Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Farm" Is a Little Bit of a Stretch

My mom left town today, flying out of Baltimore, leading me to plan our afternoon activity around where we would be at around 2 p.m. today. I have to tell you that picking a farm to visit based on proximity to local airports may not be the best way to go.

I'm not saying that we didn't have a great time at Clark's Elioak Farm this afternoon, but it was less a farm than an monument to nursery rhymes.

The "farmhouse" should have tipped me off.

The farm nursery rhyme land was really cute. They had little models of things from nursery rhymes all over the place. Some of them you could go into (the old woman's shoe) and some of them you couldn't (the three bears' house).

My kids did learn where sno-cones come from if by "where sno-cones come from," you mean "the freezer case in the store."

While the little dudes ate their sno-cones, they wandered off by themselves. I was struck by how grown up my munchkins are all getting. No longer do they cling to me or need me to be within ten feet of them when we're out. Nor do I (in certain locations) feel the need to keep them within arm's reach at all times. I felt the passage of time today. They're getting old really fast.

 Not too old to be attracted to a giant fake cake in a gazebo though.

There was a fun little playground too, but our time there was cut short when Sam was stung by a bee seconds after setting foot there. Of course, he insisted on going home immediately. I managed to talk him down, but it was kind of a bummer for him.

There were definitely some weird sculptures and equipment at this farm. Including this rat slide:

I thought maybe they were the three blind mice, but there was no fancy math I could use to make those mice number three.

Also, the slide was kind of poorly designed.

Sam: "Well, now TWO of us are hurt."

Not forgetting about you, I made Sam take my photo with the rodents.

I will not publish the subsequent 26 photos he took of me walking
towards him menacingly when he refused to stop snapping pictures.

Happily, there were elements of farm there. Not a lot. But some. Like this levitating goat:

We fed the goats, which made Jack happy beyond belief; saw pigs, which assuaged Quinn's weird need to see pigs at all farms; and saw ducks fornicating in a water bowl, causing Sam to say, "Those ducks are behaving strangely."

That turkey had his eyes on the ducks the whole time.

Jack loves horses, so we bravely (foolishly?) ignored the signs warning us of biting equines and made friends with one.

Quite possibly the coolest thing about this so-called farm, though, was the Enchanted Forest Maze. This maze was also, well, a maze, which means that we got hopelessly lost wandering through it.

Shortly after entering the maze, I realized how precarious our grip on each other was and started shouting about "We have to stay together! If you don't want to get lost, stay with me! Wait, come back here!"

In various spots around the maze were fun fairy tale locations. I think this was supposed to be Sleeping Beauty's house. But that seems weird. Maybe I should reread Sleeping Beauty.

There was also this sombrero. Which seemed even weirder. I don't know from what fairy tale that one is.

The Princess and the Hat? Hansel and Sombrero?

I'm not going to go into all of the weird things we found in this maze, but can you tell me why Spongebob SquarePants was there? He seemed a little out of place. Especially at the Jack be Nimble bridge.

I also objected to the size of the trails, which at points were too small for my children, much less me, who was dragging along a bag stuffed with snacks, water bottles, and a large camera.

Dead ends, and freaky little statues of nearly unidentifiable animals aside, the maze was awesome. It was big enough to get lost in, but not big enough to get panicky in. And even though the finish line was no where near the exit from the maze, we still reached it.

Also, we learned where McDonald's came from today. (Answer: McDonald's.)

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