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Monday, June 25, 2012

Are you a city mouse or country mouse?

Toby is a born-and-bred city kid (who knows how to hail a cab and wear tattoos), but this Saturday, we decided to escape to the country...

Alex's mom and sister were visiting for the weekend, so we met at Grand Central and took a train to Stone Barns Center, a bucolic farm and cafe just 40 minutes north of the city. (We also showed them how to do the secret trick of Grand Central...)
Toby's view on the train...
Grandma's view on the train...
When we arrived, we signed up for egg collecting, which was totally adorable.
Megan, a lovely farmer's apprentice—and a fellow University of Michigan alum (Go Blue!)—taught us about the chickens and told us to give them space or we'd get pecked!
Toby reached into the chicken coop all by himself and grabbed five eggs total (only breaking one).
Smooch that belly.
We also went on a little tour and, as a special treat, were allowed to pick raspberries right off the bushes, which blew Toby's baby mind. The trick: If they pop off easily, that means they're sweet and ripe.
After walking around for a while, we went to the cafe for lunch. Everything was SO fresh—blueberries, snap peas, frittata with goat cheese and peppers.
Are you more at home in the city or country? Hope you had a great weekend, too. xoxo

P.S. The complete Cup of Jo Guide to NYC, including four amazing daytrips and how not to look like a tourist...

115 comments:

Shannon said...

So cute Jo! I'm a city mouse, but my toddler son is a country mouse for sure, what to do?! We actually have some friends here in Florida that keep chickens in a coop in their backyard, it's so cool! Charley got to pet them and see the eggs on Saturday, and he was thrilled.

PS- Toby in that bandana - adorable!

Shannon
www.11thandshannon.com

Meadow said...

Definitely a city mouse! Adorable pictures :)

Malia said...

Subburb Mouse... I love both city and country to visit, but to live I like somewhere in between. PS Love Toby in a bandana

bendancin said...

Holy arms on the farmer apprentice! Jealous MUCH!

Joanna Goddard said...

haha, malia, good answer:)

Joanna Goddard said...

bendancin, I KNOW!!!!!

Joanna Goddard said...

ps. she was immediately my girl crush, alex kept teasing me. :)

Jenna said...

Sounds like a great day trip! My brother & fiancee are getting married here next summer, can't wait to go!

pws said...

hehe i'm also neither, a suburban mouse all the way! this trip looks lovely, i would love to take my 14 month tot to do something like this in the future!

and also...GO BLUE! love meeting other alum when we're out and about too :). there are TONS in southern california where we live...

VintageDanielle said...

Looks like such a wonderful day with the family. I love fresh farm food, yum! I think I'm more of a city mouse, I love NYC but I could handle the country for a bit.

Kate said...

Wow, what a great trip! I live close to Stone Barns and love it, haven't checked out the farm though! Thank you for sharing!

TheBeautyFile said...

I'm a country mouse for SURE and my son is, too! He's so into the beach, (collecting seaweed and shells), exploring our trees, plants, drawing on the driveway with chalk, visiting horses nearby and going to the farm for fresh fruit/veggies. I visit my friends in the city and went to college there, but for living, we are country (long island) folk!!

LOVE BHSB!! It's one of my favorite day trips! My favorite picture of my husband and son of all time was taken there in October, right after he was born. The leaves were every color of the rainbow and my son was a little teeny, tiny smoosh in a fleece onesie! SO CUTE!

Robyn said...

such great photos-so cool that it is only 40 min outside the city.love the bandana. i say i am a oountry mouse

TheBeautyFile said...

ps: You're brave for not taking a stroller with you! I salute you!

Nancy Cavillones said...

I love Stone Barns! We go there for playdates all the time because parking is free (usually) and we like to walk around to visit all the animals. How did you get from the train station to SB? Is there a shuttle?
Also, I went to Blue HIll there for my 30th birthday. So expensive but soooo worth it. I really want to go back for the Sunday brunch someday.

Jenni said...

I am a born and raised city mouse with dreams of becoming a country mouse.

sarah emily said...

