But just buying a grocery store pumpkin wasn't going to be enough this year. No, I wanted the full effect - the corn stalks, the dirt, the vegetable stand and the droves of children milling around, chasing runaway lopsided pumpkins. So on Saturday, we met up with friends, piled into Ryan's truck and - plied with festive Starbucks beverages - drove down to Irvine in search of pumpkin farm authenticity. We made the rounds, we carefully selected pumpkins, we discovered that the checkout line was ridiculously long and we abandoned the aforementioned pumpkins with the intent to swing by the grocery store and pick up pumpkins to actually carve (now that we had basked in an afternoon of farmy-ness, this was officially acceptable). Then we got into the truck, only to have Ryan discover a coolant leak. A really intense coolant leak. We managed to arrive safely at the nearest mechanic but, naturally, it was 5 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon so the best we could hope for was to leave it there for the rest of the weekend.
And so. We were stranded an hour from home. Pumpkinless and awkwardly toting a large block of kitchen knives (which I had brought along for the carving process and couldn't leave in the truck because how was I supposed to slice my grapefruit the next morning without them?). A taxi ride was going to cost $100 (!) and we all know that I'm poor. With our fingers crossed, we called around and eventually we found someone willing to shuttle us back to the South Bay. Well, shuttle some of us. Because of course the reason we took Ryan's truck in the first place was because it seats six. Pack into one vehicle? Score! Have that one vehicle break down? Super bummer.
A couple of trips later, once our autumny afternoon was gone and it was well past dark, everyone was back home. And pumpkinless. Still pumpkinless.