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Monday, March 24, 2014

A taste of Spring

Rumor has it, it's Spring.
However, looking at the local weather forecast, it says it's 26 degrees outside but feels like 12.  Tonight it will be 10 degrees.  Fahrenheit.  Um... Spring?  Did you get the memo?

While we wait for that white stuff to go away for good, there is a solution to the cool weather blahs.
It is also one of my favorite things about Spring: Seeing the butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens!

I remember taking Jenna here when she was younger.  Here is a throwback photo of Jenna & Andy when she was the same age as the quaddlers.  I think she looks like a combination of Hannah + Lauren!

These Gardens are fantastic.  365 Days a year, you can come here and relax in a tropical, humid, warm setting where birds flutter around exotic plants and a warm humid breeze gently sways the foliage.  But wait, it gets better: in March and April, this place also become the home to hundreds of thousands of butterflies!  

I was itching to take the babies here, because I knew they would LOVE it!  However, I needed to recruit helpers.  On a whim I called up my sister to see if she & her kids were interested and available.  Cindy home-schools her 2 preteen boys & teenage daughter so their schedule is more flexible.  Not only were they up for it, but as a bonus their cousin Emma was visiting!  So thankfully I had the help of 10 hands!  We went right after the babies woke up from their nap, and we were there a good 2 hours.  The cousins were a HUGE help, and they even started commenting at the end that it was too hot & humid!!!  Oh, glorious warmth!
"Ooh!  Babafy!"
          Me, Kayden, Soren & kids in the Gardens       Reece & Tanner smile for a photo

   Emma & Kayden show Tanner & Lauren a fountain.      
Isn't Tanner such a handsome boy?!?
       When entering & exiting the Gardens, staff takes extra precaution to make sure butterflies stay in and don't escape!

Hannah spies beautiful yellow flowers!     I spy....   a caterpillar underneath the leaf!

Cindy walks Tanner on a bench and Kayden takes a turn with Tyler

 Inside the Gardens is a little waterfall with a walk-through tunnel underneath.  There is a break in the stone where you can peek at the water.  Hannah was a little uncertain about it, but Tanner thought it was neat and kept on splashing the puddled water!

Little lady Lauren snuggles with Emma
Aunt Cindy explores with Tyler 
          Emma and Kayden walk Tanner & Lauren around the Gardens
Reece pointing to a butterfly that has a beautiful blue color inside its wings.  We all huddled around it for minutes waiting for it to fly off, but it was happy to sit right there and be gawked at!
 We are so blessed to have this amazing place right here in town.  We definitely will go again (as much as we can) while the butterflies are blooming at Meijer Gardens, and then enjoy their summer offerings after that.  There is a huge tree house, great lakes water play, puppet theaters, and much more!  Just thinking of outdoor fun gives me hope.  It will get warm outside.  It really will!

Are there places or things you can do to capture a Taste of Spring in your neck of the woods?



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