Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life, Travel

Welcome Back from a (very) Long Weekend

It was a long holiday weekend here in the US, Labor Day–the unofficial end of summer and the beginnings of fall. Husband and I extended it even longer by taking Tuesday off as well, giving us a 4-day holiday. Bliss!

We had planned to spend Monday afternoon in nearby town, hiring a boat and going scalloping (fresh scallops=yum). It would have been a first for us, and we were looking forward to it, but not enough to brave the unending rain, rain, rain (and occasional lighting) to do so. Maybe next year?

Instead, we spent a few glorious hours in the local botanical garden, discovering still more new and amazing plants. I have fallen in love with these three:

In real life, you can see that the "stalks" look like bamboo, honest!
In real life, you can see that the “stalks” look like bamboo, honest!

Bamboo Palm.

I mean, how can you not be enthralled right away, if like me, you love both palms and bamboo? Throw in cold-hardy and shade-loving, and dash with red berries, and this plant is sure to find a spot in my gardens. Somewhere. Once I find it for sale.







pineconegingerPinecone Ginger.

OMG. This plant is so awesome! The fruiting body, as the sign described it, not only looks like a giant pinecone, but if you squeeze it a bit, it produces a sweet, vaguely ginger-like scented liquid that some people use as shampoo. (for the record, I squoze, and it smelled florally, gingery and lovely! I would definitely use that scent in shampoo.) And it’s a ginger, so partial shade is good for it, too.



flyingdragonFlying Dragon.

Finally, the oddest plant with the coolest name. This is a cultivar of Trifolate Orange with exaggerated spines and gnarly, twisting stems. Like the baddest version of a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick tree. And it produces fruit! Although harvesting that fruit may become a bit of a problem…

IMG_2046Another really cool thing we saw was this skink. Just plopped right out on the sidewalk, sunning itself into blissfulness, and looking gorgeous. But when your skin is toned with those amazing shades of blue, how can you not look gorgeous? We saw other skinks, as well, but none posed as nicely as this first one.

That evening, the temperatures really cooled down. We ended up turning off the AC and opening the windows for the first time since…I don’t know when. I’m not an AC-loving gal, so this was a really big deal for me. That evening, we sat outside, reading and enjoying the cool evening settling in around us. (insert little shivers of delight here)

We also celebrated our anniversary this weekend, and our celebration? A half-day at Universal Studios on Tuesday. Um, yes, we’re grown-ups now, really we are. It was a blast. And let me tell you an amazing little secret. If you want to go to this theme park, and don’t like the crowds, go early on the Tuesday following Labor Day. It was so empty! We zoomed into rides like we were visiting celebrities, or folks who’d shelled out extra bucks for those premium passes (totally not worth it on this day, lemme tell ya!). So much awesome. We checked off two major rides in the first half hour. 🙂

All-in-all, a great weekend. I hope yours was as good!

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