Who are we and how did we get here? I was born and raised in Southern New Mexico (Las Cruces). Having grown up in New Mexico, I have a love/obsession with all things Mexican food, the desert, warm weather and family. I grew up with more animals than I can actually remember.. horses, sheep, dogs, cats, you name it; I am very fortunate to have the parents I do. I started riding horses before I could walk (literally) and have loved riding ever since.
When I was 6 I started showing market lambs through 4-H and competing a local/state shows along with my brother Brendan who is four years older than me. Showing became a huge part of our lives, we had lambs basically year round so that we could show all over the country (I also convinced my dad to let me start breeding which was so fun). Between my brother and I we won countless lamb shows, showmanship competitions, etc.; showing was a big part of who I am today.
The only break from showing we had was when my parents would take us to Europe in the summer; we were so lucky to have this experience. In middle school and high school I was in FFA and competed in livestock and dairy judging throughout New Mexico. While attending NMSU, I took a trip to Telluride, CO (a place my family had been going to ski for years) to see my cousin. That is where I met Max, he was one of her many roommates; more on that later.
Max was born in Northampton, MA and raised in Rhinebeck, NY- only 25 minutes from where we live today. Although at the time Rhinebeck was a smaller rural upstate town, it was much more suburban than where I grew up. Instead of farm animals, Max had Golden Retrievers and instead of spending his time with show animals, he spent his racing road bikes.
Similar to myself and horses, Max started riding bikes as a young child with his dad and that love for cycling is still strong today. Max raced on both road and mountain bikes with sponsorships beginning when he was in Middle School. Like myself, he also loves skiing (match made in heaven, right?). He went to college in Durango, CO at Fort Lewis for skiing and cycling where he competed in both at the collegiate level. After college he traveled the world skiing and started a non-profit to teach skiing in Kashmir.
In the summer of 2013, we reconnected in Telluride after having met the year before. I was working at a summer camp (Telluride Academy) and Max had just returned from Israel and Japan. We met up for dinner and needless to say, the rest is history. We got engaged Thanksgiving of 2013 while visiting Max’s family in New York and New Jersey and were living in Telluride. After living in Telluride for a few years we decided it was time for a change (career wise) and made the big move to New York. We started our travel business, Hoener Adventure & Luxury Travel in 2016 which we still own and operate today. My primary focus has been the travel agency and Max represents small, luxury, boutique hotels all over the world.
In September of 2018 we got married in Millbrook, NY just down the road from our house at Millbrook Vineyard. When we bought our property in January of 2018, we had dreams of clearing the land and getting animals (most people, including our realtor thought we had lost our minds) but we saw the potential; I will go into more detail on clearing the land, building barns, etc. in my next blog. After almost 3 years we finally have farm animals and have plans to add a couple more in 2021!