Today was another beautiful busy day. We started it off with a Feldenkrais session, and then headed out to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. We've never been there before--but I heard it was pretty. And pretty flat, but large.
I wondered whether or not to bring E's wheelchair--and I decided against it, because I thought Vivian would need a ride also, so we brought our ancient Sit-n-Stand stroller. I think it was a pretty good decision--it's much easier to get in and out of for Elena, and there was a lot more at the Gardens to explore than we realized. My allergies were TERRIBLE, so I spent literally every moment revolving around sneezing and sniffling, but it was worth it.
Peter Rabbit greeted us!
We meandered down to the Children's Garden. We saw something sparkling just past the bridge--it was a garden of Pinwheels!
The Children's Garden had so much to explore! Structures, trees to climb, places to hide, food to eat, things to touch/wear--it was incredibly interactive!
Here are E and Viv in the "Little Houses"
They had bunnies on display, you could pet them if they let you
There was a cool treehouse that overlooked the water. As we were going up to the house, a little boy behind us kept talking about Elena.
"Mom, look at her leg. She must be hurt."
"MOM! She must have hurt both legs! She has something on both of them. Was she in an accident??"
The mother probably didn't know what to say. At first, she just ignored her son. As his questions got louder and consistent, she answered,
"Well honey, I think she's moving about just fine."
"But Mom she must be hurt!"
The path widened and they went past us. I never turned around, but I did watch Elena to see her reaction. She just kept plodding along. She tells me she "ignores" most comments, but I know they get to her.
The Treehouse Tower is one big room with different art and lots of windows. We ended up being right next to the boy, all staring out the same window. He stared at Elena. She caught him staring--and then he started staring at the floor.
Elena went right up to him while he watched his own feet.
"I'm not hurt, you know."
He looked at her. E smiled. He smiled back. I got out my camera to take a picture, hoping I could get just my girls in the window. The boy's mother started to usher him away, and he looked at me and yelled "Hey can I be in your picture too?" And I said "Sure!" and then Elena went and nuzzled right up to him. (!?)
Elena, Jackson, and Viv
Sisters in a Dome
We were on our way to the Rose Garden when something weird caught our collective eye. It looked like a giant bird's nest. Turns out it was a branch structure! There were kids weaving in and out, playing chase. We all LOVED IT!
The Diamond in the Rough
We smelled a few roses along the way to the Greenhouse, where there was a giant display of orchids and other tropical plants. They were all very beautiful and colorful. Afterwards, I broke out some bubbles and the girls had fun with them by the fountains.
We had a fabulous time. One thing I have to mention is that this place is VERY accessible--there were ramps EVERYWHERE. It was heaven, not having to worry about how E was going to handle tons of steps. Elena fell only once, while hiding and chasing in the Diamond in the Rough. She spent more time on her feet than Vivian, which is new; Viv was tired (no nap) and preferred to ride. I'd estimate Elena spent more than half of the time spent at the Gardens out of the stroller--which is no small feat, given the size of the Gardens and the fact that we were mostly in the sun.
It was a gorgeous day to be outside, and more to enjoy than I expected. We'll definitely do this again!