Saturday we had a day that I would describe as “nice but grueling” to the person (my mom) who very sweetly, thoughtfully, and generously got us the tickets for the Fall/Halloween event we attended. To everyone else I would describe the day as the clusterfuck that would not end.
Everything started out great. Cookies and juice. Yum! But then the madness began. Imagine, if you will, an afternoon planned by really well-meaning great-grandmothers. Who apparently haven’t been around children in, let’s say, one million years. Then add hundreds of adults and children, a maze-like surrounding, and mix well.
This place has no signage other than “keep off the grass” and “don’t touch anything”. They are set up for couples or threesomes meandering about the gorgeous gardens and historic mansion. It would be lovely… on any other day.
However, on this day, they decided to advertise “Hayrides” — sounds great, right? Thank god I only told the boys that we were going to look at horses, because one hour into the all-day event, you guessed it, all the hayrides were “reserved.”
Seriously, how the hell am I supposed to explain that? The best I came up with was that these people made a big mistake and didn’t have enough horses. Yeah, that went over well.
Then the boys saw the balloon animal guy. One guy. For hundreds of kids. Imagine the line. Imagine similar lines in front of the carve your own tiny pumpkin table as well.
I thought I was saved when I saw that the facepaint table had a line where I could almost see the beginning and the end of it without running back and forth. Eureka! No… no one wanted to do that one. (Is that a boy thing? Last year they both would have been all over that. This year, not so much.)
So we gave up and decided to just go to the BBQ lunch that we had pre-ordered tickets for. After walking for a good 10 minutes through exquisite, adorable, tiny garden paths. With no signs. Accompanied by hundreds of other families. With strollers. And confused children. We arrived at the lunch area.
Actually, this was when the day started to look up. They had a bluegrass band playing, and Chip ADORES music.
I’m not even sure how long Chip watched the musicians, but it was at least a half an hour. He wasn’t dancing, it was more like he was memorizing how to play the instruments so that next time he’s near a banjo he’ll be prepared. It completely blew his mind.
The story of how lunch went is just way too boring, so let’s skip ahead to the best part of the day. We decided to bail on the whole thing and just go to the pumpkin patch we go to every year! They have farm animals, a cute little train you can ride, and best of all the kids can touch EVERYTHING! There are minimal rules, and we had a great afternoon.
Of course, you pay $10 for a small pumpkin, but by then that was a small price to pay to hang out someplace where your kids could touch stuff and didn’t get “escorted” off the lawn with a lecture. Victory!