Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Day at the Gardens

So, every year, these beautiful Hershey Gardens have a community day--the gardens are free and open to everyone and they have botanical and gardening and animal booths. It's all quite lovely.

Well, a year ago, we met our good friends, the Ratcliffes there. Since then, we've enjoyed a beautiful friendship with them.

They live just down the street from us and our kids are very good friends and our families enjoy each other very much. We love to hang out in each other's backyards and at each other's houses. We love to play together and we love to have Guitar Hero parties at their house. We're in the same homeschool group (they have 7 children--2 are adults/college grads and the younger 5 range from 16 to 9) and we have so much fun at activities and field trips together!

They are dear, loving, supportive friends and we're very grateful for them. So, anyway, because of having met at the gardens, we call it our "Friendship Anniversary." So, we met them there again this year and had a great time as usual.

We got there first and enjoyed walking around the gorgeous gardens. It was a record-setting HOT day. Sweltering. But so fun.

In the children's garden, there are all kinds of magical things to do. There are Hershey Kisses that occasionally squirt out water and steam. It's always a surprise to guess when and which one and wait for it!

And from the Children's Garden, you enter the Butterfly House. Gorgeous! You literally walk around while butterflies land on you and fly all around you--LOADS of them. It's so fun. Mark got some really great pictures of them.

More from the Children's Garden . . . you can play with the sundial, see the ABC garden, play in the secret garden patterned after The Wind in the Willows garden (we really think Grandma would love this entire place--it's on the humongous list of places to visit when they visit--we're near so much great stuff!), make music, play on the ship, climb trees, sit at little tables, walk on the chocolate bar sidewalk, and more:

One of my favorite gardens is the Japanese Garden--very peaceful, very Zen:

Then we met up with our dear friends and took some neat pictures with them:

Happy Friendship Day!

Soon after that, more friends met up with us. We'd just missed the Goodens (but were meeting them for dinner and games afterward anyway) and some others from our homeschool group, we met up with the Salefskis and that was fun, and then we found Peggy's family (Carl was playing violin with his Suzuki group during one of the community musical performances).

So much fun to play with friends! We love our community and we love our family and friends.

Post Gardens

After a beautiful day at the Gardens, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at our friends' house with some REALLY FUN Settlers of Catan games!! We LOVE Settlers . . . and we're finding more and more people who play this game and Ticket to Ride and love it, too. SO MUCH FUN!


Chelle said...

How cool is a chocolate-bar sidewalk?! I love beautiful gardens--so relaxing.

We are still working on finding some friends who enjoy Settlers. We usually only get to "Settle" when we are home visiting family.

Your kids are so cute.

J Fo said...

What a wonderful day! I love gardens like that. That is totally up Vivian's alley isn't it?! There's one in northern, UT at Thanksgiving Point that I love. It has different themed gardens like the "Secret Garden" and "The Japanese Garden," plus a huge man-made waterfall. (It's actually where we got our engagement pictures taken.)

Swawaeve said...

Such a fun day, although it was so steaming hot. :)

emily said...

oooh, i wanna go there! it looks amazing!

Boquinha said...

Thanks, guys!

Standing invite--this is a gorgeous place and you can stay free at our place--nuestro casa es su hotel! :) Oh, and we can play Settlers, too.