The time you don your jeweled-tone fall sweater, wrap a cashmere scarf around your neck, and sip hot cider while the leaves slowly drift into large piles in the autumn breeze.
Except, of course, if you live in Las Vegas.
Than, more than likely, you slap on the sunscreen, crank up the AC and drive 30 miles to a makeshift patch where, yes, the pumpkins are imported.
It's about as faux as everything else is in this town, but I guess that's what we get for living in the desert. (Thank you Hoover Dam for making life possible out here).
I am a little sad that our idea of fall is not nearly as cool as it is in the Midwest (both literally and figuratively), but I keep telling myself, "February...February...wait until February when it's 60 degrees and sunny here and everyone in the Midwest is going on their 40th-straight day without the sun and all of the snow has turned into that slushy, brown stuff."
And on Saturday, Brian and I loaded the Bear into the car and headed north to the only known orchard in Clark County. I was really striving for some level of authenticity since I reject those pop-up pumpkin patches that materialize in open lots as soon as the calendar hits October 1. (and if you have no idea what the previous sentence means, it's kind of like a Christmas tree lot but with pumpkins. And dirt.) The temperature was creeping north of 90 degrees, making it tough to feel autumnal or even 'harvest-y.' (if that's even a word).
But we forged ahead. We first stopped at this little farm, aptly called "The Farm," where they offer pony rides, carriage rides, a petting zoo, the largest, scariest rabbits I've ever seen lounging in cages, and of course, pumpkins. I'm not sure if these were imported pumpkins, but at that point, I wasn't going to argue semantics. (I didn't see a pumpkin field so...).
Scotty let us know he had absolutely no interest in the horses, despite my coaxing...
Picking out pumpkins with an opinionated, mobile Bear was much different that the pumpkin-selection of last year. Previously, we literally just propped Scotty against a couple of pumpkins and went about our pumpkin-picking-process in our own way. This year, someone else (::cough, cough::) wanted to chime in, too. And it was tough for the three of us to be in agreement.
And by this point in the day, we were all sweating like pigs. Like really big razorback pigs that lived in the petting zoo area.
And we trudged on, despite the heat, and eventually made it to the actual orchard. We managed to snag two pints of apple cider before calling it a day (literally, it was like 95 degrees - or felt like it). Despite having walked only three steps into the row of trees, Scotty's sunscreen had all but melted off and Brian and I were dying of thirst. I was also cursing out both Mother Nature and Sarah Palin for this unseasonably warm weather. Irrational, yes, but it felt necessary. So...game over.
We stopped at our favorite bakery before heading home and in my heat-induced psychosis, I purchases 12 cupcakes. Not great for the diet, but really good for my mental health. And before you get all 'What about Weigh-In Wednesday?' on me, I would like to say that I have eaten two, forced the baby-sitter to eat one, and frozen the other nine. See? Progress.
Finally, before I end, I just want to post this picture, too: Scotty, like most babies, loves anything mechanical/technical, and my camera is absolutely fascinating to him. He managed to set the timer (something I don't know how to do) and snap this self-portrait of himself. Classic Bear.