Day 2 of laryngitis. Not working today, I have a date with my son. His daycare is going to a field trip and needed extra help with transportation. The two daycare vans were too small for the children from two classrooms (plus extra teachers). Other than ours, there were 5 other car of parents/grandparents who also chaperoning their little ones. We’re going to Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm in Grinnell, IA, today.
Google Maps shows that the driving distance from Ames to this place is about 1 hour and 22 minutes. But since we’re convoying and the lead van is going 60 mph on a 70 mph Interstate, plus the potty stop, it took 2 hours and something minutes to get there. Dante was getting antsy but managed to maintain his good manners. He didn’t even ask “Are we there yet?” question once. We were just talking about what we see while we’re driving and play ’20 questions’. The only thing I dislike was driving on the crazy I-80. Four lanes, a lot of semis, Nascar-racer-wannabes; they’re all added to my phobia of this particular interstate. And I got a ‘bonus’ that particular morning: it was raining! Eek, I don’t like driving in the rain either.
If the field happened to be too muddy in the farm like it was when we were there, they wouldn’t take us on the wagon ride to the field to pick the pie pumpkins. Instead, they’d have the pumpkins ready on the wagon for us at the parking area. Shucks… where’s the fun then? No worries… there are tons of fun thing to do. Carroll’s had created a number of ‘sites’ for the children to play. Kids can swing or slide into piles of straw at the Straw Barn, play with the shelled corn or bury your friend at the Grain Barn (formerly a corn crib), or ride the most awesomest bike in the whole wide world! (according to my son) -which is actually John Deere’s TMX trike- around the barnyard course in the indoor TMX Trike Barn.
I really appreciate the work these guys had done. I’ve been to other pumpkin/apple farm around Iowa, and so far, this one is the most organized and well planned. For school/daycare trip, they’ve created a special program which work so well for the little ones who need. Instead of just hauling people to the field to pick pumpkins, Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm actually do have an age appropriate lesson/talk about growing pumpkins. Meaning it’s explained [and showed] in a way that a kid would understand. The talk takes place in the loft of their restored 70 year old barn, and only takes about 15 minutes. Gosh, they must now that little ones wouldn’t sit tight for over 15 minutes…
I think we spent at least 3 hours there (including eating lunch prepared by the daycare) and at the end of the day, we got to pick a pie pumpkin for each. Since by then I knew my way back to Ames, I didn’t wait for the school vans. Dante was tired, he fell asleep in the car on our way back to Ames. Glad I spent some time with him today despite my lack of voice.