In an attempt to surprise at least some of our kids, we decided to go dark. In other words, we weren't reaching out to them as much as usual. And by now you are thinking, why is this blog running so late? (Because everyone knows we're back in NH). Well I'll tell you! Apparently, when I named this particular post "Gone Dark", I had jinxed myself, because when I sat down to work on the post my laptop wouldn't turn on. It was -as my husband would so eloquently say - "deader than fried chicken".
Now, with my new laptop all reconfigured and "working well" - I can now tell you about the 5 stop hop on our way back to New Hampshire.
Stop #1: 1812 Brewery - Cumberland, MD (Harvest Host)
This was a fun stop for many reasons. The beer was great, the atmosphere was perfect, the food truck had delicious food, and we met a couple that was also there via Harvest Host and on their maiden voyage with their new camper. They are also contemplating going full time. Although we consider this our "Rookie Season", this couple had many questions and we were happy to help.
Stop #2: Seven Mountains Wine Cellars - Spring Mills, PA (Harvest Host)
Remember when I told you how my mom would "make an appearance" every so often? Well this was one of those moments. As you can see below, there is a picture of wine glasses painted with my team and mom's team right next to each other. I saw that and said "Hi Mom". We brought in salmon and crackers, visited with the staff and owner, and in general just had a great time.
Stop #3: Under the Moonlite Alpaca and Garlic Ranch (Harvest Host)
At the beginning of this post I told you that we wanted to surprise some of our kids...well at this point being around alpacas, and considering that my daughter, Crystal's "patronus" is a llama (a cousin to the alpaca) there was no way in hell that we could be parked here and not reach out. So... I caved - called my kid and told her our plan- thankfully she is good at keeping secrets.
Another exciting thing was a walk with Stella. Yeah, I know you can all see what's coming..... an escape attempt - but not really. Confused yet? So were we! While trying to take Stella for a walk, she managed to shoulder out of her harness, because she was freaked out by the alpacas. This time however, instead of having to cajole or bully her into the camper, she simply ran back to the door and sat on the step and waited to be let inside again. I couldn't freekin' believe it. I wish I could have gotten a picture, but I was afraid if I took the time, she would take off.
Being left stunned and assured she wanted nothing to do with the outdoors on this particular stop, we grabbed some wine and our cribbage board and hung out on the patio visiting with our hosts. It's a visit I won't soon forget.
Stop #4: Wright's Farm - Gardiner, NY (Harvest Host)
In an apple orchard in NY. Really? Is there anything more I can say about this? This stop included yet another couple on a maiden voyage with their camper. and a store that had more yummy goodness than I care to admit. But here are the highlights: Ribs, sausage, local whiskey and beer, wine, apple cider donuts and the list goes on and on. So very glad we stayed here and would highly recommend everyone a stop at this orchard/store that is the definition of "local", because it's now on it's 7th generation owner/operators. It doesn't get better than that!
Stop #5: Norbrook Farm Brewery - Colton, CT (Harvest Host)
Upon arrival, we were wildly amused by the sheep, especially the newborns. It was so fun to watch the little ones trying to keep up. As far as the brewery goes, it was one of the better ones we've been to. They had a great selection of beers, and a food truck that was fantastic. The pumpkin beer was to die for. It was one of those places that, if we lived in the area it would be "our bar".
What did we learn from this portion of our adventure? We learned that there is in fact a frost line and our camper felt each and every pothole- why?- because there is no avoiding them. We also learned that in certain circumstances keeping a secret is near to impossible. Even more important than the lessons we learned, was the promise we kept. We promised our kids and grandkids that we would be back this spring/summer, and I am so glad we did. So far it's been a great visit. I look forward to telling you all about it.... In the meantime...Be Well, Be Safe and Happy Travels!