Thursday, September 23, 2010

South Africa, William Penn and facebook...they're all here

My hubs left Sunday morning on a business trip to South Africa so I went to see my mom for a few days.
When I mention on my blog some of the places my hubs travels for work I always get a few comments asking why I don't go too.
Mostly it comes down to timing and my personal safety.
I'd love to see some of South Africa but he's working and I'd be alone much of the time so it didn't seem like the right thing for right now...hopefully one day.

He did send me this-

No, he is not a game warden.
He had the opportunity to spend a few hours in a game preserve before his meeting began.

It's almost like being there, isn't it?
And hey, who needs a day in a Safari Park in South Africa when you can hang out with your mom and her good friend at Longwood Gardens?
After all, Pennsylvania is very nice too.

When my siblings and I were kids our parents used to have to drag us there...
"Not Longwood Gardens!!!" we would whine say.
But these days we love it...over 1,000 acres of gardens, woods, and meadows and over 11,000 types of plants and trees.
Hubs has the better camera with him and the old camera I had with me would not allow my computer to read all the files so I cannot show you all the fabulousness.
You're relieved I know.

Tuesday was an absolutely picture perfect day so we had a wonderful time walking the grounds.
A friend of mine from the UK moved back to the states this past summer and she lives very near the town where the gardens are located.
It's too bad I didn't have her new phone number with me or I could have called her to join us. And it's especially too bad because when I emailed her later and said I'd been there she said she'd been there too.
The same day.
Remember that word?
Does anyone still say drat?
I'm sure my kids will let me know.

Longwood was originally a farm operated by a Quaker family who had purchased the land from William Penn of Pennsylvania fame.
Time for a random side note -William Penn's grave just happens to be in a tiny Quaker church cemetery in a tiny English village just a stone's throw from our house in the UK.
My hubs was out walking our dog one day and stumbled on it.
His grave is not in terrific shape...

History is packed into every nook and cranny there.

Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah, back to Longwood...eventually Pierre du Pont, founder of the Dupont Chemical company, purchased the land in order to preserve the trees and he created most of what is Longwood Gardens today.
And what it is today is absolutely beautiful.
Really, it is so wonderfully designed and is full of magnificent gardens and flowers and fountains and big tall trees soaring to the sky...absolutely gorgeous.
There's something to see in every season so anytime is a good time to spend a day there.

As we approached the conservatory we noted a very high wall.
My mom and I both laughed at the sight of it and the memory of a trip our church youth group took to Longwood Gardens way back when.
One of the boys in our group hopped up on the wall and didn't realize there was a drop behind it.
Yes indeed there was a drop.
About 30 feet.
He broke his leg.
Mom's friend who was with us for the day was wondering how he had managed to fall because there is a black iron fence and railing running the entire length of the wall.
We told her we were pretty sure it was our youth group's visit that resulted in that fence and railing being there today.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, God bless youth workers!

Also this week... thru the miracle of facebook I was able to meet up with two old friends while I was visiting my mom.
One I'd known since kindergarten but haven't seen in 30 years so we had dinner and a nice long chat.
The other friend I know from the several summers we spent working together as camp counselors.
We agreed that as parents now looking back, we cannot believe people actually left their children in our care.
We also agreed that those summers marked and changed us and are some of the best memories of our lives.
And don't you think catching up in real life with friends you've reconnected with via facebook is every bit as exciting as an African safari?
I'm sure of it.

Okay, who besides me thinks I've had a lot going on here lately?
I feel like I'm popping in to blog a recap and then its on to the next thing.
I'm sure it will settle down soon.
Not this weekend though because, hello, more plans.
Fun plans.
I'll probably be back Monday to blog a recap.
It's what I do.


  1. Gorgeous pictures....
    Blessings and prayers,

  2. I read stuff all the time about what is going on In S. Africa... Very scary, I'd choose PA and a beautiful garden too!

    Busy times happen... Thankfully quiet times do too!

  3. I have a friend who says "Drat!" all the time. But she's Canadian...

  4. Those pictures are gorgeous (as usual)! Too bad you didn't run into your friend at the gardens; wouldn't that have been too much? :D

  5. I never tire of your pictures. The gardens look wonderful!

  6. Looks like an absolutely beautiful place. And I say "drat" all the time!

  7. Thanks for the stroll in the garden...beautiful pictures!! Makes me want to take a cup of coffee and spend the morning there myself...

  8. I say Drat too. It's stronger than Bother but not as strong as Shuzbut, which my Dad used to say and I adopted as my swear word of choice. Now that I typed it out seems pretty strange. Ha

    I think I would have chosen the gardens but then I'm not as seasoned a traveler as you.

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your weeks plans!

  9. Because you and I have discovered one another again I have been reading your blogs with great interest. You are a wonderful, entertaining writer, keep it up. And incidently over the years I am sorry to say my lanquage and mode of expression has degenerated to something more colorful then Drat, but I used it alot at one time.

  10. Like I said before and it´s so true: I live through your traveling. :) Really enjoyed this walk through the park and the history lesson.
    Can´t wait to hear where you were on the weekend.
    P.S. Thanks for going to my daughter´s blog to wish her happy birthday!

  11. I really want to go to England someday. I hope your husband has a safe trip. :)

  12. Sounds like our husbands could share some stories. ;) Love how you spent your time... sounds so relaxing.

  13. Beautiful pictures and I enjoyed hearing about the history.

    Have a great weekend.

  14. I love reading your posts and seeing your photos, Joyce! Thanks so much for sharing them with us. Enjoy your weekend plans! I look forward to reading about them next week. Blessings, Candace

  15. Sounds like your husband has a very exciting job. I think that connecting with your friends was a wonderful reason so be home and also the gardens. I am sure as an adult it is a much better experience then when you were a child.
    You live a very interesting life and you have been very busy. It's been fun living through your experiences. Keep them coming!