Sunday, May 14, 2017

#4: hold a baby goat

The Big. Ticket. Item. 



I mean, it's on my business card for goodness sake. It's the list item I'm most often asked about. It also might snag the award for "most random" on the list. And, as it turns out, it was one of the hardest ones to check off.

There were a few close calls and whole LOT of sheep. But, as cute as they are, sheep are NOT, in fact, goats. 

I was on the highest of all high alerts throughout our 17 country, 5 month jaunt. If there was a baby goat within reach, I would be squeezing it.

In Norway, I thought, most likely.. but only sheep encounters ensued. 

In Vietnam our tour bus driver was almost not even close to being convinced by chanting to pull over at the site of cliff dwelling baby goats.

In Okinawa we even went to 'goat beach' but there were only grown up goats. 

In New Zealand I thought FOR SURE. But guess what? We saw maybe one goat and it was old. Foiled every time. 

So, when I came back to the U.S. I was desperate and running out of time. That's when everyone and their brother tagged me in a Facebook article that went viral.


That's right, Caromont Farm in the middle of nowhere Esmont, Virginia was looking for volunteers to feed and cuddle the sh*t out of their newborn babies...of the goat variety. AND I WAS JUST THE PERSON TO DO IT.

I had a few questions:
-HOW DO I SIGN UP?
-Where the F is Esmont?
-HOW DO I SIGN UP?

This was the exact opportunity to check off #4 and I fumbled in speedy and ungraceful fashion to sign up before all the slots were filled. There are more people than you'd think interested in getting their hands on a baby goat for a solid snuggle sesh.

I snagged the Last. Two. Spots. I felt like I had received the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory if Willy had goats, that is. Just a few details to figure out now. Getting there seeing as it was a solid 9-ish hour drive, lodging, and a partner in crime, of course.

I smelled a legit road trip opp here, and the randomness of it all was boiling over. Combined with my 12/10 level excitement? I was about to combust.

This list was not just about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, doing epic things in random and amazing places, and holding furry lil goats. This list had been allowing me to create memories with people in a new way, and what better way to share experiences like these with the people I love? Also, dinner conversation had became much more compelling.

That's when I texted Sharone.

Sharone, aka Mom, Ma, Sweet one who birthed me, is, in fact, my mom. 


I had yet to check off a list item with her and it could be fun...as long as being confined to a car for the better part of 18 hours over the span of 36 hours didn't cause us to pull each other's hair out. A toss of the dice.

After confirmation that Sharone was on board, literally, I started researching unique stops along our route to check out, of course. 




News flash Sharone, I was driving so.. 
DINOSAURLAND HERE WE COME.

Dinosaurland backstory:
Apparently, during a few family road trips due south, my sisters and I earnestly begged for a pitstop at Dinosaurland And. We. Never. Did. THE TIME WAS NOW PEOPLE.

So, on a foggy Saturday morn in March, we embarked on our goat-holding-Dino-land-visiting journey. 

And a  q u e s t  it 'twas. The thing about going anywhere with Sharone is that she has everything you'll ever need in the depths of her purse.

Hungry? No problem- here's some saltines. WHO CARRIES SALTINES IN THEIR PURSE?

Annoying loose thread? No worries, Sharone has baby scissors in her handbag. WE GOT THIS.

Things I learned about Pennsylvania:
It's boring AF to drive through.
There's so much of it.
It smells bad. Like poop.
There's a town called Shartlesville and because I have the maturity of a 12 year old boy I laughed for about 2 hours.
Everything ends in 'burgh.' 

I apologize to all the Pennsylvanians. 

After what seemed like days, we reached the exit for the promised land- aka DINOSAURLAND.

It was a run down shack donning a glorified backyard riddled with dinosaur statues circa 1980-ish...and I was in love. 




We approached the ticket counter. Yes, there was a ticket counter.

"Is it as magical as I think it is?" I asked the ticket lady.

"Well..maybe if you were ten?"

"Sold."




We made our way to the dino-lawn and it was, in fact, my kind of magical.



I practically skipped around, my joy uncontainable. Sharone and I posed like idiots with the various prehistoric creatures. My inner 8 year old couldn't handle it. It was more than entertaining.







BESTIES

Dinosaurland dominated, and I had unexpectedly checked something off of my list from when I was a youngin'. Feeling accomplished, we made our way to Charlottesville, VA. We'd have just enough time to grab some dinner and catch some Z's before GOAT O'CLOCK!

We drove to the farm which was exactly in the middle of nowhere. The morning was overcast, chilly, and wet. But nothing was going to dampen my mood- not when there were baby goats awaiting my arms. 




We were greeted by three dogs and zero humans. Cell service isn't a thing in bumfu**, so I crossed all my fingers and toes that someone, ANYONE would introduce us to my new goat friends.


AND THEN THEY DID.


First we frolicked in a pen with a bunch of kids, about 3 weeks old.








Their new leader
It was everything I had imagined. The goats were cheeky, hilarious, and if they had pants on, they'd definitely be sassy pants. They were WILD. They were abundantly comical. Bouncing off their friends as trampolines, attempting to eat everything in sight, climbing us like poles...all the classic goat things.



GET ALONG YOU TWO.

We played, fed them, and best of all, cuddled.


THAT MILK MUSTACHE THO


HOLD A BABY GOAT? CHECK!


The most humorous of moments involved one of the goats eating my braid:



and the fact that I can now say I've been mounted by a goat:


After chillin with the 3 week old goat gang, we wandered over to the other pen where, my dreams were to come true twofold. 

There, laying amongst the grass, hay, and poop, were two 2 DAY OLD NEWBORN BABY GOATS. JACKPOT.

I loved the goats we had just romped with, I really did. BUT NEWBORNS? This was exactly what I had had in mind.



I approached the wee furry babe, as fresh into this world as could be, and asked it's mama if I could please hold her prize via some intense eye contact. She seemed to give zero f**ks so I went for it. 

COME TO MAMA


Be still my heart. 

I cradled that baby goat as if it were my own infant. Pure unadulterated joy bubbled up inside of me like celebratory champagne. Oddly enough, I also wouldn't have minded a glass of champagne. I promptly named the farm newbie Huxley. 

I adored his floppy little hooves, soft fur, oversized ears, and the fact that he was brand spankin' new to this world. 

And then he fell asleep. 


And I melted.

It took all of my willpower not to run in my wellies back to the car, Huxley in hand, frantically declaring, "STEP ON IT SHARONE!" I didn't think she'd appreciate us getting arrested for goatnapping though. 

We wrapped up our time at the farm chatting with the lovely owners until, sadly, I had to be torn away from Huxley. Would he remember me? Of course not. But he earned a permanent space in my heart.


Sharone and I had done it. I felt giddy with the stench of farm as we drove away. Not only had I checked off the ever elusive #4 list item, but it had easily been one of my favorite adventures- in Virginia no less.  I was pumped. I was on a goat high. I also really needed to wash my hands. 

Sharone and I celebrated with waffles, obviously. The most famous list item was completed, yes, but I hadn't taken a trip with my mom, just the two of us in a long time. We laughed. We were ridiculous. She fed me snacks from her huge purse. We sang at the top of our lungs wildly off key in the car. We will always be able to talk about that random road trip to hold baby goats- and that? THAT was top notch. Priceless, even.

One could only hope that the baby goat induced jubilance would go the distance...specifically 9 hours of road trip distance, in the torrential rain. 


**Hold a baby goat? Check! Travel 18 hours with my mom, detour to Dinosaurland, cuddle a slew of goats, and make an epic Mother/Daughter memory? Check, check!

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