And it might have been a girl alpaca too. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Last Thursday I mentioned that R. Darling was taking me away for a much needed surprise weekend getaway. It was so nice to have that prospect to look forward to at the end of the week! So when Friday morning rolled around, we put on our workout clothes and loaded up R.Darling’s kayak on the truck to take to Sterling’s shop. R. Darling needed a few repairs done on it in time for his next kayaking foray (which happens to be tomorrow) and the shop is close enough that we could take it in quickly on our way to our workout. Fridays are “long run” days on R. Darling’s marathon workout training schedule so after dropping off the kayak we headed for one of the amazing trails scattered around our town and put in a 6 mile run (I rode my bike). After cleaning up, packing an overnight bag (and some knitting of course!), we left the house and made a beeline for our favorite coffee stand.
Cool, overpriced, tasty coffee drink in hand, we hit the highway. All I knew about the day’s activities was that there were creatures involved, it didn’t cost much, and R. Darling had “no idea there was anything like this here”. My first thought was a whale-watching tour, but since those aren’t cheap and there are tons of them around here, that was sort of out of the question. Imagine my surprise when I found out we were going to The Outback! The Outback Christmas Tree & Kangaroo Farm, that is, not the restaurant. Creatures! Hooray! We arrived just in time for the 2 PM tour, paid our $8 each, and wandered around seeing what we could see before the tour started.
There were several peacocks in the yard, as well as these adorable little ducklings, and it was all I could do to resist snagging one and kidnapping it. But cute little baby ducks grow into big ducks and we all know what that means – big poops and a lot of biting. Nobody wants that.
The tour started with a cute little introduction and feeding of the resident lemur family, and then we headed back to the wallaby homes. After everyone received a piece of bread to feed the wallabies with, we were led inside the enclosure and introduced to each wallaby in turn. I wanted to tuck one of these little guys into my bag too, they were so adorable. When you feed them they take the bread so gingerly and snuffle your fingers for more afterwards, sitting still for pets and cooing. It was so amazing to be able to get so close to such an exotic creature!
Next, our tour guide tried to wake up “Kangaroo Jack” a young male kangaroo that had been born at the farm. After poking, prodding, and even good-naturedly wiggling his appendages (gently of course), he finally stood up for us and allowed us to come over and feed and pet him. Amazingly, kangaroo fur is even softer than wallaby fur and dense and downy like a rabbit’s. I expected it to be more coarse than that, and was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t a bit like I’d imagined. We also learned that kanagroos have developed a permanent squint due to the bright glare in their natural environment. What I mistook for a sleepy roo was actually how he protects himself from the sun. I learn something new every day!
Next, we were introduced to their Patagonian Cavy (or Mara) which is a large relative of the guinea pig. This creature was a bit more shy and would come close for bread, but wouldn’t tolerate any petting or too much closeness. It had the skinniest legs I’ve ever seen on a creature of this size. No idea how it supports itself on those!
After the exotic creatures we met some more pedestrian creatures, though they were no less fun to feed than the exotic ones. There were miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, regular goats, emus (too mean to feed!), and a variety of other farm animals.
Last but not least, me met Fuzzy Butt and Mr. T, the farm’s friendliest alpacas. We were told to take a food pellet, place it between our lips, and kiss the alpacas! I missed one critical part of the instructions though – pick a long pellet. Needless to say, mine was rather short and Fuzzy Butt got a little familiar.
Not one to be outdone, Mr. T decided he needed a kiss too. The tour guide assured me that Mr. T would be much more gentle to me than Fuzzy Butt, and he was right. I barely felt him take the pellet from my lips.
And with that last alpaca kiss, we said goodbye to the creatures and made our way to our final stop for the night. I still hadn’t guessed where we were going to stay the night, but once we reached the off ramp I had a good idea where me might be headed. In sleepy Anacortes, WA we checked into the historic Majestic Inn & Spa.
R. Darling had booked us a package which included 1 night’s stay, champagne and chocolates in our room (which we ended up just bringing home with us – I know – we’re lame), dinner at the hotel, and a massage the following morning. Truly maximum spoilage! We checked in, took a peek at our room, then went to the dining room for dinner. We were hesitant to eat in the dining room, feeling underdressed as we were, but we were assured that we were dressed appropriately enough and ushered to a well appointed table. Dinner was served by our blonde Miley Cyrus look-alike waitress and we both felt completed sated after an appetizer course of fresh steamed clams, salads, and a main course of prime rib for R. Darling and razor clams strips and chips for me. Afterwards, we got our things from the car and settled into our room for the night.
What a stunning room! How I wish it was mine! It reminded me of a summer cottage with shuttered windows and a cheery yellow and white color scheme. I would love a yellow and white bedroom, or just a yellow and white room in general; it looks so crisp, clean and cheerful. But I’ve been told that yellow’s not restful so I always shy away from it.
We curled up for the evening with books and knitting, pausing briefly to make some coffee and take a glance at the sunset. Then we turned in for a wonderfully peaceful night’s sleep and the next morning woke up ready for our massages. The spa in the hotel is a sister spa to one we’re familiar with up here where we live called The Chrysalis, so we knew we were in for a relaxing visit. We each had a one hour swedish massage which was lovely, though I found out later that R. Darling got some special heated stone action thrown into his that I didn’t get. Bummer, since I’ve always wanted to try that. Maybe next time.
After checking out, we walked down to Ana Cross Stitch where, if you can believe it, I didn’t buy a single thing. Then to the Island Cafe for a greasy spoon breakfast, and off to our final activity of the weekend which turned out to be a jet boat tour of Deception Pass. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water and R. Darling was so pleased for me to be able to see what he sees when he goes kayaking there. Though we didn’t see as many creatures as I’d hoped, we did get an amazing view of the area in the pass and learned something about some of the history of the islands and pass area nearby.
Driving home after our lovely getaway, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband who does such unexpectd and thoughtful things for me. Thank you honey, for everything! You’re the best :)