A week or so ago, B.J. and I decided to have one more summer adventure. We had been wanting to go to the Family Cow farm for their tour (it's where we buy our raw milk from...YUM) and then we were discussing what else we wanted to do. Originally, we were thinking of making it a few day get away with a stop in Lancaster overnight too, but with B.J.'s new position and some other scheduling issues, we ended up deciding on an overnight trip only.
This was all complicated by the fact that we lost power on Sunday for 12 hours, so I couldn't get the laundry done to pack! We ended up turning on all the lights so that when the power came back on we would wake up and get stuff going. So at midnight, we started the laundry and then again at 2am I switched things over. We ended up getting out by 10:30 or so (I was impressed :) (Upon our return, we realized that we had forgotten to check everything before we left and found our middle cat, Chipper, had spent the overnight locked in our bedroom with the obvious outcome of that, but I digress.)
We drove out to Lancaster, had lunch at a really cute diner and then went to the historic Strasburg Railroad where Janaya and Simeon got to go on their first ever train ride and Elianna got to experience a historic train ride as opposed to a Septa one. We all had a wonderful time.
Mommy and Simeon
Father and Son
Elianna loving train ride
Janaya on the train
And we played a bit:
We drove the rest of the way to Chambersburg late that afternoon, checked into our hotel (the highlight of the trip for the girls), ate dinner
and then - though well past bedtime, couldn't resist a nighttime dip in the pool. It was chilly out, but the girls and Simeon didn't mind in the least. We were saving a hot bath to thaw out afterwards :)
Tuesday morning we were up bright and early for an amazing (*free!) hotel breakfast (complete with spilled OJ) and then off to the farm tour. The Family Cow is the place we have been getting raw milk from since December. I love their milk and credit our really good health this past winter to drinking it. Expensive? Yes, but so worth it! They are believers too. We decided we wanted to visit the tour when one morning I asked Elianna where milk came from and she replied "Halo Farm". Time for some education.
The tour started off with a visit to maternity ward.
This was where the cows have a two month paid vacation, as Edwin put it. Then we went on to visit the calves. There, we got to feed them giant bottles of milk (talk about hard to bottle feed - they were determined to tug the bottle right out of our hands) and let them suck on our fingers. Janaya was especially taken with that part.
Then we were back on the wagon to visit the baby chicks and the grown chickens.
Elianna got to hold one of the baby chicks and she loved it and both girls got to collect an egg.
Finally, we continued our ride out to where the cows were at pasture. It was so fun. The Jerseys were so friendly and curious and all came over toward us as if they were coming to meet us.
Along the way, Edwin (the farmer) explained how and why they do what they do with pasturing and caring for the animals. When we got to the end of the tour, we hung around to watch the actual milking. The girls were fascinated with how it all worked, but they especially loved playing with the farm kittens that were nearby and pretty friendly. It was the cleanest farm I have ever visited - there was really no manure smell anywhere and I was impressed. I have been to other dairy farms and this one was by far the cleanest and nicest.
Did I mention how PATIENT these kittens were? :)
Back in the van, we visited a local creamery for lunch (and apparently missed an earthquake) and then headed home. All in all, it was a wonderful final family adventure for the summer. On the way home, I asked what their favorite part of our adventure was. Answer? The hotel. B.J. commented that next time we should drive down Rt. 13 and stay in a hotel five minutes from home. Second favorite? The farm and the kittens. I asked Elianna where milk came from and she responded with "cows". Success :)