Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art

On August 11, 2012 we visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. It was a nice, sunny day and the high temp was below 89 degrees. Just beautiful and breezy! We originally decided to check this place out because I found a website online that said it was free. However, when we got there it was not free. After touring Cheekwood we were thankful that we paid!! We absolutely loved it!

Cheekwood is a botanical garden. Not just ANY botanical garden, but 55 acres of several beautiful, themed botanical gardens that opened to the public in 1960! Visitors will be delighted to see a Japanese garden, a color garden, an herb garden, two perennial gardens, water garden, seasons garden and an award-winning wildflower garden.

As you meander through the different gardens it is like entering a different part of the world. Our favorite was the bamboo forest with beautiful Japanese stones statues and towering bamboo. The zen garden which is made up of raked pebbles and strategically placed granite boulders and plant life was pretty calming too!

Botanic Hall, the center of the horticultural activities, had a bonsai exhibit while we were there. I am told these change often!

This particular time we visited we were able enjoy the exhibit titled: “Treehouses: Great works of literature!”

This exhibit was bar far one of the coolest exhibits we have visited with children. As you walk through the botanical gardens along the paths there are artist built tree houses that correspond with great children’s literature throughout history.

Treehouse representations include tree houses fashioned from the books “The Giver,” “Rainbow Fish,” “Peter Pan,” “The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Flies,” and “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”.  While each whimsical treehouse was so much fun and a delight for both children and adults I have to say my all time favorite tree house was the “Rainbow Fish” which used recycled cd’s and dvd’s as the scales and the sunshine sparkled off of it!  

The kids even found an inch worm that they played with for a while before releasing it onto a tree.

If you are in the area of Nashville, TN this is a must visit! The kids will be talking about it for a long time!  


$12 – Adults
$10 –  Seniors (65 +)
$5 – College Students w/ ID
$5 – Youth (3 – 17)
Free – 2 and Under

50% MILITARY DISCOUNT for military personnel.
Must show current military ID.

Parking is 3.00


Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

, except for Memorial Day and Labor Day
CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day


The throwing of COLORS! HOLI 2012

HOLI Fest 2012 Spanish Fork, Utah

Saturday March 24, 2012 we went to the Holi fest… which is also known as the festival of colors!

The Festival of Colors, also known as Holi, is two days of thousands of people gathered on the hill of the Krishna temple throwing brightly colored powder, participating in holy mantra and dancing to live music and bands.. Holi, the largest Indian festival, is held on the first weekend of spring to celebrate the beginning of the season. Colored and perfumed powders are thrown at each other and in the air to celebrate the new season!

Holi marks the end of the winter gloom and rejoices in the bloom of the spring time.

While at the festival we ate some traditional Indian food… vegetable curries, Basmati rice, Dahl — spiced bean soups, papa-dams and mango juice. I can’t say it was the best food I ever tasted, but we ate it anyway because we had to stand in line FOREVER to get it!

My personal review of the festival:

We were really excited to go! We parked and rode the bus 3 miles to the Temple. Upon getting there we walked about 1/2 a mile to the temple. We had pre-paid, but we still had to wait in a MASSIVE line of people to filter through the bottle-neck type gates. Once inside the gates we made our way to the back of the temple to get our meal tickets, shirts and our 10 bags of COLOR! The crowds were unbelievable!  There were times we were in a powder coated blob that did not move no matter how hard we tried.  We got our items and made our way out of the tight crowd. We got our food after a very long wait in line. The food was not good. We all ate it because we were starving, but I would NEVER willingly eat it again! After “lunch” we moved to a “less crowded” area on the hill and opened our bags of color. We let the boys throw them on each other, us and innocent bystanders! They LOVED that part! Shortly after we made the trek back to the bus and waited another long amount of time to go home.

The verdict:

I MIGHT go again… IF it were at a different venue and there were not 80,000 people who are mostly crazy, rude and disrespectful college students!  The good part is the boys got to do something they never get to do… go crazy and throw things at people! They loved it, but I think I will leave this event to the college kids.

Hill Air Force Base, Utah

So far we really like Hill Air Force Base, Utah. 

We stay at Fam Camps since we are military affiliated. This family camp is acceptable. The camp host is a little lazy and things do not get done in a timely manner, but the sites are level and it is in a great location. We are across the street from the gym, next to the track and field as well as next to the playground and splash park… which would be convenient if it weren’t in the 30’s outside! We have met some great people here so far and are looking forward to meeting more! 

The boys are loving the snow… and so is the dog. They got to ride sleds and make snow angels for the first time in their short little lives. The smiles on their face say it all! 

We still have a month left in Utah. If you have been here (or are here) we would love some suggestions on places we should visit before we head to our next adventure! 

We’ve been everywhere!

It has been a very busy last few months. I haven’t blogged since November so it is time to catch up!

In November we headed west to California for about a month. On the way there we had the opportunity to meet up with several traveling families who live on the road full time like we do! The Travaglino’s run the website where dreamers and veteran travelers can come together for advice and friendship! We spent a couple of days in Quartzsite, Arizona… an RV mecca!

We also got to meet up with the Mulac family of and we all went to a spaghetti dinner benefit for a local where the Mulac’s youngest daughter was so brave and stood in front of 300 people and sang “God Bless the USA”. We had an awesome time and can’t wait to meet up with them down the road somewhere!

Once we got to California we stayed in an old army camp that was primitive (No electric or other “modern” hookups)… which meant our internet was spotty! The boys enjoyed driving their dump trucks through the woods, “hunting” with their guns and riding their bikes. With no TV it was nice to enjoy some outdoor time!  We adopted an awesome dog while we were there from a Fresno, Ca animal shelter. He is a lhasapoo! 🙂

At the end of December we were back home after Christmas and got to enjoy a little time with our families at home base before we headed out to travel the country again.

The first of January we went to Parsons, Kansas for what was suppose to be a year long contract. We were there about a month before the military decided to change our plans! Patrick got activated for two months for training so we were heading to Layton, Utah soon.

Before heading out to Utah we headed back to home base for about two weeks. Patrick stayed in Ft. Worth to finish up some training and the boys, the dog and I drove around central Texas to see family and friends. During our two week whirlwind trip around Texas we visited Lake Jackson, Tx (by Houston) and Rosebud (by Waco) and of course Austin, Tx and Abilene, TX. 🙂

The first part of February we left central Texas for Northern Utah. We made a pit stop in Amarillo, TX to visit friends and buy a new car since Rhonda (The Buick Rendezvous) was on her last leg. We ended up with a 2012 Buick Lacrosse… which was nice because it is comfortable and has built in entertainment… which made for a quiet and calm ride from Texas to Utah! Along the way we were able to stop and see some family in Albuquerque we hadn’t seen in a long time… and enjoyed some turkey and green chili enchiladas and  sopapillas! Yum! We had the pleasure of driving through Moab, Utah on the way… this place is soooo pretty!

Right now we are at Hill Air Force Base, Utah… we have only been here two weeks, but we are really enjoying our time here. So far we have been to a rodeo, played in the snow, visited the children’s museum, planetarium, fun center and watched Journey II at the IMAX. The rodeo and the 3D at the IMAX were the boys very first times to do either of these things and they loved them. We are looking forward to at least a few days of deep snow since the boys are excited to buy some sleds and shove each other down a hill! 🙂

We will be here until mid April when we will be able to get back to civilian work and travel more!

What goes here?