Howe Caverns and The Dutchess County Fair

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I took two days off this week for vacation. A real vacation would be nice, but since I am broke and also buried in projects at work, two days is all I could manage.

The first day was a trip up north to visit Howe Caverns. I had heard about it several times, but it was even cooler than how people described it. The regular tour takes about 80 minutes, starting with an elevator ride down 150 feet into the cave. In the evening, Teddy and I went to play mini golf because our hotel package included free passes.

Day two was spent at the Dutchess County Fair. Wow. They take their agriculture very seriously in Dutchess County. [info]atroposnomore invited us to go and got us cheap tickets too. She was one of my first friends on LiveJournal and she lives about 90 minutes away but this was the first time we got to meet in real life. It was very exciting. The fair was a little overwhelming, so we didn't actually get to spend the day together, but we agreed to try again in a calmer setting. There were so many beautiful cows and other animals on display. I really enjoyed looking at all the prize-winning crafts and produce. Teddy and I spent some time in the birthing barn watching a new mom care for her day-old calf. There were five other cows expected to give birth at the fair too. We also went to the milking barn and watched three cows getting milked (by machines) at the same time. I was very surprised by the amount of milk flowing into the tanks. 

I haven't taken many vacations. I can count my childhood vacations on one hand. There were two when I was a child. One to Florida when my grandparents moved there (I was seven years old) and one to Cape Cod for a weekend when I was twelve. In high school I went on vacation with [info]jonathanrobbins three times. Once to Cape May, once to Hilton Head, and once to Vermont to ski. I hope to take one of Teddy's friends on future vacations with me. Jonny's parents were so generous in that regard and I plan to pay it forward.

I know vacations are important and I try to plan them more now that I am somewhat in control of my life. The week in Cape Cod a few years ago with [info]davidschloss and [info]abigailanderson was so relaxing and refreshing. Especially since Abby did all the planning and we just had to show up. The last two years, I've had to forgo a real vacation because of work and money. Teddy went on a dinosaur dig in Montana last summer, but we only had enough frequent flier miles for two tickets (because they were 75,000 each ticket). A third ticket would have cost $1,200 so I had to stay home. The summer before, we did get to go camping for a weekend in CT and it was fun, but I need to get away from work for some real vacation time. 

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