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Oct 15, 2010

Every year, either in the summer, or around October, we make a trip to Smallwood's Farm. It is a family-run farm with a petting zoo. All of the produce grown on the farm is sold directly to the public. Through the years, it has grown from a small attraction, to one that does an awful lot of business for most of the year. Each year I have seen more attractions and events added, to draw in a bigger crowd of spenders. The journey from our home is only about twenty minutes. As we drive away from Wenatchee and head west, the hills become greener, and there is more forest; we are no longer in the desert region. The roads become a bit more windy as we get closer to Leavenworth. It's just outside of that town, that there is a turn-off to Smallwood's. You can't miss it. There are flags and tall signs, seasonal decorations, and, usually, a car park full of cars. When we went at the weekend, there was even a coach, so the place was packed. The kids ran all over the place excitedly. There were so many things to do and to see, that they didn't know where to go first. There was a big pumpkin patch, where you could choose from very small to huge pumpkins. A hay maze had been made, that you could walk around in, and, hopefully not get lost. There is a play area for the kids with swings and other toys. And there is even a cow ride. Not real cows, just little, metal cars, painted like cows with wheels pulled by a tractor. I've been on that a few times with my kids, their cousins, and my mother-in-law. The last time we went, we laughed and screamed as we whizzed around the corners. I think we had more fun than the kids. We still, just about, fit in the seats that are designed for children. It's encouraging that our rear ends aren't too big to exclude us from the fun. What a comforting thought! And then there is the petting zoo. There are llamas, goats, peacocks, pigs, sheep, and rabbits. You can feed the animals crushed corn, and pet them. It's always fascinating to be around animals, especially when you are not used to it. And when there are baby goats or rabbits, everybody flocks to see them. After the animals, and sanitizing our hands, there is a visit to the gift shop. There is so much to buy, and it is all so nicely presented. They must do so much business! There are lines of people with cash or credit cards in hand, waiting to buy fruits, vegetables, sauces, ornaments, candies, drinks, and even kitchen equipment. The owner of Smallwood's must have perfected his skill at attracting consumers of all ages. We are certainly hooked.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: to pet, to draw a crowd, a coach, to exclude.

1. If you buy a cat or a dog, it is important to pet it. They need affection and attention.

2. The street performers drew huge crowds over the weekend.

3. The tourists were travelled by coach; it was the most comfortable way to see everything.

4. The boy was excluded from playing because he wouldn't follow the rules.