Hey Jo!
Did you take a stroller?! It looks as though you were stroller-free...how did you do that? Our son is the same age and we've not tried that yet.
:)

cestark said...

Country mouse at this point- we have our own chickens!

Sadie said...

Totally country mouse. I lived in St. Louis for a year and loved it, and since then I've been "in town," not in the country. But in my dream house, I have a pond, an orchard, woods, and an enormous garden. Right now I am making do with a one-bedroom and a balcony garden that is overflowing with greenery but so far has only yielded one cucumber. :)

Joanna. said...

Country mouse! When I'm in the city I can smell how thick the air is (even though my bit of country has three coal fired power stations within 30 miles of my house...)

Toby looks so cool!

peaas.blogspot.com

Emily Fleck said...

I love the city (Philly) but I REALLY want to have a farm sometime before I'm too old to actually do work on it myself.

Great pictures. =)

anne. said...

This looks so nice! I could only do that for a day, though. No country mouse here. I'm a cross between the two, I suppose. Can't live in the big city, but can't live on the farm. What's that called?

EDYTA & CO. INTERIOR DESIGN said...

What a fun post. Hmm I say I am a blend of both. I love the city yet I could not live with the peaceful serenity and relaxation of the country. :)

It looked like you had tons of fun.Happy summer to you and your family

xo
Edyta
http://www.edytaandco.com/blog-4/

Caitlin said...

I am a city mouse who married a country mouse... and then followed him out to live in the woods. I blog a lot about my post-Brooklyn life here in the sticks...

www.hardlyhousewives.com

Kate said...

I live in Salt Lake City and just got back from a week in New York City. I adore visiting the big city, but I am always happy to return to my backyard, my chickens, my garden and the mountains looming in the background of everything.

Scout and Rice said...

I don't think you can always be one or the other! I am a 20-minutes-from-the-city mouse - I like the best of both worlds. :)

Krysta said...

I didn't know you were a wolverine (me too)!

I am actually currently trying to decide that.... lived in, and totally loved, NYC for 4+ years before moving to Columbus, OH last year after getting engaged. Columbus has a great mix of neighborhoods- there are parts of town (German Village) that feel like the village in NYC- smaller, historical homes with stone patios, cobblestone streets, small independent businesses and restaurants mixed in, and then if you drive a little away from downtown you have farmland with old, beautiful, farm-homes with out buildings and lots of land! We are currently thinking about where we would like to set up shop and buy a house! It's a tough question for us!

Mary said...

I'm the same as Scout and Rice. I like living in the "country", surrounded by farm and wide open spaces for my boys to run around and get muddy in. I also adore being 20 minutes away from Fenway Park.

Leslie said...

Those photos made my heart sing. Looks like an amazing place to take a child of any age :)

Joanna, is that a regular bandana that you tie on Toby's head? Great idea for sun protection! Also, what kind of blue shoes are you wearing in the last picture? Would love to know!

One final question: how do you and Alex handle nap time for Toby when you go on day trips? Our 18 month old needs a sold 2 or 3 hour nap in the middle of the day or else she gets super cranky. But it means that full day trips are hard. She'll sometimes nap in a stroller, but nothing substantial. Would love to know how other parents handle this: do you skip the normal nap and then he falls asleep on the way home?

I apologize for so many questions, but I truly loved this post. Thank you for sharing!

O B S E S S I V I S I O N said...

I'm a country mouse ALL the way. Though, my three sisters are city mice. I live across the street from a horse farm and down the street from our personal petting zoo. It is so peaceful. A great way to live and clear your head. And since we try to eat organic/all-natural, life in the country has a great way of keeping us on our toes. I can always visit the city.

www.obsessivision.com

katilda said...

I'm a country mouse in a big way but I was surprised by how much I liked Manhattan when I visited NYC last month!

Aubry Brown said...

Adorable Jo! I use tis saying all the time; I'm both a city and a country mouse.

figwittage said...

How fun! I currently live in Atlanta and as much as I love the city (so much do in the neighbourhoods with my 20 month old too) part of me really wants to move to the English countryside! A 20-30 minute train ride from London would be idyllic too! Now, if I could convince my husband that this is a genius idea.... :) When I travel back to Wisco in two weeks, I'll see if I can Zayn to a farm :) How fun! xx

Ann said...

