Botanical Gardens

Yesterday we visited the botanical gardens in Buffalo. We had a really nice couple of hours, walking around looking at the Christmas decorations, the plants, the fish, the bees, and the trains (90% of my time was with Henry, with the trains).

The trains had their usual Christmas town setup, and another Victorian/Harry Potter setup (complete with the Hogwarts Express, Hogwarts, Privet Drive, and the quidditch field), and a Thomas setup, that was both cute and inexplicably set in Illinois’ 1880s springtime prairie. All in all, the train display was charming and all the many, many children who filed through were delighted.

Since I spent so much time in one house of the garden, I took the opportunity to try to get to know my phone’s camera better. A few months ago I switched from an iPhone 5 to a Moto G. Although I truthfully like the Android platform better, the camera has been, to put it mildly, somewhat disappointing. The camera on my Moto G is about the equivalent of an iPhone 4, if I recall my research correctly, and it feels like a massive step backwards from the 5’s camera.

But I have found that this camera does closeup well enough, and I do like the lens blur built in feature (although it doesn’t seem to be working since the Lollipop upgrade a week or two ago). Anyway, being basically trapped in one house gave me a chance to try, try, try again with taking various photos with the phone. And to, ah, document our visit as well.

Before we begin, a funny aside: Eleanor asked to use the potty while we were there, so I took her and as we were washing up, a lady walked in, and then into a stall. In that echo-y restroom, in her firm, clear voice, Eleanor inspected her hands and said “I have blood on my hands, mama.” The genteel tinkling from the stall paused. What matters here is that on the drive to Buffalo, Eleanor got a nosebleed, and she did have blood on her hands. I told her in the bathroom that we’d cleaned it up and it was ok, which satisfied her. When I told Bob later, he said I should have said something to really worry the lady, like “Well now you’re one of us darling,” or “The first of gallons,” but the opportunity was behind us.

Anyway, my photos of the day, preceded by a tweet from Bob:




Yesterday was a pretty neat day. In the drive through at Tim Horton’s, the person ahead of me bought my order for me with the message “merry Christmas” which started my day with a smile.

I got some really great book recommendations from my friend Cat while at work, and also had an extremely productive chat with another Happiness Engineer that left me very optimistic.

The kids had a Christmas party at daycare and came home energized and happy (with new books to read!)

Bob and Henry built a big train track, while Ele went and helped herself to a snack.


It was a very good Friday, despite the kids both having colds and none of us sleeping very well. Oh! And the kids got to watch the first part of The Last Unicorn (music by America), which was both my favorite movie as a little kid and actually kind of disturbing. This morning Eleanor showed me a drawing of a unicorn (allegedly) on her magna doodle.

All very fun.