We decided to take our annual visit to Pa's Pumpkin Patch on Saturday. I'm sad to say it was a huge disappointment!
Was it me?
Was it the kids?
Was it the place?
Maybe it was all three.
It just wasn't what we (me especially) was expecting. Maybe it was just "too much" of some things and "way not enough" of other stuff. Branden said it had a church carnival feel and that is certainly not what we were going for. The kids were only interested in the rides - I know they are kids so that was to be expected. But at $15 for 10 tickets the boys were really made to decide how they wanted to spend their 5 tickets. It was also super crowded and because it was later in the day, I felt nervous a bit if they ran to far ahead and we couldn't see them. Speaking of running, there really wasn't much space for them to run around anyways. It just was disappointing overall. Worst of all we didn't get our usual family photo. I was super sad about this. The boys were jumping around being crazy and Annabelle was asleep on my chest in the baby bjorn - it just wasn't going to happen!
You all are probably reading this thinking "gee, Nicole haven't you been going to Pa's your whole life. What made you think it would be different this time".
Great question! The answer, unfortunately, I don't know!
I guess I wanted to be with my family somewhere that felt like Fall, especially since Saturday had been a pretty hot day. I wanted there to be lots of pumpkins, hay bails and orange and brown leaves everywhere. I wanted it to feel like Fall, like Halloween.
Needless to say, although it wasn't our most favorite adventure, the boys still had a lot of fun. As I look at the pictures I can see it in their eyes and their smiles. Just take a look.
Jack decided to go down with the lady at the top,
Brave boy Ben loved flying solo.
They both said it was super fun and wanted to go again!
Sweet Annabelle sitting with mommy waiting for her big brothers.
This was her first visit to the pumpkin patch, unfortunately she slept through most of it.
The boys looking back at the big slide they had just gone down
The pirate ship and the flying elephants
The boys went on the bumper boats for the first time
I realized later that night that I wanted our evening to be like all of the Fall pictures I've been seeing on my friends blogs that live in other parts of the country. I wanted something that I was NOT going to get at Pa's Pumpkin Patch on PCH in Long Long Beach, California.
We decided that Pa's is most likely going to become a thing of the past for us. We are going to make some new Fall traditions next year. We know this might involve driving a bit farther and making a day of it but we are committed to having more fuller experiences that involve less carnival rides and more connection with nature and the welcoming of the Fall season.
When the kids were finally in bed I was still feeling a little disappointed about how our night had gone. So I decided to take a look at the pictures from last year's trip to the pumpkin patch since I had been reflecting on it all night "as such a great visit". The funny thing is that the pictures all pretty much looked the same - same rides, very few "harvesty/pumpkin" pictures and it looked crowded as well. We did however get this family picture (below), which we weren't able to manage this year.
As I was looking at the picture so fondly I realized that I was wearing the EXACT same outfit! OMG -one year later I pull out the exact same shirt and sweater to wear to the pumpkin patch. I had to just laugh. I knew my wardrobe was lacking a bit, but that's ridiculous.
After that laugh I realized that my pouting seemed as silly as my outfit. I know that I may have wanted more from the night than I got (i.e. a family picture) but oh well. The most important thing is that we were there together as a family even if some of us are still wearing last years clothes.
I'm looking forward to creating new Fall memories in a new location in a new outfut next year!