The main reason I love my birthday is because it is a great excuse to do fun stuff! Mr. Chickpea and I have a birthday tradition of gifting each other cool experiences or taking each other out to fancy restaurants. OK, usually I make him a fancy homemade meal and he takes me out for a cool dinner. Best of both worlds!
This year we had kind of a birthday…er, month. Mr. Chickpea’s b-day is in August but I planned a dual birthday weekend for us starting with his present, a day of white water rafting on the American River, followed by my present, a night at Farm Sanctuary’s country cabin and a tour of the farm.
So I didn’t get pics of the rafting, but it was suuuper fun and at the end the guides BBQ’d burgers for us and even made me my own little veggie burger. Yay! We had a lot of time left in the day before we needed to get to Farm Sanctuary, so we took a detour to the apple farms east of Sacramento to eat some sweeties and guzzle cider.
We started off at one of my favorite places, Boa Vista Orchards, which has the biggest selection of apples, pears, other produce, and apple treats.
Unfortunately for vegans, all of Boa’s baked goods contain butter! I drowned my sorrows in cider.
And I ate leftover vegan deep dish (is it too gross to show half eaten pizza?? I forgot to take a pic until I was half way through!) And more cider. WHAT? DON’T JUDGE MY LOVE OF CIDER!
Finally we found a farm stand that used only Crisco in their baked treats. So yaaaaay no dairy, but boooo trans fats!! I got a sugar-free apple something or other. It was pretty dang good, even though I was half dying with a gallon of juice in my belly.
Later that afternoon, we drove north a few hours to Orland and made it to Farm Sanctuary right at sunset. It was so quiet and peaceful on the farm. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere and the views were brilliant!
The country cabin was totally adorable. It was a little bit away from the animals and right next to the “People Barn”. I felt at home right away!
The cabin is decorated with photos of the animals at the farm and is filled with lots of animal rights books, brochures, and board games.
I knew we would have a kitchenette, so I loaded up at Trader Joe’s. Look at that spread! And I love love loved the little sign in the kitchen! It says, “Please refrain from eating animal products here.” Yeah!
We had planned to make veggie wraps for dinner, but decided instead to check out a local restaurant, Farwood Bar & Grill, that was supposed to have a vegan menu. Yay for supporting vegan options at omni restaurants!
We were brought some bread and butter the waiter was super cool — he brought me my own little dish of oil and vinegar for the bread!
We also ordered some avocado fries that were absolutely delicious, and I ordered the vegan Thai salad (which was huge — yessss!) for my main course. Everything was really delicious and the restaurant staff were really cool towards vegans. Their vegan menu was basically a few options from the regular menu with meat/dairy removed or, in the case of the avocado fries, with a vegan dipping sauce instead of the non-vegan aioli. It just goes to show how easy it can be for restaurants to be veg-friendly with minimal effort and I bet they get a ton of folks visiting the sanctuary who want to support their efforts (that’s why we went!).
The next morning we had a breakfast feast in the cabin — cinnamon raisin bagels with tofutti cream cheese, bananas, dried mango, cashews, and of course, more cider! Then we got ready for our farm tour. The animals deserve their own post, so check that out in part 2 tomorrow!