Sunday, May 25, 2014

weekend in review

Hope everyone is having a nice holiday weekend.  It's a gorgeous day today and the temperature is in the 70s.

Bob and I went to the Beekman 1802 farm in Sharon Springs, NY, this weekend.  It's a goat farm owned by Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, the winners in season 21 of The Amazing Race (2012).  They've opened the farm up to tours during the town's Garden Party weekend and this year I got the chance to go.

We stayed in Albany and then drove an hour to Sharon Springs yesterday morning for the tour.  It rained most of the way there, of course. There's no public parking at the farm, so we had to park on Main Street and then take a shuttle bus from their store, Beekman 1802 Mercantile.  (Actually, it was a school bus, but it got us there.)  I checked out the store before the bus came.  It was a lot smaller than I pictured, but they had some good stuff.

It was a short 10-minute ride to the farm and as luck would have it, it stopped raining when we got there.  But that was short-lived.  The first stop was the mansion, built by William Beekman in 1802.  It's beautiful.  We weren't allowed onto the porches, because it's John and Brent's full-time residence.  Next was the crypt.  It was kind of creepy knowing the purposed it served in years past.  When a family member passed away in the winter, they were put into the crypt ("cold storage") until springtime when they could be buried in the family plot.  Next was the pool area and then onto the formal garden area.  The grounds were beautiful with over 60 acres of rolling hills, a pond, and weeping willows.  The final stop was the most anticipated (for me):  the barn.  They breed goats and use the goat's milk in many of their products so there were lots of goats.  And one llama, Polka Spot.  I got to see Faintly, the runt of the goat litter last year.  She came back to the farm for a "guest appearance."  There were also some baby goats, or "kids."  So cute!  I got to hold one. His name was Hans.  He was so warm and soft!  I just wanted to sneak off with him.  My new house does have a barn...  Just as we were thinking about leaving the barn, the skies opened up and it downpoured.  That was OK with me.  It gave me more time to pet the goats.  Many of them were trying to grab my shirt and umbrella.

The tour was fairly short, maybe 45 minutes total, but we were free to roam afterwards and decide which shuttle bus we wanted to catch back to Main Street.  We walked around a little then hung out under one of the huge trees to get out of the rain.  About 1:30 PM the shuttle bus arrived, but the driver drove into a ditch and couldn't get out.  It was Farmer John to the rescue!  (Farmer John is the one that tends to the goats.) He brought out the tractor and was able to pull the bus out of the ditch.  We were on our way pretty quickly.

When we got back to town we browsed around the Garden Party vendors on Main Street for a bit.  We picked up some real maple syrup and maple cotton candy for Bob, and some flavored oils, cherry balsamic vinegar, and fresh made goat cheese for me.  I snacked on lots of samples, too, since I had run out of water during the tour and was getting pretty hungry.

Then it was back to Albany for a late lunch, then on to the hotel to relax and catch up on my magazine reading (I'm about 6 issues behind on Cooks Illustrated).  Bob napped and then watched some Pawn Stars on the iPad.

Then it was back to reality today.  The drive home was beautiful, unlike the drive to Albany on Friday night, which was rainy the whole way.

Here are some pictures of our trip to the farm:

Front of the mansion.

Back of the mansion and formal garden area.

Back of the mansion and formal garden area.


Hans and I.  I wanted to steal him!

Faintly, the runt of the litter last year.


Bob petting a goat.



Polk Spot (the llama in the back).

Front of the mansion.

Headstones in the crypt.

The crypt.  Yes, those are real bones.

Doorway to the crypt.

Grave marker for William Beekman and his family.

The bus, stuck in a ditch.

Farmer John to the rescue!

Alpacas at the Garden Party.  We saw a pig, too, but I didn't get a picture.

1 comment:

  1. Just getting out in the fresh air is always good. But bus stuck. ..what luck. Glad you two are safe!