This weekend, tens of thousands of people will be descending on the snowy little ski town of Park City Utah, to schmooze, deal, gawk and watch hours of movies in dark theaters at the Sundance Film Festival. I’ve been lucky enough to attend more than once, and whenever I come home I want to add a little mountain cabin style to home — perhaps a Navajo rug or maybe something sheepskin. This year I’m observing from afar, but I have my eye on these antler roasters from Rustic Roasters. Made by Steven Wymer out of either reclaimed branches or naturally shed antlers, they are selected, then lovingly shaped and stained, cured and crafted. Handles are colored and coated with non-synthetic finishes and the toasting rods are food-grade stainless steel. They’ll bring your s’mores to the next level — even if they’re being made on the back of your deck in a suburban firepit. $129 for a set of four. See more at rusticroasters.com.
When one thinks of Maui, usually visions of poetic sunsets, leaping whales and surfers with washboard abs come to mind. None of those are wrong, but what you might not realize is that there is a burgeoning farm-to-table movement happening on the paradise isle, which makes sense since getting stuff there is not exactly easy. We snuck in a pre-holiday season vacation thanks to the wonders of airmiles, and made a stop by the Surfing Goat Dairy. Found on the hills of Halekala, otherwise known as Upcountry, it’s down the road from a vodka distillery and up the road from a lavender farm. Founded about 12 years ago by two German expats, (he a software exec, she a school teacher) they decided to buy a small goat farm and turn it into an organic dairy is that is a gourmand’s dream. One hundred percent sustainable, it now raises Saanen, Alpine and La Mancha goats, and from their milk they make the most delicious cheeses. If you’ve never had the opportunity to pet a kid goat, you are missing out. They are friendly, soft and eager to have the back of their ears rubbed. They’ll also try to eat anything they can get their tongues on, so you do have to be careful. We signed up for a $15 tour and was shown around dairy and farm. Our favorite part was getting a turn to milk the goat moms for ourselves. Though they have machine pumps — which they swear are gentler and kinder than a human touch — we were each allowed to give a “squeeze” and aim for the bucket. The goats seemed grateful.
If you are in Maui, be sure to visit Surfing Goat Dairy. The best time to show up is around 2pm so you’ll be there for the afternoon milking. If you’re really interested in learning more about sustainable, organic goat farming, ask about their volunteer program. A summer in Maui getting close to some goats while perfecting your cheese making skills? Let the fantasies begin. And for those wishing to sample the goods without the jet lag, consider a gift basket for the holiday season.
For more information on the Surfing Goat Dairy, visit their site.
In case you haven’t noticed, one of our favorite pastimes is planning vacations. We secretly have as much fun thinking about where we can go and where we will sleep as actually going to them. In our spare time, we’re just as likely to spend our downtime surfing through sites like Airbnb, Home Away or Boutique-Homes.com as we are to watch a TV show. Well, there’s a new site to add to this list that is our kind of heaven: Kid & Coe is dedicated to beautiful spaces for rent that are specifically designed for families. Just because you’re traveling with a little one doesn’t mean your aesthetic sensibilities have to be left behind! All homes featured on the site are kid friendly, which means that not only do many come with toys or playrooms, but also you don’t have to fret about things being too fragile for energetic young guests. Here’s how it works. First, choose your destination from their menu of fabu places. Want to come visit us in New York City or upstate? There’s plenty to look at. But we might head to Coswalds for a cozy English countryside getaway (above). Or perhaps to a stone cottage in the South of France (below).
Once you find a place you like, use the site to contact the owner and check availability. Note: It’s not to early to start planning for next year! Many of the featured homes aren’t available until spring or summer 2014. Regardless, you can’t help but want to look through the offerings at Kid & Coe and dream.
Let us know if you book a home from them! We’d love to hear your review here. We’ll be sure to do the same.
It’s no secret that we have a love for mini mobile homes. We often fantasize about packing it all in and having a grand road trip across this great country (and maybe our northern-ly neighbor’s as well) with little more than a car, some good music, and of course, a gorgeously designed camper trailer (a Cricket will do). Since that is not exactly possible, we love the idea of renting one, even if just for night or two, to get a feel for the roaming life. This is why our hearts instantly sang when we saw Helene Cornell, who is part of the American Express #PassionProject. Helene renovates vintage trailers and then turns them into groovy accommodations available by airbnb.com. Helene has to adorable ‘canned hams’ from the late 50′s, and the third is a shiny aluminum twenty foot Airstream from the 70′s. All lovingly restored and are parked on her property in San Diego, CA.
Check out the Amex Video about Helene below. It might just inspired your own #passionproject.
A month or so ago on a rainy day Upstate, we went exploring down Route 9. There was not much to see or do in such miserable weather, so we stopped by the Golden Harvest Farm for a cider donut and a cup of coffee. We saw a sign that said “distillery tour” pointing towards a nondescript metal building and decided to check it out. We walked into a huge warehouse filled to the ceiling with stacked oak barrels. We had stumbled upon Harvest Spirits, home to some of the finest Apple Jack and apple vodka this side of Mississippi. Founder David Grout (who bares no resemblance to farmer Bean from Fantastic Mr. Fox, btw) is a former graphic designer whose family has owned the large apple orchard for three generations. You can see his artistic side on the front of each barrel, each which depicts a quirky illustration and turns the place into a vertical art gallery. There was a small bar serving up samples of various brews for $1 each. After tasting a little Apple Jack (an alcohol made from distilled cider), rare pear Brandy and apple vodka, we decided to bring a few bottles home for friends. The sips warmed us up in way that coffee never could.
You can taste Harvest Spirit‘s concoctions yourself if you happen to in the Albany-Catskill area on a weekend, or you could order a bottle online and have it shipped to you. To learn more about the distillery, check out this informative video.