Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Big Adventure in Big Valley

I have the best friends! Five of them, to be exact. We met in grad school and call ourselves "The Ahngels." It's a long story. Ask me about it in person sometime. Two of "my lovelies" have since moved away - Katie to Spokane, WA and Giovanna to Chesapeake, VA. I miss them every. single. day. Thankfully, I still have three of my beautiful besties right here in Central PA with me - Amber, Karen, and Rachel. And today we took the day off from work and went on an adventure. A big adventure in Big Valley!

Big Valley is the area of Central PA that includes Belleville and Reedsville, PA. Amber is originally from Big Valley. Over a recent fro-yo lunch - and because Karen, Rachel, and I had never been - we decided to head to Belleville to the "sale barn" that happens on Wednesdays. The "sale barn" is an eclectic mix of vendors - farmers, Amish bakers, flea marketers, and there's even a livestock and goods auction. Amber served as our fearless leader and tour guide for the day.

But before we could embark on such an adventure, we needed breakfast so we checked out The Naked Egg Cafe on East Pine Grove Road. None of us had been there yet, so we were eager to check it out. We were all impressed - it's a cute little cafe and the food was tasty. It's nice to know there's another local breakfast joint that isn't The Waffle Shoppe. Not that there's anything wrong with The Waffle's just that everyone seems to go there!

My yummy waffle with fresh strawberries.

Amber and Rachel

Karen and me

After breakfast, it was a lovely ride up over PA 26 and PA 305 to get to Big Valley. Even though the trees are bare and the fields are plowed, we were all still wowed by the beautiful scenery of Central PA. We commented on just how gorgeous this area truly is!

Flea marketers set up in the parking lot at the sale barn.

It's too bad none of us were in the market for a wagon wheel - there were two available today!

Once we'd seen all there was to see outside, we headed into the first building where they were auctioning off...potato chips. I'm not kidding. It seemed like A LOT of potato chips - homemade potato chips - but potato chips nonetheless. Inside, we happened upon two delightful young Amish women...actually, they may have been Mennonite as they seemed "more modern?!?" Anyhoo, among their wares, they were selling homemade soaps. Karen, Rachel, and I each bought a bar. Karen opted for "Sweet Spice" whereas Rachel and I picked "Cambrian Blue Clay" which is a mix of eucalyptus and peppermint. It smells awesome! 

Hey Giovanna - check out this soap! :)

We ventured into the second building which is where the restaurant is located, as well as the livestock holding pens and auction block. 

"Well, I went down to the Grundy county auction..."


I didn't see any Nubian goats, or else the ride home in Amber's car might have been interesting!
(I really want a goat.)

This horse was giving us the "crazy eye."


It took her a few minutes, but #739 finally warmed up to us enough to pose for a pic.

Back outside, we did another sweep of the vendors to make sure we'd seen everything. That's when I spotted these:

Is it any wonder they were only $1 for the pack?

We left the sale barn and headed to Peight's Market, where Rachel proceeded to buy nearly everything in the store, ha-ha-ha!!! OK, maybe not...but it was close.

The view from Peight's parking lot.

It was a lovely day to NOT be at work!

Rachel unloads the cart...

...and then wheels all of her purchases to the car!

From Peight's, we went to Peachey's which is another Amish market...but they also have a craft shop and a restaurant. We had lunch at Peachey's, each of us enjoying some yummy chicken-corn soup either straight up (Karen), with a side salad (me), or with a grilled cheese (Rachel and Amber). 

Peachey's is still operating out of several small buildings after a devastating fire a few years ago wiped out their former location.

After our lunch, we stopped at Brookmere Winery to sample some wine (and buy some, too!). 

Brookmere Winery & Vineyard Inn

Get it? Crushed?!? Ha!

The white wine options at Brookmere.

Wine, wine, and more wine.

Sipping some samples.

The creme sherry was REALLY good!

The Red Foxx in the crockpot was amazing. That came home with me!

I sampled both the Riesling and the Pinot Grigio.
While I like the Italian flag look of the Pinot label, I opted for the Riesling.

When we got in the car, Amber asked, "Now what?" I half-replied/half-asked, "Hop on 322 and stop at Seven Mountains on the way home?!?" Everyone agreed that was a solid plan, so off to winery #2 we went!

Seven Mountains Wine Cellars - my favorite winery in the area!

This wine glass is bigger than anything that Jules has had on "Cougar Town."
The tasting guide at Seven Mountains - you may pick up to seven wines to taste.

Rachel, Amber, Karen, and me.

Today was EXACTLY what I needed - I think we all did! A little mid-week shenanigans between girlfriends. It was a beautiful day with my beautiful friends and I can't wait for our next adventure! (Which will hopefully be visiting Giovanna over Spring Break!!!)

Oh, and here is one of my purchases from today...a new winter hat!