Au Naturale Eye Essentials Kit

What I Learned on the Farm

I have had the chance in my life to visit Europe and travel from coast to coast exploring beautiful cities and states across the US. Our trip last week to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, though, was quite possibly the best vacation I have ever had.

I've been to Lancaster a few times before. We also took the boys briefly on our way back from Washington a couple summers back. I've always loved the Lancaster area and knew the boys would too. I am NOT a back to nature, camping kind of girl.  I knew I wanted to do something different than our usual suite type of hotel, but I didn't want to miss things like air conditioning and a comfortable bathroom.

A few months back, I was reading about farm stays and was intrigued.  I was doing some research online and found Landis Farm in Manheim, PA. The website made the place sound really fun, especially for the kids. They could pet goats and rabbits, collect eggs each morning, go fishing, etc.

I admit, though, that I wasn't 100% sure I was making the right decision.  Being more than a couple miles from Wegmans, Target, and everything else left me a little antsy.  All of my worries left me the moment we turned down little Gochlan Road to reach Landis Farm.

First of all, I was struck by the beauty and charm of the main house and guest house. We stayed in the guest house, which was built in 1760 and retained all of its original charm yet had a modern kitchen, bathroom, satellite television (which we didn't use), and air conditioning. The house was immaculate and was just full of character.

We really enjoyed meeting Earl and Evelyn Landis, farm owners.  When we arrived, Evelyn was headed to the farmers market to stock our fridge with fresh fruits. There were several cereals, tea, coffee, milk, juice, and lots of things stocked for us to have at breakfast time.  There was also a bowl of brown eggs from the farm chickens in the fridge.  Earl told us all about the history of the farm and main house (also built in the 1760s). He even took the boys for a little "train" ride behind his tractor (OK, I went on the ride, too!):

I'll be telling you about the great things we saw and neat places we visited this week as well.  Today I just wanted to talk about the farm. I learned so much--about the importance of enjoying the crickets chirping and watching the boys chase fireflies.  The lawn was lit up with fireflies every night--something we don't see here regularly. I enjoyed unplugging for a while--not being attached to Twitter or Facebook or the blog....or to texts or to anything work-related. The simple joy of sitting with my boys in the massive tire swing was something I will forever treasure.  I've already taken great steps over the past couple years to spend less time "connected" and "plugged in" -- closing my skin care business was the best example, as it was truly the best decision for my family and continues to be.

Sitting outside at night on the porch rockers with Tom, some local cheese from a dairy, and wine was another. I think remembering to enjoy that quiet time with my husband is just as important. I got to know the Landis's two pygmy goats, Lucy and Ethel, visited with some friendly cows, pet the bunnies, and watched the boys gather fresh eggs each morning.  They loved to take their eggs to Evelyn at the main house:

This trip was relaxing, yet busy at the same time.  Our days were filled exploring, visiting attractions, riding an old steam train, horse & buggy, shopping, and more.  I'll be back tomorrow to talk to you about my favorite town visited on the trip, Lititz, PA.