Tag Archives: Pumpkin Patch

In Search of Jason Bourne And The Great Pumpkin

26 Oct

In order to get away from my latest saga, the Twilight Zone episode of The People’s Court, I decided The Guats needed a change of scenery. Luckily The Harvest Festival and Halloween were just a few days away and The Farm seemed like a nice escape.

Surrounded by goats, pigs, cows, ponies, a giant ox, and plenty of chickens took my mind off the situation. Enjoying the country with activities such as pumpkin bowling, corn cannons, whip cracking lessons, pig races, tractor rides, green tomato sling-shooting, corn mazes and country western shows made for a great family outing.

Overall things seemed to be on point with no kid craziness or whining. We had just the right amount of snacks and prizes to avoid any meltdowns and then I overheard something that made this outing to The Country even better.

Jason Bourne.

Yeah. Matt Damon himself was somewhere on this ginormous farm. So, in the middle of our search for The Great Pumpkin I was also on the lookout for Matt Damon. Now I don’t’ really get star struck too often, but there are a select few … Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Charlie Hunnam (a.k.a. Jax Teller), Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DeCaprio, Oprah, Jon Stewart, and JACK BAUER.

If I were to ever see those at the beach or in this case at The Farm, they would freak my freak. And these are just actors I haven’t even mentioned rock stars like my man Bruce.

These are the kinds of people that I would probably go up to apologetically (sorry for invading your personal space on this awesome family outing but I am a huuuuuuuge fan and I think you’re amaaaaaaaazing I just had to stop by and say that and shake your hand) be a fan for a minute, and then go about my business.

Matt Damon happens to be on this actors’ list and I would have totally approached him had I gotten the chance. And as I understood it Cristina Aguilera was also on the premises but my entire focus was more on Matt Damon, if I happen to run into her, that would have been cool, but I don’t think I would have stopped. I was on a mission. I was in search of Jason Bourne and pumpkins. I was ready to get my freak … freaked!

However, during this five-hour field trip I didn’t see him. But we did manage to have fun even without seeing Matt Damon. My kids won four pumpkins, which was a Guat record. So there were high-fives all around. And then I did run into a friend, which was pretty random, seeing how there were hundreds of people on this ginormous farm. We said our hello hugs and I was happy to see her … then I found out about her corn maze adventure being pretty awesome. Not just because she got to the end and climbed the elusive finish line pyramid, but because she saw him.

She happened to run into Jason Bourne in the corn maze.

Me?

No Bourne. Just the finish line pyramid and a total of six pumpkins.

Still a pretty successful outing.

 

 

 

 

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A Guatacular Halloween

31 Oct

I know they say that time goes by fast but this week … this week Halloween managed to slow things down as I felt each hour and each minute during the jam-packed Fall festivity sessions.

We started on the farm ...

We started on the farm …

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We began with tractor bumper car races to get the party going ...

We began with tractor bumper car races to get the party going …

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We enjoyed a tractor pulled ride and decided to head to the fields ...

We enjoyed a tractor pulled ride and decided to head to the fields …

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We picked our own berries before exploring the rest of the farm.

We picked our own berries before exploring the rest of the games on  farm.

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We ran into some pumpkin art ...

We ran into some pumpkin art …

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:)

🙂

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This was my son's favorite ... he's a Jedi in disguise.

This was my son’s favorite … he’s a Jedi in disguise.

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:)

🙂

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This was my daughter's favorite.

This was my daughter’s favorite.

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We came home from the farm inspired to create something amazing with our own pumpkins, but since we're not great artists we baked ours and came up with these chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. I had six during the test-tasting process.

We came home from the farm inspired to create something amazing with our own pumpkins, but since we’re not great artists we baked ours and came up with these chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. I had six during the test-tasting process.

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Then came Halloween Eve and the Big Day itself where we spent our time carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating and watching Linus hope for the Great Pumpkin's arrival. A Guatacular week where time stood still and Hershey bars rained down on the Guats.

Then came Halloween Eve and the Big Day itself where we spent our time carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating and watching Linus hope for the Great Pumpkin’s arrival. A Guatacular week where time stood still and Hershey bars rained down on the Guats.

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Getting in Touch With Our Country Side

29 Oct

It was that time of year again where we drove up north to check out the funky pumpkins, relax on a hayride tour throughout the farm, check out some pig races, walk around mazes made out of corn, look at ginormous John Deere rides, climb haystack pyramids, and listen to the good old twang of a banjo and guitar.

Yeah we’re sneaker and ball cap people, but we felt like we had cowboy hats and boots all day. Yeah … we let our country out. We were on a mission to find our pumpkin and we had fun getting in touch with our country side along the way.

 

 

I've never seen pumpkins like this before, but apparently they make an appearance every Halloween.

