This weekend, we visited another farm/orchard: Cannamore Orchard, which was about a 40-minute drive from Ottawa’s centre core. It was a spontaneous trip with our family and Kong-Ma, and we all had a good, but tiring, time. I think my mom has taken a liking to farm visits lately. She’s been smiling so much and laughing heartily, too.
The orchard’s opening time was at 10AM, and as we were driving into the parking lot, we were surprised to see just how busy it was already. We were a bit saddened that all the wagons and carts had been taken; we were hoping to grab one to head out to the pumpkin patch. Yet the busy morning made all the sense in the world. After all, it was a sunny Saturday morning, probably the only sunny day in the week before a weeklong prediction of heavy rain. And, it’s the season for farms and pumpkin patches.
After we bought our tickets, we headed out to explore. The orchard was wonderfully vast and expansive. We walked by the apple orchard, which was already nearing its last moments of the season, for apples were scarce or have already fallen on the ground. Nevertheless, it was a lovely sight that reminded us of our own apple-picking experience from just a few weeks ago. (We were lucky to have gone apple-picking at the very start of the season, when apples were plentiful on trees.) We then ventured on and enjoyed a quiet and secluded walk into the deep woods and open fields.
But soon after, a question arose, “Where are we and where are the Family Fun Day activities?” Lost, we decided to walk back, and that’s when we stumbled upon the tractor wagon driver, who was already starting his early wagon ride of the day, with only one family seated. We waved to inquire if we could hop on, and he happily stopped to collect us. The tractor wagon ride was a calming experience. Since we were one of the only ones riding, it felt private and secluded. I loved feeling the crisp autumn wind on my face and hair most of all. Keaton and Mama also enjoyed their apples during the ride. It was a cute sight to watch Keaton sitting on daddy’s lap and biting his big, luscious apple (which he later dropped).
The driver dropped us off next to the lobby, where all the Family Fun Day activities were, and that’s when we experienced an a-ha moment, because it’s exactly what we were looking for at the start. (We walked in the opposite direction and ended up elsewhere on the farm.) There were many activities for kids to enjoy: a playground with toys, pedal cars, a cow train, mazes, and even chickens and horses. Keaton had a blast at the playground, which, funnily enough, was where all the families were gathered. Parents and caregivers all shared a common thematic desire: fun for the kids and a moment of survival and peace. When I looked around and saw the chaos of everyday parent life, I can say that my sense of belonging grew incrementally.
I think the funnest experience for all of us was the cow train. Luckily, we hopped on at an earlier time, so we were able to beat the long lineups. It was adorable that all the cows had names. I didn’t know that they were all different sizes, so I coincidentally chose a small one that left me no leg room, and boy, did I hope throughout the long ride that I wouldn’t go into labour with all the bumps! While Keaton sat on daddy’s lap in their cow train compartment, Kong-Ma had their individual compartments. For two elderly people, they sure had an anxious but good time! The comical moment of the experience was when the cow train driver almost left with my mom stuck in the train; she was the last to get off and he hadn’t noticed. We all had to yell for him to stop. In retrospect, we all laughed, especially my mom.
After much time back at the playground, we decided it was time to go. We missed the pumpkin patch, unfortunately, because afternoon had already crept up and none of us had eaten, Keaton hadn’t napped, and we were all fatigued. What we did instead was have Keaton choose a pumpkin from the display of pre-picked pumpkins in front of the lobby — he chose a perfect one — and got him a lollipop that he’d been asking for since seeing a little boy holding and eating one at the playground.
Life as we know it always has its clumsy moments, for when we returned to the car, again, we had to grapple with invading wasps. It was a funny sight for Keaton. He just watched his daddy flailing left and right like a crazy person, and I’m sure that at that moment, he thought his daddy was indeed crazy. What else is new in our family? We’ve all gone haywire.