If you head across the Dumbarton Bridge at Fremont, you will pass Ardenwood Historic Farm. On the right side of the highway as you head towards the bay, this farm has been a feature of the area for over 100 years although it is now a fraction of its former size. However, it is now under the control of the East Bay Parks District and open for the public to visit. It is a combination of little bits of what a farm would be. You could say it perpetuates some of the myths you have as kids about what farms are like since we grow up thinking that all farms have a bit of everything rather than just being a cattle farm, growing a single crop or raising chickens en masse.
However, it does provide an opportunity to see some aspects of an old style farm much as they once were. The farmhouse itself is quite impressive. The family that owned it became quite influential in the area and had the house to match. The grounds are nicely laid out and it was a pleasant spot to spend some time as the chickens that were scrabbling around in the dirt near us also seemed to think.
There are goats, sheep, pigs, horses and cows in the grounds. They get a lot of attention from the visitors and we were no exception. The goats were the most active seeming to be more interested in the leaves on a tree above a bench in their enclosure than the food that they had been provided. A couple of the kids were desperately reaching under a fence. I guess the grass really is greener…
Continuing our UK trip, we were still in the New Forest and I wanted to visit Beaulieu. It is many years since I have been to Beaulieu. My grandparents took me there once and we went with the school on one occasion too. However, I wasn’t interested in visiting the motor museum on this occasion. Certainly, if I had a lot more time, I would have loved to take a look around but we didn’t have that much time. Instead, I wanted to see the village which, judging by some pictures I had seen online, looked like it was very picturesque.
First, though, I had to stay awake. As we drove there, I was feeling rather drowsy. Not a good state to be but hardly surprising given how long I had been awake. When we got the village, I put the seat back and had a nap for a few minutes. This was a big help. Nancy was tired but not able to nap so she checked out a tea shop while I closed my eyes.
We then took a walk around the village. It is by a river and is very pretty. Lots of small houses and shops combined with a big green area all alongside the estate of the Earl which now houses the motor museum. What I hadn’t realized is how much wildlife wanders around. Yes there were ducks and swans. I didn’t know that cows, horses and donkeys were loose in the area. The donkeys seem to like the shops and apparently walk in if they feel like it. The horses and cows were grazing on the more grassy areas but if they needed to get somewhere, they would walk up the street and trucks coming the other way would just have to wait. Could I come up with something more English for our first day back?