Need to make plans to go to this place! Looks positively idyllic!

Corrie Anne said...

What a great experience!! Toby looks like a natural! Growing up, my grandma lived on a farm so I always loved to feed the calves! So fun!

Crickette Inserto-Lazaro said...

I've always been a city mouse. When I was younger we would go to my mom's hometown and although it was nice for a few days I could never live like that --- never, especiLly now! Your little boy is too cute!

Trina said...

I grew up in the country, so I still love quiet nights when I can hear only the crickets and the distant whistle of a train passing. BUT I also love living near a big city and all of its cultural opps and restaurants and such. So yeah...I have to second that bit on the suburb mouse. :) I love where I live, close to hiking trails and the coast and only 40 minutes from San Francisco.

It tickles me to see back-to-the-farm experiences like these. Thanks for capturing the mood. :)

Tiffany Taylor said...

Awww, what a sweet little adventure! I have to admit that I'm indubitably a country mouse, raised in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. I always wanted my children to know what the experience of these wild mountains were like, so we made the decision to move back when I was pregnant with the boys. I love having the view of towering mountains from my living room!

Jennifer said...

Great photos! I mentioned your farm visit to my husband and we're planning on going next weekend!

I have to tell you that I love your blog. I live in NYC (BPC), have a son who is 20 months old, and I'm also from Michigan. Everything you post is so relevant to my life and I love your sense of style. Thank you!

Kathryn and Ryan said...

I was born and raised on a farm. I hated it in my teens years because the work was hard. I moved to the city for about five years and now my husband, 9 month baby girl, and I are back in the country. Love it!! Fresh fruit, veggies, no neighbors, clean air, and silence around the clock..I won't be leaving :) Love the post!!

Amber said...

So funny to comment under Tiffany Taylor up there because I TOO was raised in the mountains of Appalachia in Virginia. I'm a city and country mouse! I loved summers visiting grandparents in New York, and still love city streets, but there's nothing like Sunday drives in the country.

mea said...

Adding this to my summer to do list!

I'm a city mouse but hope to one day be a country mouse. What a great and fun post! Thank you!
xo

Baylee said...

I'm a medium sized town mouse! haha
Cute pics! Getting eggs looks fun!!

KellyMarie said...

Suburb mouse! But I have a special place in my heart for the country because I grew up there.

Joanna, I just noticed that you went to U of M! I live in a suburb of Detroit-- Rochester. :)

Sammantha said...

I feel like the novelty of downtown has worn off for me, which is a scary thought. But I still wouldn't consider myself a country mouse. A suburban mouse :)

www.dysfunctionaleverafter.com

MEL said...

I consider myself a city and country mouse! My Mr. and I just moved to Denver, CO and it is the perfect mix of city and country. We love enjoying the perks of living in such a young hip city and we try to take advantage of as much as we can. And at the same time, we take the weekends to drive a mere 45 minutes to get out of town and into the mountains. I love them both!

cocopuff1212 said...

I'm a suburban mouse.

ElsaD said...

Lovely darling! :) I'm a country girl at heart, but I love the city...if that makes sense...:S xoxo

aubergine said...

city mouse turned country. adjusting to life in suburbia.

stone barns is totally fab-u-lo-so! so glad you went. i mean, really, how gorgeous.

xo

An Invitation said...

Country mouse for sure. I've got chickens dust bathing outside the window as I type :)

Catalina Alvarez said...

... Well, I'm a city cat ....
Best regards
Cata ^____*

Katie said...

This looks so cute. I'm definitely going to keep outings like this in mind for when I have kids. I can't call myself a country girl b/c I've never actually stepped foot on a farm, but I love the idea of it!

NotesFromAbroad said...

City mice here ! but as soon as this apartment sells, we are moving back to the US, NY State to be exact and we will be Country mice ! I can't wait :)

(I grew up in NC so there will always be a bit of country in me I guess)

Laura said...

