When Is An Alpaca Not a Lllama?

Those of you who know me well know I have a wide range of obscure information (I’m looking at you, Christina), but I can’t tell you much about alpacas and llamas. I know alpaca yarns are the skeins I drool over, but I end up buying the less expensive ones. I know David Spade voiced my favorite llama ever in “The Emperor’s New Groove.” But I now know that what’s significant about alpacas is that a pasture full of them in Nebraska can be a backdrop for a meaningful evening with my oldest daughter.


When Emery first invited me to come up a couple of weeks ago, “Wine With Alpacas” sounded fun, but it was going to be on the Saturday after I just returned from moving Ellis to college on Tuesday. Having my late-in-life seven year old at home means I don’t get away as easily as I would have if I were an empty nester, so I wasn’t sure about committing to the trip.


Emery was going to be taking the LSAT on that morning and wanted me to come up to relax with her after that day of stress. For those of you who don’t know Emery, she is laser focused and intensely driven to learn, achieve, lead, and be just an all-around strong woman. This drive helped her get a grant to go to Spain last summer and will help her get into law school next year where I know she will continue to astound me.

But enough bragging. Suffice it to say that Emery’s path leads her down many roads which I can not follow. And this time next year, I’m guessing she’ll be farther than three hours away. Her text-persistence at wanting me to come to Omaha to spend an evening at an alpaca farm with wine and friends told me it was an mother-daughter opportunity I would regret missing.


I committed to making the trip and will put this experience in the column marked “Always Say Yes.” I could tell you about how cute the alpacas are when they run down the hill after the handlers open the gates. Or I could try to find words to describe the perfect glowing sun, balmy temperature and green fields. I could list the wines we brought, the cheeses, and snacks. But really, none of that mattered. What meant everything was my lovely time with Emery, Laura and Mia, an evening of laughter, love, and all that makes life good. An evening I will cherish as long as my memory holds.

In case you’re still wondering about the differences between alpacas and llamas, they are never the same. Llamas are much larger with longer ears and are bred as strong pack animals while alpacas have softer fleece and are, to me, just all around cuter. If you want to see them up close and personal or buy some lovely alpaca yarn, check out the great people at  www.alpacasoftheheartland.com. And if you can’t make a trip like that, find something, somewhere with someone. Say yes. Your heart will thank you. Mine does.

Carla Burgess4 Comments