Friday, August 20, 2010

Walk With a Llama

"A-rriv-ing at Berk-shire Moun-tain Llama Hikes, two hun-dred feet."

Has your GPS lady ever mechanically sounded out those magical words?

Mine did the other day, as my husband snorted at our surroundings.

We had just driven a mile up a country road in search of a llama to "walk," and there was not a lone llama in sight amidst a rusted out pick-up truck, empty gasoline canisters and a possessed looking tire swing.

"Great! No llamas, see?"

A mile back down the road lay the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. "Can we please go someplace normal for our first trip to the Berkshires?" he continued.

"Normal is sooooo boring, Old Man Jenkins!" I teased him, poking him in the ribs.

"Why do you want to hike with llamas again?" he asked for the 5th time in 10 minutes, precisely when the llama lightbulb went off in my crazy keppe.

"I read it about the Berkshire Mountain Llama Hike online last week and it just appeared miraculously in GARMIN's 'attractions.' It must be a sign."

"Seriously? You really want to trek with a llama?"

I don't know why he was so surprised. You may recall that I once threatened that I would buy an alpaca for a deserving family in a third world country and name it after him if he didn't pass the CPA exam.

"But I passed the CPA!" he retorted, making a thee point turn in the "land of no llamas."

"Look, we're not buying an alpaca today," I explained, rolling my eyes. "We're simply trekking with a llama."

"And tell me why, again," he said.

"Because it sounds like fun . . . and it's my birthday . . . . and I have never walked with a llama before."

"Your birthday was two days ago," he reminded me with a smile.

"Yeah, but you still didn't give me my birthday card, so my birthday continues every day until I get it."

"That's fair," he replied sincerely. "What's with you and the cards?"

"Everyone likes birthday cards," I told him. "And llamas too."

I searched the internet on my cell phone and read this review aloud:

"Come and enjoy the novel experience of spending time in nature accompanied by llamas. Berkshire Mountain Llamas are known for their sweet dispositions, wooly coats, and unique personalities."

"That sounds like you, babe!" I complimented him.

"These llamas are a real treat for youngsters . . ."

"No, YOU"RE a treat," he shot back, laughing.

"As trusted hiking companions they are clever, gentle and willing to be led by young children."

"Now that sounds like YOU, babe!" he added.

Our son giggled in the back seat. (His favorite book is "Llama Llama Red Pajama," so he quite enjoyed our friendly banter).

"Do you want to see a LLAMA?" I asked him. He kicked his sneakers on the bottom of his car seat and flashed every tooth in his mouth. "Yeah, yeah!"

"You two are both nuts, there are no llamas here," "Old Man Jenkins" declared.

I had to admit, he was correct. I'm not sure if we were in the wrong place or if the Berkshire Mountain Llama Hike company simply could not keep up with competing local attractions. But, my husband made it up to me by riding an alpine slide (a bit tipsy and amidst the threat of wild turkeys on the course), buying me a beautiful birthday gift, and patiently waiting while I conquered a death-defying aerial rope course, like the one I used to live for at summer camp.

As for the llamas, I think we'll check out the zoo this weekend and see if we can find one. Technically, it's STILL my birthday.

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