Pumpkins, pies, and hayrides! Fall is in the air and there is nothing better than the feeling you get attending a good old fashioned fall festival! I was blessed today to attend a local festival with Boo today at Schnept Farms in Queen Creek, AZ.
As we walked towards the entrance, Boo squeezed my hand in excitement. One hand holding his lovey, the other holding tightly to Mama, his eyes were lit up with anticipation of what was inside. Once in the farm, it did not disappoint. From the moment we were greeted at the gate by a young man who kindly painted a skull for Boo on his cheek, till the moment we lugged our Halloween pumpkin to the car, Boo was grinning ear to ear!
One thing I enjoyed most about this festival is that it was easily accessible and enjoyable for all visitors… I have often visited festivals that were only geared towards typically functioning children, but this is one all children can enjoy. My son with special needs not only was comfortable here, I felt the staff went above and beyond. For example, he was thrilled to see a pony ride. Although he is 16, he has developmental delay and is much younger than his years. He wanted to ride so badly but at almost 6 ft, that is just not going to happen with the little ponies. However, a kindhearted employee heard me talking to Boo that he couldn’t ride but we could watch. He talked to another employee and the two of them let Boo go in and pet one of the ponies before the next ride. This may have seemed a small deal to them but it was huge to my little boy. The whole way home he was bubbling with excitement that he got to pet the ponies. ..
We had so much fun getting lost in the corn maze and Boo felt so important that he found our way out. One of our highlights was the search for the perfect pumpkin! We spent quite a bit of time looking through the pumpkin patch for just the right fellow to bring home to carve. After all that walking, Mama found it relaxing to sit for a while on the hayride… After Boo was hungry so we headed out to see what the festival had to offer and his eyes twinkled when he saw they had a bakery. Inside, the smell of fresh baked pies and cookies lingered in a delicious aroma. Boo had a slice of homemade pumpkin pie but reminded me I couldn’t have any because I’m diabetic. ( I think he just didn’t want to share hahaha) Judging by how quickly he devoured the piece, I’d say it was seriously delicious.
After riding the carousel, watching pig races (yes… pig races!) and enjoying the petting zoo we were pretty tired out. We relaxed by riding the train then Boo enjoyed pumpkin gelato on our walk back to the car. It was such a fun and relaxing day! I highly recommend my local readers check out this fun, family oriented festival. I’d love to hear from my readers everywhere… do you have a local fall festival you adore? What makes it stand out to you?
Everywhere we look technology surrounds us. We are lost without our smartphones, music players, earbuds and tablets. Everywhere I go people are adrift in their gizmos and gadgets. This past week I had to get x-rays done. There were 10 other people in the waiting room. I looked over at the woman across from me to say hello and maybe start a conversation. She was totally oblivious to me as she tapped away on her tablet. A quick glance at the room showed me every single person there was on a device… tap, tap, tapping away. Connecting to the World Wide Web but not connected to those around them. My son asked if he could play a game on my IPhone… I said no but we could play a game. We proceeded to spend the next 30 min talking and entertaining ourselves. I realized as I looked at all the people tucked into their own world that I don’t want my son to think its ok, or even expected, to never interact with other people.
Almost anywhere we go, this is the same scenario. It doesn’t matter where we are– Dr’s office, in line at Target, even today at the zoo… We passed a family of 5 and every single person, even the kids, was looking at their cell while they walked. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been next in line at the grocery and someone held up the line to finish a text before they pay. Seriously. This happened to me twice last week … which leads me to Friday….
Friday I took Boo to the mall to get a new belt. On the way out we passed the children’s play area. As I looked at Boo I remembered how much he loved playing there when he was smaller. I stood and watched the adorable kiddos playing and felt a twinge in my heart remembering like it was only yesterday that my oldest son also was excited to run and play in there… and that’s when I saw it… a long desk like area with stools and a place for each parent to plug in their smartphones while the kids play. Each space was occupied and each adult was lost in their phone without even a glance up. No one was talking to anyone else. Everyone in their own world…
I know many will find no problem with that, but it saddens me. I remember watching my oldest play while I chatted with the moms next to me. This was 20 years ago… B.S. (before smartphone) I know not everyone these days is constantly connected, but I just had one of those weeks where everywhere I went people were connected to the web and not their surroundings… I would like to challenge you to pick one day a week to go technology free… Perhaps not totally, but just less than the usual… Boo and I have long enjoyed what I call “tech free Tuesdays” Lately we have gotten away from that but seeing so much disconnect this week, we are starting again. I leave my phone on because I have a son off at college, but we spend the day with no ipad games, no movies and no Netflix … We go to the library, read books and play board games. We laugh, giggle, and relax—recouping from our tech filled days.
Technology is great and I really love it! Being a blogger, I tweet, post, and update quite often… its part of the job. Tech is also great for helping my special needs son. I have apps galore that help him with his struggle of speech, social skills, etc… However, too much of a good thing is never optimal and we all need a break from our rushed crazy lives and I once again encourage you to join us on the quest for one tech free (ish) day a week…
Over the years I have heard people reference their bucket list. Honestly, I never really understood having one. As I look at the calendar and realize I am now well into my 42nd year on this planet, I have begun to realize that perhaps a bucket list really is a good idea. A wish list, as it were… a place to put our dreams and hopes. Perhaps a bucket list is a fabulous thing to have after all!
Growing up in a small coastal town, I have always been drawn to big cities. They seem so mesmerizing and full of possibilities to me. So naturally, the first two places of intrigue for me on my bucket list are New York City and Chicago! I have always wanted to see the sights in the Big Apple. I’d adore catching a ballgame at Wrigley Field in the Windy City, complete with a hotdog and pop.
I also have an uncanny desire to visit Graceland. I can’t explain it, it just beckons to me. I also have always wanted to visit Charleston … Maybe I have watched Gone with the Wind too many times, but it pulls on my soul…
The geek girl in me is just dying to sneak a few places onto this list, so I must add Vulcan, Canada. Yes, Vulcan!!! I hear they have a most fascinating Star Trek festival every year with of course, all things SPOCK. I also am dying to attend a Star Trek convention ( Yes, I will be wearing my blue science uniform and carrying my Phaser and Tricorder) Keeping with the nerdgirl theme, I must put visiting New Zealand on my list. Not only for the tranquil beauty of that beautiful country, but most importantly because…. You can go to the SHIRE there! The SHIRE!!!! Hobbit holes… ok ok I am swooning now… back to reality…
The most important place on my bucket list is Ireland. The green rolling hills, the magical images in conjures up… More than anything I truly wish to visit Ireland at some point… I want to travel the countryside staying in little bed and breakfast cottages. I want to eat in pubs and meet the locals. I want to go to Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone! I feel like that is a quest I have to complete no matter what else I do… I desire this above all my other bucket list items. I may carry a Clorox wipe in my pocket to wipe that thing before I press my lips to the millions of germs left there by those who wandered there before me, but kiss it I must! And since an Irish accent always makes me swoon, a quick smooch by a handsome Irishman wouldn’t be all that bad either hahaha!!
I would have added Hogwarts to this list but alas, I am still waiting on my owl letter to arrive… I would love to hear if you too have a bucket list and what is most important place for you to visit? Happy travels, and remember: “Not all those who wander are lost…”