July 13, 2014

Expectations and a Trip to the A to Z Pizza Farm

I get these grand visions in my head of how things will go down. I like to plan fun excursions. Then I envision perfect weather, only cooperation from the other members of my clan (particularly from my two year old), and general smooth sailing.

Things don't always go the way I envision.

Like last weekend, when we went strawberry picking. I'd been looking forward to it for a while, and thought it would be a super fun family outing. I envisioned the three of us driving out to the country, riding a tractor to the fields, and all happily picking strawberries together.

Well, we ended up driving out to the country. We also rode a tractor, but had to bribe Lola with iPhone videos to sit there before it even left the loading area. We got to the fields, were assigned our row to pick, and then I was left standing there alone while Lola decided the pipe that ran along the field was most interesting. I was left there alone, with my pregnant belly, to pick EIGHT pounds of strawberries. On the ground. On my hands and knees. In the hot sun. By myself.

Because Lola had shown signs of trouble on the tractor ride (and because I have to pee every half hour right now), I felt a huge sense of urgency to get those berries picked as quickly as possible. So I scrambled. And tried to stay ahead of Lola, who kept swiping from my stash. (Mo staw-bees?)

I persevered, Lola ate about 100 strawberries, and Zach managed to get some good photos of the whole thing. It actually ended up being a good outing and we avoided any major meltdowns, but it didn't go exactly as I had envisioned it would. Because I have a two year old, obvi. I forget this sometimes. (How two year olds are, not that I have one.)

So, this week we had planned to go to the A to Z Pizza Farm in Stockholm, WI. Coming off of the strawberry picking trip, I had reigned in my expectations a bit.

The pizza farm excursion required some careful planning and impeccable execution. They're only open on Tuesdays. It's a good 1:45 drive from Minneapolis. And you have to get there early to avoid waiting 2 hours for your pizza, according to their website. (This required Zach to leave work early which was a huge hurdle in itself.) But we all got in the car on time. Lola hung in there for the drive. We only made one wrong turn and quickly corrected our course. We got there before there were swarms of people.

And from there out, the excursion not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them. Whoa.

Sometimes, everything actually goes perfectly.

The weather was fantastic--warm but not hot, clear, dry.

And it's beautiful out there--have you been?

The pizza wait was only 30 minutes, which we easily killed by watching the cows and making sure Lola didn't touch any electrical fences.

There were enough people to make it feel really festive, but not too many that it felt crowded.

There were no bugs. (How?)

The strawberry shortcake I made and brought along was divine.

And Lola nicely sat on the picnic blanket the whole time we ate. (Again, how?)

It was complete perfection. And I wish we could go every Tuesday. So does Lola. She just asked today after lunch about the "peet-a arm."

Details: A to Z Pizza Farm. Only Tuesdays, through the Fall, from 4:30-8. Stockholm, WI (about 1 hr 45 from SW Mpls). BYO everything except pizza and alcohol, which you can get there. Take all of your garbage home. Cash or check.

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