Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Of Mistletoe Visions and Poinsettia Dreams

Early last week, Brent and I made plans to head north Saturday to Montague, New Jersey, to conquer peak #2 on our quest to hike the highest point in each of the fifty states.

But when we sat down to look at a map on Friday night, we realized that the 1800-foot peak was nearly three hours away – meaning we’d be driving six hours to hike roughly four miles.

Taking a cue from a good friend who lives by the mantra, “activity has to be equal to or longer than total drive time,” we decided to save the New Jersey peak for our holiday trip to New England, and instead plan an adventure closer to home.

So, Saturday evening, we wrapped ourselves in hats and scarves, and drove south to Longwood Gardens, an historic estate on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, home to more than 1,000 acres of botanical bliss.  Three years ago, two of our closest friends got engaged behind the Christmas tree at the Gardens’ Conservatory, and every year since, Brent and I have talked about checking out the famed holiday spectacle.

We spent several hours sipping hot chocolate and wandering the through the maze of Christmas displays.  I got my fill of (pre-)winter wonderland, and Brent got to play with his new camera.

We began with the outdoor fountain show, choreographed to holiday tunes.

From there, we headed to the tree house and bird-viewing platform.  We didn’t see any birds, but we did encounter a bright blue Christmas tree.

Then it was inside to warm up in the Conservatory.

We followed the Christmas Route from room to room.  There was an entire display of orchids – who knew they were a holiday flower?

Brent’s favorite was the manicured indoor lawn, which reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. I dubbed it the Queen of Hearts room (in this picture, you can’t see the red and pink flowered-rim that surrounded the display).

I preferred this tropical nightscape (at least until Brent deemed it Pandora, tempering my fun with an Avatar reference…).  The whole room was lit by refracted green light, speckling the trees and plants.

All in all, the perfect evening of holiday cheer.

Is it really almost December already?

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