Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grant's Farm: Behind the Scenes

On Sunday my family and I were invited to join our friends, the Tevlins, for a behind the scenes tour of Grant's Farm.  While I was looking forward to spending a lazy day in the sunshine with friends and family, I wondered what we could possibly see or do that we haven't experienced already.  As a native St. Louisan, I grew up visiting Grant's Farm and continued the tradition of frequent visits with my own family.  I thought we had seen and done it all.

I was wrong.

The 2+ hour tour began in the Clydesdale barn.  Our two guides shared all kinds of interesting facts about these hearty horses, the training involved and the selection process used for building a Budweiser draft horse team. The kids had the opportunity to spend time with a former Budweiser team member.  Natalie wanted no part of the horse, but Noah happily stroked the 18 hands-tall animal while chatting away with his friend.  It was obvious that contact with the horse was immediately therapeutic.  Prior to our arrival, Noah had been quite agitated and very much against going on the tour. 

We traveled the grounds via a specially designed truck with covered seating.  We stopped frequently -- to walk the grounds and peek inside Ulysses Grant's cabin, to feed the koi fish abundant in Mirror Lake and to take in the sights and history of the AB family's mansion.  Towards the end of the tour we came upon a group of buffalo.  It was then that Natalie really perked up.  She immediately had a favorite - Fred, the bull buffalo of the herd.  She eagerly scooped out cupfuls of feed for the one ton, hairy beast.

All of this left me scratching my head...

Pet a beautiful, calm, chestnut-colored horse with snow-stocking feet?  = NO
Feed a hump-backed, shaggy-furred, beast with horns? = YES!

Our behind-the-scenes tour was certainly full of surprises. Thank you Tevlin family for giving us a fun, memorable good time!

Prior to the tour, we stopped in for a peek at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site.  The museum offers free tours and a junior ranger program for kids to enjoy...anytime -- you only need to ask.

Natalie tries on period clothes at the museum

The AB mansion
The playhouse that sits beside the AB mansion...check out the zebras.
Grant's cabin

The steer started walking over to us as soon as they spied our truck.
Nat feeds Fred

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