This morning we went to the RPCLA. We had never been to an RPCNA service before (they practice exclusive Psalmody and sing a capella) and since there is a church in the area we decided to go. It was a small congregation with some very welcoming people that we enjoyed meeting.
After church we drove home for lunch and put Norah down for a nap. Then we took off for a walk at the Huntington Botanical Gardens. Since Richard is a Fellow there, he and his family get free admission. Yay! The gardens are spectacular, even though it’s the off season! We only had time to see two (the gardens take up 120 acres of the 207 acre grounds), but there are more than a dozen different gardens, including a Desert, Japanese, Chinese, Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, and Palm garden. It even has a children’s garden! Also there buildings containing art collections (right now The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough and Pinkie by Sir Thomas Lawrence are being exhibited) and then of course the libraries themselves. It is a beautiful place. Today we went to the Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden and the Chinese Garden.
The girls had so much fun in the children’s garden! It’s not cheesy and doesn’t make you dizzy with colour (like baby einstein stuff with weird shapes). There are reads and paths with different flowers, shrubs, etc., benches, rocks, fossils and fountains. Really great. Of course the girls especially loved the fountains. Norah shrieked the whole time, running back and forth from the fountains, showing other kids and parents how fun there was to be had with the magnificent water thingies! Sydney spent a bit more time figuring out the fountains and how your hand can effect the flow of water, etc. Needless to say, they were soaked by the end. It was a warm 80 degree day though, so we didn’t have to worry about them catching a chill before nightfall (it does cool down at night). But since Norah was especially wet we changed her out of her water-logged dress anyway and into a dry set. Next we walked a little farther through the garden to the Chinese Garden. This garden is still under construction – it must be a fairly new addition – but still beautiful. We have to remember to go back in March! The girls found the gold fish really quickly… and the goldfish also found the girls! Apparently these large fat fish were well used to being fed. So when they see people they swarm…. if fish can swarm. Sydney kept dropping little rocks and leaves in the water and the fish kept eating them and spitting them back out, sure that food was coming. Poor dumb things.
We all had such a great time. The girls just loved the freedom to run around, all the flowers and people. It was wonderful. So we will be making it a regular outing.