On Saturday, my company hosted a “family picnic” at Oil Ranch. The kids and I arrived at 10am, well before anyone else, and immediately set off to explore the grounds. The boys dragged me off to the left side of the ranch first – toward the moonwalks. They love jumping in those things, and who can blame them? Considering how empty the place was, I was really tempted to get right in there with them and bounce around…but I maintained my composure (just barely) and decided to try to get some cool pics instead.Easier said than done when you’re using a 3 year old camera and kids are springing up and down constantly – makes it sort of difficult to get a proper shot! Anyway, once they’d had enough of shaking their brains around, we walked over to a playground, then on to the mini-golf course. For some reason, my kids love golf. I can’t figure it out, since I’m quite vocal about how much I think golf is the most boring “sport” on earth, and no one else in our family is particularly fond of it! Where do they learn these things?
After mini-golf (which they cheated at, by the way), we went on over to the petting zoo. Now, I like looking at cute animals and I’m not even opposed to petting most of them (pigs & cows, not gonna happen), but I really hate the way they smell and it saddens me that most animals in a petting zoo look worse than a stray off the side of the road! Sidebar: This zoo wasn’t one of the better ones I’ve seen, but then again I don’t really know much about farm animals. Apparently the botched haircut, err, woolcut, that the sheep were sporting wasn’t some form of abuse – but then again, do we really think the staff would admit to abusing the animals even if they were (which I don’t think they are!)?! I was sort of disappointed to see this zoo only had goats and a sheep available to be petted. They did have a peacock and some chickens, geese, ducks, and a few pigs and several donkeys – but these weren’t available for petting. Later in the day, we came across another petting zoo and it had a couple of horses, bunnies, more chickens and a peacock, and a turkey.
Other activities of the day included pony rides, milking a cow, riding a train, various child games, and a hayride that took us out to the cow pasture with some snacks for the bovine bunch…which turned out to be unpleasant for me. Before the tractor even stopped, the cows had descended upon us! They knew the drill, and they wanted their treats. The donkeys were out there, too, but they couldn’t get past they cows. Before I knew it, several cows’ heads were in our trailer thing (where all of us were seated on the hay) and practically stealing the treats right from everyone’s hands! My oldest son fed his treats to a cow, who then turned to me and my other son with his tongue out and his big ugly eyes looking at us! We promptly dropped the treats and scooted ourselves to the middle of the trailer as far as we could go (well, maybe that was only me) in order to keep a safe distance from the creepy cows! But still, they were not satisfied. They were licking up the hay and making the rounds from one side of the trailer to the other, in hopes that someone still had a treat! Finally, the poor donkeys reached the trailer, only to be disappointed. I liked the donkeys. They were small and cute, and they didn’t have gigantic, bulging eyes or a wet, snotty nose and footlong tongue that attacked all within reach! I actually petted a donkey, and then those damn cows came back, looking for food! Ugh! Finally the ride was over and I was safe from the cows. They boys didn’t seem all that upset to be back, either; though they proved a lot braver than me back in the pasture.
By the time we were ready to end our day (and by “we”, I mean “me”), it was nearly 2:30pm and we’d made rounds to nearly every activity twice, some we visited three times! The kids were still ready for more – after all, there was a big swimming pool and some of those water moonwalk things that we’d not had a chance to get to, not to mention the paintball and gun shooting activities! I had to break the news to them gently…those particular activities were not included in our group’s package (that may have been true, so it’s not an outright lie…although it isn’t necessarily the truth either). I ended up bribing them to leave by promising ice cream on the way home. Yay!
We all got our ice cream and before we even got home, the kids wanted to go back to Oil Ranch. I was exhausted. I still AM exhausted! My body aches. They’ve told me, dozens of times, how much fun they had, and keep asking to go back soon (like, tomorrow). All I can say is we’ll go back, but not today, mama is worn out. I don’t think they get it. Kids are tireless.