Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The family visit - Meijer Gardens

My family left earlier this week so I guess it's time to get back to it since I no longer have a good excuse for taking a break from writing. Thanks for putting up with my little hiatus dear readers, spending time with my family is important to me.

Every year that my family has come to visit, and that we've lived in the area, we've made a day of going to Meijer Gardens. If you've never been, or never heard of it because you're not from Michigan, it's a botanical gardens -and- sculpture park. There's something for everyone to enjoy and the place is huge, so it's a nice walk. There is an entire section for children that includes water features to splash in and a tree house to climb on. Like I said, something for everyone. In fact, our oldest son nearly threw a tantrum as were walking back to the car because he wanted to stay longer. He and I had a little discussion where I reminded him of his TV viewing privileges and how poor behavior can cause those to be taken away and we made it to the car without the screaming. Last year, we weren't quite so lucky leaving the mall. Hey, if your four year old is making a scene, pick him up and walk as quickly as possible to the nearest exit. Don't worry about people who might be watching either. If they are a parent, chances are they've dealt with something similar and they understand. If they are giving you the "look of death", they're likely not a parent (or someone who regularly deals with children).

So I took my family to Meijer Gardens and everyone had a really nice time. My dad and stepmom have been before but it was a first visit for my half-sister Mel. Visiting the park in the summer is a good time for it, the weather is nice and the plants are all thriving. Both Mel and I got some nice pictures of the these. I saw a number of varieties of colored leaves and grasses which I liked.
I'm not a huge fan of flowering plants because of the smell. Call it an idiosyncrasy. Most of them give me a headache and/or make my nose itch and my eyes water. The problem though is that I like colored plants so finding a compromise can be a pain. Bry and I need to do some landscaping around our house after having our above-ground pool replaced with an in-ground (if you don't already know the story of the swimming pool, it's a long one, so some other time), so now I feel like I can offer the landscaper some suggestions. Perhaps "suggestions" is too generous a word since I don't remember the actual names of any of them. Instead, I'll use "inspiration". I can offer the landscaper some inspiration.

Our eldest, next to the back right leg
We took some pictures of the sculptures too and of course each other. The sculpture of the horse is one of my favorites because I love horses. It's by Nina Amaku as an homage to the original design by Leonardo DaVinci. This particular horse sculpture (top right) is a smaller version of the first one, which is enormous.You can see the difference in the proportions in the other three photos. Each family member is standing next to a different leg of the horse.
Dad, next to the front right leg.
Mel, next to the front left leg.

I'm amazed I got three good pictures. There is always a huge crowd of people around the giant horse and it's practically impossible to takes pictures without getting random strangers in the background. This sculpture is 24 feet tall, that's 7.3 meters for you metric folks.

And there's my family: our eldest son with his Aunt Mel, and his Grandpa Harry and Grandma Natty. That pond has a ton of koi fish in it and they are pretty friendly so I imagine they get fed by the visitors fairly often.

We all had a lovely day and got some nice exercise walking around the place. Which was a good thing because we all went to Mongolian BBQ for dinner that same night.

My family coming to visit is one of the highlights of my summer every year.

Best advice: Family first.
Second best advice: If you're going to the botanical gardens on a hot day in August, make sure you bring enough water.

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