Step two of our adventures, after the Elfin Forest, was a drive through rolling hills to a small orchard/farm/petting zoo/country store, tucked away in a valley near the coast.



avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn


This place reeked of the Midwest, although the whole experience made me realize that maybe I've just been assuming that small farms with hay rides and baby goats and apples are solely a middle-of-the-country thing. Whatever the case, I felt strangely at home, like it was autumn but with heat, hills, and palm trees.



avila valley barn

avila valley barn
avila valley barn
There was an entire family of boys like this - there were at least two more of them that I saw. 

The boys went crazy for feeding the animals. Plastic bags filled with pieces of lettuce and other veggies were being sold for twenty-five cents each, so we stocked up and went to town.



avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn


I'm not entirely sure how all of the animals at the farm managed to not be incredibly obese. I'm guessing they don't need to be fed by anyone who actually works at the farm, because they spend the whole day eating out of the hands of tourists.


avila valley barn
Love this picture - the poor donkeys were so neglected, because they were at the far end of the row where no one could see them. I made a point of steering the boys in that direction whenever I could. 

avila valley barn
chicken
We saw this crazy guy in the parking lot. At first D was super scared of it, insisting that I open the car so he could jump in, but then when I paused to take pictures, he slowly peeked his head back out. 
avila valley barn


The plastic bags were so popular that at one point we had to take a break and wander the aisles of the store while they restocked. We checked out the various honey-related knick knacks for sale, and the boys asked me questions about each kind of fruit, reminding me for the millionth time that I know much less about this world, life, and the objects in it than I think I do.



IMG_5746

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn


We ended up staying at the petting zoo for longer than I expected. The boys had so much energy, running from one animal pen to the next, holding their sides with laughter whenever the goats made creepy bleating noises, and jumping up and down on bales of hay.


IMG_5844
This is my favorite picture of the day - D feeding L some of the clover honey stick that we bought in the store.
So. Damn. Cute. 

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn

avila valley barn


Good times were had by all.

Next up, the beach! Happy Tuesday!

avila valley barn