Pumpkin Patch!

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Every year we hit a few pumpkin patches, just for good measure – oh, and for the pony rides. Our first pumpkin patch of the year was a couple of weeks ago: Tina’s. She also has Christmas trees when it’s time and is setup on a section of Sepulveda Blvd that seems ridiculously expensive to have at all. But I digress.

First up, they have one of those ride-on small carousels where you put in  your quarters and get 45 seconds of circular bliss. Or you don’t:

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I paid my 75 cents (one quarter came back) for no ride and to have a small child walk by and flippantly say, “That one doesn’t work”. I don’t know why it irritated me to hear that from a child. Was I expecting her to have let someone know? Maybe. I was definitely expecting her parents to have told “Tina” so they could fix or tape up the money stealing hole where I lost 75 cents.

On the bright side, I guess I got a cute picture for 75 cents, right? Regardless, as a responsible adult, I found a worker and explained that the ride didn’t work. He instantly tried to direct me to someone else to get my money back, to which I said, “I’m not worried about me. You might want to tape up the slot so other people don’t also lose money.”

He said, “Oh, OK.” and headed off in another direction. Clearly, this IS the money-maker of the pumpkin patch. I can only imagine they get 75 cents all day long from parents whose kids hop on this ride immediately (it’s at the entrance). Imagine the margins on that – especially when no one seems to care to fix it.

But the belle of this ball was the pony ride. The line was long for the ponies, so Bart actually took the kids on the train around the perimeter of this small pumpkin patch first:

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Still a line, so we headed to the petting zoo, where they had 3 bunnies, 2 chickens, several goats and a tiny alpaca! Ella hugged every goat, who seemed to love it, but when it was time to hug the chickens, not so much:

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Finally, it was pony time. We waited diligently in line, got the picture at the top of this post when it was Zoe’s turn, and Ella had a turn that lasted forever, since by the time it was her turn there was no one behind us:

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And best for last, the freaking bouncy houses… There were 2 bouncy houses: a pumpkin for all ages and an obstacle course for older kids. As is my bouncy luck (this was BEFORE I was alone with 2 kids and 7 bouncy houses), the pumpkin house had just experienced something I can’t believe I’ve never thought of: PUKE.

The workers were “cleaning” it (HOW CAN YOU EVEN DO THAT?!) as parents watched in horror and little kids kept wanting to go in, not understanding (or caring) what was happening. PUKE. As if my concerns over injury were not bad enough, now I can add, “I wonder how many kids have puked – and peed – in this bouncy house?”

Thankfully, there was also a bouncy slide:

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Zoe went down the slide 15 times (I think the workers were trying to keep kids and parents calm with that pumpkin bouncy catastrophe right beside the slide…) On the 15th time, two little girls came down right behind her, one elbowing her in the head, the other sliding a foot into her back. And so we left the slide in tears (which did not last for long), and soon after left the pumpkin patch.

Another year, another pumpkin patch. And we have two weekends left to find MORE pumpkin patches! In fact, we haven’t even carved a pumpkin yet, but if all goes well we’ll check that box this weekend.  Or heck, maybe we’ll find another pumpkin patch!

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