"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

memories from the orchard

A week and a half ago we took a road trip to Cambridge, Iowa and Center Grove Orchard. I had seen pictures and social media talk about this mystery place and had a few friends who insisted that we needed to make the hour and 45 minute drive. Apparently it's been around for a long time and I'm not sure why we had never heard of it before, but since it was on my fall bucket list to try a new pumpkin patch this year, I was pretty excited to give it a try.

It didn't disappoint.

I was a little nervous when we first pulled up because the parking lot was packed and the entry line was long. It seems everyone decided to show up at the same time (after church), but the line moved quick and the crowd wasn't much of a problem for the remainder of the day. There was so much to see and do that there was plenty of room for the masses to spread out and for everyone to do their own thing.

The weather also decided to cooperate at the last minute - with rain in the forecast and a few sprinkles on the windshield on the way there - but it dried up just as we parked and eventually the sun came out enough to allow us to remove our jackets and even get a little warm from time to time.
There is so much that could be said about this place so I'll break it down to a top five list. As it turns out, we spent the whole day there and still didn't have enough time to see and do it all. (Or to try all the food and drinks. There were food stands and places to eat everywhere you looked!) We also didn't have time to take in all the shows. We caught a bit of a magic show but missed the pig races! ;)
1. The corn pool.

The largest corn pool I've ever seen with hay bales surrounding it providing seating for parents and grandparents and a launch point for kids to jump from. And while we were there, there was even a live band playing under the shelter providing barn dance music as a soundtrack to the fun. The boys jumped as high as they could from the hay bales, made corn angels, did summersaults, buried themselves with corn and even got a few kernels stuck in their teeth from time to time. ;) This was a hit and I could have watched them here the whole day.

2. The Black Gold slides. Apparently they updated them this year to make them longer and steeper. I wasn't sure how Brandon would respond once he actually got to the top, and I expected to see him come down on Cody's lap, but he absolutely loved it and didn't even mind waiting in a long line multiple times to do it over and over again throughout the day.

3. The hay maze. A smaller version of their larger corn maze, the kids loved this thing. Though Jaden did complete the whole maze initially, they ended up using it as more of a hay racing course. They preferred climbing on and jumping from the hay piles rather than actually walking through them. ;)

4. Jumping Pillows

They actually had two different sizes of jumping pillows - a smaller one for kids Brandon's size and a larger one with a height requirement that Jaden was just able to reach.

5. The animals. Especially the Billy Goat run.

I wanted to bring them home with me.

We ate lunch in the country store and all enjoyed a "Plowboy" sandwich. I would have liked to have had more time to do some actual shopping, as there were lots of homemade and novelty goodies to peruse through, but it's very hard to shop with boys. :)

More images from our day...


((I looked over at one point and saw my husband and son skipping along together.))