First, a big thank you to the 150 readers who took my survey! Your feedback was awesome and gave me lots to ponder. I’m working on putting all the information into its own post and will share it soon.
Second, I’m planning to try regularly scheduled content starting in two weeks. Right now, though, I’m eyebrow deep in finals and practical exams and am struggling to stay afloat. Expect some randomness for a few weeks and then I’m going to strive for three posts a week – two substantial written posts and one picture-heavy post about our life in the big city. Until then, though, allow me to share our Impromptu Memorial Day Adventure!
On Monday morning the Professor walked to the Zip Car lot to pick up a car. We splurged and reserved it for the entire day intending to run a bunch of rather boring, but necessary, errands. Costco, Home Depot, L.L. Bean, Whole Foods and the fabric store, to name a few. Much to our surprise, Costco was closed for the holiday (fist pump for Costco execs! Working on holidays is the worst and I applaud companies who realize that and allow their employees to enjoy a day off).
We had already paid for the car for the entire day, and the weather was glorious. We could either run all the other errands and return the car early, or we could knock out the really important ones and then have an adventure. As always, adventure won.
A quick trip to Home Depot for window AC units and an hour at L.L. Bean to get the Professor some nice work clothing and we declared our errands “DONE.” We grabbed some salads from Whole Foods, ran by the house to ditch the AC units and pick up the B.O.B. jogger and then high-tailed it to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.
This was our first visit to a New York state park and we were not disappointed. The park is about 30 miles north of NYC and is a designated IBA, or Important Bird Area. The Professor and I are bird nerds and really enjoy looking for new species. The park is also home to a complex web of carriage roads, built by the Rockefeller family years ago. What’s the big deal about carriage roads? THEY ARE BRILLIANTLY STROLLER ACCESSIBLE!
Thanks to all these wide, clean, gravel carriage roads we were able to traverse through woods, around wetlands, through rolling hills, meadows and farmland, all while Sabine napped peacefully in her stroller.
We stopped and had a picnic under a shade tree in a meadow just off one of the carriage roads. It was ridiculously idyllic watching the long green grass sway in the wind as white clouds danced in the bright blue sky. Birds sang, a soft wind kept us from getting too sweaty and Sabine had a grand old-time inspecting the grass and throwing her picnic all over the place.
While hiking we saw a sign to “Stone Barn.” A stone barn? You mean this can get more idyllic than it already is? Count me in! We veered off course and walked about a mile or so uphill until we came to a very lame red barn. The Professor said this must be it and was ready to turn around. I was not so sure and convinced him to press on. “Just around that bend and to the top of the hill,” I begged. On we went.
When we crested the hill we found this.
Only the mother of all stone barns! This photo does not do it justice.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is a non-profit organization striving to increase public awareness about healthy, seasonable and sustainable food. The center trains farmers in sustainable farming techniques, educates children and brings fresh food from farm to table. The farm was closed on Memorial Day (good for them!) so we snuck around and enjoyed what we could see. The campus was stunning and the barn and surrounding structures beautifully preserved.
We were super excited to see signs for a cafe and made mental note to check them out online that night. Much to our dismay, it is a tad (a lot) out of our price range! High prices aside, we do intend to visit again soon to enjoy the events and farmers market, and maybe splurge on coffee and dessert!
On our way back from the farm we saw some cows and their babies lounging by the road. I stopped to photograph them and a big Mama cow came walking right up. I assumed she wanted to be friends.
She did not. Instead she tried to push me down despite the fence! It was a little scary!
Shortly after the cow incident Sabine woke up from a long, 90 minute nap. We stopped to sit on a rock overlooking a little creek and have some warm milk. Sabine transferred to the Baby Bjorne to finish the hike. She loves being in the pack. Mama’s back does not love it! I’m considering an Ergo 360 for our upcoming trip to Acadia National Park. Anyone try the 360 yet?
I’m sporting my new, fabulous sun hat from L.L. Bean. I do love a good summer hat!
We got back to the car just as Sabine was starting to melt down. Perfect timing to end a perfect, impromptu adventure!
A few additional noteworthy points about the Rockefeller State Park Preserve – they have composting toilets. I think these are both awesome and disgusting. Awesome in that they compost our poo and don’t send it off to the dump. Disgusting in that your ass is hovering over a HUGE hole in the ground and your lady parts can feel the strange poo-composting breeze. The park is also a zero waste facility, meaning there are no trash cans anywhere to be found. You carry out the garbage you bring in. Back home, something like this would back-fire miserably and you’d just find trash piled along the trail. Not here, though. The park was immaculate and nowhere were there big stinky trash cans swarming with bugs! The park also has a cute little art gallery which currently has some lovely pieces on display. And finally, there is a HUGE peony garden that was, sadly, past it’s prime. We will try to return next year during peak blooming so I can photograph Sabine with the gigantic, fluffy blooms.