Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break: Part 2

If I'm being honest, NJ weather has never gotten me excited. It's usually cloudy and gray. It's usually either cold or hot - not a lot of comfortable in between temperatures. Then again, I say "usually" but of all the times I've visited over the last 11 years, it's only been for a handful of days at a time, so maybe it's not fair to label NJ as a bad weather state. 

But, but, but, our recent spring break visit proved to have a week of sunny skies and mild temps. Despite temps in the low 60's, Grady Lee asked "why is it always winter in New Jersey?" and if wondered if he could wear shorts again as soon as he got home. I may hail from the north, but my kids have southern blood.
The boys and I, along with Nana, joined several cousins and Aunts for a day at Longwood Gardens. In a word, beautiful. Or maybe gorgeous. Or maybe lush. Or maybe exquisite. Or maybe massive. Or maybe the Gardens just can't be summed up in a simple word. They truly were beautiful and for the three hours we spent walking and wandering, I felt like it was a rushed, whirlwind tour to see everything. I could have spent a couple of days enjoying the history of the Gardens along with hearing insights on all the different plants.
Since spring arrived early this year, we were just in time for tulips - my favorite flower. The colors were brilliant! I'm not sure my boys even noticed the richness of color and scent and were much more interested in the fountains, the tree houses, and the trees they could climb.
My sis-in-law captured some great pics and put a wonderful post together about our time at Longwood. Stop by her site, here, if you're interested in seeing more. (Yes, Mom, that means you.)
After lots of climbing and running and flower-sniffing, we spread a blanket for some snacks and rest. I have one simple question: how come a baggie of Goldfish Crackers and grapes is enough to re-energize a four and five year old body in a matter of minutes, so much so, that its ready to race and run laps around a meadow? Forget my daily cup(s)-o-joe; apparently cheesy crackers has the energy boost I need.
After wandering the outdoor gardens we made our way in to the conservatory and children's areas. If I lived in the area, I'd grab a book and cup of coffee and park myself on a bench near a fountain and spend an hour or two just enjoying the flowery smells. Peaceful and beautiful. But, with lots of kids it was, well, loud and rushed. Still a lot of fun, but certainly not quiet and relaxing.
The kids had so much fun splashing in the water, painting with the water, playing music by the water, and just generally getting wet with the water! Giggles and laughs from little people make me happy. Simple delight from simple things: cousins and spraying water. It doesn't take much to guarantee happy moments.
My nieces were sweet lil helpers - always eager to hold Annalyse's hand or push her stroller. Since they were so eager to help, I found myself half-tempted to let them run off with Annalyse as long as they promised to be careful and keep a good eye on her. But then I remembered that they were only four and five. No doubt they will be great big sisters to their new baby brother coming this summer!
Once kids were wet and whines of "My feet hurt" and "I'm tired" were heard, we called it a day. Three hours of fresh air and springtime beauty had everyone ready for dinner. We opted for a quick dinner at Chick-Fil-A and my boys made a beeline to the playground as soon as we got there. Wait a minute, I thought they said they were tired?
My boys hit their pillows that night at 7:30 and didn't make a peep until close to 8:00 the next morning. Spring break was half over but my mom-in-law still had several fun things planned for the rest of our visit. No time to get bored and never a dull moment. Next up: a nature center and petting farm, family BBQ, and an enormous egg hunt. Stay tuned.


  1. I remember going to Longwood gardens as a little girl - such fun :) The flowers were beautiful (even if it was New Jersey)

  2. I've walked those gardens many a time wishing you all lived closer and that we could be doing it together. So glad you were able to join us in our "neck of the woods" for a day!