The Awkward Orchard

Sorry for the lack of posts, dear readers, but I’ve been busy wearing all two of my flannel shirts, drowning in cups of apple cider, and eating myself into pumpkin pie induced comas. In other words, it’s October, the best month of the year because of all the fun fall activities that are calling my name. (Instead of listening to those voices, though, I’m writing a blog post, you’re welcome.)

Swipe right boyz, she's single!

Swipe right boyz, she’s single!

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to partake in one of the best fall activities of all: the pumpkin patch/apple orchard. My friend Briana (AKA Biggie Smalls) and I hopped in the car on a bright, chilly Sunday afternoon to our destination. I was expecting to take a selfie with a pumpkin (see my new Tinder profile picture on the right), burn my tongue drinking a cup of too hot apple cider, and then journey back home.

Minnetonka Orchards, however, had other plans for us. Not only did they have pumpkins and apples, but they also had a petting zoo, a tractor-train ride Briana and I were too big for (height discrimination, am I right?), a hayride, and a corn maze.

Things also got a little weird.

First and foremost, the petting zoo. None of the animals were close enough to the fence to be pet. While most of them were silently protesting the touch of germy children, one llama in particular was offended by mine and Briana’s presence.

One of these llamas isn't like the other, and I'm talking about the rude bastard on the right.

One of these llamas isn’t like the other, and I’m talking about the rude bastard on the left.

“Erin… it’s grunting at us,” Briana said. Sure enough, she was right. The apple orchard was offering us the world’s loudest and grumpiest llama. I can’t say I’ve ever offended a llama before, but I know for a fact that I’ll never do it again.

Next, we entered the land of magical wonder… the corn maze. Though it always starts off as a good idea, the corn maze is a place where people’s true colors shine. You had Briana and me who, after a few corn-stalk-selfies, walked on, determined to find our way out in one try….only to hit a dead end first thing. Nonetheless, we were undeterred.

In the corn maze that's NOT for eating!!!

In the corn maze that’s NOT for eating!!!

We can’t say the same for everyone else. We saw some pretty distraught souls lost in the maze. If it wasn’t frustrated parents chasing their children into dead ends, it was a girl who had clearly been in the maze for too long, had grown hungry, and decided to start eating the corn right off the stalk. She looked over her shoulder and even though she SAW us coming, continued to pluck and shuck corn right in front of us.  What’s worse, we’re pretty sure the corn was meant for cows, but we’re not farmers so who knows.

Briana and I shared a look that said the same thing– what if that happens to us?

Luckily it took us only 5 minutes to get out of the maze– and only one wrong turn!– we did NOT have to eat the corn. We thought about going back for her, but then were distracted by the hayride. Here’s to hoping she’s not still in there, three weeks later…

The last part to complete the trifecta of awkward was witnessing the worst first date ever.

Seriously, how many awkward first dates does this place see each year?

Seriously, how many awkward first dates does this place see each year?

There we were, waiting in line for the hayride to take us back to the main part of the orchard. Standing in silence, Briana nudged me with her elbow, and discreetly nodded her head back toward the people behind us.  Sure enough, we were overhearing the uncomfortable small talk that only happens on first dates. What made this situation more painful was that it was clear the guy was more interested than the girl, as he was the one asking all of the questions, and then answering them when she wouldn’t ask anything back. Even MORE painful (as if you thought this couldn’t get any worse), was that Briana and I got seated next to them for the whole 5-minute hayride back to the parking lot. He commented on everything, from the speed of the tractor, to the “creepy” decorations in the woods, while she just nodded.

It was about as great as it sounds. After we got off the hayride, we saw them heading for the food line, but I fear even hot cider, donuts, and caramel apples could not save their date.

But really, what is October even good for if weird things don’t happen? Since today is Halloween, this is everyone’s last chance to get all the “weird” out before it becomes less socially acceptable. I sincerely hope that everyone takes advantage of this. I’ll be dressing up as a Cat Lady tonight, so I know that I certainly will.

Happy Halloween!

-e

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