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Monday, July 29, 2013

Florida: Leu Gardens

Today we decided to visit some botanical gardens even if we had to brave the heat again. What’s weird is that this is a huge place, incredible gardens and a decent sized lake, and its all located almost in the middle of downtown Orlando. In fact driving in I was a little worried that we wouldn’t get the natural garden I was craving, and instead end up in some skyscraper surrounded cement patch of garden. Thankfully it was incredible with narry a sky scraper in sight.

The property was so pretty with large trees dripping with Spanish moss. My mom is a font of all things animal, plant, and history. She loves it all. She was telling me that the early settlers of Florida used to use the soft Spanish moss to stuff their bedding. In fact that is where the saying ‘Don’t let the bed bugs bite’ comes from. Of course I made her pick up a piece of bug infested Spanish moss! I am such a stinker.

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There was a ton of shade in most of the gardens that we were all super grateful for. The paths were also wide and flat enough to take the stroller comfortably. While mom and I took our photos dad made sure Little Cricket didn’t get in the sun. He hustled from patch of shade to patch of shade. I was so grateful that he took over the baby so I could have a little time to relax and take photos. I had such a great time immersing myself into getting artistic shots of all the pretty flowers.

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“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”


- St. Francis of Assist

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Along with all the beautiful things a garden like this begs to be be explored. My mom and I love to joke around. I thought a flowering tree was pretty weird with its drippy ugly flowers. My mom likes to touch everything, something she regretted when I was with her and she got stung by a bee. This time we were trying to figure out if a plant was lavender or not. I told her to pick a flower and smell it… nope not lavender.

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We were all fantasising about having a house like this with gardens this extensive. The Leu’s who created this behind their home donated the grounds as a preserve to the City of Orlando. Imagine the time and effort it takes to creating 50 acres of gardens let alone maintaining them would be a huge undertaking. But I love the beauty of it all. Ahhh one can dream.

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I just love the relationship my parents have with each other. Goffballs, the both of them (which rubbed off on me). But they move together, and they have as long as I have known them. A relationship like that is what I wanted when I was looking for my life partner. It takes work and effort to be so in tune with your partner but I know it can be done, because I saw proof every single day of my childhood that it can be done. A good marriage is a choice you make, whether consciously or unconsciously, it’s dedicating yourself again and again to taking steps together toward love and the same goals.

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My new favorite photo of me and my dad. When my son was born, in the hour that Mr. Rogue and I were cuddling up with our new little boy, we talked about how much he looks like my dad aka looks like me. I have a ton of my mom’s characteristics but my looks, they come from my dad’s side.

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We made it about two hours before starting to literally melt down. In fact even though I have a thing about naked kids in public I broke down and stripped my Little Cricket down to his diaper. Poor little guy was just too hot! So we turned around and headed back out of the gardens. We didn’t finish them sadly but we got a good portion of it done. That first step into the air conditioned house was PURE DELICOUSNESS. In fact I walked in, gasped in delight, and then turned to photograph my dad’s delight.

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By the time we got home it was nice to just relax in the air conditioning. I tried to keep up with the blog, or at the very least my notes so I could go back and write later, but often I curled up for a nap while one of my parents played with Little Cricket. It has been hard to write every day like I normally do. Having a baby has derailed my best attempts to stay caught up. I am determined however to keep going, I just need to make sure to keep up the effort and make it a daily priority. Of course when showering every day isn’t happening blogging that day might just have to take a back burner. The next few months bring quite a few trips; Michigan to visit grandma, Hawaii for my birthday, Louisville for Thanksgiving, Raleigh for Christmas & Atlanta for New Years. So keeping up is going to be difficult if I get too far behind. However I love going back through my posts, I love having a digital journal of my life, I love that it keeps me connected to friends and family that live far away. I love my blog. So I am going to keep on trucking and hopefully stick with it!

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1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

The gardens were really beautiful, and melt down we all did. Wish I could have stripped down like the baby and put a giant ice pack over my entire body! lol. Loved to hold a new baby. There is nothing more satisfying in the whole wide world. Love you, little one!

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