Friday, July 12, 2013

Alana Came to Visit!

Never in the history of our entire existence have we gone 2 whole years with out seeing each other; yet here it was, exactly 2 years and 2 weeks (and a few days) since our last face to face visit.

It used to be, when I still lived in Florida, that we'd see each other at least every quarter.  We're pals, confidants, sister-cousins (sisterless cousins that were each blessed with brothers but no sisters, so we've kind of stood in the gap for each other in that respect).  She and I, with our moms (true sisters) would have regular girls' weekends where we'd jaunt off here and there for fun, food, shopping, beaching, and lots of laughs.  Such good times.

So, I was super excited to have her come up for a long weekend!

Day 1

After introducing her to my new favorite way to have coffee (honey and coconut oil) and having some frittata, we headed off to the strawberry patch.

When strawberry picking becomes a photo-op, you realize she's a girl after your own heart.

Okay, back to serious picking.

Beautiful berries with gorgeous scenery.

Ah, yes.  I love this orchard.

Some of the pickins.

Kristiina and the kids met us there.

Aria, whom Alana had never met, warmed right up to her.

Want a berry?

Kingston sat down in the soft grass and suggested I join him for a berry picnic. (The last time Alana saw Kingston he was Aria's age.)

Every one participated in the task at hand.

Do you suppose she's contemplating eating another berry?  (Alana taught her to take off the green tops first.)

As if to say, "Look at that view!"

Busy, busy.

Aria led Alana all over that berry patch.

And Kingston had his own agenda.

Sweet profile. [grin]

Alana giving him the job of taking a handful to add to the flat.

And he's off to accomplish his mission.

Haha... she ate so many berries.

Hey, what's Ying-ying (Kingston) doing over there?

Our bounty (and my beautiful girl).

Whoa. That rock looks like a giant animal skull.

Let's go play on it!


Tada... made it!

Aria's turn!

My sweet babes.

Aw, snuggles for Alana.  (And Kristiina took the camera so I could get in a couple.)

Ohhh, what's that?

Kiss smoosh!

That was fun.

After the berry patch, Kristiina and the kids went their way and Alana and I ran a couple of errands.  We went to Black Watch Farm for some meat, and to Haynes Farm for some milk.  No pics.

As we headed back, I decided to take a 30-second detour...

Had to take her to see the largest wooden covered bridge in US, and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world.

On the way home we spotted someone enjoying a sail on the pond.

We changed clothes and went to Harpoon Brewery for Vermonter sandwiches and raspberry beer before heading to Jackson Gore for the free Friday night concert.

 Enjoying the music.  (The thin blooded Floridian started to get chilly after the sun went behind the mountain.)

They had such fun running around!

A few pics for memory's sake.

And demonstrating her mad skills on the slackline!

Day 2

For breakfast we had hearty baked oatmeal with Vermont maple syrup (I'll post a recipe next week) - and she asked to have her coffee with coconut oil again.  I wonder if I have a convert. [grin]

Then we set off for a day at Woodstock and Quechee.

First, I had to take her to see my favorite horses, Slick and Willy.

This is Willy.

And this is Slick.

Willy, what are you doing to your brother?  They have the same dad and both just turned 7 years old this month.  One was born on July 2nd and the other on July 3rd.

You sure are a handsome boy, Slick.

And sweet, too.

On our way to Woodstock, we saw some happy cows grazing.

Lots of them enjoying that tall grass.

And the meandering in charming Woodstock began.  This is a quaint little chapel beside the community church.


This would be a nice place for a picnic.

Pretty flowers in boxes overlooking the creek.

Behind Alana is an eclectic gift shop that we poked through.

An elegant Woodstock home.


Then off to have lunch at Dana's Restaurant in Quechee and see the gorge.

This is from one side of the bridge.

And this is from the other side.  We hiked to the bottom on this side... worked off lunch.

Tada.  The bridge we were on.

It's pretty spectacular, but there is still lots of evidence that Hurricane Irene came barreling through.  The landscape is still scarred.

After hiking, we explored the Antique Mall and did a wine tasting.  We chose one to take home to enjoy that night.

Before dinner, we took a walk to the pond across from us.  

It's a beautiful, peaceful place.

The daisies were blooming all along the shore.

Daisies at dusk with no flash this time.

The sunset was pretty.  We picked wild flowers and headed home to eat.

For dinner we had meatloaf with mushroom gravy (I'll post the recipe soon), baked rice pilaf and sliced tomato and cucumber.

Then enjoyed that bottle of wine we purchased at the Antique Mall.

Rhubarb, strawberry, raspberry wine from Putney Mountain Winery!  Ohh, sooo good.  The young woman that served us the samples described it as strawberry-rhubarb pie without the crust.  She was right - the flavors were similar to strawberry-rhubarb pie, but it was no where near that sweet.  It was just right.

We enjoyed it out on the porch and just got silly (and that's because we're goofy, not because we were steadily draining that bottle).  We did our rendition of bear calls so that they would call back to us... "Whoooo. WhooWhoooooooo." (Did you know bears sound like huge owls? ... not kidding.)

They stubbornly would not do it back to us, though.  They were probably laughing their bear heads of at us!  (It really was odd, though, they're usually so noisy up in those woods behind us. Maybe it's all the rain... I dunno.)   Oh well... we had a blast trying even if they wouldn't cooperate.  Lots of laughs.

Then we spotted the supermoon, and after this blurry pic, realized we needed a tri-pod (as if we didn't know... but we weren't prepared).  By the time we came back with it, the moon was behind clouds and we never saw it again. [hmph]

Day 3

For breakfast we just quickly had leftover baked oatmeal and took our coconut oil/honey coffee with us as we dashed off to church.

It was a good service - a touching service where we heard the testimony of a young woman who grew up in the church and is going off to Nepal for 2 years to do mission work.  Then, her older brother preached the sermon.

Driving home, it was still a misty morning.

But that didn't stop us from getting out of the car and snapping a few picture of this sheep pasture.  Not sure what the farmer was carrying on that tractor, but when he dumped it the sheep came running down from that hill.  I've never seen sheep move so fast.

By lunch time, the fog burned away and the sun came out.

And we went to the park for a picnic and some fun and games.

Kingston and Nic played with his big frisbee.

He's getting good at tossing it back.

And running to catch it before it falls.

Sweet babe needed a cold drink and Boppa (as she calls him) was happy to help.

Then he needed a kiss.

Then a little football toss happened.

While Kingston took a 5 second breather (snacking).

Nic and Kristiina brought their slackline and set it up for additional fun, but I didn't get pics of it.  We also did a bit of hiking on the trails at the park.

That was a fun afternoon, then everyone came over to our house for dinner (skirt steaks, mashed potatoes and salad).

Hated to see her go. but so thankful she was able to come!!  Love that woman.


Mom said...

Well now, I feel like I was there with both of you!!! Loved the re-cap!

Alana said...

Awwww, such a great time! Always enjoy my Pammie Pooh. Thanks for being the best hostess ever and for all the memories. Miss you much!
Oodles of love...