Two Fridays ago was a no work and no school day. And that could only mean one thing in this family, Adventure. We took advantage of some free time to do something fun, after all this holiday was gifted to us by the brave men and women that served in the US armed forces. We thank them for their bravery and service to this country and for the freedoms we enjoy everyday, like being able to visit the South Coast Botanic Garden.
I was really excited about staying local and heading up to the botanic garden because they are currently running a special event, The Great Pumpkin Hunt from October 1st – November 30th. We dropped the ball this year big time and failed to make it to the pumpkin patch, which the kids were really disappointed about, but we thought this might make up for it. We have been coming to the gardens since the kids were babies and even before that, like when I was 28 weeks pregnant with my gal and had our maternity photo session here. So it holds a special place in my heart.
At the entrance the kids got a map that pinpointed to different bird houses throughout the park. The bird houses held clues to where the secret pumpkin patch was hidden. Glad we had our walking boots on because the map had us trekking all over the park. My gal and hubby were able to solve the puzzle after only gathering clues from 4 out of the 6 birdhouses. I loved seeing the look of pride and confidence on her face when she figured it out.
Finally we made it to the hidden pumpkin patch after going down the wrong trail, getting our shoes covered in mud, walking through a spider web and stopping to play with a Praying Mantis along the way. It was glorious at first sight, it felt like we stepped into a Fall fantasy world. Quite literally an explosion of all things Fall, pumpkins in all different shades, random colored leaves everywhere. I was in awe of how the late morning light filtered through the pine trees, and the way it softened and brightened everything it touched. The orange pumpkins glistened and the golden leaves glowed. The kids enjoyed moving the pumpkins around and checking out all the cool bird props and signage.
By the time the kids were done rearranging the pumpkin patch, it was already noon and our stomachs reminded us it was time for lunch. We made our uneventful journey back to the parking lot and headed for one of my favorite lunch spots in town and forgot about soccer practice and relaxed at home for the rest of the day.
Days like this tend to reinforce some life lessons that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of daily living, like the importance of working together as a team, and to do your darnedest to make time to get outdoors and breathe in the calm of nature, lastly try to seize the simple moments and make them profound.