This last week, my sister-in-law, The Dog Whisperer, was visiting family in Tennessee. I haven't seen her since last summer so I checked out the mileage between where she was and here. A little too far at 5 1/2 hours.
But Louisville Kentucky is half way between at 2 1/2 hours for her and 3 for me. Perfect.
So I proposed a day trip to get together and be able to see each other.
A little internet research brought several possibilities. But then I stumbled on the perfect place.....a place that allowed dogs...and was free....and was outdoors....and had a cafe using many of their own grown produce, etc.
Right up both of our alleys. And that is super cool because there aren't that many people in my life that I could propose this kind of meeting place to.
Anyways! We agreed to meet at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest this last Monday. Just the three of us. Because LuLu counts ya'll. (And sadly I managed to NOT get a picture of this canine princess.)
At the visitors center we first saw a living sculpture/playhouse. It was amazing.
I just wish it was leafed-out at the time. But it wasn't. We crawled around in here to start our day.
Then we took a hike around a couple of ponds after checking out the chef's garden.
There was a cool carved tree trunk in one of the ponds.
We met Mr. Turtle alone the way. I thought LuLu might give him a hard time, but she wasn't having anything to do with this strange looking creature. After a cursory sniff she kept well away.
Then we drove out to the Fire Tower hiking area. And of course the tower was locked up. Bummer. But no worries...we drove over the the tree top canopy hike and walked out into the trees. I don't have a good picture. This was a rather high pier out into the forest canopy. The wind was blowing and we watched the tree trunks swaying right next to us. Since I am quite afraid of heights this was a feat for me. I actually went all the way to the end. (Although you won't find me leaning up against the rails, no sir.)
Next it was back down to the lower areas to the founders garden, where we were met with several different kinds of butterflies chasing each other around. These blue and black ones were just hanging around in the clover.
Under the Let There Be Light statue, the founder of this forest and his wife are buried. This land was burned out farm land that had been deforested by iron and another kind of industry in the area. Their dream was to turn it back into a beautiful wooded and flowered area for all to enjoy. They did a wonderful job.
The next area we drove to was supposed to have more flowers and gardenish type of stuff to see. Guess we missed it..but we did find a cool sculpture with moss on it.
And a really slimy looking mushroom.
And we ended our day together with a fresh soup and sandwich meal at the cafe.
It was wonderful. Lots of walking. Good company. A beautiful day.
My hope for all my loved ones is that you grab the unexpected opportunities that pop up in life and make something of them. It would have been so easy to not even think of meeting half way. After all, gas is expensive and we are still jobless.
But look what I would have missed. A wonderful walk to remember.
Don't forget to take those walks my friends. They are the little things that make up a great big happy life.