Toys R Us and she had a grand time.

So for a total of a dollar and some travel time, Tenley had just as much fun as if we were at Disneyland for a day. The pictures don't show it too much but she was all smile from ear to ear during these rides.