one of my fantasies is to live on a farm. for a month. sometimes, i've just had ENOUGH with yet another homeless man squeezing next to me on the subway. and the smell of urine emanating from street corners after it rains? it just gets old. i want to wake up the moment before the sun creeps over the horizon, milk cows and churn butter, pick my own food straight out of God's earth and walk miles before coming across a neighbor. yea, it's tempting to Go Rural. right?
okay, don't get me wrong, i am a City Girl. just one with pseudo-crunchy country aspirations. i love hiking and the sound of water rushing over rocks. but i hate bugs and prefer access to modern plumbing (sorry, but charmin is MUCH better than a leaf on your ass!). even though farm life may not translate into my romantic notions, muggy days in the city make me yearn for something more...nature-y. and no, as much as i love it, Central Park does not equal Nature. so what to do? well, this past weekend, my jewish sista and I decided to break out our chaps and harvesting gloves to go horseback riding and strawberry picking out in the country (or, as much "country" as western new jersey can offer).
we signed up for our day trip through one of nyc's many niche social organizations, Adventure Society, which focuses on arranging a multitude of urban (yoga, cooking classes) and extreme (paragliding, rafting) adventure trips for the city's i-love-the-outdoors crowd. this was my first trip with AS-- most trips on their calendar fill up quick as they aim to keep each trip small (less than 20 people)-- and i was impressed with the level of organization. every logistic was managed by a team leader who led us through the entire day, including driving us to/from the city using the org's minivan. the only thing i had to worry about was not pissing off my horse.
we had a three hour trail ride (my first time EVER on a horse!), meandering past crystal clear streams, old wooden footbridges and farmhouses. despite the sweltering heat, it was gorgeous. and though my horsey, cimmaron, was just a little crazy (i swear, i fought with l'il cimmy the first 15 minutes cuz all he wanted to do was eat EVERY TREE on the trail), i really enjoyed my virgin riding experience. but the highlight for me was strawberry picking. under blazing sun, tali and i were down on our hands and knees (shut up) picking the sweetest, reddest strawberries EVER. man, i now have a sincere appreciation for strawberry pickers. a lot goes in to that $3.99 box you buy from gristedes. trust me.
getting away from the city and communing with nature was wonderful, but exhuasting. next time, i'll try the hike and spa combo trip. because lemme tell you, three days AFTER the trip, i am still all kinds of sore in almost every spot of my body. damn cimmy, you did a number on me.