Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ah. Vermont!

Where do I start??

I haven't been on a solo trip for YEARS.  Like maybe 20 years.  Greg and I enjoy visiting new places together, and except for easy local visits to family I just haven't done much on my own.  For a long time.  Now with an aging dog with horrible anxiety issues I just never felt ready to tackle it.  But this year I turned 50 and my brothers decided it was time that I did something just for me and they sent me the cash meant ONLY for a train ticket to Vermont. 

"...adventure funds; not clay funds, artist space funds, paint the doghouse funds or Greg's Beer Supply funds!  These are Adventure Funds."

My family knows me well enough that once given the funds earmarked for a trip I would finally make the move and DO IT.  And I had been talking all year about the possiblity of going to Vermont on my own, on the train, to attend the super secret 50th birthday party of my good friend Kristen of Gilead Fiber Farm.  And I would get to see the farm!

And.  I mean.  VERMONT.  IN THE FALL.

So as the birthday plan would go, Kristen would know I was coming.  By staying with her we avoided her making big farm plans that would keep her in her neighborhood while the super secret arrangements were being made.

TWELVE hours on the train.
(I won't whine becuase the idea of driving north on I95 is oh SO MUCH worse.)

But 12 hours is a long time.  The last 2 were killer.

It was rainy when I left DC (there were flash flood warnings the entire time I was gone.)  And still wet and dreary when we went around NY. 

I tried to get some knitting done....

But once we hit Massachusetts the rain had lifted and the colors were just too fantastic.

I arrived in Randolph VT after dark with Kristen (and her loyal dog Max) to meet me and whisk me away to dinner.  (On my brothers.)

I just had  It was glorious.

Here are pictures. :)

We spent the day out and about (avoiding the neighbor hood to keep the big secret...)

I got alpaca kisses. :)

The party was a total success!  Secrets kept!

Morning chores.  (Actually a mix of days...)

I milked a cow!!  (But not very well!)

Kristen was surprised that the usually reserved llamas came so close.  I think the hay was calling!

Iris the (very vocal!) cashmere goat.

Atlas (on the right) and his mom.

Knitting break!


Lotus and Leah, guardian llamas.  This is coyote country....

Yea, that's the spot!  Ecstasy!

Moving huts to the new pasture.  And I didn't just watch and take pictures...I moved one too.

Good Morning All!


My buddy Fred.

And next post....POTTERY!


Amber said...

Wonderful, Anna! :D

Anna M. Branner said...

Thanks Amber! The first day I took a ton of pictures of the fields behind her house...only I did it with HER camera. DOH! (Its a nice camera!)

Carol Josefiak said...

It looks like a glorious trip. I love your photos. I know you are having fun.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the pictures, looks like you had a wonderful time. I may get to Vermont in the fall someday.

Anna M. Branner said...

Oh do it Susan! So glorious there.

Anna M. Branner said...

Carol it was fantastic. The best birthday gift I've ever been given.

smartcat said...

What a great way to keep the birthday girl from leaving! Looks like your visit was well timed for weather and color. All the animals looks so sweet.
New England in the Fall is a very special place I just wish it weren't followed by our dark, dank, bone-chilling winters.
I'm looking forward to pottery and eggs!

reddirt said...

Oh I love all these photos. As for not being a good cow just need more practice :) Smooch!

Anna M. Branner said...

If you look REALLY hard you can just barely see a tiny stream. Ha! Definitely need lots more practice Susan.

Melissa said...

Anna, these photos are AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing - lots of good memories in these. :-)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos of a great trip. It looks just about perfect.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

What a great post, Anna. I'm so glad you had fun. I felt like I went too. Brothers aren't SO bad, huh?

cookingwithgas said...

Making memories.
What a fantastic adventure you had.
Good for your heart and mind.

Tracey Broome said...

I want to go live with your friend! Llamas and sheep, is there anything better?! Good for you for taking time for yourself, we all need a bit of that

Melissa said...

OH, I love Vermont, too! I attended college there in the 1970's and lived there for another three or four years. What a wonderful gift and a delightful trip!