We went off to the Botanical Garden with friends!
They have a lovely display of what I think of as gingerbread houses. They're actually made of leaves and sticks and other natural materials, and they are lovely and intricate beyond words!
One room was a reproduction of the National Mall with the Lincoln Memorial on one end, the Washington Monument in the middle and the Capitol Building on the other end.
The first picture shows Zorg and Leena taking a look at the Smithsonian Castle.
Another room had a fairy land of trains and special buildings: everything from Cinderella's castle to Santa's workshop!
This was the favorite train.
Choclo and Oob were quite taken with the excursion!
We then went through their regular exhibits: a series of interconnected greenhouses with different themes. We walked from jungles to deserts to a room of orchids. Just beautiful!
The main center room (maybe 5 stories tall?) was a towering jungle. You could climb steps to stroll around the canopy - truly amazing!
They also have an astonishing array of food plants: fruiting bananas, dates, cocoa, pineapple, orange, lemon, and palm oil plants, not to mention all the herb and spice plants!
Mostly, we were all overwhelmed with the beauty and variety of the plants. It's one of those places you feel privileged to visit.
We even wandered about a (chilly) bit in one of the outer gardens before heading home.
Back at home we relaxed with tea while the kids played.
After days of pre-Christmas busy, having a lovely relaxed day with friends is what we all needed!