Sunday, June 20, 2010

three cheers for the goats.

J and I decided to take a much needed vacay over Memorial Day Weekend this year. As our first "official" vacation together, I decided to consult Sunset Magazine's opinion on where to spend our time. Being a loyal subscriber for 2 years now, it's time I used their services :)

We decided to make San Luis Obispo our home base. One would think we would have spent our weekend wine tasting, but no we zoomed past the wineries in search of true white gold - goats milk.  Yes, it's true - as we pulled up into the driveway of Templeton's Happy Acres Family Farm I felt a twinge of what I can only describe as embarrassment; and I turned to J for reassurance. "Wait, is this the kind of thing that families are supposed to do together? We must be the strangest couple ever!! Look at all of the little kids..." He smiled his trademark patient smile and patted me on the shoulder - "We'll have a great time, M." And then I remembered the promise of fresh goat cheese that we'd get to make and take home. Yep, we will have a great time.

                                          (how can you say no to that face??)

In short, the tour was a BLAST. We (or I, rather - J is less self-conscious than I am) were relieved when we walked over to the gathering group, where families and couples like us stood browsing various goat milk products in the farm store. Stephanie, owner and tour guide extraordinaire took us on the educational adventure of a lifetime - her sheer energy testimony enough to the fact that she loves what she does. Her goats all have names and personalities. We got to learn how to milk (J and I proudly won the milking competition), we took a tour of the farm which includes not only goats but Alpacas, chickens, and some miniature ponies, we got to flavor and take home our own fresh (not to mention organic) goat cheese, oh and then we topped off our tour with some freshly-churned strawberry goat-milk ice cream, which had a refreshing taste and a texture somewhere between sorbet and frozen yogurt.  Fun, delish, educational, a place we'll definitely come back and tour again when we have small-children in tow (a crazy thought).

                                         (the unveiling of our goat cheese)

We spent the rest of our weekend frequenting local SLO restaurants (Big Sky Cafe remains my favorite), making our mark in bubble-gum alley,  tasting at a microbrewery and taking an ocean kayaking tour which led us through sea-caves and introduced us to some new friends.

As far as our adventures in dairying go, I'm sure the next time we're driving up 101 to visit my family, we'll stop in to say hello and to load up on our new favorite goat-milk products.

<3 Meg
                       (we're the tandem kayak in the middle)              

(our contribution to bubblegum alley)

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