Instead of driving into the sunset, I drove the new Lincoln MKZ early in the morning towards Blue Hill Stone Barn Farms in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. A small town, 50 minutes north of NYC. On my way to the day trip, organized by Lincoln Motor Car, I was able to test drive this intelligent, allwheeldrive, twinturbocharged engine which produced 400 horsepower and 400 lb.ft. of torque, providing me with effortless performance and refinement. I chose the comfort setting from the 3 choices available (comfort, normal or sport). What a smooth ride!
I headed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway admiring the views of the serene Hudson River as I listened to the radio. My new favorite song came on and I blasted the speakers of the Revel audio system in the car. I was blown away by the sound. Complete surround sound with 19 speakers, strategically placed to improve midrange and high frequency accuracy for the driver and passengers. I found myself driving slower so I could enjoy my ride a little longer.
I arrived at Blue Hill where I was greeted with a refreshing nonalcoholic drink and waited for the rest of the reporters to arrive from their driving experience. After a few appetizers and a little mingling we were given a tour of this beautiful selfsufficient farm. Yearround they grow hundreds of varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. They use integrated methods of composting and crop and animal rotations to enrich the soils and their ability to produce nutritious food. This method contributes to a selfrenewing system of farming that does not require fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial inputs. Good idea. Animals live here too. Chickens, pigs, turkeys, sheep, hens all live humane lives on 40 acres of woodland.
After picking a few berries and eating some purple snap peas we were invited back to Blue Hill for lunch. Everything on our plates were grown on the farm. It is no wonder this is a favorite of the Obamas. We had an amazing, mouth watering lunch. Once we finished eating we were taken upstairs to the kitchen for our very own Chef Challenge. Reporters were divided into 3 groups, 5 in each group. We were given ingredients to use in our recipe.
Though I do cook at home for my family, I am, by no stretch of the imagination a gourmet chef! I panicked! Luckily there was a reporter in our group who dabbles in gourmet cooking. He quickly became our chef and I his souschef.
Though our final production was the best looking dish, we did not win the challenge.
It was a beautiful sunny, 85 degree day. The weather for walking around the farm could not have been better. I spent the day admiring the lavender, picking fresh berries, eating amazing food and talking to wonderful people. I did not want the day to end. But all good things must come to an end. As I conveyed my feelings of sadness to one of the Lincoln representatives, about having to leave such a tranquil environment, I was informed that my drive back would be just as serene. I was reminded that the seats in the MKZ come equipped with massaging option.
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my drive back as I received a back massage.
Sandra Bertola began her journalistic career in New York City. Being of Colombian-Italian descent, she desired to disseminate the news in her native tongue to the Latin community. She received her B.A. in Media Communications from Hunter College and studied journalism at New York University. The first few years in her career she reported hard news for a Spanish Network and eventually, made her way into entertainment news. She produced and anchored “Que Pasa NYC”, a magazine type television show highlighting the trends in NY. After 10 years in broadcast, Sandra gave up her career to become a stay at home mom. After a few years, missing her profession, she helped guide and produce a kids show at KiDz Hub Media Network. Now, she is happy to join the team of My Lifestyle Magazine and return to her first love, her passion, , journalism!