This last week was nothing but spectacular!
It all started with our China 140 travel group reunion. I haven't seen this group since we adopted Chani 2 1/2 years ago. It was the third reunion but our first so we thought we'd make it a priority this time. At first meeting at a farm wasn't exactly my idea of a great time. Having spent my early teen years living on a farm, I wasn't all that into it but I wanted to see all the families so a farm it was. We booked our all inclusive room at the East Hill Farm, our multiple destination airfare, car rental, etc. We packed one carry-on suitcase each along with our two backpacks and headed to the airport.
Our flight to Boston was pretty uneventful. We landed on time and were bussed to the car rental place where shall we say it didn't go as smoothly as planned. First of all, I had made all kinds of reservations with my Amex so with a new card, none of the numbers matched anymore. They closed out Matt's card too but have neglected to send him a new card. The rental place wouldn't allow Matt to drive and me to pay. They both had to be the same. So, since I was the only one with a working Amex, I had to be the driver. Wonderful! - Not! Once situated, pulling out of the parking lot, I get honked at but still have no idea why but whatever. We drove a short way and headed toward the toll road. Well, being new to the area, and their easy pass was scattered across the lanes instead of being on the left like here in GA, I ended up in the wrong line. We flagged down a worker and he advised us to hold our ground and wait until the guy behind us backed up. It was a horrible feeling and I know the guy wasn't too happy with us but he reluctantly moved and we were able to back out and hit the right lane. Everything after that went fine. Whew!
Once we reached the farm, we were immediately impressed. As we were checking in, they gave us a brief tour of the place and it was hard to keep track of which building was which because there were so many. They handed us a six slot egg carton and a little wicker basket. Well, okay, come to find out that you could go and collect eggs and put them in the guest refrigerator and they would cook them for you the next morning any way you wanted. Or, you could take them home. Alright, cute! They also asked us what we wanted for dinner.
We ran into one family and talked a bit and found out that everyone was meeting at another's room. Well, room is an extreme understatement. We then located our room. It was a two bedroom with a Jack and Jill between the two. The rooms were HUGE and cutely decorated in a farm house sort of way.
We headed out looking at all they had to offer and happened upon our group. They had a wrap around screened in porch overlooking a lake. It was beautiful. We greeted everyone and had a drink before dinner. Our group had assigned tables so we could all sit together. They served our main entree and everything else was family style. All the meals were served the same way. They had fresh cookies, juice, fruit, coffee all day long.
They took the day old bread and put it in little paper bags. You could take them and go feed the animals. That was a huge hit with Chani. They had rabbits, chickens, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, cows and donkeys. Chani held the bottle to feel the calf but refused to milk either the cows or goats. She was able to go on a pony ride and pet the rabbits. They had three pools, two outside and one inside although we didn't get a chance to swim. They had a ping pong table and tons of game you could play. They had at least three living room type rooms where you could all gather. They had story time, scheduled walks, scavenger hunts, and a dance. The whole day had activities planned. Chani really latched on to Emily and was her dance partner and playmate for the weekend. It was so cute to see Chani open up vs her usual quiet shy self. Emily is normally quiet too so they brought out the best in each other. After breakfast on the final morning, they asked us what we wanted for lunch. Well, we had to hit the road so we couldn't stay for it. Well, they pretty much insisted on packing a box lunch for us. So, we decided to take them up on their offer and checked out, saying good bye to everyone. We had an awesome time. This place had a real family feel to it and we really enjoyed our time there. We liked it so much that we went ahead and reserved our same room for next year.
Along our drive to PA, we found a park and stopped for our picnic lunch. The farm had packed for each of us, a sandwich, a bag of chips, an apple, a cookie, and a granola bar. We had so much food and were quite impressed with the whole weekend.
A couple lessons learned on this trip.
1. Do not rent a car at one airport and drop it off at a second one. Cost was over $300 just for the drop and that was on top of the rental fees. Geez.
2. Take some warmer clothes and perhaps some rain gear.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
This last week was nothing but spectacular!