Get Sick…prelude to a Busy Week! Part 2

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Subtitle: Day 2 “Eggs and Football”

For Attraction Notes go to the bottom of this blog post…

Alpha and Omega Egg Drop – Hamptonville NC

In one word: cold. It was a cold, windy morning when we went to Alpha & Omega Corn Maze to see 20,000 eggs drop from a helicopter and watch kids sweep through the yard like a large lawn mower. So here’s the scenario: after a morning message, kids lined up based on age group at the “starting lines.” The wind cranked down the chill factor and the sun played hide and seek behind the clouds which of course whipped the wind up even more. The temperature at 9:00am was 49 degF with the wind chill dropping it below 46 degF. In either case, it was COLD!

The helicopter took off and began its circuit over the 7+ age group area. A bag of eggs was opened and it rained eggs for several minutes then the second bag was opened and more eggs were dropped. Little parachute {brandname here} cows were tossed out of the helicopter. The wind played havoc on the drop, tossing eggs and parachutes to places they were not expected to land. Then two more trips and five more bags of eggs were dropped in the 4-6 and 0-3 year old sections of the farmland. Then the drop of the starting ropes and kids were off to pick up eggs by the handful.

But the eggs were empty. Not knowing this in advance, the gkids were a bit disappointed. They picked up eggs, got into the prize lines, and picked up a prize dumping their eggs into bins that would be used for later egg drops. Rumor had it that some eggs had special significance and allowed some kids to win a whole Easter basket full of goodies. But if that was the case, we never knew.

After the prize pick-up, the kids were able to jump on inflatable pads, ride ponies (a little extra fee for this), ride on a horse-drawn hay ride, play in a bin of corn, feed some of the farm animals (for a very reasonable 50 cents each), ride on the Corn Cob express (Jeremiah), play in pipe world (Isaiah) and drive pedal tractors, bikes and carts. Movement between all of these activities helped to remove the chill but did not entice us to visit any of the local craft tables…so sorry folks. Yee-haw!

Carolina Cobras NAL Football – Greensboro NC

NAL, what is it? National Arena League. Yup, football played inside a coliseum, in this case the Greensboro Coliseum (yay! no cold weather or rain to sit through!). Our seats were mid-field and up on the second tier. The good point of this is you can see the entire field and all of the plays except the plays right against the wall closest to our seats. The bad point, if it can be called a bad point, was we were a further away from the action and therefore the kids were not as engaged as we had expected and hoped for (although since this event was at 7:00pm of the same day we did the frigid egg drop, it could have been just a leftover tiredness from the morning).

We did arrive at the game with some expectations that we did not even know we had until later,  so take the following with a grain of salt and as a learning lesson:

  • Superhero themed game – we expected the kids & parents would be decked out in superhero costumes…only a few did;
  • Seating – we expected our vantage point would allow seeing the whole field – and it did – but we were disconnected from any activity involving the crowd such as football catching, t-shirt toss etc;
  • Halftime – unexpected wrestlers posing and holding a mock fight – not our idea of a great example for the kids – so perhaps next time we will take a break and walk around;
  • Family-Friendly – our expectations had us believing that there would be kid-oriented activities (like best superhero costume?) but that did not pan out or we just missed it;
  • Sound – we expected loud announcements however between each and every play music was played and we assumed it was to get the crowd more passionate about the game – the boys liked some tunes and danced to the music but at times it was distracting from the game;
  • Footballs – we heard about catching footballs that ended up in the crowds and if it was a field goal then you could exchange the caught ball for an autographed ball but we were nowhere near any of that action so this is a moot point – great for those who were near the end zones;
  • Game – great football in a tiny space means an adjustment to our previous NFL experience of long-drawn out field plays – still aside from a few altercations and unsportsmanlike conduct from a few players  (two got kicked out of the game!)  the game was well played and fun to watch;
  • Food – nothing unexpected…coliseum food at higher than normal pricing but – surprise! – drink refills were free.

As I said, we had some ill-conceived notions. We’ve adjusted expectations and will see about the possibility of exchanging our seats for ones closer to the action (though for the price we paid, you really can’t beat it). We’ll also inquire about other pre- and post-game activities to find out if we missed something by being “newbies” to the sport.

