Sunday, August 14, 2011

Company Calling - The final chapter

Wouldn't you think that going to a sheep ranch, on a boat tour and having a campfire, complete with toasted marshmallows, would be all you could hope for in a visit to one's favorite aunt/sister???  You would think so, but you would be wrong!

I let the poor dears sleep in a little on Thursday morning, but then we packed ourselves up and left by 9 am to drive over to the nearby touristy town of Minocqua!  That really is pretty relentless to get them going at that time of the day, but hey!  Time is short and we had a lot of great stuff to do.  We don't have to consider rush hour traffic here, we can come and go as we please!
Swans in the trout pond

Donkeys grazing on the shore of the fish ponds

We went to the Wildwoods Wildlife Center, which will ALWAYS be known to me as Jim Peck's  Wildwoods.  The WWC is a wonderful little zoo and education center that has a ton of great stuff to see and experience.  There are the musky and trout ponds where you can play spot the fish- or if you want to fish for the trout, you can do that too- there is a little boat ride thing- but we had been on a big boat ride.  There is a pretty garden area, nice gift shop and snack shack, too, but the reason you are there is to see the animals!  And take animal pix!!!  w00t!!
Sleeping baby goats
Emily with the tortoises

There is a big variety of animals in this little zoo.  Other than the petting zoo animals, the wildlife is disabled in some way, they have been injured or compromised, and are unable to return to the wild.  My kids all went there for a couple of field trips as they were making their way through elementary school, and I have a fond place in my heart for it.  They have recently added lots of educational elements to their zoo, lots of great signs and interactive places.  They now have a mini auditorium where they do educational segments.... very cool.
Look at all of these beautiful guys!

Lovely little jewels

Feeding the budgies with a seed stick

Rose with an acrobatic one!

A fantastic recent addition is an aviary!  We were absolutely enthralled by the multicolored budgies and their funny antics.  We stayed there at least a half hour, it was a wonderful environment.

Prairie dogs

Burrowing owl



Barn Owls (I think)

There are a lot of different animals from cats and birds to lemurs to a zebra, a camel and a llama.  There is a little petting area with a bunch of goats running amok, deer that you can pet, turtles who were  - ahem- being a little personal with each other-  and bunnies, pot belly pigs, etc.
Amazing colors!

Crane of some sort

The best part for me is the Tigers!  Their names, as far as I can tell are Shertan and Shetan!  One is orange and one is white.  Soooooo gorgeous, so dignified.  LOVE them!!  Behold the beauty!
Rapture in orange

Look at that face!

When I was finally able to tear myself away from the Tigers- after 2 return visits- we went to eat at the Island Cafe in Minocqua.  It is a little Greek restaurant that has an outdoor eating area, and we were fortunate enough to get there at just the right time to get a seat.  I had a fantastic Greek salad, iced mocha, and awesome pita and hummus.  Emily said their chicken tenders were some of the best she ever had!!

Mocha at the Island Cafe
We finished up our afternoon by doing a little window shopping, buying some yummy saltwater taffy and then doing a little clothes shopping at Upper Street in Park Falls.  Later in the day we had a supper made 85% of our homegrown veggies, plus burgers on the grill and watched us girl's favorite show:



It was a lovely way to wrap up a lovely visit from the Mad-Sistah and my one and only niece!  (I have a step-niece who is a wonderful girl, don't want to leave Kristen out!)

The joy was out in full force!  

Thanks Rose and Emily, I love you!

One more look at a tiger.........
Aw, have a good nap!

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