We were quite impressed with the program she offers her students! She has her 1st/2nd graders make gnomes with the wool, the 3rd/2th graders make beautiful embroidered bags and 5th/6th graders make really nice socks.
And Ithaca really, really pleased us! It's a University town (Cornell) and the locals like to call it 10 square miles surrounded by reality! It is a very liberal community and there is a big homeschoolers coop with more than 100 members, a great primitive pursuits program for my wildcrafters, tool crafters and wilderness cooks. There is an awesome local food movement, great people and great parks and trails around it to hike, run and ski. Yup! We could definitely see ourselves spending more time here! Did I mention there is a place called Dennis where the owner went to study how to make artisan ice cream?... Oh! It was sooo good!
We camped for 3 nights at Treman State Park right beside Ithaca and had pretty much the campground to ourselves. Jamie came to visit with Banyan and I was so involved in my conversation with her that I did not even took photos... There were fruit trees in bloom everywhere and the girls built a beautiful fairy garden with all the flowers. While they were there, we spotted a huge Gartner snake right beside our campsite! I was glad Banyan could identify it and tell us it was not dangerous!
We also went out to the Thai food restaurant for lunch with Jamie and Malaya on another day. It was so great to get to know her and her sweet children in person.
:: JF made Mémé's crêpe Suzette twice for breakfast. Lisa made strawberry rubarb filling and whip cream from amazing local cream. Such a treat! :::: And there was more beautiful violin practice before the recitals. They even kept us in for one night when it was freezing outside (litterally freezing. Lisa lost most of her herb garden... and there was snow in the morning...). We even got to take a bath. A bath! The last bath we took was at the hotel in Albuquerque for the unschooling conference. In December. It was such a bliss. ::
It was hard to say goodbye. It felt like home. It felt like we could have kept on talking and eating and visiting for ever. It's a good feeling to find such friends. We definitely will be back.