I made it back to Farm Sanctuary this weekend, and it was just as amazing (though sadly much shorter) as my time there in August. We left early on Saturday morning and arrived around 12:45. We enjoyed some hot cider and some snacks (including the amazing peanut butter brownies that they had served in August) as we waited for farm time to begin. We started in the cow pasture, where Meg was not as happy to see us as she had been in August. We moved on to some of the bigger cows instead. Next we got to meet Ari, one of the new additions to the farm. That little guy can moo! He is absolutely adorable, and Aimee is featured once again on the website as she was captured having a moment with him. After a visit to the sheep barn, it was time to feed the turkeys!
The Thanksgiving event is truly a special one. Low tables are set up with platters of lettuce, cranberries, and pumpkin pie filling. The turkeys are let out of the barn and it is their chance to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast. They were unsure about approaching the tables, so the kids stepped in and brought the platters to them. Once they did so, they were no longer shy about eating. I got the chance to feed a couple of them some pumpkin pie once the crowd died down. It was wonderful to see turkeys being fed instead of the other way around.
We headed to the pig barn next. The pigs were agitated and noisy, and we didn't really get to get close to them. It turns out someone had thrown a pumpkin into the barn, and when it was taken away, they became upset. They had planned to feed the pigs the pumpkins at 3:45, but apparently someone got too eager. They ended up feeding them a half hour early, since they were so upset. And so guests threw pumpkins into the pen, onto the cement so they would open, and the pigs went to town! They chomped away, often carrying huge pieces in their mouths as they trotted around the pen. It was so cute!
After the pig feeding, we headed to our hotel to change for dinner. We arrived at the Harbor Hotel (not our hotel - maybe next year!) in time for appetizers. There were curry stuffed potatoes, which where okay, and a crostini with tomatoes and fava bean puree which was out of this world. We also snacked on veggies and dressing, plus some vegan cheeses that were quite delicious.
We snagged seats at one of the reserved tables, since Aimee is a Hilda Club member. We put our things down and then went to the bar to get some wine. When we came back, there was a piece of paper on my chair. I didn't think much of it, and put it on the seat next to mine. Turns out it belonged to Gene - his notes for his speech. Yes, I sat right next to him during dinner (and I guess kind of took his seat, though my stuff was there)! I actually talked more to his girlfriend, Suzanne, however, who was seated next to Aimee; she is so nice! And yes, we did offer to move so they could sit together, but they didn't seem to care that they were separated.
After salad and some delicious squash soup, dinner was ready. It was buffet style, and there were several dishes to choose from - a cabbage and nut salad, wild rice, green beans with bread crumbs, mashed potatoes, and Tofurkey with cranberry sauce and gravy. I took a little bit of everything. Everything was wonderful, though I'm not a huge fan of Tofurkey; I don't love the fake meats. Dessert was an amazing pumpkin cheesecake, but sadly, I was so full I could only eat half. I honestly can't remember the last time I was that full after a meal!
This morning we headed to Ithaca for breakfast. We decided to try Waffle Frolic downtown, which offers vegan waffles. You then choose your toppings; I went with banana, almond butter, and walnuts. The waffle went perfectly with a soy pumpkin spice latte. It was a good breakfast choice! We stopped at Green Star Co-op on our way home to pick up a few groceries. I also ordered a vegan Reuben sandwich for the road. It was delicious even two hours later when I was hungry enough to eat it.
It was a wonderful weekend! Aimee and I are already planning our next trip out there for the Hoedown in August; we're thinking of taking an extra day and doing some wine tasting. Sadly, August seems far away right now. Anyway, it was worth the six hour trip in one weekend. Normally, I would hate doing that much driving in a two day period, but for Farm Sanctuary, it's totally worth it. :)