Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ardenwood Historic Farm

So what with having a mental breakdown during our last winter vacation, I did not manage to do much that was fun. I got sick over and over thanks to all the stress (three times in a month!), and when I was not sick, I was busy either crying, wanting to cry or recovering from crying. I saw basically none of our friends from home, either not making plans or cancelling the ones we had made because I just wasn't up to it. I only saw B's family once, and R did not even get to meet her cousins on that side this trip (sorry, darling :( ).
R's first woodpile (something else Singapore doesn't have)
One of the few fun things I did manage to do was to take R to Ardenwood Farm in Fremont. Singapore being an incredibly dense city-state of 5 million people means that R's exposure to the natural world is relatively limited. While we do take her hiking fairly regularly, and she's seen various animals in the wild, including monkeys multiple times, otters, and orangutans, she'd never been to a farm or within her memory seen a cow, sheep, goat or any of the other traditional farm animals. So I particularly wanted to take her to Ardenwood, which is a working farm (in the historic style, which is really what people think of when they think of farming: agribusiness is not really how I want to introduce the food chain to R).
R loved feeding the animals
Ardenwood is a great place to take kids. R got to run around outside, see monarch butterflies (which overwinter there), and interact with all sorts of animals, including pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and rabbits. She even got to feed many of them with the help of some very friendly rangers. If we lived nearby I would go all the time: there is even a working traditional blacksmith forge and a horse-drawn train! (sadly neither open during the winter).
Learning about chickens with the ranger, who was awesome
Feeding the calf
R's favorite animals? The rabbits (yes! my work is done)
 We went with Jenna of That Wife and her two young children. Jenna is a great photographer, so maybe not surprisingly her son is also very interested in cameras and photography. I lent him my camera (since unlike Jenna I just use a cheapo point-and-shoot that's already had a hard life) and he had fun taking some photos. I thought they were pretty good!
Me and R
Self portrait
R looking for havoc to cause, per usual
His sister

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