The weather has finally cooled off (at least for a week or so). It feels like it has been an eternity of triple-digit temperatures, starting in June and not letting up until a week or so ago. It was so delightful to finally put on a light jacket and spend time outside in the cool and refreshing air.
We spent the day at Descanso Gardens in La Canada, which is a spectacular 150-acre botanical garden. It was our first outing of this type since early March when we took Miles to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego for his fifth birthday, just days before the lockdown. So it was a real treat. Even though all in attendance were in masks, it felt so normal (well, new normal I should say) to be somewhere beautiful, amongst other human beings, enjoying a glorious fall day, rather than locked in the house, again.
The gardens had taken great care to decorate the property with ample Halloween and Fall decor for the kids to enjoy. Since Halloween is all but non-existent this year, it was a treat for the kids to see the festive displays of pumpkins and other creative fall-themed designs (such as a dragonfly, a bee, and a spider. all sculptures fashioned out of ropes, pumpkins, and branches from the gardens).
The boys, were, of course, boys. They jumped over rocks in the streams and ponds, despite my emphatic pleas for them to stop. At the Koi pond in the Japenese Garden, Graham slipped and went partway into the water to join the Koi fish. At the same time, on the opposite side of the pond, Miles slipped and dropped his mask (which was in his hand rather than on his face, where it should have been). right into the pond. The fish immediately descended on it, thinking it might be a tantalizing snack. Fortunately, once they realized it was simply a boy's polka dot COVID mask, they retreated and did not attempt to nibble on it.
I had to go and search for a long branch in the brush nearby to try to rescue his mask. I handed the four-foot branch I found off to Garin, who quickly got the mask out, which had sunk to the bottom. I was imploring him to hurry with the task before we were spotted by a security guard and politely (or perhaps not so politely) escorted off the premises. I was terrified that Garin was going to mistakenly spear one of the Koi fish as he rushed to retrieve the mask with the sharp branch. Luckily, we got the mask and no fish were harmed in the process. We left, shortly thereafter, so as not to push our luck.
I bought a season pass so we can go back in the next month or two to enjoy their renowned Enchanted Forest of Light show, closer to the holidays, to take in their stunning collection of gardenias in January/February, and then to immerse ourselves in the spectacular rose garden in the spring (Catherine and I can hardly wait). I made the boys promise me that there would be no more shenanigans near the water and no more lost masks in the Koi pond. They agreed, for now.