The Tulips Are Blooming, Queen Wilhelmina’s Garden

Queen Wilhelmina’s Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco was in full bloom showing off its Tulip Magic. The tulips were planted in the shadow of the impressive and iconic windmill which overlooks the underrated Ocean Beach. As is usual for San Francisco the crowds and parking were frustrating yet it was still a nice visit and a great excuse to exercise my Macro lens. No visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Golden Gate Park. But please, whatever you do, go in the morning on a weekday or it might ruin the fun for you.

Horton Iris Garden – Loomis, California

Horton Iris Garden, in Loomis California is open for the season with early bloomers on display. This lovely family opens their beautiful property for a few months out of the year to display and sell tons of varieties of Irises. (They also open for pumpkin season which is probably my favorite time of the year!) Enjoy some of the blooms which opened for us during a recent visit.

Stop and Smell the Roses at McKinley Park in Sacramento

Its been hot in the Valley so a visit to the lovely rose garden at McKinley Park in Sacramento was in order early in the morning. It was also best considering social distancing guidelines and not particularly wanting to be close to people at this time. Well, the kiddo and I enjoyed our visit. He smelled every rose declaring which ones smelled good and which ones were inferior. He also spent the better part of two hours picking up wayward petals throwing them in the garbage can which is his favorite pastime. We have a budding Gardener on our hands friends. Stay cool and Stop and Smell those roses.

Amador Flower Farm

My final post for the Amador County/Plymouth area visit takes us to the Amador Flower Farm!  We went for the vineyards and were positively giddy at running in to this flower farm.  It was the perfect spot for a social distancing photo expedition.

This lovely and large flower farm is nestled in the Plymouth Gold Country area and is the perfect place to either shop for plants or have a family friendly picnic surrounded by a botanical garden.  It is also a great break for those who grow weary of too much wine tasting in one day.

May my flower photos bring you a tiny respite from the strange world we are in these days.

Cheers.

San Francisco Zoo

I finally made it to the San Francisco Zoo.  Have you ever tried to go somewhere and wind up starting to go half a dozen times before it actually works out?  I have even driven here a few times and couldn’t park or it was closed etc.  Well, we finally made it, and the weather was fine.  It was a lovely day to visit the famous beachside zoo and botanical garden.  Many of the animals were doing what they do best and what I wish I was doing, napping.  Some of the enclosures were smaller, darker, and more older fashioned than I would have expected at a zoo this large and famous and frequently visited.  But, toddler temper tantrums aside it was a lovely visit with the highlights being the hippo, the giraffes, the penguins, the koalas (thinking of their friends down under), and the gardens.

*My son would like to note his favorite part was the bubbles and the garbage cans.  So, there you have it, a solid three year old review of the Zoo.

California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

I have posted about Golden Gate Park in San Francisco before but there is even more to talk about.  The California Academy of Sciences is a world class science center which proves entertaining for adults and children.  I was visiting the sites nearby and had a few hours to kill and thought it would be a fun stop. It’s been a few years since I last visited and the dinosaurs were visiting this time around!

One of my favorite features is the living roof which is reminiscent of a hobbit house being bulbous with port hole windows. From the roof one can see 360 degree views of the spacious and green park and get a burst of sea air.

Next on the list of my favorites is the indoor rain forest.  No time to travel south of the equator? Come here and see some lovely tress, flowers, birds, frogs, and butterflies native to the world’s rain forests.  Science center guides are available to educate children on butterfly and bird species and their habitats.

Not enough for you?  Head downstairs to a spacious and impressive aquarium where the littles can touch sea creatures in a tide pool and walk under the fish tanks. Don’t forget a visit to the famous albino alligator on your way out of the natural history museum area.  And bring a picnic because there is no better place to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the City by the Bay!

Don’t miss this wonderful stop on your next trip to San Francisco!

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has been on my local list of attractions for a while.  I can’t say why I haven’t gone before but I haven’t.  And after visiting today looking for some fall colors I certainly regret not having gone sooner.  I can say the Arboretum and gardens were not at all what I expected…in a good way.  I expected just a large park with some glorious old trees and a place for my son to run around reasonably free.  Instead, I found a lovely meandering creek called the Putah Creek lovingly surrounded by well maintained gardens and walking bridges.  Visitors can walk the entire thing or sections and can follow both sides of the creek.  They will be joined by runners, students, local residents, gossiping women, and visitors like me.

It is hard to be unhappy in a place like this even with heavy smoke in the air from the Butte Fire raging a small distance away.  Several distinct gardens keep one’s interest while they get their steps in.  Acacia gardens, redwood gardens, desert gardens, and plants and trees from China were the highlights.  Ducks followed us everywhere we went.  This perfect little park is a quiet oasis placed smack in the middle of one of California’s premier Universities.