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Spitfire, bombers bear the scars of war

There aren't too many places where you can take a wander with the wallabies, kick it with the kangaroos and even pucker up to give Fuzzybutt a smacker on the lips.

There aren't too many places where you can take a wander with the wallabies, kick it with the kangaroos and even pucker up to give Fuzzybutt a smacker on the lips.

To be honest, despite the grimace and deep breath, Fuzzybutt was very gentle, so I didn't feel a thing.

Suffice to say, getting closer to the lama - well known for its spitting - than I'd ever wish to was one of many highlights of a tour around the Outback Kangaroo Farm, a few miles outside of Arlington, Wa.

Owned and operated by a semiretired husband and wife team, the farm is one of the those family-run attractions where you can quite literraly get up close and personal with the residents, all of whom were born and raised somewhere in the U.S.

We strolled around the wallabies, feeding them bread handed to us by guide/owner and petted and stroked them, as if they were our family pets. Donkeys - a wide berth around an angry pony and a similar arm's length attitude to the emu and ostrich - were next before we headed to the lama pen and the luscious lips of Fuzzybutt.

The tour was so captivating it was over all too quickly - or so we thought. One final surprise on this charming little adventure was a chance for people to hold a baby wallaby, all wrapped up in a cozy blanket. Cue the "ooos" and "ahhs" as many people, including this reporter, very carefully cradled the tiny animal.

You don't have to be into planes to appreciate one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington state.

The Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center and Tour in Everett, about a half hour north of Seattle, is recommended for anyone who has a healthy interest in airplanes or anyone that has flown in one for that matter.

I would show you pictures of the tour, but such is the security, there are strictly no cameras or recording devices of any kind allowed inside the massive Boeing hangar - the biggest workspace in the world.

The tour takes you high above one of the most fascinating production lines in the world, a line that actually moves, albeit at a snail's pace, as the world's most popular passenger aircrafts are expertly pieced together.

All Boeing's aircraft are assembled here in Everett for airlines around the world. The highlight, for me, was seeing the first ever Dreamliner, unarguably the world's most advanced jet airliner, nearing the final stages of production before its historical roll out into service this fall.

Also part of your tour ticket is the interactive aviation center, where you can take pictures. It houses some of the most interesting pieces of Boeing's commercial aviation history, from actual jet engines to original cockpits.

While you're down at Paine Field in Everett, and still on the aviation theme, be sure to check out the Flight Heritage Collection.

This static display, just around the corner from the Boeing tour, is a must for anyone with more than a passing passion for world war aircraft.

Immaculately restored to their former glories are beauties such as the B-52 bomber, the Mustang and my personal favourite, the Supermarine Spitfire.

IF YOU GO:

? www1.co.snohomish.wa. (yurts)

? www.futureofflight.org

? www.outbackkangaroofarm.com

? www.flyingheritage.com

acampbell@richmond-news.com