...run a combo B&B/Alpaca Farm/Knitting Retreat Center/Bookstore/Coffee Shop???
Dave & I had a trip out west planned for this week, but due to some unforseen circumstances, we had to postpone it at the last minute. Desney & Angela, we'll see you in the spring, along with your beautiful baby boy!
So, scrambling to find somewhere to go, because we really were not ready to go to work when we had a vacation planned, we threw out the options of Montreal, Quebec, Maine...Dave was hot for Maine, but I was hesitant, wondering what we would do there in the off-season. His quickly responded, "They have a lot of yarn in Maine!" and so I was sold. We booked a B&B in Camden (no easy feat with less than 2 days notice), and off we went.
I'll write more on the beauty of Maine and Acadia later, but I have to share my Alpaca Joy first! We stopped at the Welcome Center in Maine and immediately a brochure caught my eye..."Meet the Alpacas!" It was an Alpaca Farm, and on our way to Camden. I didn't expect this kind of pleasure on our trip, so I begged Dave to stop and he was actually pretty excited about seeing the animals. We made our way to the farm, and I'm not mentioning the name here because it was really nothing special. It was cool to see the animals, but the proprietor was not very "into" us or our questions. And his yarn was so expensive! So we left, and I thought that would be it. I didn't even buy anything!
Driving along, we discovered that Maine has all these cute little signs on the side of the road advertising businesses and their distance and direction...everything from "Bob's Auto Shop" to "Maine Humor Tapes" (???) to "Village Farm Alpacas"!!! My heart skipped a beat...could I convince Dave to stop at another farm? Actually, it was no problem. We drove off the main road in the town of Waldoboro, up the driveway to the farm. The sign on the little store said "Open by chance and by appointment"...I kept my fingers crossed. We parked the car and out came Bonnie, one of the farm's owners. This woman was so kind and knowledgable about Alpacas...she answered all our questions, even my seemingly shocking, "Do people eat Alpacas?" (Answer: That would be one expensive steak! Not in the US, but probably in South America, after the animals are past their prime.) She took us behind the store to the pasture, and we could see some alpacas off in the distance. Bonnie shouted, "Pacas!" and suddenly all these beautiful heads raised up and about 20 alpacas came loping up the hills towards us. They were so beautiful. I bought some rose gray and fawn colored yarn to make a hat. The animal the rose gray came from is called Xanthus, and he has won awards -- he was gorgeous, but I couldn't get a good picture of him because he was in the "men's" pen, which was a bit farther away from the "ladies'" pen. If you click on his name, you can see some pics on the website. Bonnie also had some hand spun deep chocolate yarn, which I was really tempted to buy, but Dave liked the rose gray better. That was spun at a local mill. I may email Bonnie to get some of her hand spun stuff next season, because I'm really attracted to these kinds of rustic things.
I highly recommend visiting this place if you are ever in the area. And I also recommend visiting their web site, especially if you want to see pictures of Alpacas being born and Alpacas being bred -- yes, real ALPACA SEX online, and you don't have to be 18 to enter...I especially like that they told us how long it took them to breed...
More on Maine later, after we return to NYC.