Friday, December 29, 2017

Carefree's Enchanted Pumpkin Garden

While home I was hoping to go to a Día de los Muertos procession and/or festival, but it wasn't really in the cards. No Halloweeny events or parties or drinkaroos, either. But I did decide that I was going to see some professionally-carved pumpkins, and that I wanted my mom to come with me. Pretty much all of you who'd be looking at this blog post already saw these pictures, but hey, chronology, I'm trying.

Carefree is northeast of Phoenix and full of wealthy retired white people, but like many desert communities, it's unique and quirky kitschy and and known for its stupid street names and artsy-craftyness. 

Carefree Desert Gardens looks like a glorified traffic median at first glance; I was pretty surprised when I saw where it was, right in the center of "town" where America's biggest sundial is, but it's actually a really nice stroll.

Ahhh! It's Wild West-theeeeemed! Horse-pumpkin pumpkin-horse!

Oh.. oh no. 
No, stop it. 
Squash chickens.
┗┓(  ̄ω ̄ )┏┛

There's a couple making out in the hay loft and a creeper perving on them..

A slight accident

Rubbing his eye even? The detail!

Contemplating life? Not a real pumpkin? Last comment still stands!

There were also several carved pumpkins preserved in vinegar in vats that were very reminiscent of the jars celebrities' heads are kept in on Futurama, and those in turn were inside realistic saguaro displays. This one's a javelina.

And.. what the fuck is this guy doing?

Ahhh, I get why there was a tub of smashed pumpkin down there now.

Assorted vegetable degenerates threatening to break loose from jail

At first this one looks like a guy running away from a murder scene and a half-buried corpse, but it's actually a zombie pumpkin emerging from the ground and grabbing him by the ankle. Clever!

Because this is one of those hippy-dippy moneyed white desert communities:
yoga pumpkins.

Also an outhouse with a long line!

I can't help but think that the pumpkin scraping up and slinging shit is supposed to be Steve Bannon.

Here are some attractive flowers and little orange berry baubles I'd never seen before. They weren't labelled. This bothers me tremendously. (-whispers- what are you)

Dude reading the paper and facepalming, yas

Apparently professional pumpkin carvers are.. I don't know.. eclectic.
Doesn't he look like Donal Logue in Blade?!

Watching them work up-close is pretty neat though, and fragrant.

Extremely expensive but lovely blown glass pumpkins

Hah! And yes it was still warm enough to go for a swim 
almost the entire time I was in Arizona..

If you think the kickboxing gym pumpkins are cool, 
just wait for the full-blown boxing match pumpkins..

..also the mad scientist with the really great steampunk workbench, at night!

Wasn't sure about this one. Frog prince? -shrug-

And here we have a psycho hillbilly horror movie scene full of gourdy carnage

.. and one dude being roasted on a spit because fuck him right

Ooh! I love the silhouetted witch pumpkin!

More zombies, yes, yes.. 

Mainly I wanted to see the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden lit up at night, of course, but I also wanted to mostly avoid traffic, so we went a little early, took a look while it was still daylight, and then killed some time at Venues, a bar and restaurant like 3 metres away from this glorified-median-garden thing. Devoted followers - or, much more likely, the two other people who was actually there and exactly no one else - will remember that I've posted a picture or two from these places before, when we were in the States for Christmas two years ago.

They had an impressive-looking cocktail selection and I had just made 100 bucks
 selling stuff off, so I ended up getting one and treating us to dinner.

It was Arizona Rose, which was okay, but not amazing.
(Fun fact, the best cocktail I had while home was at Mother Bunch Brewing 
downtown, and it was called Dripping Nectar.)

My mom enjoyed her burger, our waiter was funny, and it was nice.
This was kind of a big deal, because we didn't get along at all for the first three weeks I was staying with her and we had to completely re-learn how to communicate.

I forgot that quiches typically have crusts.. but that's okay. This was good if overpriced.

Aaaand darkness! This is what we were waiting for.

Oooh. Yas cactus yas

Fucking Yoga Jones pumpkin lol. 
It is really cool though, I thought it was one of the better ones.

Grind pumpkin

(probably my favourite, but that goes without saying)

Pointy-chinned demon pumpkin

That witch pumpkin again, but illuminated and with her hut

Ah-ha! The mad scientist at night!
Great, right?

And here's the boxing match! Look at how much movement they managed to capture, 
and with such clunky gourds.

These ones are warming themselves by a fire, but that one in the back especially looks more like he's recoiling in abject horror from some unseen foe

More live carving/sculpting action..

This surreal twisty spiny tree thing is another plant I'd never seen before and that wasn't labelled.
(-whispers- I'm losing my mind)

The largest sundial in America, yes, very nice

Okay last pumpkin, a genuinely frightening one on the other side of the sundial!

A nice outing it was, yes. Approved! 10/10 would recommend if you're in the area.