Royse City— Royse City may not have rolling green hills and rainbows, but out in rural Rockwall County is a really big residence that’s right out of Ireland.
Coming from California, Sharon and her husband, Paul, were looking for something kooky because they needed a home with lots of space for their whole furry family.
“We checked it out and didn’t know, oh, it’s also a castle. It’s like, okay, where’s the decision here? A llama castle?” said Sharon.
Llamas are what this woman loves. Not exactly what you’d expect from a retired ghost writer.
“I thought I’d just be chilling, watching movies, and going to ladies clubs. I did that for a little while, and then I got bored,” she confessed.
Sharon’s son, Tommy, was allured to llamas too. He was infatuated with these curious creatures after a school trip to a zoo. Before long, their curiosity became a reality as they opened ShangriLlama to share in the love of llamas.
Having such unique pets patrolling their Irish palace is already peculiar enough, but Sharon went above and beyond by giving her fuzzy friends funny names.
“Dalai Llama was something kind of mystical, magical, creepy, whatever, eyes, you know, something that draws your attention… Bahama Llama, some llama that’s just chill. His personality is just laid back… Drama Llama, a dramatic looking guy… Pajama, just because we needed for the Llama Llama Red Pajama story book to have a namesake for that… Then we’ve got Como T. Llama. Now, he’s a funny dude,” continued Sharon. “He was the star of a show called Llama Cop. Serious. I know. It totally sounds like I’m making this up.”
The life of a Llama is a curious one full of unique facts. Native to South America, they can each carry up to 100 pounds and the hierarchy in their pack is curious to see.
“The pack mentality is fascinating…. A higher-ranking llama gets to boss around their lower-ranking ones, and the lower ones aspire to be higher ranking. So there’s that friction there, but it gives them something to do,” said Sharon.
Taking pictures is another thing that comes naturally to llamas.
“They’re very social. They like people. They don’t like us hugging them the way a dog does, and that’s surprising to most people. You can see the whites of their eyes, take pictures, take a selfie with them, but once you start hugging them and hanging on them, they do pull back…They have their bubble,” she explained.
That bubble goes away when you have crackers. Sharon holds the Triscuits between her teeth for the llamas to grab.
“They like Triscuits. Just the plain ones.. It looked like a kiss, but he didn’t,” she said as Drama Llama ate the cracker from Sharon.
“They’re both beautiful and goofy in the same moment. Usually you’re one or the other, but they’re beautiful to look at, and then you’ve got this head on a long pole and these big eyes, and they’re looking around, and it’s just an interesting combination,” she said.
So if peace and tranquility combined with a crooked smile and crazy selfies is what you’re looking for, Shangrillama achieves nirvana on The Texas Bucket List.
“People rarely get to be around a pack of llamas,” she continued, “pure joy when they come in and see a room full of these beautiful animals, and that’s why we do it.”