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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Kids

Today is Columbus Day, that most politically incorrect of American public holidays. To the best of my memory, I don't recall having ever had this day off from school or work, but it's a federal holiday, and all serious ethical and historical objections aside, I am not about to turn down a paid day away from the job. So this morning the three of us got together with one of my orientation group classmates (and fellow student of Mandarin Chinese), Steven, along with his wife and his three very cute daughters Ellie (age 7), Mia (4) and Vivian (18 months). Together, the eight of us checked out Ticonderoga Farms, a leisure farm located in the northern Virginia countryside, best described as a place for kids to run around and have fun, while the parents stand and watch. Except for Steven, whose prowess on the slides was quite impressive. The following are a few snaps of an American autumn:

Amber and Ellie on the hayride. This tractor-drawn ride took us out to the pumpkin patch where we could pick out our free pumpkins (one per paying customer, so perhaps "free" is not the correct adjective to employ here). It culminated with a drive into a small pond that the kids found exciting.

My daughter in the patch with her pumpkin of choice. I don't know what we're going to do with them, other than carve some Jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween. Pumpkin pie would be the natural end result of all those pumpkin guts, but I have no idea how to bake such a thing from scratch. That's why the good lord invented supermarkets with their frozen desserts sections.

The slides were a big hit with the kids (and Steven!). The washing machine and dryer will be working overtime this evening washing out all those dirt stains.

Amber tames the wild cow "Freckles", part of a bouncy, motorized train ride...of sorts.

Amber and Pamela took advantage of the opportunity to feed the chickens and goats.

It should fairly obvious that someone had a good time today, though the last activity above ended in tears upon landing on a badly-placed ankle. Fortunately, a quick trip down the slide put a smile back on someone's face.

Fall was definitely in the air today, while the turkey vultures were in the dead treetops.

We passed by several pumpkin patches on the drive through the countryside from the farm back to I-66. I was reminded of all the weekend leisure farms back in Taiwan, though without all the fall foliage.

Happy Columbus Day!

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