We took the long and winding road up and around and into the hinterlands, and then dared the steep, steep driveway down (me mostly with my eyes shut and clutching the seat) and reached the Maleny Botanical Gardens and Bird Park.
Sprawling down the hillside, looking across to breath-taking views of the Glasshouse mountains, gardens and ornamental lakes form a perfect playground for children to run, and it's easy to see why it's such a popular spot for weddings. But of course, the highlight was the petting area and the aviary.
It was the first time Giggle-Bear had ever seen an alpaca, or a goat, a sheep or a guinea fowl. She spent the whole time pointing furiously and then looking back at me for confirmation. "Eh! Eh! Eh! Mother have you seen this creature!"
By the time we went into the aviary, where birds swoop down in a spectacular fall of light and colour to land on your shoulder or head, she was almost too awed to take it all in.
I adore birds - my first world was duck, as we had pet ducks at the time, and at various times I've had chickens and ducks and an injured, free ranging (and very destructive cockatoo.) I am used to the cheeky intelligence of a parrot and, when the keepers told me their penchant for stealing jewellery I sighed in memory as well and laughed. Watching one particular parrot busily take the buttons off my Beloved's shirt also made me giggle.
This toddling, new-to-everything age is so much fun, and it's such an honour to witness and such a pleasure to seek new things out, to see the world afresh through eyes just learning the shape of the world, and first learning of the vastness and diversity.
"Eh! Eh! Eh! Mother! Have you seen, it is amazing!"