Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Destination: Woodstock

 The road trip that Amanda and I took in September led us to Woodstock, New York...

The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, in particular.

Claudia, you were spot on when you said this looked just like the book shop in Woodstock (the Golden Notebook)! I can't believe we were only 20 minutes away from you, but since you were working in Hartford that weekend a get together would never have worked. We will definitely plan to met up in the spring or summer when we go back for another visit!

Apparently Amanda has wanted to visit this Animal Sanctuary for years, so when she asked (on a Thursday in September) if we could go on a road trip (that Saturday) I said, "Heck, yeah!" It meant an almost 4 hour drive - each way - so we got off to a very early start that Saturday morning!

The (unofficial) greeter was this sweet Tiger cat, who led us from the parking lot to the sanctuary.

 Now I know you are not supposed to have favorites, but Diane, a former pack mule from the Grand Canyon, stole our hearts.

Diane bonded with Amanda, following her around...

... and even waiting for us outside the guest center door while we used the rest room.

This picture says it all.

Amanda even snapped a photo of me with Diane while we were in the barn.
(Look how old school I am. Everyone else was taking photos with their Smart phones, 
which I don't have, so I've got my little Canon Power Shot clutched in my hand!)

The 'farewell, I will see you in the spring' photos.

I loved this "group shot" of Amanda with Diane, Tim Turkey and one of the many goats.
In the background you can see Tim's mate resting as well as some pigs in their pen.

Tim was quite a character. He also followed us around...

(Don't you love the goat on the bench under the umbrella in the background?)

Speaking of goats...
I swear every animal at this sanctuary actually smiles! I mean human-like smiles!
They are all rescues who knew a hard life before coming to the sanctuary. The fact that they are now all loved and respected and kept safe, shows in their beautiful faces.

There were so many different breeds of goats.

All so beautiful! I love the guy on the top left, giving me a toothy grin!

Amanda said this picture reminds her so much of her strip to Switzerland, the landscape and the animals. Again, would you look at the expression of pure bliss on this sweet guy's face?

Did you know that pigs also smile? Just LOOK at this happy snout!

And this guy was in 7th heaven, sunning himself and getting a belly rub from Amanda.

Just like with the goats, there were so, so many different breeds of pigs! Some had upright ears, others had floppy ears. Some had the stereotypical curly-Q tails, others had straight tails. The one thing they had in common is that they were all so beautiful!

This guy had a cute, non-symmetrical smile. His left lip curled up more than the right.

Beautiful, gentle sheep.

One of Amanda's favorite animals are cows. Here she is visiting with one of the beautiful bovines at the sanctuary.

What a handsome couple!

We were very surprised to find a tree full of pigeons above the duck pond area. We never get pigeons in our yard, yet there are tons in our little town center, as well as in every major city I've ever been in. So these birds being in the country looked so out of place to me!

There were also the domestic friends to be made, like this adorable little bob-tailed cat.

And dogs? Well, dogs absolutely love Amanda (and the feeling is mutual!). This little guy couldn't get enough of her in the guest center.

And this older fellow was also loving the attention he was getting from her.

This beautiful mosaic hangs outside of 'Diane's' barn.
I highly recommend visiting this beautiful sanctuary in Woodstock. It's a wonderful day or weekend trip! And take one of the guided tours. They are so informative. Oh - and the very reasonable entrance fee is tax deductible. How many places can you visit where your money goes to a great cause and you get to interact with animals all day long? It's definitely a win-win situation!

After leaving the sanctuary, we made a quick stop in Woodstock center. We were starving...

...and the Animal Sanctuary had recommended The Garden Cafe so that's where we headed. It did NOT disappoint. We were so hungry by that point that I completely forgot to take a photo of our meals, which were beautiful as well as delicious!

After eating and visiting the Woodstock book store, we got some ice cream to go and enjoyed strolling around...

... before heading back home. It was already late afternoon and we had an almost 4 hour ride ahead of us, and since I wanted to be on the highway before dark we bid farewell to Woodstock, knowing that this would not be our last visit.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!



Melanie said...

Oh, Donna, how I loved this post! I was smiling at every picture from the animal sanctuary. I would love to visit a place like that; we don't have one anywhere near us. What a beautiful place for all those lovely creatures to be for the rest of their lives. Those goats are so darn cute, I would've wanted to take them home with me! Your daughter, Amanda is beautiful. :-)

Donna said...

This post was so delightful! It was like I was along for the trip, LOL! And you are right, the animals are all smiling!

Elaine said...

What a great road trip I can tell your daughter had a great time by the smile on her face in every photo.

Those animals look so happy! Glad they are safe and well cared for. And living the carefree life in the country.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

LOVED this post...half awake and cracking up at goats smiling at me in the morning ; what a nice way to start the day! :)

Betty said...

What a wonderful trip to go on and it looks like you all had fun. I will have to mention the place to my Daughter because she and my granddaughter loves animals and travel.

On a Wing and a Prayer said...

I wish I could have been there with you! Loved loved this post..and all the smiling animals...thanks so much for sharring!

Hcolton said...

Just goes to show all animals like a little attention and love!

Sandy said...

Donna what a wonderful day trip! Thanks for taking us along. I loved every animal there and you got some great pictures with your Canon Powershot! I love cows too! Heck I love all animals. I think they can sense that we respect them and that's why they are drawn to certain people. Diane looks like an old girl. That's so cute that she waited for you. Miss my visits here. Now that I'm retired I have more time to visit folks.

Andrea said...

Donna, what a fun FUN trip you allowed all of us to take with you. Thank you so much for letting us tag along!!

Love all the animal pics. Getting kisses all day would have been right up my alley too. :-)

Love~ Andrea

Claudia said...

The animals all look so happy. Who says animals don't smile? We haven't visited the Sanctuary yet, but we will now that I've seen your pics. Don tells me Woodstock is about 35 minutes away rather than 20 - but who cares? Around here that's a hop, skip and a jump!


Suz said...

I would never leave

Sweet Auburn Life said...

Sounds like you had a super day Donna! Some of those photos are just magic. I totally agree you can see just how content these animals are now from their little faces. What a great job the sanctuary are doing!