Friday, June 17, 2011

The Gardens

Our first stop, and only stop the first day of our 2008 vacation, was Olbrich Gardens in Madison. The four months I had gone to college in Madison and all the other trips I had taken there, I had never been to the botanical gardens.

Not until we had our foreign exchange student Ines and she wanted to go to Madison to meet up with another foreign exchange student that she knew and we met them at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, did I ever go there. That trip was in very early spring and there was still snow throughout most of the grounds. The conservatory was open, of course, so we took a tour. Beautiful inside, lots of tropical plants and flowers and running water, a great place to visit when winter is starting to wear on you.

In July, it was a different story. It was hot and muggy outside. Skipping anything inside which might also be hot and humid, my husband Himey and I wandered the beautiful grounds, in awe of the manicured lawns, sculptured gardens and splashes of color everywhere. The Thai Pavilion, a gift from Thailand to the University of Wisconsin, is one of only four authentic pavilions found outside of Thailand. A breathtaking structure, it features gold leaf etchings, a lacquer finish, and intricate decoration.

The only thing that hurried our stay was the heat. We jumped in the car, cranked the AC and headed to the Baymont Inn for our four night stay. Only when we got to our room, it was nearly as warm inside as it had been outside in the gardens. Himey was wild. As I fiddled with the air conditioning unit, he made up his mind that we would just check out and find another hotel.

Luckily, just in the nick of time, I found a reset button and soon cool air was filling the room. Another crisis diverted by the always calm wife. Right, Himey?

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