Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adventuring // Return to Huntington Gardens

Huntington Gardens- Steph

I've fallen in love with Huntington Gardens. Steph and I went with a few other friends and some of her family on the free day last month. Her mom had extra tickets, so we made a day of it. This month, we decided this adventure needed a repeat.

Huntington Gardens- Overlooking the Lake

Since Steph and I knew our finals would end Wednesday of 10th Week, I signed up for five free tickets for the month of June. How the free day works is:

1. On the first day of the month, exactly at 9 AM, you sign up for tickets online or call their phone number. You can get up to five, but you have to sign up early. Anytime after 9 AM, you're taking a chance of tickets running out.

2. An envelope with actual paper tickets arrives in two-ish weeks to the address you supplied when you signed up. Don't lose it.

3. On the first Thursday of that next month {so if you signed up on May 1st, you can go June 6th}, pile your friends into a car and make the drive out to the Gardens.

Huntington Gardens- Lake Statues

Parking is free when you show your tickets to the attendant. Make sure you don't lose your car... their parking lot is a bit of a maze. After parking our car, we actually got confused and ended up entering the Gardens through a side gate. Oops.

Huntington Gardens- Garden Bridge

This time around, Tommy and Jean joined us on our adventures. We tried to fill that last spot, but everyone was still taking finals. *sigh

Huntington Gardens- Couple Photo

They're cool kids. Jean had told me the weekend before that she and Tommy didn't actually have that many useable couple photos since that one on the right kept making weird faces at the camera. So I set out to remedy that!

We had at least ten useable couple photos by the end of the day-- success!

Huntington Gardens- Moon Bridge and Koi Pond

The Gardens were still gorgeous, but if you want to see lots and lots of flowers, I'd suggest going in May instead of June. Many of the spots that were crazy in bloom last time we went were pure greenery this time around. Still pretty, just... less colorful.
The goose nest under that bridge last month was gone this time! Apparently the eggs hatched right after we visited and the goslings are now huge. Also, side note, I was surprised at how many groups of school kids were there. I thought everyone would have been out for the summer already.

Huntington Gardens- Group Under the Gazebo 
Aww, these kids. Love them.

Huntington Gardens- Breaking Rules

And these two. This is basically their relationship in a nutshell. No rules and always goofing off.

Huntington Gardens- Lilypads

We got to see every section of the Gardens this time around. I was amazed by how many different types of environments they've fit into such a small area. So gorgeous.

Huntington Gardens- Palm Trees 

I have the best video of Tommy reenacting "The hills are aliiiive..." on one of the large grassy areas and just dropping like a rock as he trips over something. He's so graceful, it kills us.

Yes, he was okay.

Huntington Gardens- Imitating Trees

Imitating trees. It's what we do. Steph's especially good at it. It's like she was a bonsai tree in another life or something. Impressive.

Huntington Gardens- Desert Cacti

Tips for surviving a day at Huntington Gardens: wear shoes you can walk around for ages in. Bring snacks. Be prepared for hot weather, even if it starts out cooler in the morning. If you're a girl, bring rubberbands for your hair {it gets hot and/or windy throughout the day}. With so much space, there's always some area of the Garden under construction; don't be surprised if things that were there before are fenced off when you return.

Huntington Gardens- Skeptical

The artwork... we actually went into the buildings this time and while I'm not the biggest art aficionado, I really had a good time wandering through the rooms. The collection is extensive.

I did say to Jean at some point, though, that as big and beautiful as these houses are, I wouldn't want to live in them. They're kind of cold {not necessarily the temperature, but the feel} and impersonal. Not warm or welcoming in the slightest.

To which she replied that she wants a house made of flowers and books.

I knew there was a reason I liked this girl.

Huntington Gardens- Flowers 
The rose garden was still blooming like mad. My favorite part of walking through that area is looking at the names of the flowers. I mean, Ketchup & Mustard? Given that it was red on the outside and yellow towards the middle, I guess that made sense. But still.

Huntington Gardens- Group Dynamic 

Best group picture of the day. Describes our dynamic: Steph and Tommy messing, Jean smiling prettily, and me taking pictures. *nods* It's about right.

I had such fun with these kids. We missed our fifth member of the group, but all that means is that we must return again in the future! Huntington Gardens, we will be back!

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