Today was a great day.
A few weeks ago, I signed up for a Metro Park activity called Lunch and Learn: Kitchen Garden. I was pretty certain it was a program for kids so we made our super-easy veggie pizza and headed to Cox Arboretum. Come to find out, kids really weren't part of the plan for 99% of the guests. Lucas & Axel were the only kids and boy, I was getting a few looks from the other guests that just said...
Whose this crazy lady with her two kids?
A two hour lunch and learn...with kids?
What is she thinking?
This won't last.
(It reminded me of flying back home to Colorado by myself with the boys and Axel was only a month old.)
There was no stopping this mama...
Once I discovered just what I had signed up for, I was way too excited and we weren't leaving until I tried some of the other tasty dishes. :) I was hooked.
Luckily, Lucas is used to keeping himself occupied outside so this was a new area to explore. The big grassy patch in the middle of the garden was a huge help too. His latest thing is pretending he is a lawn mower or a jet airplane or today, a cyclone!
It was wonderful. They had fresh teas and lavender lemonade, freshly harvested veggies, herbs and flowers. Everyone brought a dish to share on top of the numerous dished prepared right in front of us. I felt like I was on the Food Network channel. The recipes and flavors and fresh ingredients were amazing. Even Lucas got involved. He tried even a stevia leaf (natural sweetener), purple-green beans, tomatoes, edible flowers, etc. I was so proud of him. He also found most of his bugs on his Bug Bingo card. Axel just melted every ones heart with his big smile and by the end of the two hours, everyone was in love with the boys. What little charmers they were and on their very best behavior. I guess summer days outside sharing foods is a treat for even the youngest ones.
I forgot to take a photo of round one. This was going back for seconds...everything was AMAZING!! The best part, I have ALL the recipes too! So delicious!
At the end of the lunch, we were given a little bag and allowed to go harvest a few things our self. This was so much fun but very involved and unfortunately I didn't get any photos. Lucas loved picking and collecting veggies and herbs. I think we came home with four different basil stalks alone. Mmmm...Purple Basil Pesto is on the menu this week!
They have beautiful ponds full of fish and turtles surrounded by beautiful flower beds. It's so well kept, lots of TLC goes into this park. It's a must see if you are ever in Dayton, OH.
Then, we were off to the Butterfly House. Lucas learned the caterpillars who make cocoons turn into moths and caterpillars who make a crystallise turn into butterflies...who knew?! Okay, Mommy learned a thing or two as well. :)
Outside the Butterfly House we took a little rest on the butterfly bench. I thought I might just get the boys in a photo together. Ice cream is a sure-bet bribe too! :) I'm pretty happy with these and they just make me smile.
Axel using those hands again.
One of my favorites. If only I could bottle them up and save them. I can't believe how fast they are growing up on me.
Good catch Lucas!
This was the smile pose after the ice cream bribe came out. I thought I said ice cream, not cheese. :) I'm not complaining.
And another good catch. What a great big brother you are.
We ended up at Cox Arboretum for 4 1/2 hours! Can you believe that?! Not one major melt down, potty accident or whining...what a treat. Thank you boys! Daddy missed one heck of a special day, we missed you!
Daddy is off to North Carolina for a "Dads only" climbing weekend. It a long drive but Daddy's tough. We hope he has a great time. While he's gone, Axel is in charge of the remote. :)
Mike - I'm not sure if you'll get it back?! :)