I’ve never seen pumpkins like this before, but apparently they make an appearance every Halloween.

 

 

The Pumpkin House was probably one of the funnest structures they discovered.

The Pumpkin House was probably one of the funnest structures they discovered.

 

Once got there one of our first stops was checking out the old school tractors.

We followed that up with an awesome tour of the old school tractors. This one seemed to catch my eye the most.

 

 

As soon as we got there my son had to check out one of the rides.

My son preferred the monster truck type. He said it was the kind that the Incredible Hulk would use.

 

 

My daughter wanted to get in on the action, but she preferred racing them.

My daughter wanted to get in on the action, but she preferred racing kind.

 

 

After a little speed racing around the farm we decided to do a couple of mazes.

After a little speed racing around the farm we decided to do a couple of mazes.

 

 

For the first time in Guat history we finally made it to the end and climbed on top of the victory haystack...this was the view from the top. I felt badass.

For the first time in Guat history we finally made it to the end and climbed on top of the victory haystack…this was the view from the top. I felt badass.

 

 

After checking out our awesome victory view, we headed off for the pig races. Apparently a very popular attraction.

After checking out our awesome victory view, we headed off for the pig races. Apparently a very popular attraction.

 

After the pig Ninja Warrior races we set off to play some games. My son seemed to enjoy the green tomato sling shots. He hit three out of five haystacks, earning himself a high five.

After the pig Ninja Warrior races we set off to play some games. My son seemed to enjoy the green tomato sling shots. He hit three out of five haystacks, earning himself a high five.

 

After all that Huckleberry Finn action we decided to have a snack and enjoy the band.

After all that Huckleberry Finn action we decided to have a snack and enjoy the band.

 

Then we headed off to see if the Great Pumpkin was out and about.

Then we headed off to see if the Great Pumpkin was out and about.

 

But the coolest part of the whole trip was that we witnessed our first hay tornado. It was the coolest thing I saw all day ... all weekend probably.  I'd never twister pick up like that, dance around the patch in circles, and then make it rain hay. It was a Fall miracle.

But the coolest part of the whole trip was that we witnessed our first hay tornado. It was the coolest thing I saw all day … all weekend probably. I’d never twister pick up like that, dance around the patch in circles, and then make it rain hay. It was a Fall miracle.

 

After that farm magic we walked around the patch and the kids found their perfect pumpkin.

After that farm magic we walked around the patch and the kids found their perfect pumpkin.

 

 

Sunscreen and Pumpkins

28 Oct

Three fall festivals, two pumpkin patches, one farm, seven goats, four sheep, three pigs, two llamas, one donkey, three haystack pyramids, five mini-me pumpkins, and one Howden-Biggie Pumpkin … yeah it was pumpkin patch harvest fall festival madness this weekend. But in truth the only thing we seemed to harvest was a nice tan in the 80-degree heat that is Southern California during Autumn.

In retrospect I could have saved time and money in addition to avoiding stress by just going to Trader Joe’s and buying a pumpkin there. However, there  would still be parking war madness because their parking lots are always so small, but there would be no crowds and no screaming kids. I think I’d prefer to battle the parking lot, than to witness the kindergartener’s meltdown and the mom’s frustration.

But if that were to happen I wouldn’t have traditions or memories. And you know how parents are …  always trying to have fun, make memories, and give our city kids the whole Great Big Pumpkin Farm experience. So … it was sunscreen and pumpkins for The Guat Clan. Sunscreen and pumpkins: that’s how we roll.

 

 

And this is how  we start ...

And this is how we start …

 

Checking out the scene before we start the pumpkin madness.

Checking out the scene before we tackle the harvest festival pumpkin madness.

 

Running through the hay maze was much better than the corn maze. They didn't get lost.

Then we discovered a maze that was just right for the Little Guats. Running through the hay maze was a much better experience then getting lost in the corn maze.

 

The classic pyramid was something we saw at all three festivals and something they often look forward to doing.

The classic pyramid was something we saw at all three festivals and something they often look forward to climbing.

 

The trampoline alternative meant no crowds and no crazy kids attacking my kids. It also meant the beginning of our tanning process and my kids catching some serious air.

The trampoline alternative meant no crowds and no crazy kids attacking my kids. It also meant the beginning of our tanning process and my kids catching some serious air.

 

 

But the best part of the day was not the jumping it was the awesome cow tractor train ride that zig-zagged throughout one of the farms.

But the best part of the day was not the jumping, it was the awesome cow tractor train ride that zig-zagged throughout one of the farms.

 

The second best part for them seemed to be the petting zoo.

The second best part for them seemed to be the petting zoo.

 

She was fearless during the petting part even though the animals were bigger.

She was fearless during the petting part even though the animals were much bigger.

