Yesterday, I took the girls to Duke Gardens in Durham, NC to have their pictures taken. A friend of mine had made an arrangement with a local photographer, which allowed several families to have "abbreviated" sittings (no outfit changes, about 20 minutes each) for no sitting fee, and then we can decide to purchase pictures, or not. I hope we get some good ones - Emma was feeling weepy over her pony from horse camp who she has not seen in a few weeks and is next on the list to retire - in a couple of years. We won't go into how I felt about that.
We have lived in North Carolina for 9 years, and never been to Duke Gardens. It is one of "THE things" to see and do here, but you know, it meant driving to Durham and probably getting lost on Duke's campus and..... I am not a touristy kinda gal, really, so we never went.
Anyhoo, we were over by the goldfish pond for pictures, and when we were done, the girls were naturally drawn to the water. Do you know we saw at least 4 or 5 kinds of tadpoles in there? We saw some huge ones that had to be bullfrogs, and several different smaller kinds. Of course I did not have a camera (it was a million degrees and humid and I did not want to be there any longer than I had to be), but I wish I'd thought to at least take a small net and a jar... oh, wait. I bet the Duke Gardens people would have frowned heavily upon my snagging tadpoles for brief observation from among all those incredible water lilies.
In the short walk we had to and from the photo-taking area, we saw lots of beautiful flowers. We will definitely be going back when it's cooler to poke around a bit more.
Naturally, on the way home we found ourselves to be what you might term "slightly misdirected." I came in on Anderson Street and went out on Anderson Street, but apparently it's a kind of magic road that changes its position in the universe from time to time because where I came out and where I came in were not the same and the way out didn't take me back to the highway. Thanks to my very wonderful husband and the new AAA maps he just put in my car last week, I was able to figure it out and take a different way home. If you know how directionally challenged I am, this was no small feat. We ended up going by the mall with Pottery Barn Kids store, so we stopped in there and got a wonderful, soft blanket for Schmooey. It was tax-free weekend here in NC, and it was not my first choice of days to go to the mall, but it means I don't have to go back, so it was worth the effort.
In other breaking news, on the way home from the pool last night, the girls were "flying" with their towels as wings, running down the sidewalk. Abbie fell and scraped her poor little nose and forehead on the sidewalk. Thankfully, this time it was AFTER pictures. Extra specially thankfully, she did not give herself a concussion, black eyes, or break her nose.