The Urban Escapee

Pittsburgh Magazine, August 2006

As reported by Jennifer Pesci Kelly, in  Pittsburgh Magazine  August 2006:

” The destination: Weatherbury Farm Vacation Bed and Breakfast near Avella, Washington County
Ideal for: Two-day Trip
Distance from downtown Pittsburgh: 45 minutes

Why visit here?
Trade in your yard work and overscheduled weekends for a taste of the simple life. Weatherbury is one of more than two-dozen farms in Pennsylvania inviting guests to experience country living for themselves as part of a farm vacation. ‘When I was young, my grandma lived on a farm, but grandmas don’t live on farms anymore,’ proprietor Marcy Tudor says. ‘This a chance for kids to see a working farm.’

When you arrive:
Settle in and enjoy the fresh air, millions of stars visible in the open sky and all the peaceful noises of the country.  In the morning, breakfast is served promptly at 8:30 a.m., a late start for a farmer’s crack-of-dawn sensibilities, but a compromise to allow guests a little extra sleep. Guests gather at long wooden tables to enjoy dishes that are likely to include the farm’s fresh eggs.

After breakfast, kids head out with farmer Dale Tudor to help with morning chores such as feeding the more than 100 resident animals, giving bottles to eager sheep and collecting pastel-colored eggs from Araucana chickens. After about an hour with farmer Dale, families can explore the Weatherbury’s 100 acres or go swimming in the in-ground pool. ‘It’s a life in the slow lane vacation,’ Marcy adds.

The farm is only a few miles from nearby towns, where guests can visit local restaurants and other attractions including the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life, a permanent historical exhibit of country living. Slide behind an old-fashioned school desk or into a barbershop chair — the museum’s 19th-century village re-creation offers a glimpse of life more than 100 years ago.

Where you’ll lay your head: Farm living doesn’t necessarily mean roughing it at Weatherbury. There are five different rooms or suites on the farm, all comfortably appointed with antique furnishings and claw-foot tubs, as well as modern conveniences such as refrigerators and air conditioning. A 100 -year-old barn houses three two-story suites sleeping between five and seven people each. The second-floor deck overlooks a field of grazing cows and orchards ripe with apples, peaches and plums trees. A second freestanding building has two more single guest rooms, comfortable for four people each.

The best time to go:
Summer on the farm includes harvesting, the birth of new animals and lots of sunshine in open fields. As fall arrives, there are local festivals to visit and Weatherbury’s folk-music workshops.

Planning your trip:
Make reservations in advance, especially if you have a particular room in mind. Take along comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as a bathing suite and sunscreen. There is a two-night minimum for families participating in the kids’ program.”