…and that’s what we need to remember: we are new to a relatively new sport, on a new field, in an city where no NFL teams play, so there are learning opportunities by all…and it’s best to hold back on any pre-conceived expectations and come to the game looking to have a great time.

Next game theme? Star Wars!

Life Lesson

Sometimes we roll into a situation or event with pre-conceived and at times ill-conceived expectations, and these expectations cause disappointment, confusion and limitations to our truly experiencing that which is right in front of us. What is really sad, is that we are unaware we have made and built dependency on these expectations — to make some sense of the world around us and to feel like we have a bit of control in a chaotic life.

What would it be like to roll into a situation, event or activity and not have any expectations? How would that change our enjoyment and relationships? Hmmm…

Attraction Notes:

Alpha & Omega Corn Maze

  1. Link: https://www.alphaomegacornmaze.com
  2. Location: 1129 Cheek Road, Hamptonville, NC 27020
  3. Cost: depends on the event and whether you order tickets ahead of time. For the Easter Egg Drop, tickets purchased ahead of the event were $8, at the gate $11
  4. What did the kids like/dislike: Egg drop was neat but having empty eggs was disappointing; pipe roll was fun to play on; bouncing pads helped warm the kids up; pony and hayrides were fun
  5. Kids opinion of it: the kids really enjoyed most of the activities to the point they didn’t want to leave
  6. What to do: in the order the kids played – egg drop, prize collection, bounce pillow pads, pony rides, pipe world, horse drawn wagon ride, pipe world, cannon ball pipe slide (um…”grown ups” also played here), see saws, corn box (Isaiah), animal feeding, corn cob express (ridden twice by Jeremiah), pedal tractors/bikes, corn box (Isaiah); other activities we did not try – “cow” milking, steer roping, horseshoes, corn hole, rubber duck races, tug of war, and fire pits (we should have tried these due to cold weather!); birthday parties, team building and group activities are also available at Alpha & Omega
  7. New places to eat along the way: it’s fitting that the Chick-Fil-A cow was on-site since that is where we stopped on the way to the egg drop; no new place today!
  8. Discoveries: on a warm day (and even on a blustery day) there is enough activities to keep kids busy for a while; warmer days with no other planned activities would have kept us there longer
  9. Difficulty of getting around: not wheelchair friendly – it resides in a corn field after all; a bit muddy after the previous evening rain; no assistance in pointing out where to park or in exiting (for newbies, same entrance is used for entry and exit)
  10. Return? Yes, during fall Corn Maze and maybe Christmas event
  11. Bathrooms? Yes, indoor bathrooms that are HEATED!! (yes, we all wanted to stay inside to get warmed up but ewwwww, not really)

Carolina Cobras NAL Football

  1. Link:http://carcobras.com/home/
  2. Location: Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard Greensboro, NC 27403
  3. Cost: depends on seat locations and time of purchase; we bought 2 season tickets for $99 (total cost for 8 home games!)
  4. What did the kids like/dislike: at times the kids liked the music, they enjoyed going to see friends, they enjoyed the game (the older kid more so than the younger one), they were confused by the wrestling, and enjoyed the arena popcorn and drinks.
  5. Kids opinion of it: 50:50, if our seats had been lower or near the end zones the kids would have been more actively involved in the game and the activities — something to consider for future games (we do have season tickets after all)
  6. What to do: watch game, eat food, get excited about plays, see friends, …
  7. New places to eat along the way: anywhere or be prepared to pay for coliseum food pricing
  8. Discoveries: do not come with any expectations just enjoy the outing; a “newbie” guide would be helpful for people new to the sport, the team and the activities surrounding the event…or perhaps more on-line browsing of the sport beforehand would be a good idea (games are streamed on-line as well!)
  9. Difficulty of getting around: none; easy and close parking, paved sidewalks, handicap accessible arena
  10. Return? Yes…we do have season tickets after all
  11. Bathrooms? Yup…tis a coliseum.

Easter egg drops and NAL Football --- all in ONE day!