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I truly believe there's a reason behind the experiences we have. The places we go, the people we encounter. It all happens for a reason. This is a big driver behind our philosophy of making every day an adventure. Of course we love to experience new things, but we also love to put ourselves out there and see what the world has in store for us.
We set out for the Princeton Lavender Farm today seeking some refreshing drinks (lemonade made with just-picked lavender from the farm, hello!), but actually ended up with some refreshing conversation and a new zest for following our dreams - and it was exactly what I needed!
Who knew lavender could be so soul-awakening? Before I unpack that for you, let's go over some basics about the farm.
What To Expect
Conveniently located just off the intersection of Route 206 and Province Line Road, this gorgeous piece of properly sits waiting to be explored. We must have driven past this place a dozen times since they opened four years ago, but unfortunately never saw the sign or had a reason to pull in and check it out. When we came across the farm on Instagram, we knew we had to check out the town's best kept secret. Turns out, this weekend was special at the lavender farm because 2nd Rule Coffee had a tent set up in the parking lot hand-crafting fresh lavender lemonade & lattes! And ya'll, we must be the only central-Jersey folks not in on the secret, because it was packed!
The two-for-one specialty drinks & lavender farm combo was a hit, and I'd highly encourage you to stalk their social media and plan a visit the next time they collaborate. No upcoming collab? No worries, there's still plenty of reason to visit the Princeton Lavender Farm. Fresh lavender, a nature maze, and some playful goats are some of the things you can experience while taking a trip to the farm. Being on the grounds and experiencing the serenity of the land is worth the trip alone, but if you're after more, I recommend striking up conversation with Beth or Brad (the owners and keepers of the farm) to forever be enlightened.
Lavender, Good for the Soul
After picking up a specialty latte and lemonade from 2nd Rule Coffee (more on this rock star company below!), we stopped in the farm stand and had some wonderful conversation with Beth. And this is where the magic happened.
Beth filled us in on some of the history of the farm, which was even more inspiring than we could have imagined. Upon becoming emptynesters, she and her husband found this land and decided to do something they've never done before - grow lavender! They built a gorgeous modern-day farmhouse, groomed the land for lavender, and even acquired some goats along the way.
As someone who can barely keep our basil plant alive, I had to ask how they learned to grow such gorgeous lavender, which led to another inspiring answer: Google! Not kidding. How incredible is it to make a life decision of that magnitude, then just go after it with nothing else than your wise old friend Google to help you out? If that doesn't inspire you to live your dream, I'm not sure what will.
Their story really hit home for us. After deciding to go location independent earlier this year, Eric and I have learned a thing or two about pursuing a unique lifestyle. It's a wonderful path but it certainly isn't easy, so there's nothing we admire more than seeing others live out their own dream. We also felt incredibly inspired and connected to Beth and Brad's journey because we, too, hope to have a farm one day. Hopefully I can learn to keep more than just basil alive by then, but trust me, I won't let that stand in my way.
We chatted for a bit, sharing our location independent plans with Beth and even tossed around the silly idea of us helping tend to the farm (and Beth if you're reading this, we're totally ready to be your apprentices!). Feeling inspired and refreshed, we explored the rest of the grounds, which includes a serene nature maze and the most adorable goats you've ever seen.
This Section is All About Goats
I just have to dedicate a little bit more to these precious babies. I think our dream of having a farm started because I was begging Eric for pet goats. I'm a little obsessed, but how could you not be?
2nd Rule Coffee
If you're not planning a trip to Princeton anytime soon but still want a bangin' cup of coffee, check out 2nd Rule Coffee's Instagram page to see where they're traveling to next. That's right, coffee that travels around the NJ area (or conveniently served out of the owner's personal home window in Woodbridge - gotta love quarantine times!).
We chatted up Carol a bit and found out that she's been traveling with her pop-up cafe for just under a year. Intrigued by the unique business idea, I read more of her story on her website and this is where I realized that not only is she incredibly passionate about coffee, but she's incredibly humble! While she's only been operating the traveling cafe for a year, coffee and community have been her lifelong passion. She's traveled across America in search of what makes a successful cafe, studied under some amazing mentors, and continues to expand her knowledge on the trade daily. If you're in the mood for an uplifting story, I encourage you read her full background here.
You can find her at any type of event including: farmer's markets, churches, weddings, and pop-up events in the community, like this one at Princeton Lavender Farm. Make sure you give her a follow on Instagram to catch her at her next location!
Today's adventure was one for the soul. Never did we imagine we'd have met the wonderful people that we did & be able to swap stories in the ways we did.
We set out on a goal of becoming location independent right before the world found itself in a global pandemic. Sometimes it feels like our dreams are on hold, especially since our adventures have been much more secluded and our interactions with others are extremely limited. Sometimes it's hard to see the beauty of the situation, the reason behind why we've been almost totally isolated within our own four walls. However, our experience today at the Princeton Lavender Farm was a great reminder of the beauty that's out there.
The places we go, the people we encounter. It all happens for a reason.
Today for us was a gentle reminder that we have to follow our dreams every day, that there's always a way to make it happen & I hope this post serves as a reminder for you. Let's go chase those dreams! Thanks for coming along on our adventure :)