When I was a kid, my parents "made" us (my brother, sister and I) go on weekly hikes.
We hated it.
The other kids got to hang out and play (or watch TV?) while we were being forced to enjoy nature.
My paternal grandparents lived very close to Descanso Gardens, so if we weren't hiking in the mountains, canyons, or beaches – we'd "have to" go there. (This was almost always followed up with dinner at my grandparent's house.)
On a whim, I recently drove one and a half hours to revisit this place from my childhood.
I loved it.
Really, really, loved it!
I can't understand how I wouldn't have loved it as a child too.
(This is the part where my mom laughs her ass off, right?)
The beauty of Descanso Gardens, begins in the parking lot.
I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it's beautiful and I want one. And yes, people did stare at me strangely when I laid down in the parking lot to take this shot. (I'm pretty sure this is the same type of tree they have growing on Rodeo Drive/Wilshire in Beverly Hills – such pretty pink blossoms!)
Due to my schedule, I didn't have the entire day to spend in the gardens - which means I'll have to return again very soon. I didn't have time to explore more than half of what I wanted and, you know me, I can't leave anything half done. (Of course, if I wasn't taking nonstop photos of everything in my path, I might have covered more ground.)
I spent a lot of time in the rose garden.
I've never considered myself much of a rose person. I like roses, but there are other flowers I like more.
But, oh the pretty!
There were so many different types and colors of roses! (Have you ever heard of a Bourbon Rose? It looks nothing like a "normal" rose. I'm sure I have a photo of one around here somewhere ….)
Instead of following the map I was so kindly provided, I wandered aimlessly.
Minutes after leaving the rose garden I found myself in a forest.
I encountered a beautiful, huge, deer.
"You aren't supposed to be here eating in the gardens, are you?" I asked her softly.
The deer smiled at me, all the while looking at me doe-eyed. We watched each other calmly for several minutes, and then she turned and disappeared into the trees.
While walking around in the forest, I heard the sound of rushing water. I followed the sound and it led me here:
There was no one at the waterfall, but me. There was a little bench nearby. I could have sat there – by the water, and hidden by the trees, for hours.
Maybe next time I will.
© Twenty Four At Heart