The adventure begins with a picnic at the Hovander Homestead and the Fragrance Garden and Tennant Lake boardwalk. We started with the fragrance garden - where you're encouraged to touch and smell (and we tasted a little, too ;D)
I think the girls appreciated this just a little bit more than the boys ;D
As you run your hand along the railings, you'll notice these little "signs" on the back of the railings. While there are little (visual) signs identifying most of the plants, these are braille, for the blind. Brilliant!
My beautiful friend, Joanna :D
We mamas dawdled and enjoyed the feast for the senses, while some of the group went ahead to the lookout tower.
And LOOK! It's a blue sky! I had been praying and was so very thankful for beautiful weather while our friends were here! Especially since it's been raining and in the FORTIES since they left. (Is this really May???)
With the exception of Tate, our kids hadn't met before and it was a joy to see them building comfortable friendships :D
Tate showing Katherine some photos...
Wyatt above, and Olivia below :D
Aaron and Joanna :D
Took a walk on the Tennant Lake boardwalk, and mostly what I saw was this:
... the kids, forging ahead :D
But Joanna caught some sweet moments, like Katherine with the dandelion.
And we grabbed all the kids and dads for a group shot!
Kerry, Wyatt, Olivia (behind), Benjamin, Gunnar, Tate behind Katherine, Aaron, and Sarah.
Signs of beavers...
And a little tiny moss "garden" on a post!
Plenty of space for a picnic, and no crowds, even on a gorgeous Saturday!
The Hovander home isn't open for tours yet (July to September, I think).
It's just a year "younger" than our house, built by Swedish immigrants.
And there were goats! Pygmy goats!
I don't usually equate "goats" with "cute", but I'll make an exception.
From Hovander, we went up to my parents' for a BBQ.
Gunnar had a plan. Since the Choates are reintegrating into American culture,
what's more American than a summer BBQ?
He planned the menu:
elk-burgers, chips, watermelon, potato salad,
and "those brown beans"
(baked beans, which he doesn't even like,
but knows are a traditional BBQ food),
and for dessert - moo-wiches.
The kids enjoyed exploring the woods and wildlife...
(that's an Alligator lizard, and quite harmless),
while the adults enjoyed...
A beautiful and relaxing evening :D