Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It was a lovely day of discovery

This afternoon I took BOY & GIRL to a beautiful place called Descanso Gardens. It was actually BOY's idea. I asked them what they'd like to do this afternoon and he came up with Descanso Gardens. It is only 10 minutes from our house; a beautiful place of 160 acres. We hadn't been there in a long time. A very long time. In fact, the memories I have of these gardens involve being pregnant with GIRL and having BOY in a Baby Björn; him with wiggly legs and arms perched just above my swelling belly. Or later, memories of diaper bags, strollers, bottles and plenty of snacks. Sitting with a friend, spooning baby food in little mouths.

Life is so different now. They wear clothes with underwear. They can walk a fair distance. We all hold hands, (well...sometimes), when walking across the parking lot. Yes, things have changed a bit since they were babes. But, they are still my babes...


It was a lovely day of discovery. BOY found a fuzzy caterpillar and kept him for a while, finally letting him go in a patch of wild strawberries - just in case the caterpillar was hungry. GIRL loved throwing sticks in the water and watching her "boat" go over the waterfall and meander down the little stream. BOY, of course, had to thrust his hand and feet in the water at several points during the afternoon, but managed not to immerse his whole body. That could be a first.

We saw turtles and koi fish. Hummingbirds and bees. And a little bunny hopped across our path much to BOY & GIRL's delight. We set out in one direction intending to go to the bird house, where they have ducks and swans on a pond, but didn't make it. Instead BOY found the caterpillar and wanted to wander along the mini train tracks wending their way through trees and mossy ground. And that was fine, we had no important agenda. The bird house could wait for another day.

Of course, a day is not complete without a little drama from a 3 and a 4 year old. GIRL kept veering back and forth between being a battalion general barking orders: NO, BOY!!! DON'T GET IN THE WATER!! YOU'RE TOO CLOSE TO THE WATER!! to a Scarlett O'Hara impersonation: Mama...I caaan't ...I caaan't walk anymooore...I have to rest.... And BOY upon learning that we didn't have enough cash on hand to buy 3 tickets to ride the Enchanted Railroad mini train threw himself down upon the grass, wailing so pitifully that a complete stranger walked up to me and said if I wanted to write her a check, she'd give us the cash so that he could ride the train. I might have done it, but didn't have my checkbook with me. And, although I was sorry that I hadn't known the Enchanted Railroad was on the friggin' Spring schedule, dammit, BOY survived intact. I guess I should feel lucky that he didn't throw himself across the tracks, or we would have had cash raining down on us.

We had our own little Earth Day celebration with the camellia forest, the old oaks, the Japanese garden, the sunning turtles and the burbling streams. It seemed to soothe all of us. I need to remember to take advantage of this magical place. And next time...I'll bring some cash.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!


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19 comments:

barbra said...

We haven't been there in a while, either. I missed the tulips this year, darn it! Good idea for an outing! I don't think I've ever been there without a stroller. Could be fun!

Jen said...

Wow, I love the sound of that place! I would spend a lot of my time there and Dylan would love it. Days with no agenda are the best.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It sounds beautiful.

I wouldn't worry too much about the railroad. A little disappointment once in a while builds character!

Janet said...

That sounds like a wonderful place. I couldn't get the website to work. (Your blog and my blog are just NOT communicating lately.) An enchanted railroad? Sign me up!

Jennifer H said...

Sounds beautiful. No day out ever seems to be without drama, does it?

A Mom Two Boys said...

It's possible for them to survive not riding the train? Really?

Sounds like a BEAUTIFUL day!

And for some reason I could never add you to my reader, but I was FINALLY able to get around my jack-a*sness and did it! Yay!

Elizabeth said...

A WONDERFILLED Day...How perfect!
Thanks for being the #1 comment at my new place. God Bless, Elizabeth

Mary Alice said...

What a nice way to celebrate earth day.

liv said...

beautiful! that's a great day for the record books!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

I think that is a great way to spend a pleasant afternoon. It wouldn't be a day with toddlers if there wasn't a wee bit of drama either!

Angie said...

Growing up has its advantages and disadvantages.

KEEP BELIEVING

Domestically Challenged said...

Gorgeous photo and sounds a delicious place.

Mrs. G. said...

It sounds like the best of days. I remember those days of just wandering and oohing and ahhing at all the cool things in the world.

phd in yogurtry said...

I thought you were going to say the woman offered you cash to take your boy home .. was relieved to read she had more generous motives : )

Jason said...

That is one place I have wanted to go but have never been. It sounds like The Huntington gardens, which is one of my favorite places in SoCal.

Suzanne said...

JCK, do you homeschool your kids? I only ask because it always seems that you do such interesting things with them....yes, they're lucky, but also, how do you manage it?

You're a great mom!

-suz

Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tootsie Farklepants said...

I havent' been there in YEARS! Thanks for the reminder. Now I'll take my kids there. With train fare of course.

HRH said...

Why do all the miniture railroads in the world only take cash? A few years ago I let a total stranger pay for part of our tickets because I was cash-shy and last time we went, I paid for another fellow mother who was frantically searching her purse for change other then Chuck E. Cheese tokens. I guess it all evens out in the end...

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