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Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen New York - May 2023

5 of 40 Birthday Experiences! April 2023 - We spent a long weekend upstate New York near Watkins Glen - in a tiny house at the Farm Sanctuary!

We rented a car and drove the 4+ hours upstate to the amazing Farm Sanctuary. This was our third time there and we stayed again in one of their beautiful tiny houses. They have three tiny houses and three cabins. The tiny houses each have their own kitchen, bathroom, and a little porch to sit and watch the sunset over the farm.

Our drive on Friday included a breakfast stop at Denville Diner in Denville New Jersey - a cute little dinner in a cute town. Then, multiple stops at Target, Best Buy, and Game Stop - looking for the collectors addition of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Rick already had the game on the way but decided to see if we could find the full collectors addition. We finally did! At a Game Stop in a mall somewhere in Pennsylvania. We stopped for lunch at a great pizza place in Sayre Pennsylvania - The Grille. Then a quick stop for groceries and beer/wine in Watkins Glen, New York. We made it to the farm about 4:45 and had just a few minutes to wander into the farm and say a quick “Hello” and give a few scratches to some of the goats before heading to our little house for some snacks and drinks while watching the sunset. The tiny houses come equipped with a TV and DVD player - and the main house has DVD’s to borrow as well as board games - but if you want more than that - bring some DVDs or download some to your personal device. There is good wifi - so streaming on the laptop also worked. We started watching “Long Way Up” with Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman - and it’s an amazing docu-series. We also hung out on our porch - our neighbors hadn’t arrived yet - and it was very private and quiet. There were some large carpenter bees - which we looked up as Kassie is allergic to bee stings - who were harmless but funny. One seemed to have his heart set on the porch for his coming wood abode and chased away other bees and even chased some birds before coming back and hovering around us most of the night. Kassie went to see a woodchuck and we watched some deer run by and the pigs enjoying their grass in the pasture just beyond the row of houses.

A little bit about the Farm Sanctuary - Farm Sanctuary fights the disastrous effects of animal agriculture on animals, the environment, social justice, and public health through rescue, education, and advocacy. It is a Vegan farm (so no bringing non-vegan food with you when you stay). Rick is a Vegetarian, Kassie is a Pescatarian - and we both eat vegan probably 90% of the time just naturally. We found the Farm Sanctuary in 2018 - because Kassie has always loved cows and had always wanted to “hug a cow” so Rick found the Farm and was drawn to their mission - and it just made sense for it to be Kassie’s Birthday Surprise trip that year. We just fell in love with the place. It feels like a “farm should feel like” when you are a child and think of Old MacDonald. The red barns, the quiet rolling hills, the animals living in harmony - only bonus: none of the animals are tortured or killed here - they are here to help get over their previous torture and they are making lasting relationships, are able to be seen for their individual personalities, and receive the best of care. They are all rescue animals and each have their own story. Some love human interaction and come running for a few pats and scratches and love. Other’s are still very nervous (and might always be) of humans. It is a beautiful and amazing place. It is not a petting zoo (even though it might seem like that) but it is exactly as it claims in the name - it is a sanctuary. And one that relaxes every bone in our body as well.

Day two: A stay at the Farm - comes with breakfast (vegan of course) which you can take and eat back on your porch or in the main building. Our tiny house also has a coffee maker, tea, etc. Then each morning, the people who stay in the cabins and tiny houses get a private tour prior to the farm opening for public tours for the day. We get to learn more about some of the occupants and get in some love with the cows, goats, and pigs. Right now the birds (chickens, turkeys, etc) are off limits due to the bird influenza (there hasn’t been a case yet at the Farm due to their diligence) and the sheep (our favorite cuddles) just got the second dose of a vaccine so they were in the distance as well. After the love - we headed into Watkins Glen. We wanted to head all the way back to see all 19 waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park - we had walked some of the trail on a previous trip but it was hot and packed so we turned back. This time, we were ready - but unfortunately the path was closed off for some work being done so we just saw a piece. Highly recommend though and we’ll be back! Then we headed to Shequaga Falls which is just off a main road and easy to see and walk to. Then headed along the coast of one of the Finger Lakes and passed so many wineries, breweries, and distilleries that we need to plan an uber path to path trip sometime when Rick isn’t driving so we can drink together! We stopped at lunch at the wonderful Farm > Table (and lots of veg options) Stonecat Cafe - with a great view before heading to Lucky Hare Brewing Company - great reviews and a great spot. A quick stop and tasting at the Finger Lakes Distilling Co to get a new bottle for our home cabinet - and back into Watkins Glen. Of course a stop at Ben & Jerry’s (who always has a vegan option or two in stock) before heading back to the Farm for snacks, a beer, and another beautiful sunset.

Day three: We enjoyed our breakfast and our second tour - with more cow, goat, and pig love and scratches - before packing up and starting the long drive home. Including a stop in Watkins glen for Green Elephant - the new vegan Thai restaurant - and then a 2 hour traffic delay getting into the city. Whirlwind weekend but a great visit as always!

Important Links and additional information:

What started as 40 from august to august has expanded to the start of 2023 to August 2024. Due to other people planning things that we want to join… before August 2023. This is the celebration of “omg Kassie survived 40 years - we never thought it would happen.” Maybe the next 40, I’ll be more careful so it won’t be so surprising. 40 “experiences” have to be #1 unique, #2 require the day and night in the location to count, #3 that’s it.


Originally from Iowa (Kassie) and Kansas (Rick), we met in Kansas in 2005 and immediately found that we had so much in common - including our desire to someday see the world. We now live in NYC and quickly started catching up on travel after our first (just us) international trip to Iceland in 2015. We decided to start making videos for us and our family/friends to track our travels. Kassie is in Marketing, an Author (see her poetry + author videos), and Puppet Creator. Rick is an Engineer and Script Writer (see our current and coming puppet movies!)

Kassie's Author Site:


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