Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Maine - Day 3 - Alpaca Farm

In our hotel I picked up a brochure for an Alpaca farm in Wiscasset, Maine. Although it was a bit out of our way, I had my heart set on going there to feel what everyone says is the softest fur (Alpaca wool) and to see a real Alpaca for the first time. Okay, yeah I wanted Astrid to see and experience these animals too, but truth be told the kid in me wanted to touch one. It's great having a 2 year old who loves this kind of stuff too.

So we loaded our luggage back into our rental car (a brand new Ford Taurus - they've revamped both the interior and exterior of that car for the better) and off we went to visit the Alpaca farm.U. holding Astrid up to get a better view of the Alpacas.

The informational video they had us watch said that Alpacas are normally very gentle animals, but hand-feeding them is not allowed because it makes them aggressive. So Astrid just had to do with gawking at them (like we did) and trying to touch them through the fence.Astrid looking adorable in her first pair of overalls. Fitting for the farm.

Alpaca fur is soft but those animals are dusty and then there are the smells from the farm. Not for me and my sensitive nose. But they are kind of cute in a way.I see you Alpaca!

Astrid kept saying "Paca - come here! Come! Come!" (like she was ordering the dog around).Alpacas munching on grass. The babies are super cute.There's free admission to the farm and the owners invite visitors to bring lunch and have a picnic beside their pond (shown in the photo above) or along the nature trails that circumvent the pastures. U. holding Astrid's hood to keep her from falling into the pond. She was hypnotized by the pond's fountain.Astrid trying to push Papa in the swing.Astrid trying to get better leverage.Astrid showing Papa that she's serious about pushing that swing - no doubt about it.Astrid getting a ride from Papa.Exploring the nature trails (with monkey).A sweet father/daughter in the sunshine on a farm pic.U. and I taking a arm extended photo of just the two of us.This particular Alpaca was in love with U. As soon as she spotted him she ran up to him and wanted to be close to him. U. even commented, "this one likes me."Maybe a little too much. This pic was taken seconds after this Alpaca charged the fence and tried to get with U. He jumped back just in time, and luckily the Alpaca wasn't able to jump the fence. Was it the red shirt? U's cologne? His sexy German accent? I guess we'll never know."I almost got attacked by an Alpaca and my wife thinks it's funny."
Astrid says goodbye to the Alpacas.We stopped by the gift shop on the way out. The brochure stated, "All children must be held in store." but the sign on the door said, "No children under 10 allowed in store." U. scooped Astrid (who's 2) up in his arms and into the store we went.

Astrid kept saying, "Down...down...down." The lady in the store heard her and said, "No down." We immediately turned around and left. I was thinking in my head, "No sale." It's weird that a place like that would be so not kid friendly. It's a kitschy gift shop with sweaters and hats and scarves, not fragile China. Astrid would have loved to have walked around in there and looked at all their merchandise, and she's a really good kid. She understands "just look, don't touch" and I've taken her into shops with ceramics and glass before without any problems. Oh well, their loss. If they wouldn't have been so unfriendly to kids, we probably would have bought something for her in there.

U. and I had just discussed how admission was only free if you didn't buy anything from the gift shop. So I turned to U. and said, "Well it was free after all."

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