As I was getting off the phone the other evening, Maya asks:

M – "Mom, were you talking to SunTrust?"

J – "No, why do you think I'd be talking to SunTrust? Who's SunTrust?" (No one in the family has a SunTrust account.)

M – "They are the people you call when you need someone to help you solve your problems."

That, of course, immediately made sense. We've been hearing the same Pandora Internet Radio ad for weeks. Maya is quite effectively primed for the inevitable encounter 14 or so years from now with the SunTrust account rep selling credit cards in exchange for T-shirts in the student union.

Though she sees comparatively few advertisements, we've talked a little bit about them. There are ads every half dozen Pandora songs (wondering if paying for ad-free Pandora is worth it now), at then end of a few of the selections on Netflix, among the previews of some videos, and inserted into new toys. She knows ads are a company trying to sell her things, but her response is often "But I want to buy it!"

Yesterday evening:

M – "Mom! Mom! I can talk while I'm screaming."

J – "Oh, really."

M – In a high pitched squeal: "I LOVE YOU MOM!" Normal voice: "That was talking through screaming."

And We Visited The Enchanted Forest

School let out last week and we spent our first full day off at Clark's Elioak Farm near Ellicott City, MD. We got off to a slow start, arriving at the farm around 1 pm. They didn't quite have to kick us out at their 5pm closing time, but not by much.

Clark Farm - Enchanted Forest

1. Posing with Papa Bear, 2. Sliding out of the Shoe, 3. How she reacted to just about all of it., 4. Greeting the crooked man at his crooked house, 5. Tugboat Pirates, 6. Patting the White Gosling, 7. In front of the rainbow bridge, 8. Second attempt at riding Captain Jack, 9. Everybody Yell Pumpkin!

I found the place thanks to a CertifiKid promotion. If you grew up near Baltimore and were the right age before 1988, this stuff might look familiar. Remembering the Enchanted Forest theme park from childhood visits with Mom Mom & Pop Pop, it was a no-brainer to take Maya to Clark Farm's Enchanted Forest where they are reconstructing the old features. Even without the coupon, the $5 entry price is reasonable. $2 to ride the pony, cow train, or hayride.

Maya had a blast. She RAN from feature to feature announcing every character she recognized. Her resolve that she wanted to ride the pony wavered once face-to-face with a real one, but she persevered and went back again to finally ride. Our final act of the day was to feed the sheep and goats (technically, my final act), and Maya declared that the best part.