Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkins, Pig Races, and Hayrides...Oh My!

Fun in the pumpkin patch!
This past Sunday I decided to pack up Piper and head to one of the local pumpkin patches for a day of fun in the sun.  We had Nana and Papa join us, of course, and what a fabulous time we had!  I had not been to a pumpkin patch since back when I taught preschool in my early 20s, so it's definitely been awhile.  This time, taking my own child, well there is just no real comparison of the two experiences.

The whole gang plus a donkey!
At first I had checked out a pumpkin patch in Augusta, Arkansas, but seeing how that was about a 2-hour drive one-way, I decided that it was not conducive to Piper's schedule to travel so much in one day.  So I took a look around on the Google, and found Motley's Pumpkin Patch that was a hell of a lot closer at only a 15 minute or so drive away.  While this patch didn't have a corn maze, which Piper is way too young for anyway, it did have everything else one could want in a pumpkin patch, plus a little bit more.  It was also just about the right size for an outing of a few hours with such a wee-one in tote.

Piper's first chicken encounter!
Besides the obvious pumpkin patch listed in the name, this place had a petting zoo with regular and pygmy goats, chickens, ducks, a pig, a donkey, and there was a dog lying around the gift shop, although we never got to a chance to pet him.  Piper has never been so close to "wild" animals, except for the raccoons who hang around the house, and so getting to get up-close and personal with them was an excellent treat. They had feed very cheap to purchase and give the animals, and Piper loved watching them eat out of our hands. She is still a bit too young to let them eat out of hers, but she did reach out and get to touch some of the more aggressive eaters.

Nana joined in the fun!

Checking out the pygmy goats!
Piper petting one of the goats!

The goats were just as curious about her!

They were quite adorable!

I think the goats were her favorite at the petting zoo.
The petting zoo was our first stop.  The second stop, and most fun portion of our day, was the pig races! Yes, I said pig races!  There was a little one lap, circular track set up for 6 little 8-week-old pigs to race around.  Each had a fun little name, like Jimmy Dean, and each was assigned a color painted on it's side so you could cheer on your favorite contender.  While the races were fun, Piper's reaction to the races and the crowd was down-right hysterical!  She squealed louder than any pig or human there.  Even before the races began, she knew something exciting was about to occur.  She fed off the crowds enthusiasm and drowned them all out. You couldn't even hear the MC over her bellows!  I honestly had to check on her a few times to make sure she wasn't hyperventilating.  She was that darn excited!

Go pigs go!

I know it's not the best video of the races, but I wasn't really able to stand up and see what I was capturing through the cell phone camera lens.  I did my best to document it all, but sadly only a portion was actually caught.  Wish I also had some footage of Piper before the races and during the first two when she was really wound up, but I was holding her at that point an unable to film.  Oh well, at least we have something to prove it all happened!
Awaiting the third and final race!

She was astounded by it all!
After the races, we decided not to stay for the magic show, as it was probably going to be over her head, and went to go on a hayride.  It was simple tractor-pulled hayride that wound around the Xmas tree farm area, but it was a ton of fun.  Along the way was a hay bale spider and a few other spiders hanging from the trees and dangling over the path to catch riders unaware.  Piper loved the hayride, taking it all in and even noticing the spiders that flew overhead.  She seemed to be much more aware of all the things going on than other children on the ride.  As a matter of fact, she was like that throughout the whole day.  She took everything completely in, whilst there were other kids her age and older that day that just seemed to be zoned into oblivion.  It was nice to see the thought processes and synapses firing on all cylinders behind her eyes.  She's a smart cookie, and it showed.  She wouldn't even relax the few times she rode in her stroller. Instead she sat all the way up, holding onto the tray in front of her.  Most other children in strollers were leaned back and relaxing, but she's just not the chillaxing type.

Getting ready for the hayride to start.


Yes, we make a fetching pair!

We are more hams than the pigs!
Right before the hayride, we sat Piper up on the hay bale play area and took a few pics.  She was much too young to enjoy climbing on them and going down the slide, but she did enjoy discovering the hay.  She seemed fascinated by it's texture, and instead of posing for pictures, she became engrossed in the hay she was sitting in.  It was one of the very few times she hasn't noticed the camera and decided to do her own thing. much to my chagrin as I wanted so much to get her to pose for me.  Got some pics anyway, but none that were super fabulous.

She liked the feel of the hay.
Could not get her to look at the camera!
Too cute!

And this was the only glance she gave me!
After the hayride, we finally gathered up a wagon and took off into the pumpkin patch to pick some pumpkins and sit for an impromptu photo shoot.  The pumpkins were lovely, but Piper was the cutest damn pumpkin in the patch by far!  She once again took to exploring textures, colors, and various other things, but she did pose for a few pictures by herself and with mommy.  All of them turned out fantastic.  It was so nice to get some Autumn themed pics with her in her cute Halloween  outfit, she was adorables and now I will have pics to cherish the moment forever.

First pumpkin encounter!

Introducing her to the patch!

She was really quite curious about it all.

Pet the pumpkin!

Love her face in this shot!

Then again, love her face in all shots!

Us with a bit of a neon glow!
Once we had finished with picking our pumpkins, we decided we were all tuckered out and starving.  We could have eaten there as they had concessions, but I knew Piper was going to need some boob so we decided to head home instead.  We did get a quick glance around the gift shop while paying for our pumpkins, and Piper ended up with a really cool flower cat, a baby pig all her own, and a surprise treat from her Pawpaw, a really cool scarecrow!

She loves her loveys!

Especially her new pig, which is magic!

The awesome scarecrow!
After all was said and done, the day couldn't have been any better.  We had a blast, and I cannot wait to go back again next year, or maybe even next month!  Although we did a lot, we also passed up a lot.  There was a hay maze, a couple of play areas with one specially made for little kids, the Xmas tree farm which we only rode around, and there was also a quaint little train ride that when Piper gets a bit older she can ride on.  It was too small for adults, but still a bit to much for Piper all be herself.  I could also stand to do a bit more shopping there as they had all kinds of Xmas goodies such as ornaments and tree toppers, other seasonal goodies, and homemade fudge!  I definitely need to go back for fudge!

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