Sometimes I have to give myself permission to play. I think it is important for the soul, for the heart, for the mind, and for the body to simply have fun. Especially once we have reached the lofty maturity of adulthood! We take on more and more responsibility. Our lives get busier with duties. We begin to wear ourselves down before our time.
So once in a while I decide to do something quite childlike that requires no special thought. Dare I say – I even allow myself to “get silly” and giggle and not act one iota like an adult. There’s no better time to do this than during the Holiday Season. There are so many fun kid-oriented activities to choose from starting with getting dressed up for Halloween and ending up with a visit to Santa.
And so it was, that about ten days ago I found myself in the company of two intrepid child-wannabee girlfriends heading down to St. Augustine. We picked up my daughter who had decided to brave the company of three mature ladies on their quest for childish fun. While trolling the internet, I had come across a link advertising a large 9-acre corn maze and the promise of a hayride included. I have always wanted to do a hayride and the idea of the corn maze made me think of the movie “Field Of Dreams” and had me shivering in anticipation.
The corn maze was located on the Sykes and Cooper Farm in Elkton, which is a few miles south west on CR 207 just outside St. Augustine. We parked the car and walked over to the ticket booth to pay our entry fees. It’s times like this that I really don’t mind being a senior because I got a two dollar discount. They had a few farm animals on display including a sweet donkey, a huge round-bellied fat pig that the toddlers found fascinating, and a small collection of hens. As we finished checking out the hens we realized the big tractor trailer for the hayride was right there and almost empty, so we decided to do that next.
Once we had all got ourselves settled on bales of hay, Farmer Cooper fired up the engine and off we chugged around a large field. There were myriads of gnats in the air but for the most part they didn’t bother us. As we swung around the other side of the field we began to see pumpkins growing on their mounds. I noticed that many of them had a layer of what looked like heavy duty foil laid on the ground around them. I learned that this was to prevent the pumpkins from going moldy on the ground. Some of the pumpkins were humongous!
We jumped off the hayride and made a beeline for the maze. It really was huge and quite intimidating as we entered. The corn (or sorghum) was way above our heads and the paths twisted and turned, ran into each other, went in circles, and did everything else to turn us in the wrong direction. We could hear children’s voices and their shrieks of laughter coming from various directions as they obviously found themselves back at the same spot again and again.
I guess we spent a good half an hour in the maze as we tried to find our way out. Even though we were “acting like children”, the adult in us was aware that we should keep the sounds of the highway to our left, so we didn’t have too much difficulty. I do remember thinking at one point “supposing a ghost just appeared through the corn”, or “what would I do if I stuck my hand into the corn and it (my hand) disappeared”!! Woo-woo! Coming out from the maze we wandered over to the pumpkin stand and bought some miniature pumpkins to use as fall decorations.
By this time we were hungry and decided to head back into St. Augustine to have dinner. On many of my visits to St. Augustine I have passed a small colorful restaurant called “La Cocina Mexican Restaurant” on US-1 and have wanted to try it. We all agreed, Mexican it would be. What a great dinner we had. The service was excellent and the food was “uber” excellent. What I didn’t expect was the superb presentation, almost like a top class eatery. The restaurant itself was delightfully decorated with beautiful murals. Definitely worth another visit and I highly recommend it!
What a fun evening we had. Can’t wait to be a child again!