The farm life.
So idyllic, peaceful and close to nature.
All these things being so, we decided to head up to Wisconsin to stay at a real (sortof) farm which operates as a bed and breakfast. I found this farm in my Bed and Breakfast cookbook and was excited when it said "family friendly". We were scheduled to stay in a one bedroom cottage starting on the last day of school.
This place truly was beautiful. The arched tree driveway was just breathtaking and the animals were picturesque in their farm setting.
I think the only problem was the size of the cottage, us and perhaps the shooting of wildlife that coincided with our visit.
It started with fear. Lots of fear. Anna is afraid of anything that flies. So, she was terrified to be outside without a grownup right next to her. Claire is afraid of getting dirty. So, she wouldn't go very far off the clean(ish) paths. Katherine is afraid to not be with her Daddy. So, she stuck to him like super glue.
As the girls slowly overcame their fears, the trip seemed to be getting better. But, nighttime was long and painful and Anna didn't finally fall asleep until around midnight. Matt & I stayed up playing cards very very quietly just a few feet from where the girls were trying to sleep.
The second day (of 3 planned) was full of very cranky kids. We had crying, fighting, hitting, and whining. When we had had enough of it all, we took the kids down to the "town" to look around. The town is about 2 blocks by 2 blocks and is, um, rustic. We saw lots of Amish people and horses which was exciting and stopped in a little antique shop, an Organic Valley shop and the "farmer's market". This market consisted of some baked goods being sold off the back of an Amish buggie and somebody's extra plants for sale.
The town was the reality behind the pictures you see. That old rugged face, the beat up cars, the crusty Stop-n-Shop - the pictures are amazing but the reality is a bit boring and stinky.
The farm itself is basically a safe haven for abandoned animals. They have miniature donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens, a pot belly pig, bunnies, dogs, cats and geese. The owner said she doesn't kill anything and takes in animals that others can't keep. As she and I were talking I thought to mention the skunk we had seen earlier that day. It had been sleeping under our car and came out when we left to go to town. When we got home we had discovered it next to the back porch. When I mentioned it to the owner she said it would have to be "taken care of" to avoid an infestation and perhaps rabies. We said okay and moved all the kids over to the other side of the farm (Did I mention the farm owners had 3 kids the same ages as ours?).
10 minutes later a shot rings out.
5 more minutes - the stink begins to drift over.
A few more minutes and we hear another shot.
We think, oh good, no more worrying about this skunk. We can sleep easy tonight.
Except we can't. Upon entering the cottage a few minutes later we realize the skunk must have sprayed under the cottage and the smell has infiltrated the entire place. And all our stuff.
It was bad.
We had to leave pretty much right away to make the 5 hour drive home in our new skunk-mobile. The kids were so disappointed. They were having so much fun playing with the kids who lived there and we were just beginning to feel that relaxed vacation feeling. We were not prepared for a long, painful drive home.
The drive went okay though. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and apologized profusely to anyone who looked at us strangely. Could be our cranky kids... Could be the smell of us all!
So begins our summer break. We are hoping for better things next month when we travel to a cabin in Kansas. But, we are feeling a little wary. I'm thinking resort or cruise, babysitting provided - that kind of trip next.