Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

Every year we trek to Belvedere Plantation for the Fall Festival. We LOVE IT.

We made a few changes this year...we decided to meet up with our friends The Cs in the afternoon (we typically get there when they open in the morning) and try to stay until evening fireworks. We packed warm clothes, and expected tired kids after it was all over. We debated bringing E's wheelchair or our double stroller (it's really too small for the kids, but it can really help on tough terrain) and decided that walking was really the best way to get around. The plantation is so bumpy E's chair would have been a tough choice.

Sunflower picture! (it was too sunny for *someone*)


Tractor Girls
Another change this year was we free-roamed. This wasn't a conscious decision until we arrived; the girls didn't want to go where we suggested, so we followed their lead. This resulted in more walking overall and less energy as the day continued--but everyone was having fun, so it didn't matter if we didn't do every activity we had initially anticipated.

Soft fall 
Elena loved the Hay Barn. She loves to swing on the rope and navigate the deep hay, even though she needs a good amount of help. It was busy in there! Jason was a big helper in the Barn.

Bouncin' around

 A surprise hit was the Corn Pit. It was new this year, and everyone--kids and grown ups--spent a lot of time in there! We brought lots of "surprise corn" home.

Corn Swim

Corn Spa Treatment (so says Vivian)

An unprecedented event, three out of four of us got picked as Pig Pals for the Pig races. We've tried in  years past, but never got selected--and this year, three of us?  That's right! Elena and Vivian's pigs did not win...but Jason's did, and he won a Pig Nose!

Go Blue Pig!

Vivian is just a little happy

The Winner!
 Navigating the Pumpkin Patch is always difficult, the vines make for easy tripping. Elena only fell once! Everyone managed to find their perfect pumpkin.


Happy faces 

Pumpkinas--Vivian on her toes here
As it turns out, it wasn't worth staying for fireworks. We got very cold and had to stay next to a fire to stay warm. Some of the attractions we were hoping to go visit later (zipline, etc.) were not lit, and we were too cold and tired to walk to the ones that were under night lights. The fireworks were pretty, but next time we'll opt for the earlier shift! 

Welcome Fall (Apple picking)

We love fall! Fall brings apples, pumpkins, long sleeve shirts, leaves, and lots of festival opportunities!

Since I have a lot to post, I'll make this short. We kicked off the apple season with our family friends, the Cs. The mountain orchard involves a lot of hilly walking, which is a challenge for Elena and myself. Everyone was pretty tired after picking (you have to walk a long way to get to the apples!).


Viv found a good one!

Perfect Pick

Apple Girls
I thought we'd have too many apples, and have to make apple butter, applesauce, and apple muffins. WRONG. These kids ate them all before they had a chance to be cooked. We'll have to go back!

Late Summer Round Up

I realized I didn't get around to posting these...

Albemarle Ciderworks

We had the chance to celebrate late summer with some friends at a local cidery. They have live folk music, and we enjoyed the early evening with a picnic dinner while the kids ran around the field (lots of other families were doing the same). We saw a child with what looked like a large leaf--and explored the nearby pond...which was full of giant lily pads!

Crazy on the dock
Lily Cape!

Lily Hat
Lily Umbrellas
Viv's Lily Nap

The kids loved them so much I let them bring the lily pads home and we kept them in the bathtub. They enjoyed bringing them to school to share!

Crabtree Falls

It was so beautiful outside, we tried to find a short hike. We drove through the mountains and found a short (but very steep!!) location. It had a trail, but sometimes you had to hike over serious rocks (harder for me than Elena). There were tons of stairs near the waterfall, but still very treacherous. We made it 2/3 of the way to the top, and decided that was enough.

Going Down

So happy