Kim Nelson: Bachelorette

Everyone wants their bachelorette party to be fun and unique. Nobody wants their guests to be afraid of getting murdered. My bachelorette party included all of the above. Also, alpacas.

Let me backtrack a little. I should let you know that I am obsessed with animals, so when I mentioned to my two sisters that I was thinking about spending a weekend at a log cabin on a ranch that raised alpacas and Goldendoodles, they both said it sounded perfect. This is also the moment where I tell you to always pay attention to online reviews, and when there aren’t any available, wonder why that may be.

AA8B42EA-943E-4EE5-9253-7950090E9677On a Friday night, I drove to to the small bed-and-breakfast town, along my sisters and two of my closest friends, arriving at the alpaca cabins just before nightfall. The ranch was dark and quiet and a key was left for us in an envelope at the unattended check-in desk. As soon as we saw our first alpacas in the last throes of twilight, I squealed in excitement. They were adorable with their long, silly necks, ridiculous faces, and smooshy rumps. We ran up to the fence, trying to lure them over for petting, but they went about their alpaca business which consisted of munching straw and taking large shits. No matter, we had a whole weekend of alpaca petting ahead of us; it was time for cocktails.

We continued along the driveway towards the guest cabins and didn’t see a single other person until we came upon a small caretaker’s shack where a man stood outside with a Diet Coke in hand. Feeling friendly, I waved out the window. The man was stocky with shaggy hair, and wore an old, dirty coat. His face and hands were grimy as if he hadn’t showered in a long time. He waved back, slowly and almost unsure, as if he had never seen another human being wave before. I sat back, breaking eye contact.

“Um,” one of my friends said. “Have you guys seen True Detective? Doesn’t that guy kind of look like the Yellow King?” I experienced a flutter of panic in my stomach, like when I’m driving and come upon a roundabout. Should I have picked Vegas instead?

We pulled up to our cabin. Outside the front door, a single light bulb attracted every moth in a square mile. The inside was quaint and rustic; log walls, a sleeping loft, and fireplace. There was a double bed on the main floor, and another bed in the loft along with what the website had called a fold-out but in reality was a pile of mats, like the kind you’d find in the corner of a grade school gym for use in gymnastics practice.

OK, so the accommodations were less than stellar and the sole neighbor was probably a serial killer, but there were some positives: it was a beautiful night, the alpacas (though aloof) were adorable, and we had a fridge full of beer and a flight attendant’s cart’s worth of mini liquor bottles. And after 3 hours in the car, we were thirsty in the sober kind of way.

The party officially began. We talked, laughed, ate penis-shaped cookies, drank mini-bottles of Makers Mark–you know, girl stuff. Eventually, we were all ready to pass out. My sister and I threw back the blankets on the double bed, when we heard a small object tumble onto the floor. “That’s weird. Was that a rock in the bed? Huh.” In the loft, one of my friends commented that her bed felt sandy, but we were all too drunk to put much thought into it, and soon the room grew quiet as we each passed out.

In the morning, we saw our surroundings in the daylight for the first time. From the loft, I heard someone say, “What are these? They look like acorns.” I picked up the ‘rock’ that had tumbled from my covers and inspected it more closely. It was indeed an acorn. “Dude,” I said. “Animals have been hiding food in our bed for the winter.”

We inspected the sand in the loft bed more closely. The sand turned out to be none other than mouse poo. We were all so hung over and slap happy that we couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of it all. What kind of psycho alpaca goldendoodle farm is this??

Once we collected ourselves, the first order of business was to request new linens, when we called the number from the website, nobody picked up the phone. The only person out and about was the Yellow King. He stood in front of his little cabin at the end of the drive, a Diet Coke in his hand at 9:30 am. 

“Do you know how we can contact the owners?” we asked, and explained the rodent situation. As we were talking, about 6 goldendoodles emerged from a door on the side of the house and ran into a small pen. We reached down to pet them but very quickly realized that the dogs were caked in mud, so dirty you could barely tell what color they were. The bourbon-soaked Rubik’s cube that was my brain clicked into place; that’s why the Yellow King was so grimy; he was sharing the tiny cabin with a half dozen filthy dogs.

After he told us that he’d let the owners know, we walked past the pasture again. The alpacas still kept their distance, glancing at us and turning away. What do you know, alpacas? I wanted to shake them. What have you seen in this place?

After that, we were pretty eager to leave the ranch, head into town, and unsober-fy. Bachelorette shenanigans ensued. The rest of the day was a blur of fancy wine tasting, winery strolling, beer flights, beer pints, beer cheese nachos, drunk antiquing, and penis balloons.

When we stumbled back to the cabin, we saw the man, still standing outside his little shack in the exact same spot we last saw him that morning, 12 empty Diet Coke cans on his front step. One of my friends later admitted that at that moment, she texted her boyfriend her exact location “just in case” she got murdered.

We paid stricter attention to our bedding before we retired for the night. Thankfully, all of the sheets had been changed and were clean and feces-free (there’s your Yelp review right there). In the morning, we packed up our things, shaking everything out just in case there were any lingering acorns. I noticed a bee buzzing on the inside windowsill. While I gathered up my toiletries in the bathroom, I saw another bee on the sink. Hmm, that’s kind of weird. We were just about ready to leave when we did a last pass through the main room to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything. This time, there were about 5 more bees that had suddenly appeared on the windowsill. That’s it; the cabin was going full Amityville on us. We ran to our cars to get the eff outta there before the walls could start bleeding. As we drove away, the alpacas watched us disappear down the road, their expressions blank, their eyes revealing nothing.  

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