My girly was slightly unimpressed when we collected her for a sleepover and told her that we were heading straight out for a walk at Harcourt Arboretum.
Apparently, they didn't sleep at all so I was pleased that she managed to stay awake on the drive there AND refrain from complaining.
The last and only time I have been here was when she was just a babe in the papoose.
But since I got the annual pass for The Oxford Botanical Gardens and the Arboretum is included in that ticket; I wanted to make the most of it.
Also the energetic boys needed daily "walking" despite the rain during half term.
I must confess: I enjoyed the rainy half term weather.
It meant that we spent a lot less time chasing the sun, and a lot more time just being together at home. And when we did get out, (which was daily anyway) everything was lush, and relatively quiet.
Apart from us.
I fell for this guy.
He really seemed to be stretching up to check us out and say hello.
I had just reminded my girl about four-leaf clovers and the luck that they bring when...
I found one!
I gave it to her for safe keeping...
and she dropped it.
She was pretty sad, but I actually found yet another one this past weekend. Slightly more beaten up, but still four-leaved and now pressed flat in my book for temporary safe keeping.
FYI: I just finished reading this book:
Written by my friend's brother; I began reading this a few weeks ago but totally devoured it over the weekend camping where I got to devote more time to reading.
If you are looking for something to read and like a good "who-done-it" I would recommend it.
Some of the hills were hard going for the little guy, but we all cheered for him and this really spurred him on. Especially with his big brother at the top of the hill, rooting for him.
What kind of a foolish mother forgets to pack wellies for a child?
He didn't seem to mind one little bit.
The 8 year old was calling us over, excited to show us this tree and a trick he learned when he had come here for school.
Pick up a cone, give it a tap in your hand...
and out pop a couple of "party bugs"!
I was impressed. And slightly itchy after one disappeared up his sleeve.
We happened upon this pretty use of Azalea petals:
Entering the secret path through the Azaleas.
Inside the Azaleas. The perfect hideout/adventure playground.
Just like us, the bees didn't let the rain put them off from having a good time.
And the best part about the rain, the mud, post-sleepover-exhaustion and being on half term; was that we could go home and have a valid excuse to wash up and get straight into pyjamas, even if it was only 2pm in the afternoon.