Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ruminants on Retreat

Last weekend was my annual getaway with two of my quilting buddies. In previous years you've seen lakeside happy hour shots because we visited Sandi's lakehouse in the interior of B.C. Last fall, Rossie purchased a house back in her home town on the west coast of Vancouver Island so we went there for 5 days of sewing, eating, drinking, shopping and general relaxing.  This break has become so important to me each year as it is one retreat I don't organize, manage or plan in advance other than writing the dates on the family calendar. It truly is rejuvenating to take 5 days off of family life and I am thankful for my accommodating husband and two teenagers who support my creativity.

Aside from the usual quilting retreat stuff (chocolate, wine, potato chips, cheese & crackers) we did something that I'm quite sure no one else has done on a retreat: we visited a water buffalo farm! Seriously! J & R are old friends of Rossie's and they have a herd of 24 of these quirky animals. They're breeding them, but the focus is on milk production to sell to local organic cheese producers for buffalo mozzarella.

here is one of the girls in the dairy

J explained how nervous the animals are of new people and told us the history of building this herd and getting them used to being handled and milked. They don't produce as much  milk as regular dairy cows, but apparently the milk is lower in fat and lasts much longer before spoiling. No, we didn't taste it (not sure I would have unless it was steamed with 2 shots of quality espresso mixed in). She's named every animal and it's obvious how much they mean to her - not everyone could kiss a water buffalo on the forehead, but she does!

nice hairdo, eh?

the business 

maybe she was trying to tell me something...

camera shy

The farm is so beautiful and just as we were leaving, the sun peeked through and we caught a glimpse of the surrounding mountains. In addition to the dairy, they also keep a gorgeous flower and food garden beside the farmhouse.



That wasn't the end of our farm animal visits. Another day we drove to the famous village of Coombs where you'll find the quirky Goats on the Roof market with delicious baking, culinary delights from around the world and massive ice cream cones. A visit to the island is not complete without a visit to Coombs!

it was pouring rain, not snowing!

I didn't take my DSLR along, so these pics are from my iphone. Not the usual quality I like to share here, but I thought you'd find the water buffalo shots fun! I'll be back soon to show you some of the stuff we worked on.

I was without wifi while away, so I completely missed out on the Bloggers Quilt Festival voting. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who nominated Ayumi's baby quilt so that it made it into the Viewer's Choice voting. Wow! That was really fun to see.


Katy Cameron said...

Yup, you're right, that trip was definitely a one off lol I do love buffalo mozzarella though - yum!

BTW, you'll be seeing wildlife in London, just not of the 4 legged variety ;o)

Susie said...

Oh, Krista! You are always FULL of surprises ~ I love that about you! :) so glad it was fun (although not surprised!) and rejuvenating. Remind me to tell you my Hilarious water buffalo story from infancy...... there will always be a soft spot in my heart for those creatures. :)

PinkGranny said...

What a neat experience! You really had a break this time. And getting some quilting done too. Thanks for sharing,I enjoyed the pictures Krista.

Tammy said...

You absolutely crack me up sometimes. You are right; a first for sure on a quilt retreat--visiting a water buffalo farm. I think the one girl is trying to tell you: "get me out of this mud." Glad you got away. Times with girlfriends are the absolute best!

paulette said...

I can now say that I have been to a water buffalo farm (who knew!!)...and I always love Coombs, even in the rain! Thanks for sharing!! what a lovely get away!

Kristie said...

That looks like heaven on earth, and certainly the most unusual quilt retreat I have heard of ;)

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Looks like mental fun!

trudys_person said...

Looks like you had an amazing and interesting time! Did you get to try any of the buffalo cheese? I did recently, at EATVancouver and it was yummy!

Unknown said...

That pic of the buffalo smiling is the best... She's smiling right? Too cute!

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

I think you are right, not many quilting retreats includes buffalos. How fun! Did you make them a little something to remember you by, a little buffalo Quilt maybe?

Carla said...

We used to live in Qualicum Beach. So pretty. Did you get to the quilt shop by Parksville? Very nice said...

ba hahah! The goat in the rain is ADORABLE. The other creatures... not so much
: )