Dear Holly: You Want Everything for “My Christmas”

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

Last weekend while we stayed at Nonna and Papa’s house, I noticed you debuted a new catchphrase: “I want it for my Christmas.”

After you saw a coloring book that had a picture of Daisy Duck on it, then you immediately announced, “I, I want Daisy for my Christmas.”

When you played with the Cozy Coupe, it was, “I, I want this car for my Christmas.”

And even with each newly discovered vintage stuffed animal you found at their house, “I, I want this one for my Christmas… for my Christmas.”

Your brother tried to explain to you, “Holly, you don’t have to wait for Christmas. Nonna will just give you that old thing right now. Go ask her and she will say yes.”

But right now, you want everything for your Christmas.

 

Love,

Daddy

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

This past weekend my family visited Walden Farm in Smyrna/Nolensville, Tennessee. (It’s a 30 minute drive from downtown Nashville, TN.)

I have a feeling I could pretty much type anything I wanted to and no one would notice, because obviously, the pictures really tell the story here.

In the process of seeing these 14 picture collages below, you’ll get a good idea of why your family would have a great time if you were to visit Walden Farm.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

But in the event there’s actually anyone actually reading the words to this story, not just checking out the fun pictures, I’ll do a quick narrative.

Parking is free and so is admission, but you do pay a couple of bucks per activity. We spent a total of $18 on all you see below, including the pumpkins.

I think my son Jack’s favorite activity at Walden Farm is the hayride.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

It’s sort of like a mobile scavenger hunt, as your family tries to find all the semi-hidden spooky objects; like an eyeball, Frankenstein, a spider, etc.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

There is also Toddler Town, a place that I am convinced Jack could hang out at all day and never even think about food.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

It’s basically like a backyard, equipped with a gravel-filled toy table. Jack enjoyed scooping up the rocks in bulldozers, alongside dinosaurs.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

There is also a dirt hill that he enjoyed rolling the bulldozers up and down.

Like any good pumpkin patch/farm, there are animals to see and feed.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

And a tractor pull…

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

And those cut-outs where your family can transform into farm-themed characters.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Don’t forget the hay maze!

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Jack wanted some pumpkins, so we paid just $1 and he was able to choose 2 really strange-looking ones; which he used as “lasers” the whole ride home.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

As we were loading up back into the car, I pointed out to Jack a hedgeapple tree.

In case you’re unfamiliar, hedge apples (also known as Osage oranges) are basically a prehistoric fruit that no longer serve as food for animals today.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Hope you enjoyed learning about Walden Farm. Maybe your family can check it out in person!

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

 

As part of the itinerary for our fall road trip from Nashville to Asheville, while we reviewed the 4G capabilities of the 2015 Buick LaCrosse, we felt would it be a shame if we didn’t make an effort to drive to the top of the mountain where Sky Top Orchard is located.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

The extremely foggy driving conditions provided not only a cool mysterious vibe, but also an opportunity to really take advantage of the LaCrosse’s back-up camera after we accidentally turn down the wrong road; which turned out to be a dead end, with little room to turn around.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Not only does Sky Top Orchard let you pick your own apples from the orchard, but they also have pumpkins. We bought one, which is currently sitting on our kitchen table as an appropriate decoration for our house as random people are coming in to see it, since it is currently on the market.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Admission is free to Sky Top Orchard, but we ended up buying a bag of their apples. I must say, my wife made an apple pie from those apples, and it was one of the best apple pies I’ve ever eaten (too much of)!

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

They have a really cool play area there for kids. My son and I loved the giant pumpkins; they reminded me of Smurf houses.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

And of course, what fall-themed family activity place would be complete without those great stand-up cut-outs where you get to take your pictures as a scarecrow, pumpkin, or flower?

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

If you don’t mind walking and getting your shoes a bit wet with dew, there is also a place to see some farm birds up close and personal; the Animal Barn.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Our family had a great time at Sky Top Orchards in Asheville, North Carolina. If you get the chance to take your family there, I am confident you will not be disappointed.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Thanks for reading Family Friendly Daddy Blog today!

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Do Aliens Really Exist?

Or more importantly, could they even get here?  And could they survive our living conditions?

Being a kid in northern Alabama in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, I was convinced that at any moment aliens could be on the verge of flying over me as I rode my bike, especially as I was heading back to the house as the sun was beginning to set on a crisp, eerie October evening.

There was a hysteria/fascination with UFO sightings where I grew up, as more and more families were able to afford camcorders. In the back of many peoples’ minds was the hope of filming one of these banana-shaped alien spacecrafts made famous on the local news, courtesy of some good ole boys in a town called Fyffe, who kept submitting their shaky footage of either a light pole or a plane at night.

Evidently I seem like the kind of guy that would be knowledgeable on the subject- in the last year especially I have been randomly asked by so many people the dreamy question: “Do you think aliens exist?” Good question. I have a good answer.

I truly want to believe in aliens, but there are two major issues with humans ever making contact with them. The first is how they would get here. Planet Earth is light years away from any other solar system. (A light year is the distance light travels in a year. For an idea of how far that is, light can travel around the Earth 7 times in one second.) If aliens were able to create a device that enabled them to travel to all the way to Earth, it would have to work similar to a teleportation device. Because that’s the only way to feasibly move a living creature that far in so little time.

And even if aliens invented a teleportation device to get to other universes, the chances of them finding our planet are literally astronomical. The universe has no end. So if there really is life outside of our planet (other than spiritual) then we surely can’t assume it’s just us and them. Surely there would be thousands, if not millions, of other planets with intelligent life forms. Chances are, they would discover countless other universes before they ever found us.

The other problem is that they most likely couldn’t breathe our air or survive in our climate. For example, human life can not survive on any of the other planets in our solar system. We would either freeze or burn within the first day of being there. Plus there wouldn’t be enough, if any, oxygen to breathe. The aliens would have to be coming from a planet that was almost identical to Earth in terms of its life sustaining qualities.

Do aliens exist? If they did, they couldn’t get here. And if they could, why would they choose Earth out of all the universes? And if they did choose Earth, they would die within the first day from our natural environment. I have always held this hidden hope that ET really would come back to Earth. I’ve been waiting since 1982.

Sometimes life is disappointing. This is one of those times. The chances of humans ever meeting aliens on Earth are… (unavoidable pun) …out of this world.

“Hey Mr. Spaceman, won’t you please take me along for a ride?” -The Byrds (“Mr. Spaceman”)