For the record, I had a great time at the Gardens this morning, but if I was going only to see tulips, I would have been sadly disappointed. Really, no tulips when they are touting 250,000? This could be one of the worst examples of false advertising I have ever witnessed. Well, maybe I over exaggerate. There are plenty of tulips, but none are in bloom yet. I saw lots and lots of tulip leaves and the occasional tulip that has braved the nasty weather in Utah, but even the ones in 'bloom' weren't looking so hot. There were possibly two spots where we actually saw tulips. One was right underneath the main building (it was the last thing we saw on our way back from our loop around the gardens) and the other spot was not even IN the regular gardens; it was actually up in the Children's Discovery Gardens. So we found this about an hour in when we should have been surrounded by sights such as these the entire time.
Like I said though, I still had a great time. There are plenty of places to walk around and discover. I can imagine that when the season is in full bloom, the place must be beautiful. Right now there are many hedges that look dead, and the rose garden was less than impressive. But the girls followed the map and we went to many interesting locations. My favorite by far was the 'Secret Garden.' I don't think it was called that, but you had to walk under a trellis to find some wooden doors that led into a walled garden with a lovely fountain. It was just darling and I could easily bring a book and a lunch and spend an entire day there.
There are some other areas that have a Greek feel with columns and benches. If you look behind the girls in this one, you can see some of the lovely leaves that will probably be tulips someday.
Here again is a beautiful area with a fountain running down the middle. The hill side is covered in soon-to-be tulips and I can imagine it will be spectacular in a couple of weeks.
I feel a little sorry for Thanksgiving Point. I spoke to one lady who said they had to schedule the dates for the festival a year in advance. I certainly wouldn't want to be the person who guessed wrong about when the tulips would actually bloom. But in the meantime, they really should tell people as they walk in, "You are about to spend $10 to see tulips, and you may be a bit put-out when you find there aren't any." But no, not a word! I have the membership, so we got in free, but I heard a few conversations from irate patrons. Apparently the same thing happened last year. Ouch! That can't be good for business.
I was even a little disappointed by the Children's area. The best thing was the cave with the bear. There are actual bear noises that come from a speaker somewhere, and I was pretty convinced that there was a bear that might come out at any moment. Ivory was so convinced that she would NOT get out of the stroller at that point. I asked if she wanted to touch the bear, but there was emphatic head shaking and clinging to me. So I took a picture of the other girls with him.
I didn't get any pictures of the water falls, because I was busy making sure no one fell in, but they are pretty impressive. And like I said, I really enjoyed walking around with the girls and I had a good time. Just, a very badly named festival. I therefore now dub thee the long-walk-in-a-parkish-area-with-sporadicly-placed-flowers-that-could-
bloom-at-any-moment festival. Much more accurate.
p.s. Thanks to Sunny who called today to warn me that there were no tulips. That makes me feel special that you were looking out for us. We should go together and enjoy the lack of color.