The Gentle Barn: A Tale of an Emu Encounter & Princess Anna
This weekend we visited The Gentle Barn which is an animal sanctuary that rescues animals from neglect and abuse. Once a week they open their doors to the public and visitors are allowed to HUG and brush cows, snuggle giant 800 pound pigs and feed horses and donkeys. I mean, I'm almost 30 and I've never hugged a cow in my life so I was pretty stoked! The day had some highs and lows that could only happen in Los Angeles.
When we arrived, we listened to a brief presentation about the sanctuary and some rules. Anyone with a two-year-old knows that presentations and kids DO NOT MIX. My kids took turns trying to run down the steep, dirt hill that plummeted into a little cliff. It was mildly nerve wracking. When we return, I think we'll attempt to use the restroom during this piece. I totally get why it's important but until my kids are older, it's better to skip it.
Because these animals came from neglect and abuse, some are very timid and nervous. It's super important to walk, not run and to be GENTLE. My gentle giant, Lily, was so excited and trying her hardest to contain herself. I could see the concentration in her face as she slowly walked up to a giant emu and attempted to pat it on the head. "Gentle, gentle gentle", I repeated. But in true two-year-old fashion, bursts of excitement just pop out. It's normal. Unfortunately for poor Lily, the emu saw her excitement as danger and in half a second, nipped Lily in the arm. It wasn't a bite; it was more of a scratch with the beak. It didn't break skin but it was super scary. Lily cried hard. My poor muffin. Here's a fun shot RIGHT BEFORE. Of course Lily would get attacked by an emu and Teddy would get his head stuck in a chair the same week. #twinstruggles
As Lily started to calm down, I spotted Kristen Bell with her family at the farm. It was effing PRINCESS ANNA OF ARENDELLE. Now, I'm not normally one to not bother celebrities. After living in Los Angeles for nine years and working in the entertainment industry, you realize very quickly that celebs are just trying to live their lives and it's super annoying when people ask for pics. I wouldn't stoop to the level of asking for a picture, BUT I did what any parent desperate to get their kid to forget about an emu attack would do; I asked Kristen Bell to say hi to Lily. She was sweet and asked Lily her name and said "nice to meet you, Lily." It worked. As soon as Lily heard Princess Anna's voice, she was in heaven. The tears stopped and she ran to Steve and Teddy in PURE delight. She hasn't stopped talking about it. I'm sure she has has better things to do than read my little blog, but if she ever does I just want to say, Kristen Bell, Princess of Arendelle, from one parent to another, THANK YOU.
The rest of our visit to The Gentle Barn was so awesome. Lily was a happy camper and LOVED brushing and hugging the cows. Teddy was obsessed with feeding the horses carrots and sitting on the tractor. We will definitely be back. If you come to LA with kids, I highly suggest you go. It was only a 30 minute drive from our house but felt a world away.
Life works in mysterious ways. I think in Lily's eyes, the emu encounter was totally worth a hello from Princess Anna.