Saturday, December 12, 2009

Victorian Christmas


My family, along with my sister Melody's family, recently returned to our favorite Victorian house and working farm last weekend! I lurve visiting this place, it's like stepping back in time....

My Girl saw the horse and carriage ride and nearly started to cry with joy (no exaggeration because she LOVES horses) and begged for a ride. It wasn't planned in our budget to do but how often do you get to experience something like this, right? So we plunked down our $15, sat back and enjoyed the ride!

It was SO MUCH FUN! It felt like we were in Nova Scotia on our way to Green Gables like Anne and Matthew!
Melody and the Newlyweds took a ride after we did!

While we waited for their return from the carriage ride, I walked around the nearby chicken coop and guess who was there! Tom the turkey! Guess he got lucky and didn't get chosen for Thanksgiving. Perhaps he won't be so lucky at Christmas though... Hmmm?

Then we wandered over to where they were offering free treats! This lovely lady was telling us the different treats to choose from.

And she was making oatmeal cookies. I picked one up and saw that it was slightly burnt and she apologized for the crispiness. After taking a bite I GENTLY commented that it tasted like it had a bit too much shortening or something.

We began to walk away and they were putting more wood in the actual wood burning stove when..

.... they found a slightly smokin' cast iron pot of grease in the upper chamber! Yea, just call me Betty Crocker. I KNOW my treats when I taste them!

I wished these pots and pans were free too!

Found the Newlyweds over by the craft table...

Ahh, Jacqueline made Melody a bookmark, just like the old days!

Guess what's in the bag! It's Peanut Brittle Popcorn! It is VERY GOOD too!

Time for a self portrait!

As we waited for the Yule Log hunt, we walked over to the barn...

This is the corn husking area that is still used today during harvest season.

Some very OLD equipment here.

Here's Melody and her new ride! ha ha

Then we made our way to the historic house and along the way found a crafter selling $1.00 Grab Bags and Auntie Melody was kind enough to treat the kids!

These pretty decorations were all over the property. So simple and so pretty!

It was VERY COLD so we stopped for a minute at the Blacksmith barn to get warm and found he was making a bottle opener for someone's Christmas present.

The walk to the house looked so different this time because most of the leaves had fallen off the trees already...

When we entered the house, this lovely lady in period dress shared some history about the house and what we could expect for the holiday tour.

Here are the original owners... notice the age difference! We were told that it was a loving marriage though. He came to strike it rich during the California gold rush but instead found his fortune in farming.

Each room of the house was decorated by volunteers and we were told they all tried to remain true to original decorations and things the family would have done based on original diaries that the Wife was faithful to write in daily.

I REALLY liked this curved shaped table on the first landing of the stars.

Here is another volunteer in period dress who shared the history of the Japanese influenced decorations that were in this room. Apparently the couple traveled quite a bit and the Wife loved Japan and brought home many treasures.

The tree was decorated in paper origami cranes. It was very pretty and my photo doesn't do it justice.

Here is that lovely writing table again! I love these old fashioned secretary desks (I think that is what they are called).

This volunteer was making lace and demonstrating how she makes them. I'm a cross stitcher myself but this looked complicated to me! Yikes!

She also had a few of her cross stitch items on display. This is of the house.

And again my photo doesn't do this picture justice, but it is of a woman making lace as well.

I saw these beautiful glass decorations on the table and these were of better quality than some out on the market. NICE!

Is that a precious face or what!?

Look what I spied in the doll house... a Christmas scene! Cute!

As we came downstairs, the kitchen was decorated too! No cookies today because the chimney wasn't working correctly.

I spied something new in the Dish Room this time too...

Look at these lovely scalloped shapes cups! Aren't they pretty?!

The dining room was decked out as the saying goes! Just beautiful in gold and red tones!

These treats looked real but are actually fake.

I lurved this photo so much, I made it my desktop picture!

The music /library room had Bing Crosby swooning "White Christmas"!

Our last stop was to see Father Christmas (Victorian times here so they didn't call him Santa Claus). This was a CRANKY and RUDE old man. I'm not one to complain however I couldn't let this one go so I called the managing park director the next business day and complained about him. The manager apologized and from the tone of his sigh, it SOUNDED like I wasn't the only one to contact the park.

8 Cha Cha Bloggers left a comment:

alittlebitofscrap December 12, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

That looks like a lot of fun! My grandmother had a wood stove and I loved helping her cook on it.

Betsy December 12, 2009 at 7:25 PM  

What a gorgeous house! I don't think I would have been able to resist a carriage ride, either!

Miss Jean December 12, 2009 at 10:43 PM  

Thanks so much for the tour and the reminder of this fabulous place. I'll have to take my grandsons there during Christmas vacation.

We have a home similar to that in Modesto called the McHenry Mansion. It's closed most Saturdays for weddings but is open other days. Also, across the street is the McHenry Museum. I love those old buildings and the history they provide.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? December 13, 2009 at 7:21 AM  

Absolutely breathtaking, Janeen! Loved every morsel of it! Even the fake desserts! They looked as sumptuous as this post! Your heart and soul spills onto the page! Fun had by all! :))

Do you ever watch top chef and those quickfire challenges where they have to discern what spices were in the recipe?! You'd be great at that! You sure do know you food! ;)

Hope you and your family are having a wonderful weekend, Janeen! xo

R. Quilter December 13, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

Looks like a grand time! The desserts look engaging. Wow.

Cassandra Frear December 14, 2009 at 5:56 AM  

What a lovely, lovely day. Reminds me so much of our 1896 home that we rennovated over 6 years. I love visiting historic homes -- it's one of my favorite things to do. I am thinking that all of this must be in the deep South, because it looks like late fall and everyone is wearing a light coat.

I want you to know that I posted my Scottish shortbread recipe on Apple Pie today in your honor!

Sparky December 14, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

That's a beautiful place. Looks like y'all had a grand time. I would dearly love to take a carriage ride someday. :)

Rebecca December 16, 2009 at 9:15 AM  

Oh, Janeen...You know I was sighing whilst looking at your photos...Oh...what a lovely outing with your family....Counting down the months here to the Jane Austen Fesival in Louisville:)......

....and what was with Mr. Cranky Father Christmas? That's such a shame that he put off such a bad attitude:(