Many times on Saturday, I am happy as a clam to stay home and clean while Stephen takes Nick and Sally out for a couple of hours.  But, we also know that we need time doing things as a family too.  We decided to head to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens for their annual orchid show.  I’ve never really paid attention to orchids before.  I remember getting a corsage at Easter from my grandpa.  I’m pretty sure they were usually orchids.  I also know that orchids are expensive.  I didn’t know that they came in so many shapes, sizes, and colors.


At first, I wasn’t very impressed.  There were a couple of displays in the hall and Clark room.  There was also a big display in the main lobby.  It was very busy.  It turns out that today was vendor day, so there was a room set up where you could buy orchids.  It was hopping.


We made our way to the children’s area.  Sally quickly got to work at the store.  We also checked out the kitchen garden.  I never knew that vanilla came from an orchid.  I have a greater appreciation for them now.  There was a display about making your own vanilla.  I think I’m going to try that this year.  I’ve heard that it takes from 2-6 months.  So, if I start it this spring, it should be great for holiday gifts.


Nick really liked the baking section.  He and Sally enjoyed the costumes.


After a break for a quick lunch, we headed to the Glasshouse.  I am so glad that we didn’t skip this part.  We didn’t see butterflies since we didn’t go up to the second level, but we did see a few gorgeous birds.


We also quickly realized that the Glasshouse is where most of the orchids were.


There were displays everywhere!




My favorite orchid find were the ones that looked like daffodils.



We had a great time and will probably try to go again with friends before the show ends on March 25th.


Yesterday, we went to the WinterShow for the 4th time.  It was probably our last visit.  We’ve really enjoyed seeing it with different groups of friends, but it was PACKED yesterday.  Apparently, everyone is out of school now.  There were too many people for it to be as fun as our other visits.  I’ll have to keep this in mind for next year.  Our first couple of visits earlier in December we had the place to ourselves.

I do think that the houses move due to different events that take place at the gardens.  I keep seeing new houses.


I really liked this “summer” themed house complete with a beach.  Sally still thought it was hilarious to sit until the table.


The train is always a hit!


The trees were particularly nice with the light yesterday.  I also think the poinsettias are getting prettier as time goes on.


Time in the Spice Shop was enjoyed, but it was too crowded for photos.  We also went through the glasshouse and saw the butterflies.

We were back to our car just before noon and then met up with Stephen for lunch.  We had the slowest service ever, but they restaurant (bar) had some arcade games, so the kids were happy (without quarters).

We made it home without any meltdowns and that made for a successful outing.


Today, we headed back to the gardens for another look at the WinterShow.  We met up with some friends and enjoyed out morning.

First, we headed to the glasshouse and looked at the creatures.  I enjoyed watching this turtle eat breakfast which consisted of a veggie and fruit salad.  It looked delicious.


We saw butterflies and birds.  The kids enjoyed the telescopes.  They even got to practice taking turns.  Sharing is rough when you are 4.


Sally really enjoyed the shop again.  Nick even helped her scan.  I like that she thinks the microphone is an ear piece.



One of our friends really enjoyed these cupcakes today.  Sally liked them so much on our last visit, that we bought a set for a Christmas gift.


At some point the kids decided that it was fun to sit under the tables.  They got a bit crazy and it was definitely time for lunch.  I really liked the use of M&Ms on this house.  I feel like I see new houses every visit.


We had a planned lunch at their café.  They have a simple menu plus some deli premade things.  We enjoyed some chili and grilled cheese.  It was a nice way to end our visit.

Nick had a temper tantrum as we were leaving.  He’s been a handful lately.  Today, as we left to walk to our car he decided to walk past the ice rink instead of the birds.  I always let them pick the direction we travel around Wade Oval.  When we got to the crosswalk, he had a fit about not seeing the birds.  He’s not happy with being told no.  It’s hard teach a 4 year old about choices and consequences, but we’ll keep trying.  I was happy that both kids stayed awake on the way home and then took 2+ hour naps.  They both needed one and I needed a break.


On Thursday, we headed back to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens with more friends.  This first photo is the grand tree in the lobby.  It’s super tall.


Clark Hall has an entire display of trees that are sponsored by the affiliate garden clubs.  This year all of the trees are themed based on children’s books.  The snowman tree is my favorite.  I don’t quite understand a Hanukkah tree!?  There was story time at 11AM in the library.  One of the books was about red mittens.  It ended with a craft to make a pair of red mittens out of paper, yarn and cotton balls.


We took a look at more gingerbread houses and collected some more ideas for making our own.


We played in the spice shop.


Sally and the little boy really enjoyed the carpet where story time was held.  Throughout the building, there were tons of beautiful poinsettias.  I may make a stamp out of this photo.  A couple of years ago, I bought some photo stamp kits on clearance.  I paid less than the value of the stamps at that time.  It turns out they are good for the current first class postage.  This year, we’ll be printing our own photos for stamps instead of buying the current holiday stamp at the post office.  It’s nice to have something that is appreciating in value.


It looks like we have one or two more trips to the WinterShow before it ends at the end of the month.