Monday, April 08, 2013

Conference intermission

Between sessions of conference we ran off to Duke Gardens for a little picnic and stroll. It was so beautiful with all the flowers blooming! It was rather crowded, too, which makes sense because it was the perfect day. I loved it! It reminded me of parks in Europe—like The Mall in Washington DC—like a town square of sorts. There were people walking dogs, people napping in the shade, people suntanning, people rolling down hills, people picnicking, people throwing balls—everyone was just out enjoying the day, all together.

We parked by the Asiatic garden this time; we've never been to that part of the garden because we've always walked the other direction. But the Asiatic garden is beautiful!

Andrew wants to go to Antarctica one day (my Auntie Colleen and Uncle LeRon took a trip there at the beginning of the year and Andrew was melting over their photographs) so I told him that I wanted to go to Asia one day.

"I don't care where, really," I said, gazing dreamily at a pagoda in the distance. "Japan...Korea...Thailand. Just...Asia. Y'know?"

"If you don't care where then we've done Asia," he said. "Turkey...Jordan..."

"But that's the Middle East," I said. "I want to see Asia."

"You mean the Far East."


"We can do that, too."

Or, you know, we can at least go back to wander around in this garden a few more times and dream of being elsewhere. Not that here isn't great. Because it is. But once you've been bit by the travel bug...

Anyway, the gardens were really beautiful! We stopped by this tree before we'd even gotten into the garden because Rachel wanted a picture, with Benjamin (and Miriam but Miriam wouldn't cooperate (and then this morning when she saw the picture asked, "But where am I?")).

Sometimes Rachel makes me nervous when she holds Benjamin.

The tree was humming with bees and bursting with blossoms.

Rachel collected a handful of petals, demanding that we all feel how soft they were.

Miriam started eating them. I fear she's addicted to petals. I also hope they were okay to eat. She's still alive, so it seems like they were. We definitely rehashed the no-eating-mystery-plants rule right then and there.

We walked around for a bit, trying to find a good picnic spot. We wanted to picnic in a grove of bamboo trees, but there were a bunch of people dressed in togas doing some very interesting things (like a play or something...but for no audience) so we decided to set up our picnic elsewhere.

We found a lovely patch of grass nearby.

And Benjamin quickly found some sticks to chomp on...

"Hey, Benjamin! What have you got?" I asked. He showed me.

We quickly ate our picnic (peanut butter and jam sandwiches (using the freezer jam Andrew made with the girls on Saturday morning)) so that we could have more time to walk around (since we were under a strict time limit).

A bunch of fluffy plant debris floated by us while we were eating. Andrew moaned, "Oh, allergies!" while Miriam and Rachel scampered off to collect handfuls of the stuff and send them off on new airborne journeys.

By the time we were finished eating, the toga-wearing troupe had moved on, so we went to explore the bamboo forest for a little while.

I love bamboo. I think I fell in love with it when I went to my Auntie Arlene's house in California and we went to Disneyland...or SeaWorld...or somewhere and there was a bamboo forest and we walked through it and it was beautiful. It's just so interesting and foreign. 

Bamboo is just grass. Really, really tall, strong grass. It's amazing stuff.

I've always wanted to climb it but haven't ever had the opportunity...until yesterday when I just couldn't help myself. Strictly speaking, climbing the trees in Duke Garden is against the rules. But technically speaking, bamboo is in the grass family and I only climbed it a little bit. It's like the same thing as walking on the lawn, right?

If I didn't feel like I was breaking the rules, I would've climbed higher...but I kind of felt like I was breaking the rules...and I'm kind of a rule-follower so I had to get down.

(Ignore my face here...I don't know what I was doing...but I know that I was being silly for my kids. Just keep that in mind when you don't ignore my face (you rule-breaker!))

Here's Miriam goofing off in her stroller. She had a bit of an attitude yesterday.

The girls had fun rolling on this hill. Rachel actually managed to roll down it, while Miriam just got down on her belly, rocked back and forth, and giggled because she knew she should have been having fun.

The whole concept of rolling down the hill was lost on her.

We made our way over to the koi pond, which was very crowded.

We still managed to find a nice place to watch the fish, though.

After the fish pond we explored the tulips. It looks like some bees might've been exploring the tulips as well.

I could not get Miriam to give me a decent smile all afternoon...

Here are the girls pretending to be a fountain...

And here's our whole family together:

Andrew forgot to take his allergy medicine yesterday so I told him we should just start carrying around a surgical mask for such situations. Like they do in Japan.

Here's a few attempts at getting all three children to smile for the camera. You'll note that in the first couple of pictures a child is missing entirely.

She agreed to hop into the frame for a minute...

...but she really wasn't all that cooperative.

On our way out of the park we saw this red bridge (that we'll have to find some day).

Rachel wanted a picture in front of the bridge...

We will definitely have to go back again; it was so perfectly beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. How pretty! I have lived close to Duke almost all my life and have never been to this! Might have to remedy this after seeing your lovely photos. Thanks for sharing!