Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Christmas camel

The holiday events are happening fast and furious around here, and I am falling behind in editing photos and posting about the festivities.

Two weekends ago we went with my parents to the Shrine to see the Christmas lights, the indoor tree display and the petting zoo. In the days leading up to our visit, Mary Clare told anyone who would listen that she was going to ride a camel. This, despite Nana Thole telling her that camels are mean (you have one bad experience on a camel in Africa, and suddenly you want to ruin it for everyone).

The day of our Shrine visit arrived, and after sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for close to an hour and then enduring a 30-minute wait for dinner, it was close to closing time and well beyond bedtime when we finally made it to the tented area with the camels, ponies and petting zoo.

We thought for sure Mary Clare would chicken out the moment she saw the camels, but she patiently waited in line, climbed atop the camel and then held on to the metal bar for dear life. She emitted a squeal of delight as the camel lurched forward, but was otherwise silent as we made two laps around the sawdust-covered corral. Speaking as the person who got to ride on the hump, it was a painful two laps. But Mary Clare loved it.

After the camel ride we checked out the various goats, sheep and alpacas, and she confidently fed each of them carrots and small pellets of feed as well.

So, yeah, we rode a camel around inside a tent in Belleville, Illinois. It may not be the most conventional of Christmas traditions, but it was certainly one of the more entertaining.

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