2.11.2014

palm trees in snow

The other day at my Bible study group, I mentioned that the winter blues were starting to get to me, and asked the other ladies what they do to survive the Minnesota winter while cooped up inside with their offspring. I cannot thank them enough for bringing my attention to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. 

Throughout winter my general outlook is that of a bear - hibernate. I desire to wrap myself in a fluffy blanket burrito of warmth and fall asleep at the stroke of 7 pm. This instinct is compounded with the addition of a baby bear, mostly because getting her bundled up and packed up for a day on the town takes about a year.  

Fridays are generally a free day for me, and I often end up only seeing the light of day when we take Pablo for a short walk. Because I had been singing the winter blues all week long, I was leaning toward making Friday a cozy day inside again. But something snapped within me. I think it was that Matthew McConaughey advice about wanting to be where you are. So I shut my laptop, stuffed everything we needed for the day in my trusty North Face backpack, and hit the open road. 

In a mere 25 minutes we found ourselves at the absolutely stunning conservatory. How this hidden gem escaped my attention for the 4 years I have lived here in the Twin Cities I will never know. I decided I didn't want to be bogged down my a stroller, so I tied on the Moby wrap in the car because it was still 0° outside. I tucked my little kangaroo in the folds of fabric to keep her warm, then sprinted to the door because I accidentally forgot my gloves. 

You guys, if I had all the money, you know I would be on the next flight to Peru or Costa Rica or Argentina. But as it so happens, I am still clawing my way out of student loan debt, so the Como Park Conservatory is the next best thing. Lush greenery, humid air, and sunshine wrap their arms around you, a safe haven from the harsh Minnesota winter. Tropical plants from every warm part of the world fill the gardens, and the scents of spices rise before you as incense. But enough of painting a word picture. I will let my actual pictures invade your eyeballs.

The nicest girl who happened to be a photography student offered to take some pictures of us.

This girl could not get enough of the greenery and chatted nonstop as we walked through the gardens. 

We bumped into some friends who took this lovely picture of us. 





Checking out the fishies


I miss Ecuador! Take me back!


Spring will come...eventually. Until then, we will definitely be returning to the conservatory for more warmth and green. 

Is there a botanical garden or green house in your area? Where do you escape to in winter?

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