Friends on a Farm

Hey, long-time readers - remember back in 2010 when Matt and I visited a farm and had so much fun that I wrote EIGHT blog posts about it?  Well, this past weekend, we finally got to go back!  

We have been trying to plan an adults-only weekend with some of our friends for a while and finally picked a date and lined up childcare for the long MLK weekend.  After our initial plans fell through, and then our backup plans fell through too, my friend Allison suggested we just visit her folks' farm for the weekend.  A brilliant idea!  

Don't worry, I plan to wrap up the whole weekend in this one post instead of splitting it into eight.  :)

At the last minute, one couple had to back out of the weekend so we ended up with just four couples going.  It was about a 5-6 hour drive and, since most of us didn't get on the road until after lunch, we didn't arrive until dinner time Friday evening.  Chris and Allison had already been there for a few days and had grocery shopped for the weekend.  A delicious dinner of grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, and fancy rice was already prepared for us!  I didn't have my camera unpacked yet so the only pics I got that night were from my phone.  After eating the main course, we celebrated Darrin's new American citizenship (that he'd gotten just that morning!) with an AmeriCanadian cake.

After hearing about the questions he had to answer and the oath he had to take, Darrin just might be more American than the rest of us now.  I would've failed for sure.

Matt and I camped out in the same upstairs apartment that we stayed in last time.  You can see lots of pics of it and the rest of the farm in this post.  "Camped out" makes it sound like we may have been roughing it.  I assure you we were not.

Saturday morning started early for Matt, Chris, and Sarah as they headed out for a run.  They ran 5.5 miles on hilly gravel roads.  They can only be described as crazy.  I sat inside and stayed warm and cozy.  When they returned, Allison had baked oatmeal and bacon cooking.  (This is a recurring theme from the weekend - we played and lazed around and then Allison fed us delicious food.)  I'm still thinking about that bacon...it was so delicious!

After getting dressed, the boys headed out to a field to shoot skeet and us girls went to the barn to visit the alpacas and llamas.  At the farm, there are 8 female alpacas and 4 boys, and two llamas.  The llamas are the protector animals.  If a coyote or something tried to sneak in and attack the alpacas, the llamas would stomp all over them!  

 LLAMA

LLAMA

 ALPACA

ALPACA

The llamas are my favorite.  They love to nuzzle up close to you and put their nose on your cheek for some kisses.

We hung out with the female alpacas.  Because alpacas live for so long, Jack and Jan (Allison's folks and the farm owners) don't want anymore babies so there's no mingling between the two genders.  

I guess it gets lonely though.  We got to witness a little girl-on-girl alpaca action.  

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Pretty friends just hanging out in an alpaca pasture.  

After awhile, we hopped in the farm truck and met up with the guys down by the water.  The War Eagle Creek runs through the property and there are several flat spots where you can walk down and fish.  Or, in our case that morning, just take pictures.  Even with boots, boot warmers, and a pair of socks on, I could still tell that water was COLD!

 Allison, Sarah, Jenny, Me

Allison, Sarah, Jenny, Me

 Chris, Charlie, Darrin, Matt

Chris, Charlie, Darrin, Matt

Here are two comparison pics of me and Matt.  The one on the left is from our first trip in 2010, and the one on the right is from last weekend.  Do we look older and wiser now?  Or just heavier and more sleep deprived? 

We left the water to go back to where the boys had been shooting skeet.  Jack has what they call the "War Wagon" for skeet-shooting.  It's a big trailer that's fenced in and has cushioned benches for sitting when not shooting.  

The guys were kind (and patient) enough to show us girls how to hold the shotgun so we could all take a turn.  This was my first time ever doing something like this and it was a little harder than I thought!  I wasn't expected for such a kickback from the gun.  I think hitting just one clay is the only thing that could've made the weekend better.  I tried three times and missed every one!  I think I could've gotten it though with just a few more tries.

 Action shot!  See her shell casing flying?!

Action shot!  See her shell casing flying?!

 Check out the smoke from that barrel!

Check out the smoke from that barrel!

 Another shell flying!

Another shell flying!

 Allison's hair is flying from the kickback!

Allison's hair is flying from the kickback!

 Shell flying!  My timing was spot on!

Shell flying!  My timing was spot on!

Chris was the only one to hit his clay while us girls were out there.  He hit four in a row and then I climbed up in the wagon to push the trigger and messed him up.  Turns out I am not a skeet-shooting lucky charm.

