These photos were taken in New Jersey and this is all I got from the day. I mean, you know, we had planned a pleasant apple picking outing with our friends, Little Brown Pen, after dropping off a wholesale order at Semplice in Montclair, but that didn’t happen. Wanna know why? Because family farm activities have become like mobbed, long lined, high stress, high ticketed circuses. At least at the farm we tried to go to today. We chose proximity and convenience since it was only about a 30 minute drive from Nichole’s house, even though this farm was out of apples to pick. We were stuffed on super sized, big portioned diner food and we figured it would still be a relaxing and fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. As soon as we pulled within a block of the driveway, however, it was clear that we weren’t even going to make it past the entrance. It was mobbed, I’m telling you, MOBBED. Like Disney World caliber lines to get on a hayride to the pumpkin patch and a wall of people near the farm store entrance, and then I remembered…we’ve been here before. This was the farm where I elected to stay behind at the farm store with Claudine, then a baby, because the hayride to the actual farm was like, 10 dollars a person. Mark, Mia and our friends rode up to the patch while I waited with Claudine. Yes, I really can be that cheap sometimes.
I don’t know if it’s only this particular NJ farm that was off the charts nuts, or if it’s because it was a gorgeous Fall day or because it was the first weekend in October and everyone had Halloween and pumpkins on their brain, but I don’t remember any of the Long Island farms being this crazy. I know the girls have Halloween on their minds. They’ve been practicing trick or treating all weekend, leaving stale candy leftover from last Halloween found in their plastic pumpkin pails, all over the house so that I can hand out candy when they yell, “Trick or Treat”. Who practices Trick or Treating? But judging by the way Claudine kept swinging her pumpkin around and dumping all her candy out each time…uh, yeah, maybe she needs to.
We tried to salvage the afternoon by taking the kids to a wooded park so they could run around outdoors as a consolation prize for sitting in the car all the way to the farm, only to turn right back around and return to Montclair. Mia, who is the oldest, didn’t buy into that. She knew what she was missing: apple cider donuts, hayrides, pumpkins and other forbidden treats at the farm store. Our wooded adventure got cut short too after only about 20 minutes because various kids and adults had to go to the bathroom.
So we all headed to Whole Foods.
Now here’s a new low in social activity – group grocery shopping. With the family.
Here are some snippets overheard from our scintillating conversation:
“You know you can buy that same organic granola from Costco and save a lot of money”.
“I’ll watch your cart in line if you want to run and get those short ribs”.
“Oh, cool. Where’d you get that?” “Try aisle 6”.
At least we didn’t go to Ikea to dump the kids off in Small Land and have dollar hotdogs and cones. Not that we didn’t think about it.