Thursday, October 11, 2007 ;
12:06 PM
Oct 9

Weather was getting more erratic and colder. Sleet and snow flurries had fallen too, so whenever there's a warmer and sunnier day, we want to make the best out of it. In a sense, I like the 4 changing seasons that way. It makes me treasure each season a lot. :-)

Tuesday was sunny and warmer, around 18deg. So after ds1's class in school, we went home and rested then set off for Black Island Farm.

This farm had hayrides, farm animals, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and fun stuff for kids.

At the farmers' market, there were all kinds of gourds, sweet corn, onions and pumpkins for sale. These below are called "Cinderella pumpkins", cos of the flatter shape.

The corn maze was too inviting. Did that first. There were 3 mazes. One for toddlers where it was just haystacks being the dividers, and the toddlers can see their way through. The other 2 were corn mazes, one for kids and the other for teens and adults. I didn't try the adult one, in case we really couldn't get out and the kids panic. I would too, cos the corn were so thick and high, I would be moving in circles.

This kiddie one was challenging for them. It provided for forks at several points, but one of the forks always led to a nearby dead-end so you could work your way back and try the other fork easily enough. Still we took about 20min to get out. I let ds1 lead the way. Below right shows him pointing to the fork we should take.

Then, we went for the kiddie fun areas, climbing haystacks and sliding down! Started at the toddler-suitable ones, then as kids got more confident, we went to this one below, which were for older kids. There was a scout group there together, having a blast and since they were a whole group of boys together, they were shrieking away and having lots of fun that was infectious and rubbed off on my boys, who also wanted to play there.

The rope wall was tough for ds2 though (below left), but scouts being trained to be helpful and "always prepared", they actually saw ds2 having trouble and kept helping him. One particular boy attached himself to ds2 and became his "buddy" (see below right). So all I needed to do was sit down in front of the haystack and watch them play. Great!

Chatted with the boy later and he said his grandfather often made trips to China and was an important person there, so I should know his grandfather. I told him we were from Singapore, but I didn't think it made any difference to him. :-) So I just said, "I'm sure your grandfather did a lot of great work in China!" Which made him very happy. :-)

Emboldened, both kids wanted to try the steepest slide now. I recoiled in horror, cos even my heartbeat would quicken at the thought of trying the slide myself. But the scouts and farm help said they will help. So ok!

Scaling the vertical rope wall behind was impossible for ds2 cos the rungs were too far apart. So the farm boys hoisted him right up. And both of them slid down, shrieking in delight. I thought they would cry! Sigh, I must learn to let go, they are growing up! ds1 is shown below.

There was a corn pit too, where instead of sand, it was full of corn kernels. I thought I liked this pit much better. The kernels were easier to remove from both kids' hair, clothes and shoes. Sand always gets trapped in the hair or in the folds of their skin... They jumped, burrowed and buried themselves in it (below left). Looks so fun, I wanted to jump in also.

Then a farm guy wearing a Tee that said "Corn Cop" asked if we wanted to ride in a cow train. It was this cute train with metal barrels being cut and linked up to an ATV thingy. The train would go through the corn maze and around the farm. I also hopped in, although my knees were pressed up to my tummy cos my legs couldn't go under the metal barrels unlike both the kids.

It was very bumpy and fun!

Below left: this enclosure had steps and obstacles for several goats to scale. It was called the "Goat Mountain".

ABove right: This is the Corn Cannon. I think I found this the most fun. It costs $1 for 3 tries. Aim is to shoot the corn on cobs from the cannon to a target board with a bullseye some distance in front.

ds1 tried first and he got a shock when he pressed the button and the corn shot out with such great speed, force and sound! I think it repelled him backward also, so he didn't want to try anymore. Hence, I did one myself and let ds2 do the 3rd shot. None of us hit the bullseye! haha. It was a lot of fun though, having the whole corn shoot out and the sheath (leaves) of the corn falling into scraps around us.

Won't attempt to explain how it works. My physics colleagues at hc always laughed at me whenever I tried to explain any thing that involves physics concepts.

Above: Duck Race! Pump the water to get rubber duckies moving along.

After that, we walked around looking at the farm animals, then waited for the hayride. That was the highlight of the day so I left it till last. It involved sitting on a wagon pulled by a tractor. It brought us around the adult and kiddie corn mazes then out to the different farm patches where the other crops were planted. Last about 45min? Scenery was wonderful, with many birds, the mountains and the bumpy wagon ride made it very enjoyable (below left).

Finally we reached a huge pumpkin patch, and everyone could get off and pick a pumpkin you like to bring home. Though I could take 3, I decided I won't be able to carry that many, so I let both ds choose theirs and I didn't get any myself. Fortunately so, cos I had to carry both their pumpkins all the way to the car after the ride. And with ds2 sleeping too. Yes, he managed to fall asleep with the bumpy motion on the way back to the main farm.

Below: the pumpkin still on the vine. You can call for help to cut your pumpkin off, or try to get it off yourself. It was tough and the stalk is prickly.
Below: ds1 with his chosen ONE. He got this huge one lor. My back almost broke, carrying the 2 pumpkins and ds2 back to the car.
I thought the 3 girls riding opposite us looked very cute hugging their pumpkins, so took a pic.

Both kids slept all the way home. After I reached home, carried them one by one from car seat to sofa, then carried the pumpkins in, dh got home. So we managed to have quite a nice quiet dinner, with both kids conked out on the sofa. I woke them up to have dinner shortly after though, because I didn't want to be staying up till 3 am with them.
Their routine does get messed up with outings like these, so I try to limit them to at most 2x a week.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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