"There’s nothing like a llama….well maybe an alpaca.”
LIFE LIST: VISIT AN ALPACA FARM
|Yes, I think I'll take two of these please.|
When: October 3rd while we were on our second trip to Philadelphia. This was Mommy and baby's Day of LIFE LISTING fun! The day started with an Amish buggy ride, a Strasburg train ride and this beautiful visit to an Alpaca Farm set back in the country.
|Kissing Alpacas!!! It looks like the cover of a Valentine's Day card!|
Cost: Admission is free! I think donations are appropriate, deserved and welcomed- if I had to suggest how much of a donation to make- I might say $20/family or maybe $5-$10/person. They do allow pictures and up close encounters so that would be more than reasonable. I think it best to make your financial decision once you arrive and then you could determine what this experience was worth to you. There are few places offering 'free admission' especially places like this. But if you cannot afford that, give what you can.
If you do plan a trip bring some cashola for the gift shop. Alpaca fur is so soft, it would make a very nice treat to indulge in for yourself. Also, everything I saw in that store would make such unique, special gifts!
|The gift shop.|
|'What is this little girl doing with our leader?'|
Something I would recommend? CERTAINLY! It is just a fun, lite hearted thing to do, great for kids and adults alike. If you do decide to plan a trip you just need to call ahead or email to set up your visit. Currently on their website they are advertising their open house coming up soon which is not only free but they will provide hayrides and food.The owners are wonderful people who welcome individuals and families as well as groups. They frequently cater to seniors or handicapped groups and if the individual cannot easily get off the bus, they will bring a baby on board so everyone can join in.
Sue and Kevin, the super friendly husband and wife duo who own and run Eastland Alpacas take excellent care of their animals and love each and every one of the 115 Alpacas at their farm. Each one is registered and named and Sue knows each one by name! After being married for 8 years I still cannot remember my husbands cousins names...and there's only five of them.
If you are interested in owning or breeding Alpacas these services are offered for a fee and the owners are happy to provide all the information needed. I also would like to recommend that if you are a person who likes fur but strays away from it after hearing about the unfair treatment of animals- then check out Alpaca fur, it is incredibly cozy and comfy to the touch. It is commonly described as being "Soft like cashmere and stronger than wool" It's the kind of softness that as soon as your fingers touch it your whole body kind of melts. There's a list of things I wish I could have bought or rather that I hope to buy one day from their gift shop. In my opinion it is just as soft as chinchilla fur and you don't have to feel guilty about a cute little critter dying for your coat, since Alpaca fur is so thick and long it can be simply be shaved off.
|As a person who used to clean stables....this is incredibly impressive-I could not believe the cleanliness and with 115 animals...plus the cats!|
What would I do differently? What would I do differently? Well, I must admit that I was a few hours late. I did call and leave a message but I'm sure it effected their plans for the day and I felt badly. It was all my fault, that night I had stayed up until 4h a.m. finishing my translation project, then had to get me and my 2 year old up and out the door by 8h, drive 2 hours to our Amish Buggy Ride, go to our train ride then the Alpaca Farm- it was just poor planning cramming way too much into a twelve hour time period.
Although, in a sense the timing worked out perfectly for us (I can always find the silver lining). On the drive to this farm my daughter was telling me how much she missed her kitty (Koni) at home and I was starting to feel bad that I took her away from her kitty for so long but when we arrived and the barn to see it housed about 10 barn cats she was in heaven and I was so pleased to see her in her glory. When we were pulling out of the driveway my precious little girl said "Bye Kitties....bye Soup....bye Talpacas..." It was so cute.
Will I do it again? I enjoyed this so much, and I enjoyed getting to know the owners so it would be a real treat to be able to visit again and if I happen to find myself in Pennsylvania again one day I would certainly stop by. My baby could visit her surrogate kitties, and I could buy that Alpaca fur 'scarf' and some other goodies. And I have to admit that if there were not zoning issues on my street I would be picking up an Alpaca too. I assume there is some sort of zoning laws since there are no Alpacas on my street, but now that I'm thinking about it, I really ought to look into it! These animals are undoubtedly adorable, friendly, sweet, curious, gentle, docile, quirky and seemingly harmless. I felt NO fear taking my toddler into the pen with 10 of these animals. Unlike when I worked at the horse stable and had to go into one of the stalls with a horse in it, which always made me nervous. There was the possibility of being kicked, bitten, stepped on, pinned against the wall or that the horse would get spooked and rear up, but I felt totally safe with these little guys!
Life changing? Perhaps not so much for me but I watched it change for almost two year olf! I watch her brain grow every time we do one of these experiences, it's incredible. For instance, somehow my 2 year old apparently knows the difference between a llama and an alpaca at a glace. When we look at the pictures from our trips she remembers things- for instance, when I show her the above picture she starts talking about the kitties- she doesn't have to see the pictures of the cats she just remembers that when she was at the alpaca farm she played with kitties (which is a big deal for such a little girl to remember that). She also will start talking about 'Soup' the owner...or as I'm sure she is more commonly known- Sue.
This gave me another lovely experience with my daughter which I will treasure forever. After about an hour we were ready to leave but a scheduled senior visit arrived by bus and without realizing it we were blocked in. It wasn't too big of a deal although by this time it was a very long day and we were hungry, tired and hot but my baby got to play a little more with her new furry buddies so I didn't mind too much. Then luckily as it turned out I am SO GLAD we were blocked in because I was also able to take my absolute most favorite picture ever of my sweetie....
|My baby with an Alpaca baby.|
|They seemed very taken with her.|
|Where she went so did this little black kitty.|
|How do cats and children communicate? Like this.|
|THE CLEANEST BARN I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!|
|The entire property was very well kept, they also run another business so I don't where they find the time but it did not go unnoticed and little touches like flowers at a farm turn a' fun thing' into a lovely afternoon.|
|The throw I want in my living room to sit on with a good book and a hot cup of coffee...|
|Stuffed animals made from Alpaca fur- I think this would be an adorable baby gift!|
|The scarf I want-it's only $119 if anyone is at a loss of what to get me this Christmas.|