This past weekend was Thanksgiving for us here in Canada. We spent it in Nanaimo, as we do every other weekend – but this one was extra special. My sister flew in from Winnipeg to spend a few days with the family!
Now, I haven’t seen my sister since last Christmas! Her and her fiancee Sarah live across Canada which makes visiting difficult at times. Unfortunately, Sarah could not join us this time because she had some family commitments and school that she had to attend to.
My son Layton just adores the both of them, and this would be the first time Marina would be meeting Marlow in person!
A Trip To The Pumpkin Patch
Nanaimo has this wonderful pumpkin patch and corn maze that opens every fall! It really is a must see if you are looking for a fun fall activity to do with the kids – or without!
After we picked up Layton Saturday morning we headed right to McNab’s Farm. We got there right when it opened, so it wasn’t to busy yet. I don’t do very well with large crowds, it spikes my anxiety and tests my patience, so early for us was better!
The corn maze at McNab’s farm started in 2002. With little publicity when it first launched, and even fewer visitors in its first year – they now see thousands of visitors during the fall season. This year alone they planted 15,000 pumpkin plants so that there is a huge selection for all!
It has been a number of years since I have been to the corn maze at McNab’s farm, but I did remember one thing very vividly – its MUDDY!
Wearing some sort of boots is a must!
Even though the weather was sunny and warm that day, it had rained previous days and the pathway’s in the maze were muddy and sticky.
The Corn Maze
How much more Halloweeny can you get than a corn maze?
When you pay, they give you a little ticket with four symbols on it. The aim of the game is to get through the maze and find each of the four symbol stands and hole punch your ticket at each one.
This is way more of a challenge then you would think. The stands are not out in the open, they are kind of tucked away right in line with the corn plants that soar up in to the sky. This makes them tricky to find!
We found the first three, and number four was really difficult. Layton was getting to the point that he was ready to give up, and probably needed some lunch, so there was a little bit of cranky in his mood. When he said that he was done and ready to go and we were never going to find the last one, we turned a corner and there it was!
It was a very good lesson for him and for all of us to never give up, and if you persevere you will succeed! I was very proud of him for recognizing that.
Pickin’ The Pumpkins
After finishing the maze, we headed over to the huge pumpkin patch they have on the farm. Like I said before, they planted 15,000 pumpkin plants this season so there are tons to choose from.
Michael and I got pumpkins last year (not at the farm) and we never ended up carving them. They just sat on our balcony for months. I was pregnant, and pretty sick, so we never got around to it. This year I wanted to make sure we did it with both of the kids.
We ended up leaving with three pumpkins from the patch. I must note that they were not cheap, but the McNab farm helps out local charities and food banks, and you know you are supporting a local business when you buy from them.
I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years, and I have to admit it was quite fun! Layton was dead set on carving a ghost in to his, and with a little help it turned out great and he was very proud of it. We did two faces on the other ones.
We originally purchased a huge pumpkin planning on putting Marlow inside of it. Needless to say, we ran out of time and that didn’t happen. It seemed like a good idea at the time though. Maybe next time.
Michael’s favourite part of carving pumpkins is the roasted seeds. He says he has memories of his dad doing it when he was younger, and wanted to make sure we did the same! We did, and they were delicious!
A Family Feast
We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. If you remember, Michael and I cooked a turkey the weekend before Thanksgiving, but that didn’t change us wanting more that Sunday.
All of the smells in the kitchen are a mash up of memories growing up from Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and they give me such a good feeling inside.
We had my in-laws for dinner at my parents, we hadn’t seen them since we were in Ontario this past August so it was great to catch up. They couldn’t believe how much Marlow had changed in just a few months.
Until Next Year…
It was sad to have to drop off Layton at his dad’s that evening. I always get hit with a huge wave of sadness on the drive to drop him off. Sometimes it lasts a short while, sometimes it lingers. I miss him always when he is not with me.
I also knew that my sister would not be coming home for Christmas this year, so Layton and all of us wouldn’t be seeing her until next year.
I really enjoyed this weekend with my whole family together. That doesn’t happen very often anymore as we all have our own lives and are busy people.
I am not sure how my parents felt having us at home, my sister and I tend to drive my mom a bit bonkers at times, but I know she loves us anyways.
I would definitely recommend a pumpkin patch or corn maze this October as a great outdoor family activity!
Don’t forget those gum boots!