First in the gate, miniature ponies!
Next stop, Vietnamese pygmy pigs. These ladies were not pretty. They were black with wiry hair, very pot-bellied. They were snoozing in a pile under a red lamp (not flattering light), and in the enclosure there was a glass cabinet full of little bric-a-brac pig miniatures made of glass, plastic, ceramics, etc. Weird.
Pretty soon we encountered a flock of confident ducks. These ducks do not experience food insecurity. It was only 10:00am and they were being fed by the fistful by our young friend. She cottoned on super quickly that the ducks will come to the food, so every handful was thrown closer and closer until they were crowding greedily around her little pink-sneakered feet.
There were a couple of exotic parrots including a rainbow macaw. And a turkey. We got up pretty close to the turkey, enough to discover that it had a very alarming protuberance on the top of its beak. It was like... well, it was mesmerising. It had a kinetic life of its own, like a trunk. Since then I have seen multiple large photos of turkeys in shops and other places, and these bits of animated pink skin seem to be photo-shopped out. Mystery.
The highlight of the trip was so obviously the miniature goats. These things were petite, friendly, soft, and otherwise lovable in every way. We were allowed right in the enclosure, and we spent a good (excellent) 15 minutes playing with them.
In the picture above, one of the little goats was licking Matthew's shoe. It did this for some time. Goats like to taste all things, so my shoe-laces and shirt got well nibbled too.
The other charming thing is that the goats notice when one is receiving attention, then they all gather around. And of course they love to climb up high. Argh, they were delightful.
We saw a stoic peacock family unit (got a brief and sharp talking to from the mother figure when I got too close) and lots of New Zealand white rabbits. The rabbits shared an enclosure with a sweet little posse of guinea pigs with fascinating hairdo's. But we couldn't quite convince any of them to hold still enough for a pet. I guess if my hair was that fabulous I wouldn't want people to touch it either.
After all the animals were inspected we headed down the road to Lonsdale Quay for some brunch in the gorgeous midday sun. Because it was still fairly early in the day (and also because it is a bit sleepy) the Quay was not busy, so we had a beautiful view of Vancouver from the side patio. At this time of year, if there is a piece of patio to be had, you have it, because you never know when it will be the last sunshine for 7 months.