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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Getting Personal with Alpacas

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When we travel, we always look for the free things to do at our destination. There are cool things to do everywhere that cost little to no money and we practice finding such things by doing them in our own city. I subscribe to a ton of email lists, one of which is LocalHarvest.org that will tell you all the cool farm-related activities happening near you. Normally this includes farmers' markets that are opening and gardener talks, but a few weeks ago it also included a meet and greet at an alpaca farm that was just a few minutes away from where we live. We grabbed our friends and their kids and jumped in the car and went to learn about alpacas and possibly buy some fun stuff for gifts.

As an avid animal-lover, I have always been confused by my wariness of alpacas and llamas. Somehow, I feel like I can't read their body language, so I was also going to EasyGo Farm to get over my fear of these adorable creatures. Once there, I learned that they only have teeth on the bottom, so they can't really bite you (though they can try, as I found out later). For just $1, we got a pretty good size tub of alpaca treats to feed them and they were pretty gentle snuffling it out of our hands, though they got pretty excited and tried to push each other out of the way a bunch of times. 

Alpacas are super soft and some amazing stuff is made from their wool. It doesn't hurt that they are even cuter with short hair and little afros on their heads. Right now, they are all the rage on home farms, because they are very social pets and also help keep the grass low. Plus, you can get yourself a spinning wheel and make your own yarn that you can then turn into clothing if you want. I'm not that motivated, but I did have a good time interacting with them for practically free, and the kids were really into it, too. Enjoy the photos.

This one got a little too grabby and "bit" me when she felt she should get to eat the food in my hand instead of her friend. I was bruised, but it was only pinchy.

On the way back home, we found some other fun stuff to do on other days and stopped at a giant gardening store. We are definitely going back to visit with the alpacas again (and get better pictures). What are some of your favorite free activities either where you live or that you found on vacation?

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