Monday, January 5, 2009

Fall at the Arboretum

Back in November, we decided to take a family outing to the Dallas Arboretum, basically a big park with no swings or slides or see-saws, just a bunch of trees and flowers and grass to admire and fresh air to breathe. And as dull as that sounds, it was honestly one of the best days that we have had as a family. It was freezing cold and windy that day, so we bundled up and headed out. We had heard from various people that the Arboretum was a great place to take a wild child who just needs space to run, and since we had just such a wild child of our own, we were excited to see what he would do.

We went during "Fall at the Arboretum", when they had a million pumpkins scattered around, all sizes and shapes and varieties, gigantic horses made of straw, and a "Pumpkin House" constructed entirely out of watermelons. Just kidding. They were eggplants. About the time we got to the giant pumpkin patch, a prime location for picture-taking, I discovered that the battery in my camera was near death. I managed to snap a couple of pictures before it completely died, and after several minutes of self-flagellation, I realized that it was easier to enjoy the time with my family without a camera attached to my face anyway.

Alex loved climbing on the bales of straw and lugging pumpkins around, but the highlight of the day was when he decided to "hunt" some birds that were poking around near some picnic tables. He chased half a dozen blackbirds towards a giant bush where the birds attempted to take cover, and instead of giving up and letting them be, Alex immediately dropped to his hands and knees and army-crawled his way through the brush, towards his prey. The birds were confused, Tim and I were busting a gut, and Alex was completely oblivious to both as he honed in on his targets. He didn't catch any birds, of course, but he did manage to get himself stuck in a giant bush.

After we finally coaxed him out and plucked a handful of twigs from his shirt and hat, we loaded him into the stroller and went to the outdoor concert stage by the lake, aka a big slab of concrete where someone could perform surrounded by other big slabs of concrete where people could sit and listen. We had the best time climbing up and down the slabs in the breezy, thirty-degree weather, despite our watery eyes and runny noses.

Eventually we loaded back up and moved away from the lake, towards warmer temperatures. It wasn't long before Alex was sound asleep, cozied up in his stroller, so Tim and I found a nice bench in the rose garden and chatted about the weather while Alex got himself a power nap.

I guess it's one of those things where "you had to be there", but man, we had a great time. I wanted to make sure to blog about it, mostly because some dummy forgot to charge the camera battery and now the only memory we have of that day is...well, our memories.

Plus, it seemed like an appropriate way to segue into the next post - Christmas at the Arboretum. Coming soon...

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