That said, it's not even the autumnal equinox and already pumpkins are everywhere. I ordered my first PSL in Starbucks a couple of weeks ago, and Safeway is already chock full of pumpkin spice [insert any product here]. I'm even thinking of dyeing my hair to match this season's trend. With several weeks to Halloween, pumpkin fatigue is a real threat.
But not in the Davies household! Today we went to the "preview weekend" at the East Coast's premiere pumpkin producer: Cox Farms. We visited more than once last year, but as Hannah has spent twelve months complaining about the bits we didn't get to see we were compelled to return for a full 10am-6pm day, to get our money's worth.
The place is something of a local institution, shown by the number of fellow passengers on the hayride who knew exactly what was coming next. "Oh, the aliens have got lightsabers this year," was a typical comment. But repetition did not diminish enjoyment, as Pete was joined by Charlie, Izzie and Virginia on every slide, swing, and climbing frame, a hundred times each, until there was total toddler collapse.
So the opening salvo of squashes has been successfully navigated, and I have no doubt that, as the holiday season progresses, we will be back. Especially on the last day, when every pumpkin of any size is $5 and I have to find some way of topping last year's Thanksgiving centerpiece. Thank the Great Pumpkin for my early wake-up call.
...and the spice.
Aliens have crash-landed on the farm again, just like last year! What are the chances?
The lake is still occupied too.
Around the farm sit tractors, taunting "is your tetanus shot up-to-date?" This is a Fordson, possibly a 1917 Model F, probably priceless with a lick of paint.
Ah, the famous wave slide.
And the half-buried motorcycle.
They also have animals on the farm.
Oh, and ultra-violet rooms dotted around. It's hard to really give a flavour of this place...
Jack acts as a launch engine for Charlie.
Tracey and Virginia follow.
Then it became apparent that the adults could just stand half-way up and let the kids run themselves ragged.
Into the Cornundrum.
More blacklight rooms. This one was a tunnel that spins around. What exactly are they growing on this farm?
A second hayride, this time with even more hay.
There was a time when selfies were cool. Not for today's kids.
Autumn ice lolly.
Too soon? Obviously not.
And the best thing about pumpkins.