The Out-of-Towner

I have a bit of a confession: I am a serious overpacker. When I went on my trip to Longwood Gardens last weekend, I brought a sweater to finish as well as the sock that I generally carry in my purse (I did leave the yarn to cast on new socks with at home, though). I’ve been sort of ignoring the socks lately, just knitting a row here and there, and mostly focusing on the sweater (which also fit into my enormous purse). Sometimes this overpacking trait all works out, though. If I hadn’t been dragging my Reunion Sock (the current traveling project) around with me everywhere, I wouldn’t have been able to take a picture of it, in all of its drooping elm leaf lace-y glory, with a real live elm tree I came across at Longwood Gardens.

The red chiffon tied around the tree is part of an art exhibit they had going on around the grounds. It’s supposed to symbolize the tree’s indomitable will to survive Dutch Elm disease, or something along those lines. I may be exaggerating a little bit, but the prose on the signs about the art was seriously flowery (they wrapped red chiffon around a metal contraption used to prop up heavy branches on a tree and called it a testament to human ingenuity).

When we got to Longwood Gardens, the first thing we did was to go make a beeline for the Waterlily Garden in between the two main Conservatories:


I especially get a kick out of the miniature waterlilies sprouting from the center of lilypads:

After that, we took a break to have some peach cobbler, and then toured the rest of the greenhouses, before falling into a bit of a sugar coma.

We watched the main fountain show:
Everything seems to sort of come to a halt around the gardens while the fountains are running. It’s actually a really good time to walk around the conservatories without having a lot of crowds around, or to beat the line at the cafeteria.

We walked up the hill to see the bell tower, waterfall and rock garden:

Then we went to see the Italian Water Garden:
That one is a bit of a hike from the entrance and the conservatories, but it’s worth it.

I took a ton of photos, and I think that I have Eye Candy Friday fodder for the next 5 years or so. Not surprisingly, the flowers attracted a lot of butterflies and other insects. I spent some time watching a bumblebee collecting nectar in one flowerbed. We saw some honeybees at work along with the bumblebees, which was kind of a comforting sight.

It rained pretty much all day on Sunday, but luckily that didn’t affect our trip to see a traveling exhibit of WWII bombers at a local airport. They had a B25, a B17 Flying Fortress and a B24 Liberator, all restored to working condition.

This exhibit was of special interest because my grandfather was a navigator in the Army Air Corps, and the B24 was what he flew in. Even though I didn’t have any real knowledge of where the navigator would sit before going through the plane, I was lucky enough to get a picture of the navigator’s position:
After taking a walking tour of the B24 and the B17, I have even more respect now for the servicemen who flew those planes than I did before. Those planes were not easy to get in and out of (especially the B17, which had some very tight corners and was higher off the ground than the B24 seemed to be), with a lot of very small spaces, narrow walkways, and low doors. I was actually a little nervous about falling out of the bomb bay of the B17, but I maintained my footing.

During all the driving from place to place this weekend, I found the time to finish my Wicked sweater. I tried taking some pictures of it, but it was a rainy day, so they didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked. I’ll give it another shot when it’s sunny out, if it’s ever sunny again.


One thought on “The Out-of-Towner

  1. How wonderful. Over packers unite! My mum’s partner was a navigator for test pilots at grumman.. f14’s hold a special place in my heart. such a wonderful weekend!

    and your sweater (despite the grey day photos) is gorgeous! yay!

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