Monday, November 9, 2009

Three seasons, no waiting

My daughter took me out for my birthday yesterday. We went to lunch and then on to the Botanical Gardens. We love a good adventure and yesterday our adventure began before we even got inside the glass house. If you've never tried to find a parking space in Wade Oval on a Sunday when the Art Museum is having an event, the Natural History Museum is having an event and the weather is so gorgeous that every person in Cleveland decided to go enjoy the green space for a while you haven't lived. We had a parking space safari. I lost count of how many times my daughter yelled "Oh! There's a space! No… hydrant." We got pretty giddy after circling the same three blocks for half an hour. As a matter of fact the parking space quest seemed so much like a driving video game that after a while I started driving on the sidewalk and taking out mailboxes and pedestrians just to pick up extra bonus points.

We finally found a space that was just outside the Botanical Gardens and I managed to parallel park my giant vehicle in it [with all bumpers and paint intact] even though a wee tiny car had just vacated the spot.

The glass house is even more spectacular now than it was a few years ago when I saw it last. The plants have matured and they have added to the varieties of things fluttering, creeping, flying and hopping around from limb to limb. The sheer number and beauty of the variety of blooming plants was astonishing. We walked in and were blown away. Both levels are filled with plants and animals indigenous to Costa Rica. The variety of butterflies alone was mesmerizing. There were places where there were giant SWARMS of butterflies flitting from plant to plant. I was surprised afterwards that my tongue didn't get sunburned from wandering around gawking at everything with my mouth open.

Standing there in the heat and humidity looking at all the blooms and butterflies was like having a big dose of summer tonic poured into my soul.

When we got done exploring the glass house we came back downstairs to get cool and have a snack. There was a room next to the snack bar with an exhibit of fancy floral arrangements. It was a competition of some sort and the entries ranged from artsy and interesting to just "interesting." We enjoyed looking at them, but the best part was the discreet little black and white sign that was on each and every plinth with the arrangements. It said "Please do not touch."

So of course, I had to pretend that I was going to touch the very first one. After that Rachel then announced as we stopped at each arrangement "Please do not touch"…….this might be a "you had to be there" moment, but trust me at the time it was pretty funny. So was standing in front of the potted trees that were placed around the room and "critiquing" their flow and form as though they were also in the competition. [see the "you might have had to be there" statement again]

Then we went outside and wandered the gardens. It was a gorgeous warm fall day complete with fall color, a swarming ant hill that we marveled at and Rachel videotaped, lots of fat squirrels gathering fall nuts and meandering paths full of fall leaves on the ground that crunched under our feet. Bliss. I took a gorgeous red maple leaf to press in a book for a souvenir of the day.

After we wandered around and saw everything that there was to see outside we exited the gardens via the gift shop.

In the gift shop it was Christmas. And I don't mean that they had a few Christmas items, I mean it was CHRISTMAS! Kind of over the top, the mad hatter came in for the day and helped us decorate we love Christmas and all its sparkly glittery glory, CHRISTMAS!

So in the space of three hours I got a huge dose of summer, a lovely fall adventure and a taste of winter to come.

Three seasons, no waiting……..what a lovely day.
[thanks baby]





Rachel said...


Karen from Mentor said... about succinct

[grins back at cha]

judy said...

Wow! This post is like a dose of playful tonic poured into my soul! I was drinking coffee, builing my ginormous list of things to do and feeling blue about the lack of pure fun, and then I read this and I feel better.

Thank you for sharing, Karen. Feel all giddy (and a little mother-daughter mushy, even though I don't have any of those. Daughters, I mean.)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's great! I'm happy you two had such a beautiful day, it seems just amazing with all the seasons for the day and everything you've described :)

Karen from Mentor said...

It's weird that it's so warm in November here Estrella. I just checked the temperature and it's 65 degrees again today. I'm going to hit my reset button by going out to the park. I've been writing all morning and my brain is toast....but I'm pretty sure my feet still work.

Karen from Mentor said...

Glad that I could help you check "being giddy and mushy" off of your list of things to do today Judy.

Daughters are pretty good.

I think I'll keep her.

The only thing that could have made the day even better is if Lauren could have been with us. But sadly her teleportation pad was out of order. [damn technology....always breaking down just when you need it for something important]

Lauren C said...

I know... man... the teleportation repairman said he'd be there by 8, but of course I had to wait all day, and then he didn't even have the proper parts...
but holy cow that sounds like an incredible day. Wonderful descriptions - I feel like I was there. And that makes me feel all warm and sunshiney inside. It's so good to hear about your happiness!

ps. Rachel, you were in my dream the other night. you were on an epic journey, like, epic-hero-overcoming-grand-obstacles-and-traveling-far-distances-with-a-spirit-guide type of journey. there were reoccurring symbols and incredible visuals. and it was way surreal. so thanks for starring in it :D

Karen from Mentor said...

"makes me feel all warm and sunshiny inside" love that honey!
[and of course love you]
Karen :0)

Rachel said...

Haha, that's awesome! I like being an epic hero!
Was there a soundtrack also? Sometimes my dreams have soundtracks.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I was actually there and it was a wonderful day. Thank you. But why none of your beautiful photos?

Karen from Mentor said...

Get ready to gasp Linda. I didn't take a camera.
[I'll give you a minute to recover from the shock]

They mist the room heavily every few minutes and it's nearly impossible to keep a camera dry. Rachel had a tiny camera in her pocket and she had to keep drying it off.

I got a few photos on my camera phone of the things that got close enough, but I mostly just recorded the day with my eyes and my heart.


Cat Connor said...

What a wonderful day! Butterflies are one of my favorite things. There's a butterfly garden I truly would love to visit...

Karen from Mentor said...

You would have loved this place Cat. The only other Conservatory I've ever seen that came even close for butterfly variety was in Toronto.

Karen from Mentor said...

I just have to ask Rachel....are the soundtracks in your dreams provided by John Williams?

[and you can go ahead and thank me for not posting any of the four hundred photos I have of the two of you in various hero poses...although I was sorely tempted....sorely I say.....after Lauren brought the topic up]