 

We also got hands on with the milking stations. It being the first time he milked a fake cow, he seemed to be doing it well.

We also got hands on with the milking stations. It being the first time he milked a fake cow, he seemed to be doing it well.

 

The bulldozers, dump trucks and diggers seemed to be popular at this fall festival. I think it was the corn kernels.

The bulldozers, dump trucks and diggers seemed to be popular at this fall festival. I think it was the corn kernels.

 

We moved on to find our Great Pumpkin -- the one that would provide us with awesome pumpkin seeds and our Jack-O-Lantern experience.

After all of our activities, we moved on to find our Great Pumpkin — the one that would provide us with awesome pumpkin seeds and our Jack-O-Lantern experience.

 

While investing the pumpkin patch, my son found the life cycle of the pumpkin and decided to educate his little sister.

While investigating the pumpkin patch, my son found the life cycle of the pumpkin and decided to educate his little sister.

 

Once we ran out of tickets and found our pumpkin, we made our way home.

Once we found our pumpkin, and finished educating ourselves on the farm life, we made our way home.

 

 

The Guats Hit the Farm

28 Oct

Ever since I decided to make my life less crappy with my own little Happiness Project, errands, like finding a pumpkin for my kids this Halloween season, take on a different meaning. This pumpkin is no longer a grocery item at the Farmer’s Market down the street. This pumpkin search becomes a project — one that requires a family field trip to the farm.

 

This was our first outing to the Underwood Family Farms and it proved to be an awesome country adventure as the Fall Harvest Festival was in full swing. Granted it took us over forty minutes to get there and my kids were running out of patience, but we made it — all in one piece.

 

John Deere rocks.

We started off with the Combine Slide, something  that my four-year old is very familiar with courtesy of one of his favorite shows Mighty Machines. We hung out here for a while and despite the massive slathering of Coppertone we got a nice tan.

 

The Hay Pyramids

This was followed by a little climbing. My son found the altitude of the hay stacks quite amazing, my daughter thought hay throwing was even more amazing.

 

Checking out the farm scene.

After all that activity, we decided to mingle with farm animals and my daughter decided to chat up a storm with the sheep. They were having a lengthy conversation — the kind where she screams and laughs, and they just stare.

 

The Brave Loner.

While the kids continued making friends with all the four-legged farm residents, I happened to glance up at the sky and notice this one goat … just thinking outside of the box when it came to walking around the farm. I was tripping out on his balancing skills and his I-got-this! high-beam walking routine. He’d rock the Olympic gymnastic stage.

 

Some kid causing traffic … and my son helping him out.

After all that walking around, my son decided to get behind the wheel. He hates traffic and managed to steer clear of it. But he realized that traffic jams happen on the farm too. But with his city mentality, he was able to get out of that one soon enough.

 

The Beginning of the maze.

After a couple of rides on his mini John Deere tractor, we decided to take the adventure out to the corn. With the sun beating down on us and the smell of food in the air I was hoping we’d get through it pretty quickly. I mean I went to college. I could do this.

 

We saw plenty of these signs on the way.

Getting lost in the maze cracked us up. It took us over twenty minutes to get through it. However, we never made it to the exit. We looped around and then left through the main entrance. Woo-Hoo! Let’s hear it for the college grad. For this valiant effort I decided to buy myself a shaved Hawaiian Ice. A large.

 

My son waving the flag.

Feeling corn-maze victorious, we headed over to one of the main events: The Pig Races. I had never been to one of these before and apparently it was a very popular event as the stands were packed with corn-on-the-cob eating spectators. We witnessed these spry three-month old pigs sprint  through a small obstacle course, and we cheered on the winner. I was happy when they asked for volunteers, because my son became one of the chosen ones. He was the blue flag holder and proud of it. He was pretty excited to see his pig win a race. Other than the mini train tractor ride around the farm, his pig coming in first place was the highlight of his day.

 

The House of Pumpkins.

However, the sun was getting hotter, and my one year-old was getting tired of all the hay and corn, so it was off to search for the pumpkin.

 

On a mission for The Great Pumpkin.

 

The produce.

We came across this funky-looking squash and my son decided it was not Halloween-worthy, so we left it at the farm, and continued our search.

 

The Patch

And wouldn’t you know it … just as we reached the ginormous pumpkin patch, my camera battery died. So most of the pumpkin-choosing memories remain tucked away in my Guat brain. But it’s a good archive, I got lots of pictures stored up in there.  So there were no worries … after all we didn’t go up there to take pictures, but to have a good time and sure enough, we did. Who knew pumpkins, corn on the cob, pig races and Hawaiian Ice would make for a Happiness Project moment. But it did. Pumpkin patches rock, just wish they were a little bit closer.