Clays and beer.

We rigged up my camera with the timer for a group picture on the War Wagon.  Maybe I should frame this for Jack - I think this was the inaugural run for the wagon!

Did you ever ride in the back of a truck when you were little?  I feel like I did all the time, but I can't really remember why other than I wanted to.  Even on city streets.  Sometimes with my legs dangiling off the back.  We talked about how we all did that but our kids will probably never get to what with all the carseat and seatbelt regulations these days.  

Boys and their toys!  This ranger lives at the farm and is very handy for getting around the 300+ acres.

While Allison warmed up lunch (tacos and nachos!), a few of us stopped back by the barn to give the alpacas and llamas a snack.

Sometimes the alpacas get a little mad at each other and do some spitting.  Poor Darrin ended up in the middle of one of the crossfires and got a little spit on him  !He was a much better sport about it than I might've been; he just kept on feeding them.  

My camera and I went inside while the others went to visit the chickens.  They collected four pretty eggs that we had for breakfast the next morning.  

Is there anything better than boys in the kitchen cooking?  I don't think so.

After lunch, we grabbed some chairs and went down to a different part of the river to do some fishing.  Sadly, the fish weren't biting but we still had fun trying.  Matt and Chris built a fire since it was starting to get a little bit cooler.

My fisherman!  We were hopeful that he would be the one to reel in a fish, but alas, there wasn't even a nibble on his line.  

I think Sarah may have had enough with the three of us.  Or maybe she was about to sneeze?

This is much better!  Sure do love these girls.

Just when we got the fire really going, it was time to put it out.  We made sure every little piece of wood was soaked before leaving...no forest fires from us!

The boys piled into the truck and went to put the War Wagon back in the barn.  Us girls took the ranger and went to explore the cave on the property.  

At first glance, the cave my not look very big, but it has small tunnels in the corners that you could crawl through.  Jack and Jan had a spelunker come out and go through them and apparently they run the length of the whole crest above the cave.  You could not pay me enough money to go in one of those tunnels!  Sarah was the climber in the group and checked them out for us.  (I did climb up there on my first visit, though.)  

After leaving the cave, we went on a mission to find the cows.  Jenny was the designated gate opener every time we came up on one.  

We were just driving down the road when we came up on a bunch of white tailed deer!  I could barely grab my camera fast enough.  They ran across the road right in front of us and several of their friends were still hiding in the woods.  So cool!

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We passed the boys on our way to find the cows and had our picture taken.  

Finally, just past the house, we found the guys (actually, gals) we were looking for.  

We continued on to go see where the cows are weighed and the original well.  The cows didn't want us to go!  They ran after us for a little while.  

They evenutally stopped following us as we went on our way.  But we had to turn around and go back the same we came and...they were waiting for us.  A herd of big, black cows is not exactly what you want to see blocking your road!

Oh hey there, 140C.  Don't mind us, just passing through.  

As we approached the house, we could see that the boys were sitting outside enjoying a fire.  

For dinner that night, we had a great meal of steaks, baked potatoes, and salad.  The guys grilled the steaks outside and they were delicious! 

Matt made bananas foster for dessert and it was great, but would've been even better if we hadn't let our ice cream melt into a bowl of soup.  Oopsie.  

I didn't take any more pictures that night, but we had a fun evening of playing pool, watching sports, and working on the world's hardest puzzle.  

We reconvened the next morning for our last meal of the weekend together.  Allison made eggs and sausage and biscuits to go with the fruit and leftover baked oatmeal.  Once again, we stuffed ourselves silly.

We couldn't say goodbye and go our separate ways without one last group picture!

And since we were already in position and already had the timer and tripod set up, we took a few fun shots.  My camera was set up with a ten second timer to allow me to get into place, and then it would take four pictures in a row.  The pictures were quick, like 1-2-3-4, not like 1, pause, 2, pause, etc.  And the only way you could count them was to listen to the shutter since we weren't using the flash.  The instructions given for this first set of four was regular smiles for the first three, and then opened mouth smile on the last.  Click the picture below to see all four images in a row.

The last set was open mouth smiles for the first three and then a serious face for the last one.  Darrin and I failed miserably on the serious face!

And with that, we loaded up our cars and headed home.  Such a fun weekend!  Thank you to Jack and Jan for letting us stay on their awesome property, and to Chris and Allison for hosting us there!