Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just Country Boys and Girls Gettin' Down on the Farm

What do pumpkins, apples, aliens, Care Bears, and goats have in common? Easy, they're all part of the Fall Festival at Cox Farms in Centreville, VA. (We'll revisit the Care Bears later..)

You already know my love of Fall - or Autumn, if you're fancy - is intense. It is greater than my love of award season but less than my love of the Christmas season. And you know how I love a photo op with my nephew. So, when Melissa asked if I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch with them, I thought about it for all of three - nay two - seconds. Pumpkins, apple cider, hayride? The Ultimate Fall Trifecta.
After researching local pumpkin patches, Melissa decided that we shouldn't just settle for pumpkins, we should do the whole shebang - Fall Festival.
Saturday morning, we loaded up the car and made the 45ish minute drive to Centreville. First, we stopped at a 7-11 for coffee so everyone could get caffeinated to keep from becoming jackass-o-lanterns. (That's the Halloween equivalent of Scrooge). We all fueled up on our hot beverages of choice (green tea for me, natch) while the youngest member of our carpool promptly passed out. Much like if he were the first to pass out a party, we took pictures around him. That's how a road trip works, Squeaks. No exceptions for babies.

Much to Pete's chagrin, Melissa and I made him ride up front by himself chauffeur-style. But what he didn't understand was that we had really important things to do - like download this game from the Ellen Show and showcase our knowledge of celebrity trivia. I dare you to challenge us in such a game. 

This is how you play the game. Well, ok, not exactly.
As we approached the farm, we saw a line of traffic and immediately thought "uh-oh." (Enter jackass-o-lantern attitudes here). I had flashbacks to spending many an hour in the car trying to get to the Renaissance Festival in Charlotte a few years ago. (Don't judge, like you don't like giant legs of turkey and flowers in your hair). Fortunately, the line moved quickly and Cox Farms had the traffic/parking thing down. After buying our tickets, which included the cost of a pumpkin, we walked around to get the lay of the land. As you may remember, I'm no stranger to a farm. 

First panoramic photo on my new phone. (Pete actually took it because I didn't know how.) That's my sis Snapchatting.
After getting a feel for all the Fall Festival had to offer - and checking out goats and a ginormous smelly pig named Miranda - we decided to grab some lunch. We determined that kettle corn could not be an acceptable lunch, so we settled on pulled pork bbq (sorry, Miranda). I also threw in a hot apple cider because I was all-in, fully-committed to this Fall afternoon. Go big or go home - am I right?

We spent the next couple hours meeting farm animals, taking pictures with poor souls dressed as farm animals, and sitting on tractors. I was wearing my new cowboy boots so I'm pretty sure everyone mistook me for a real country farm girl. They were probably most impressed when I sat backwards on the tractor and asked if I looked like a real farmer. Notsomuch. Charlie was more of a natural. 

After a few hours we realized we probably only had time for one more activity before the baby would implode - or whatever it is that happens when they get hungry and tired. I'm not a mom so I don't know. I try to leave before that happens. While the corn maze sounded enticing, we opted for the more relaxing hay ride. 

Plus, I myself am already a corn maze pro. I've twice defeated the Amazing Maize Maze. (Although, truth be told, I went three times. One time I had to raise my flag-of-shame and get turned back in the right direction. Not my proudest moment...I don't want to talk about it.)
Family photo on the hayride. Charlie sneezing. 

Aliens on the farm. Like in the movie "Signs" I guess.
The hayride was awesome, and by "awesome" I mean, kinda bizarre. It was definitely fun - don't get me wrong - but there were aliens, and cut-outs of cartoon characters like the Care Bears and Little Bill. It was like being on a hayride time machine. There was also no shortage of high school students dressed in costumes yelling halloweeny things like "Abracadabra!" Bless their hearts. Did I mention that the lake had a giant ceramic hippo?  You never know what you'll run into on the farm! 

After the hayride, we took a few minutes to visit a cow and then made our way to the exit - via the kettle corn vendor, obviously - to pick our pumpkins. The price of a pumpkin is included in admission. Or, if you're like me and have no use for a pumpkin other than to forget about it and have it rot in your house, you could opt for a bottle of their homemade apple cider instead. I clearly chose the latter. And it was a delicious choice. Perhaps one of the best I've made all week. 

All in all, two thumbs up for the Cox Farms Fall Festival. I can't wait until we can go back next year and hope Charlie will find interest in something other than the dumb tire in the ground - his favorite part of the whole festival. 

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