This is not the blog I intended to write this week. I was thinking that I had been too nice and touristy for the past few weeks, and that I needed to change things up a bit. Perhaps be a little more myself. Perhaps cover a topic that allowed me to be a bit bitchy. I am certainly overdue for a bitchy blog post. BUT its been a great week, one with some enjoyable events, an unexpected surprise and the execution of a plan that will change the way The Doc and I do daytrips next summer.
First, I managed to get out paddling a few times this week, twice with my friend Sue and once with The Doc. The weather is changing, and we may be done for the season. The next nice day will probably be used to clean things up (kayaks and waterside seats) and put them away. But I am happy with the season. As Sue stated on our last paddle, we had a good run.
Second, The Doc and I headed off on another outing on Thursday that turned out so much better than we expected. The idea was to head back down the Annapolis Valley to Berwick, the quaint town we didn’t make it to the last time, in search of some fresh apples. Some for eating, some for pies. And since we were going to be in the area, I also wanted to visit the Oaklawn Farm Zoo in Aylesford.
Aylesford is a very, very, very small community. The Oaklawn Zoo has been there for ages, but we had never visited it before. Even when JT was small, we didn’t go. Partially because both JT and I had wonderful memories of the Metro Toronto Zoo that we had visited several times when we lived in Ontario. The Toronto Zoo is large, professional and very beautiful with such a great selection of animals. So we were sort of snobby about not visiting this tiny zoo because we didn’t want to be disappointed. We figured it was like a petting zoo with one or two exotic critters to make the visit worthwhile for all local kids who arrived by school bus each year. For some reason, I decided that I finally wanted to go, but I didn’t bother bringing my camera. That was a mistake.
The cost was $6.50 each. I actually got the senior’s rate because their version of senior was 60 plus. First we went to see the reptiles where we were greeted by Luci and Desi, two very, very large, and very impressive, pythons. There were also other snakes including boa constrictors and corn snakes. There were bearded dragons, geckos, turtles and giant cockroaches (Yuck).
Moving along, we saw several different species of monkeys, including gibbons and Japanese macaque and some lemurs. I have to admit that I love lemurs. I really didn’t expect to see them or so many different kinds of monkeys at this little zoo.
As we roamed around we saw zebra’s, camels, llamas, guanacos, donkeys and a zonkey (a cross between a zebra and a donkey). There were miniature horses and a miniature donkey, giant rabbits and a varieties of sheep, goats and deer. And we kept on going.
There were wallaby, capybara and meerkats, which I am a big fan of after watching the animated version of The Lion King at least a thousand times with JT when he was little. It is still one of my favourite movies.
There were several African lions, a couple of tigers, a jaguar and a bob cat. By this time, I am thinking …why didn’t I bring my camera, so I whipped out my phone and began to take a few pictures, knowing that they wouldn’t be great, and wishing I had thought to do so when I saw the pythons. I did manage to click a pic of some monkeys close to the exit.
What impressed me the most about this lovely little zoo with so much to offer was how professional it was; and, more importantly, how well cared for all the animals appeared. We followed the orange directional arrows around the grounds for a couple of hours and left feeling very rewarded and maybe a bit guilty about being judgemental about it in the past.
From the zoo we headed to Berwick where we purchased apples from a market and had nice dinner at Kellocks Restaurant, recommended by my friend Gina. Another successful daytrip.
Future day trips are going to look a lot different next year, thanks to The Doc testing my kayak on our paddle together this week. He had been using one of our older, less streamlined and less comfortable kayaks whenever he went and wasn’t usually enthusiastic about going. However, the test went very well; and he finally agreed that perhaps a new, better kayak, with a comfortable seat was in order. So today, we took a drive out to Old Creel Canoe and Kayak and preordered a new blue Canadian-made Delta 12S kayak to arrive next spring. A perfect match for my green one.
The Doc even joked about checking with Sue on the colour since she paddles with me more than he does and will also be using the new boat. The plan is to sell the two old ones next spring after the new one arrives. The plan is also to still enjoy our lake as much as possible, something I will likely continue to do with Sue; and then for The Doc and I to begin exploring other lakes in the area. I have to admit that I am looking forward to paddling season next year.
Quite an eventful week if I say so myself. I will have to try for a bitchy blog next time round.
Thank you for reading.
Photos: Jenn Stone