adventure :: ucr botanical gardens


Today was the First Day of Spring (was there really a winter?) and we decided to celebrate.

Planting something in the garden was not an option. (The garden and I are not friends right now). Crafts just seemed too sedentary.

But going out and about and finding some fresh air and spring blossoms and ephemeral miracle of green grass? Yes, please.

We may not live in the country, with open spaces and natural habitats all around, but we do live surrounded by fabulous little pockets of nature, if you know where to find them. Somehow I woke up thinking of UCR Botanical Gardens, so off we went.

And then I couldn’t find it. It was like one of those bad dreams, you know the kind where you keep looking and looking and you can’t get out of the loop? I resisted hyperventilating, and suddenly the right road appeared. And I wrote down proper directions for next time.

Our favorite activity in places like this is to go adventuring, without any destination. We come to a fork in the path and one of the children decides which way to go. Turn and turn again. We are happy to find new paths, we are happy to find old landmarks (look, kids, Big Ben!). And so we meander and scamper and wander.

If Devo is with us, I usually like to work in a pleasure visit to the herb garden before heading to the car. But since today was our first hike all on our own (gasp!), we skipped it.

When we’re tired, we go home. I’m not into endurance.

Today’s sitings include unidentified scat (we did get a picture), bird’s nests, many many friendly hummingbirds, one decomposing lizard, small flowers that look like white bells (we missed the narcissi bloom, unfortunately), and one other homeschooling family who were equally jubilant to be able to set off on a spring adventure on a Tuesday morning.

Notes ::

  • UCR Botanical Gardens. Parking is $.25 per hour, $4 suggested donation.
  • Check directions before going.
  • Kiri on my back in the ErgoCarrier works great.
  • Levi can hike it on his own.
  • Crocs are perfect.
  • If you stay in the trees, you don’t really need sunscreen.
  • Next time ::

  • Try and be organized enough to bring water, a snack, lunch and a blanket.
  • Or stop at India Sweets and Spices on the way home for gulab jamin and samosas.
  • Or stop at India Sweets and Spices on the way there. Don’t forget chapatti flour and chaat spice.
  • Take the kids to the potty at the entrance before hiking. It’s hard to do the peepee dance while descending a hill.
  • Don’t let Levi anywhere near the nice red button on the emergency kiosk.
  • I am just loving going adventuring lately. Midweek. Which means I’m on my own while Devo’s working. Ooh.

    In the last month we’ve been to the museum twice, to visit my great aunts, to The Living Desert Zoo (Devo went to the Indian Wells tennis tournament while we went to the zoo, it was great), and now hiking.

    Usually I’m a homebody, but lately home hasn’t been a place of peace and light. It’s dang dark in the living areas of my house, and I just feel so much better out in the light and fresh air. So out we go.

    Maybe we’ll go out for a hike every Tuesday morning.


    4 thoughts on “adventure :: ucr botanical gardens

    1. The UCR Botanical Gardens are beautiful this time of the year. My parents used to take my sisters and I for homeschool field trips. It’s crazy to think that in a year or two..or three, I will be able to take my own little one out for adventures in nature. 🙂

    2. You inspire me Leilani! Maybe when the weather is warmer here. Not looking too promising as far as the forecast goes. And maybe after baby is on the OUTSIDE. Always love to read your posts.

    3. Randall!! Welcome to my blog! Yep, not too much longer before we can welcome your sweet baby. I wish I’d been out there much more, much sooner…funny how it’s not as hard as I thought.

    4. Pingback: heart garland, epicness, a recipe, and a surprise | spinning in my teacup

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