I live in Buenos Aires so I am definitely a city mouse but I would love to raise my children in the country (at least in a gated community surronded by trees and green)

Love,

Lau

fallinlove.com.ar

rebecca said...

looks like toby had a blast. :)

roza said...

i'm definitely a country mouse. but i try to fit in the city. not an easy pie.

tammy h. said...

oh fun! The farm looks AMAZING! I'm a total city girl. I live in San Francisco though where there's lots of parks and lakes and the beach and mountains, so I feel fortunate I can escape to nature whenever I feel the need... But I just can't get away from the convenience of the city.

Jeanette said...

Country Mouse all the way...never even been to NYC....I strive for simplicity and homegrown sustainability but recently I've been yearning for a few weeks or months of some serious city living.
...wouldn't that be a fun life swap?

Stefania said...

Country mouse, although I LOVE visiting NYC whenever I can.

Michelle S said...

I am a city mouse but love the country too. Too bad central park isn't a hawaiian rainforest with an ocean and waterfalls..
www.prettydinos.com

Ezzie said...

Definatly a city mouse for sure. I get stir crazy when I'm at home and I need to constantly be on the go! The city is where my heart will always be, so no simple life for me! (:

Kelly Golightly said...

Beverly Hills pied-a-terre mouse and Palm Spring weekend house mouse. (Or at least that's the dream!)

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Born a city mouse, but now I'm totally country! Moved about 30 miles outside the city on 20 wooded acres with chickens, cats, a dog, and guineas running all over the place.

NEVER thought I'd be where I am, but I am totally in love with life and wouldn't change a thing.

Barbara The Healthy Nut said...

Can I be both??? I love being in the woods among the crickets and frogs and trees, but I need my city (NYC) too.

Lauren said...

Stone barn is great! We lived near there when we lived in NY 5 yrs ago. Nils liked road biking out in that area. There are so many great activities and walks around the farm. Did Toby see the bees?

fleur_delicious said...

country mouse: I grew up 4 houses away from open fields where the farmland began. We rode horses from about age 5, made forts in the blackberry brambles that had grown up over an abandoned pear orchard across the street, and spent our summer afternoons swimming in the river, watching eagles and osprey dive for trout, baby salmon nibbling our toes when we floated under an old bridge. We had an acre of land with cherry trees, marionberries, raspberries, blueberries, even quince trees. I live in Seattle now, but I am still an earthy country kid by nature. I have a big garden that I expand every year. I love being able to take a basket out the back door and pick dinner right off the vine or shrub, all summer long.

So jealous that you got to visit this place - it's on my "someday visit/someday eat" list!

martyna said...

lovely pictures! love the country but the city is love of my life!

Amy said...

always torn between the two! Grew up in a small city, minutes from wisconsin farmland. berry-picking, garden growing, hay-riding, tree climbing adventures all the time. now i'm 40 minutes outside a major us city in tx. i long for the city, but i find comfort in the country while i'm here. which won't be forever, so i'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Katie said...

So cute! We took our city (of Chicago) mouse baby girl to the country this weekend as well...


http://whatgnau.blogspot.com/2012/06/spontaneous-suburban-adventure-at.html

Rosie said...

I always loved the buzz of cities, but nowadays I'm much more of a country mouse in many ways. I think this is a bizarre reaction to growing up in the city - I spent my childhood voraciously reading English literature that romanticized the national countryside, and now all I want is a house with a big garden and a vegetable patch and a couple of ducks that float on our pond and lay eggs every so often! I'm well aware that there would be big drawbacks to leaving our city location, and so at the moment I'm striking a compromise and waiting to get an allotment plot (woohoo!)

Cathryn @ MyHeartsContent said...

I was born a country mouse, became a city mouse and am now a suburban mouse. I've loved every stage!!

Sally said...

COUNTRY! I like visiting the city - and lived in NYC for a couple of years - but nothing beats the beautiful serenity that only the country can bring.

KristiMcMurry said...

looks like a perfect weekend! I grew up in the country, and still live in a relatively rural area. I'm definitely more suited for that than city life :)

HiLLjO said...

