I told the 10 year old for the next 5 days we could go on mini adventures and asked if there were any special places she would like to go. She emailed she would "REALLY REALLY" like to go to:
VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) in Quechee, Vermont
Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Jct., Vermont
Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont
Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, Vermont
My mother took my daughters to Billings when they were in grade school. I decided to repeat history. My granddaughter is about the same age as her mama and Auntie were when they visited the Farm. Time really does fly.
We visited on May Day. I had plans to celebrate May Day with a little May Pole dancing in Wilton but this was also grand opening day for the season at Billings. Woodstock is closer and Vermont's oldest yarn shop Whipple Tree is near by.
We stopped at Timber Village Antique Mall in Quechee, VT to look for vintage buttons only to be told our favorite button vendor left. BGITWWW said she enjoyed looking at all the antique things for kids. She finds it interesting to see what they wore for clothes and played with (even though some of the old dolls looked scarey).
I told her when I was her age before all those buildings were built it was a beautiful field and one of the best Fairs was held there every summer; The Quechee Fair!!! AND my parents, her great grandparents were volunteer workers at the food tables that sold the famous waffle ice cream sandwich. They were kept in huge freezer chest! Why they aren't still made today is an unsolved mystery and a crying shame. Those waffles were deep pocketed and crunchy and the ice cream was sweet and smooth.
We were hungry so walked over to the Quechee Diner. Sadly, it was closed for repair so we went to a restaurant nearby. I forget the name at the moment (it's on my bank statement though) and it had the worse service and food I have had to pay for in years! Not able to eat it for lunch because it was still frozen in the center the waitress said OH SORRY, I'll get containers and you can reheat them at home. $38.00 for frozen chicken fingers, a frozen hot dog, cold coffee and cold hot chocolate! (YES!!) No manager on the premises.
However, as we were walking down the stairs we stepped aside for a group of Avon scented silver haired ladies and one asked how's the food? I smiled when they turned and walked out the door before we did.Back on Route 4 we soon found our way to Billings. I learned it is a blink away from The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. I had always thought Billings was a quaint little Vermont farm with a few barn animals. Now decades later I know the significance of Mom's "I took the girls to Billings Farm." Sorry mom!
We parked, strolled until we found our way to The Visitor's Center. We bought our tickets, and with the map and free ice cream tickets set off on our mini adventure.
It was a step back in time when we took the Frederick Billings and the Farm House guided tour. BGITWWW was very interested and asked questions and later spoke up with confidence when she was asked questions about the history of this "working farm"! I was very proud of her and happy that she was enjoying her time there.
Next, we took our map and toured on our own. The chicken barn had the cutest fluffiest plump peeps I have ever seen! The cow barn was full of very impressive Jersey cows and a particularly adorable "Cow Eyed" calf ! We checked out the Milk Room too.
Then we came upon the draft horses! BGITWWW was in awe of the white Percheron horses, Jim and Joe and the black Percherons, Lynne and Sue. It was feeding time for them. She would've if she could've kept them company all day and into the night.
Jim & Joe and BGITWWW
Being a knitter I wanted to see the Southdown sheep. They were not in the pasture but we spotted a sign on a door "Sheep" or something like that so we took a peek in and there they were. One was quite the ham when it came to taking his picture.
The lambs were quite curious when we whispered hello to them.
The sun popped out from beind the clouds so we walked to the Dairy Bar. We enjoyed our free cup of very delicious ice cream as we sat on a bench soaking up the sun!
Our last stop was the gift shop to get little gifts for her parents. She chose roving wool from their own Southdown ewes for her crafty mom and dad got a cob of dried corn ready for popping and candy!
Checking out I spotted something shiney on the counter. It was a silver horse shoe! We were told it was just delivered and belonged to Sue, the black Percheron and they (the shoes) don't come around to the gift shop very often. I told BGITWWW it was luck that we happend to be there and I could use another lucky horse shoe. She agreed saying it was very pretty and we had perfect timing!!
I surprised BGITWWW with a trip to the cinema to watch Sir Kenneth Branagh's CINDERELLA. The surprise was on both of us. We had our own private viewing because we were the only two in the theatre!
I have been researching front entrance ideas for a home makeover so it wasn't odd that I noticed the urns at the entrance to Cinderella's parent's house; one stood straight while the other was slightly askew. Tsk!
The BGITWWW said she did not hear the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo song. Neither did I, so whatever version was sung we didn't recognize it. I told her we will have to watch it when it becomes available to buy or rent. Seriously! There are some things you should not ever take artistic liberties with!!
Her mother asked
How was the movie?BGITWWW replied
Uhh...well.... "we" got a little emotional, but the movie was G R E A T!
I would not have had these educational, inspiring and wonderful mini adventures had it not been for the BGITWWW. As Ella would say "Have courage and be kind"!