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Sunday 24 April 2022

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona

When you think of a desert what springs to mind? 

For most of us sand and cacti are probably the first two things we think of. But what about colorful flowers, trees and bushes? What about swathes of lush, green plant life? These may not be what comes to mind when we think of deserts, but there is a wealth of plant life that thrives in desert conditions and it can be all of these things. 

During our recent Spring Break we took a road trip to Phoenix, Arizona to visit friends. While we were there we spent half a day exploring Desert Botanical Gardens and it was absolutely stunning. A desert botanical garden may sound like a bit of an oxymoron, but trust me, this is one botanical garden that will blow you away.

Now, you're probably looking at that photo below and thinking "Hey, that looks like glass". And you'd be right! Desert Botanical Garden is currently home to "Chihuly in the Desert" an exhibition by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly. Chihuly's glass sculptures can be found dotted around the gardens where their organic shapes add an extra touch of whimsy to an already magical landscape. What I love about this exhibition is that the striking glass sculptures add to the landscape without taking away from the natural beauty. They work so perfectly in unison. 

Desert Botanical Garden is quite large with over 50,000 outdoor plant displays spread over 55 acres. Visitors will also find a butterfly pavilion, an onsite restaurant and café, several learning centers and exhibition spaces, and of course, a gift shop. Restrooms and hydration stations are also dotted around the gardens. It gets pretty hot in Arizona (it was already in the 90s when we visited in March) so you'll definitely want to make use of those hydration stations!

The gardens are wheelchair and stroller accessible with wide trails winding through the different areas. The trails vary in length from 1/10 mile to 1/3 mile with each focusing on a particular theme including desert wildflowers, plants and people of the Sonoran Desert and the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop. I took so many photos during our visit that I can't remember which ones are from which trail, but believe me when I say that all of the trails are worth walking. My photos will be a little mixed up, but if you really want to know which trail a particular photo was taken on let me know and I'll try to work it out.

Ok, let's take a look around Desert Botanical Garden...

Saturday 9 April 2022

Spring at Tivoli Gardens

Yesterday Tivoli, also known as Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen, Denmark officially opened for the season. When I saw the celebrations on Instagram it reminded me of our visit to Copenhagen over Spring Break in 2017 and the fact that I'm still yet to post anything about it here on the blog. 

We lucked out with the timing of our trip and while Tivoli Gardens was closed for much of our stay, it opened for the season on our last full day in Denmark. With such perfect timing we knew that we had to spend the day there. 

At first I'd been a little unsure about visiting Tivoli Gardens as theme parks generally aren't our thing when we travel, but after walking past the stunning entry gate several times a day I just knew that we needed to visit. I'm so glad we did! There's something much more whimsical about European theme parks that American theme parks are missing, and no where is this more true than Tivoli Gardens. The scale is much smaller but that adds to the charm. The smaller scale feels much more personable and less overwhelming. While a full day is definitely needed, there's less rush to try and squeeze in everything. The historic buildings add a feeling of stepping back in time, and beloved sideshow amusements remind us that sometimes simpler, old fashioned fun is better than high tech.

This sense of old world charm is not fabricated like what you'd find in many popular theme parks around the world. Tivoli Gardens opened in October 1843 and is the third oldest amusement park in the world. It has been delighting Danish families, and tourists like us, for almost one hundred and eighty years with stunning gardens, fun amusements, rollercoasters, classic fairground rides, playgrounds, restaurants, and performances including ballet, pantomimes and jazz concerts.

Easter is a particularly special time of year to visit Tivoli Gardens. With the arrival of Spring the park's many garden beds are filled with an abundance of blooming flowers. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths add color and perfume to the gardens, while a sprinkling of the season's first leaves and blossoms grow on the mostly still bare trees above. Elaborate oversized Easter eggs can be found all throughout the park. When the sun goes down the park lights up with twinkling fairy lights and stunning lanterns.

Let's take a look at our visit...

Saturday 2 April 2022

Immersive Art in Denver

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of immersive art. If you've been here a while, or if you follow along on Instagram, you're sure to have seen a lot of immersive art featured in my posts.
We're lucky here in Colorado that there are quite a few permanent (or long term pop up) immersive art exhibitions. They're a great place to spend an hour or two on a cold day (or a hot day - Summers here are HOT) and they're a lot of fun. Plus you get to come home with creative photos that you can't get anywhere else.

Today I'm sharing a round up of my favorite immersive art exhibitions in and around Denver. 

Let's take a look...
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