GO BLUE indeed!!!
I'm from Ludington!

I used to call black ants city ants and brown ones country ants. Ahhh such cute pics of Toby!

Christine said...

Lovely! I'm what I like to call a "mountain mouse" because living in Colorado is like this mix between city and country.

That looks like so much fun!

Liz Moody said...

I love Blue HIll at Stone Barns - the restaurant there is the best I've ever eaten at. There's this beet burger that I dream about, and I don't even like beets. :)

www.thingsthatmakeus.com

Melissa said...

Country mouse....who's dying to become a city mouse--we live on a farm that's been in my husband's family since the beginning of time. When he's not at his other job, my teacher hubby milks cows, raises 10 little piggies and we're both getting ready to supply several roadside stands with sweet corn....six acres worth. There are parts that I absolutely love...and an equal number of reasons to jump on a plane and head immediately to NYC. And, I hate to say this, but GO GREEN! We farmers wouldn't know what to do without MSU. :)

Notes from Holly St. said...

what a perfect way to spend the weekend! i'm definitely a city mouse but it's nice to escape to the country every now and then.

Alexa said...

i was raised a country mouse and moved to nyc at 22, and i have never felt so home. i want a big family one day, though, so we'll see where i end up :)

Anonymous said...

Definitely a city mouse!!!! But your day looks amazing!

Emily said...

Stone Farms is near where I live in Westchester. Take the train up to Katonah (my town) also home to Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, 1st Chief Justice John Jay's Estate (John Jay Homestead--lots of family events) and more. I have grown up here my entire life and my dad commutes to NYC everyday. I love it! It's funny you call it the country because to my friends who are from Albany and further upstate, I am considered to be from "the city." Although I love the small town charm of Katonah with one of a kind shops and then if I want the big city I can just jump on the train!

Arielle said...

I'm a total city mouse! I think it's lovely that you took Toby out to Stone Barns, it's such a great place. My favorite thing, other than the Blue Hill restaurant on their property, was getting to see the pigs. I don't think I've ever seen pigs so big before.

Abby said...

That looks like a great trip. I've been yearning for a visit to a u-pick farm!

I'm an in-between mouse, I guess. I like the opportunities of the city (great restaurants, coffee shops, walking) and the freedom and beauty of the country. It's part of why I love living in Providence.

Jody said...

Joanna,
I love how you can find the beauty in everythings. Raising the ordinary to the extraordinary is a gift!

Sophie Elizabeth said...

How cute! I'm resigning myself to the fact I'm quite the country mouse, despite shipping myself off to London for a year thinking otherwise! I love both but the relaxation of the country is so important to me, and being closer to cornwall to surf! :)

Anonymous said...

Your mother and sister-in-law are really cute. Toby is a lucky guy to have so many admirers This farm looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

City mouse all the way.

Melissa Blake said...

Hmm, is it possible to be both?? I actually wrote a newspaper column about this a few years ago. I love the city, but I feel at home in the country too! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

arielle, yes, the pigs are HUGE there!!! i loved how they're apparently a "sisterhood," and all the female pigs hang out all the time together. they even sleep in a big pile, with all the little ones nursing!

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks, jody:)

Joanna Goddard said...

laura, no, we missed the bees! we were in a bit of a rush at the end because my mother-in-law was getting tired of all the walking. so we headed to the cafe. but next time: bees and sheep:)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! That boy of yours is a doll.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a city mouse. (I live in SF and loove NYC!)
However every now and then I like to head out to the countryside such as Napa or just getting away.
I do breathe a sigh of relief when I'm back home amongst the hustle and bustle.

Jessica Flett said...

What a lovely family outing. I am a country mouse living in the city. I love going home to my country roots and also can't imagine not being in the city now. I have a little boy who is one next week and I love that he is going to grow up both a country and a city mouse!! It's wonderful to be comfortable in both environments. Toby looks like he had a ball and he is so BRAVE collecting the eggs.
Thanks for sharing this. x

Amielle said...

