Friday, September 11, 2015

36 Hours in Connecticut: Part 2

So yesterday I mentioned that we did something super cool and I'm so excited to share it!

A few weeks ago, H posted a photo of herself pressing cheeks with a llama! She told me that there was a woman in Connecticut with a farm who breeds llamas and takes groups on hikes with the llamas. So, when we were planning our little impromptu CT weekend together, we decided to try and do another hike. Luckily for us, AJ had some slots for us!
Again, the weather gods smiled down on us and gave us blue skies, sunshine, and low-humidity weather.
ROWANWOOD FARMS LLAMA HIKE
AJ, the woman who owns the farm, is so amazing. She cares deeply about the animals and is so knowledgeable. She doesn't just hand over a llama and leave. She talks you through safety, how to make the llamas comfortable, fun facts about llamas, and as you're hiking, she points out cool features of the forest. It's $40 to go on a hike and she only goes out if there are at least two people going because llamas are herd animals; no solo hikes.
The llamas travel in this little bus, which I seriously love. It was so cute to see the silhouettes of their heads in the windows.
After an overview, a quick signing of some paperwork, and payment, the llamas are handed out. AJ makes sure that you're comfortable with your llama and that the llama is comfortable with you. She mentioned that sometimes, llamas just don't like certain people. I was nervous, but Moon seemed to be pretty happy with me. She was a sweetheart and tolerated a lot from me; I was v. affectionate, maybe too affectionate.
I took almost two hundred photos because these guys were so cute.
After explaining to us that the llamas shouldn't eat anything but grass, that they have three stomachs, that their poop doesn't smell (which has to do with the three stomachs), that they need monthly shots because they're not native to North America and are susceptible to a certain parasite, and that they will protect their humans to the death, we were off into the forest.
Holly's llama, Lloo-Lloo, took a liking to me too. I think I was the perfect height to be her ideal scratching post. She has a little skin problem that really only affects her in the summer so she was a little itchy. She kept rubbing her face on our shoulders and arms and backs. It was so cute.
After our walk, the llamas took dust baths, which is their way of cleaning their fur since it's pretty water resistant.
This was definitely one of the most fun exercise-related activities I've ever done. If I could play with llamas every time I went hiking, I'd be so skinny. It was also really educational. I learned how affectionate and lovely these animals are. Their fur is super soft and it makes incredibly soft (and hypoallergenic) yarn, and they have feet that are half hoof-like and half dog paw-like. They are v. emotional animals and the male llama will court the female using concerted effort and if he is rejected, he will get sad and won't reproduce for a year. Llamas don't sweat so you have to be careful about keeping them cool (their nostrils will flare rapidly to help them cool off). And, they only breathe through their noses so be careful not to block their airways! Their harnesses sit pretty close to their eyes to ensure that they don't choke off their noses.
A video posted by ra¢h πŸ’‹ (@racheerachh) on
McLAUGHLIN VINEYARDS
The llama hike meets at the McLaughlin Vineyards so we decided to treat ourselves to a tasting after our hike.
For $8, you get to taste five different wines. The total volume was probably equal to a generous glass and a half of wine so definitely worth it. For an extra $2, you could keep the adorable little glass.
The wines were really delicious and we actually each left with a bottle of the chardonnay. My favorite feature, though, is Mischa who is an adorable little fluffball of a pooch.
FOUNDRY KITCHEN & TAVERN
Since hiking burns a lot of calories, we were pretty famished and immediately ran to get some lunch at the Foundry.
If you order a brunch entree, you can get $3 cocktails so H started with a bloody mary and I opted for a mimosa.
We were feeling a little gluttonous so we ordered three dishes to share. We had the duck eggs benedict (which was chicken eggs with duck breast) and it was so good. The hollandaise was super citrusy and bright and the pieces of duck were so decadent and crisp.
We also got fish tacos, which were amazing. Seriously piled full of crispy breaded fish, avocado, mango and jalapeno salsa, and sweet tomatoes. The yucca fries were incredibly fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside and they made me want to learn how to cook with yucca.
We also got lobster scrambled eggs which were insanely packed with lobster. There was a creamy lobstery sauce all over the top and the pieces of lobster meat were giant and perfectly cooked.
After brunch (which stuffed us to the brim), H and I said our goodbyes and I hopped in my car to drive home. It was a super fun weekend and I can't wait to do it again!
xoxo.

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