Today we went to Flamingo Road Nursery to get a pumpkin. After all, it’s three days before Halloween and instead of going to some church parking lot and picking one out, we wanted to make a fun outing with food and activities, so we made the 40 minute treck to Davie to check it out.
The outing was successful overall (in fact, Max, out of nowhere said “I’m having so much fun today!”, BUT I made three mistakes in the planning of this event:
1) Getting a pumpkin on the last weekend before Halloween at a family-friendly farm is kind of like Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. In other words, it was PACKED. Like – anxiety-inducing crowds. Lines, lines, lines…for everything from the hay ride to lunch to face painting, etc. None of us are good at waiting. I’m the worst. My 3 year old has more patience than me. Seriously – the other day we were getting him ice cream and I was losing my mind at the people in front of me taking forever while he calmly waited his turn. Embarrassing.
2) I still have romantic notions of fall in CT, when we’d go to a hundred-acre farm to pick pumpkins, apples, etc. and you’d take a hay ride and feel like you were flying through some kind of beautiful fall wilderness maze. This, obviously, is not what we encountered. For the majority of the year, you will NOT hear me complain about living in Florida, but those rare, breathtaking, golden fall New England days are something I’ll always miss.
The “hay ride” here (with a 45-minute line) was a vintage truck that drove on the pavement for six minutes and honked a horn. Luckily none of us were interested.
3) I wanted to do way more than we were able to (big suprise. Wait…you don’t know me. I often have visions of accomplishing or doing more than is possible/enjoyable in a given outing.) This time, I thought we’d get a pumpkin, do face painting, have lunch, shop at the farmers market for local produce (and a Pumpkin Pie, as requested by Max), take cute pix I could post on Instagram just like the 56 other pix of the exact same scene posted by everyone else with kids, and walk around the nursery picking out flowers/plants we like as we have to do some landscaping.
Here is what we did:
Divided and conquered the minute we got there as parking was far from lunch, so I ordered sandwiches (Charlie was so excited that they had a Boar’s Head deli…then they didn’t have Pastrami) while charlie parked w/Benny & Max who was whining and “starving”, ate lunch standing up, tried to figure out the whole “ticket” situation – we didn’t have much cash of course, walked around aimlessly trying to find the pumpkin patch only to realize we were in it (a bunch of pumpkins under a tent. Not much “choosing” about it – you had to elbow people (darn kids) just to get to one), Charlie waited in line while we went to the bathroom (actually Max’s favorite part, “MOM there’s a bathroom in that truck!!!” Yah Max, it’s a port-o-potty, you’re excitement may dwindle when you step inside and lose a year off your little life. It didn’t. And in all honesty the bathroom was quite clean), bought a cookie for Max because Charlie had barely moved up in line, walked around aimlessly playing the opposite game with Max, paid for pumpkins, went home.
This is to say nothing bad about the nursery itself…I’m sure on roughly 362 days of the year (I’m guessing Xmas tree shopping gets dicey), the place is a lot more manageable. And they handled it well. It just wasn’t quite the natural, whimsical, Walden-esque experience I had envisioned.
Nevertheless, we had a good time, the boys were happy mostly, we got our pumpkins, and Max got to see a bathroom on a truck.
So maybe the lesson to us all is – lower your expectations, doesn’t take much to please 3 year olds and babies.