Just off of west Route 159 (also known as Charleston Blvd) is a little community called Bonnie Springs. Started as a "tent city," it was a stopping point for settlers to break for the night and dig for water. According to our nice tour guide, neighboring Native Americans would raid the tent city at night and do "not nice things" to the settlers (she really had to wash down her descriptions as two toddlers were in the room.) Lots of people died in horrific ways: hatchets, guns, bears, disease. For a few moments during the tour, I felt like I was in "Parks and Rec," learning about the near-comical violent history of Pawnee. Bloodshed aside, let's not dwell on the bad stuff for too long.
Gorgeous blue skies, anyone?
Courtney, Sam, Caryn (Courtney's mom), Karen (my mom), Scotty and I spent the morning wandering through the various attractions. Not surprisingly, the petting zoo was the biggest hit. Like most things, my enthusiasm overrided my common sense. After taking two steps into the zoo and immediately being accosted by a rather aggressive deer attempting to snack on my Michael Kors collection bag, I remembered why I hate petting zoos. As I fought off the deer, I polled the group. "Who would rather be at Nordstrom?"
Courtney's hand immediately shot up.
Thankfully, my mother is a modern day Dr. Doolittle. She managed to control the animals while talking in a pleasant voice to the children about each. I could barely keep the panic out of my voice, especially when I stumbled on giant hogs not in a pen. Wasn't there a story out of Iowa about a farmer who fell into a pig pen and was eaten by his own hogs? Also, did I mention the wolves seemed agitated? Was a tsunami coming? There were desert mice running in and out of the exhibits - what's the name of that disease you can contract from breathing in the fumes from wild rodents' fecal matter? Anyone? Anyone?
Vegas living has made me soft. I am the Debbie Downer of petting zoos.
But the kids had a great time and my mother only shot me one or two withering looks (I really tried hard to keep my panic-ridden comments to myself). My purse made it out safely, though I can't say the same about Caryn's polka dot green sweater. Enter at your own risk, friends.
But the happy goat was worth the price of admission. Scotty (and Karen) loved him so much we went back for round two. I battled the deer while they petted the goat's beard.
Scotty and Sam had a great time playing cowfolks, and happily climbed onto whatever equipment they could reach. Here, they are yelling "Yee-haw!' while riding the log. Ah, to be three.
So if you get a chance, definitely check out Bonnie Springs. Scott and Sam were the perfect age to enjoy the fun. Best of all, if necessary, you could even do time-out the old-fashioned way.