I remember when, back in the mid-1990's, this funny green water tower appeared along I-15 in the wasteland between the town of Lehi and the point of the mountain. "Thanksgiving Point," it said. My family went out and visited it: ate at the little restaurant, looked in the small gift shop, and thought "this is kind of strange out here in the middle of nowhere." Over the years I watched it grow: first a museum, then a farm with a fall corn maze, then a movie theater, then more museums... and rumors of some really incredible botanical gardens. It took me a few years to wrap my brain around the idea of botanical gardens, since in my mind that area was one big mass of dried-out sagebrush. But I kept hearing glowing reports, and I decided I really wanted to see them.
Visiting the gardens became a top priority for me when I realized we were going to be there during tulip time. I arranged to meet a couple friends there. Driving out there, I was amazed at how the area has changed. That quiet little spot off the freeway is now a mass of office buildings and restaurants, with housing developments carpeting the once-barren land surrounding.
I only had half my kids with me (since the older ones were camping in southern Utah with the Badger,) but between the three of us we had seventeen young children with us. Since my friends' children are exceptionally delightful and well-behaved (and my kids are pretty okay) we had a marvelous time.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED the gardens! I honestly felt like someone took the lands of my dreams and brought them to life. I really felt a connection to the place. And being there in the spring was a real treat-- you know how I feel about daffodils. Our favorite place was the Secret Garden, so much like what I imagine the one in that marvelous book to be like. We ended up eating our picnic lunch in there, and my two friends and I had a deep and thoughtful discussion about various facets of life and motherhood.
The whole experience was very nourishing to my soul.