I don't quite know how to answer that. I think more a country mouse as I've grown up more or less in small towns, but, once I get comfortable in the city, I absolutely adore it. Mixing time between the two is my ultimate favourite.

Alexandra Steinmetz said...

I love Stone Barns Center, it is such a special place. My good friend Chris works with the livestock and whenever I visit him it's such a relief to just get away and breath the fresh air. Toby is lucky that you took him!

Jenna Lynn said...

Both, I think! I'm nervous to leave the city in a few months (though just switching it out for another city), but sometimes I find myself craving the country -- grass, trees, big sky, long car drives with windows down. Anyway, great post!

Best,
Jenny
www.shtnewyorkersdo.blogspot.com

Heather said...

Country mouse!! We have a big red barn with four horses, a pond with 2 ducks, a big garden with a fountain in the middle, a big tree with a tree swing, A cat with 3 kittens and 4 kids. Feels like heaven to us.

shoegirl said...

What a great place! Hope I get to visit there one day...

I enjoy both country and city life, but too much of one, and I'm ready for the other! Right now, we're so lucky to live the city life, about 10 minutes from the center of town (so it's relatively quiet) - but it's also about 10 minutes from the forest. It's the best of both worlds!

Polly Rowan said...

I was born in London and have lived here my whole life, but every single holiday my family took was to the countryside. Whether it was in Cornwall, France, Spain, Italy etc, we would always be in the middle of no where! So I'm familiar with the countryside too. Although I love it for a relax and some peace and quiet, I think I would get bored living there. So I'm a city gal at heart! x

sweet harvest moon said...

I'm a country mouse!

Anonymous said...

I am a suburban mouse, too. Best of both worlds! But I do love visits to the big city.

Freya Lily said...

I'm a born and bred country mouse who loves the city lights and sounds and tastes but longs for the trees the sky and the sounds of the country :)

Fromfreyawithlove.blogspot.com

Alli said...

Certainly a country mouse in the valleys of Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Careful teaching kid differences between outdoors versus indoors.

Two year old learned how to go in the woods with the other boys on a picnic afternoon. Next week at day care pick up, proud to show off his new skill, he sprayed the indoors room.
It was impossible not to laugh when his dad told me about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a country mouse now. I was raised in Sydney Australai until 21, moved to NYC for 10 years, Moved to New Orleans for 5 until Hurricane Karina had me displaced to VA where I met my very country husband,and have been here since. As a former big city girl it's been very interesting and humbling to move to the country. We now live on a large farm with our 3 year old son Wales and I am so grateful that that hurricane blew me into this life with this man and our wonderful son. I can't imagine raising my son any other way. I miss city life occasionally but I'm 43 now and this suits me just fine. I had my fun NYC time for 10 years and this just seems appropriate for me/us now.
Cheers!

Joanna Goddard said...

alexandra, that's awesome that your friend works there. everyone seems nice...and also cute:)

Anne said...

oh, this is the question I'm forever asking myself. city? or country? aptly, it's also the basis for my blog: city country city. :) for now I feel like I'm homesteading in the city, and that feels just about right at this point.

Amy P said...

Country mouse! I grew up on a dairy farm and go back weekly. These photos make farming look so idyllic :)

janie said...

i'm a country mouse. i don't even know how i turned out this way! i was born in the city, and then grew up in the suburbs. but i always find myself longing for rolling hills and farm life...

Sammi said...

i'm a country bumpkin. the egg thing and eating fruit straight from the plant is totally my thing..

i enjoy cities, though! but, apart from amsterdam, i haven't found one i could live in!

Kate said...

I've gotta have both....I grew up in East London (England) and now live just outside Norwich. I love the way I can be in the middle of nowhere a five minute walk from our house, but I need to be able to get good coffee (Norwich) and have my London fix regularly to feel truely happy

chicken coop said...

Cool page! I really like the photos.

CamMi Pham said...

I have always lived in the city, this is so new to me...your son is too adorable
x
cammi
http://www.cammilicious.com

Lauren Doxey said...

I am most definitely a city girl! I adore the city and only enjoy the country for a weekend, MAX. looks like such a fun weekend though!
www.laurendoxey.com

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