Monday, February 25, 2013

A Love Letter to the LA Arboretum

Dear LA Arboretum,

I was born and raised in Temple City, CA (less than a mere mile from where you are) and I have loved you for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, I would visit you often with my parents, friends and various summer camps.  You were ENORMOUS, exotic, wild and incredibly exciting to a little kid like me... I was infatuated.

We took family photos in your trees, hung around the Fantasy Island house (da plane boss...da plane!!!) and Victorian Mansion and wildly chased your Ducks and Peacocks around the grass (and nabbed a lizard or two in the rocks).  At least once (or at least the only time I am willing to admit to), in high school, we snuck in at night and loitered in your fountain and may have even made out in the "haunted forrest".   Oh, and may have taken the electric carts for a spin as well, but hey, I won't say for sure since it's hard to remember that long ago.  

Now, obviously, you knew all this and despite my sometimes objectionable behavior, you continued to give me and all your other visitors the gift of your beautiful gardens, birds, buildings, lakes and forrest.   

This past weekend, I took my kids to visit you.  We spent hours exploring and wandering and found many off the beaten path places that as a kid, I never knew existed.  We had some particularly magical moments at closing when the park was quiet and all your peacocks came out to see us on their various perches (after trying desperately to photograph them all day). It was spectacular and I am grateful for the experience.  My kids flourished in your beauty as I had when I was younger and still do and we had a very memorable day.  Thank you.

I took the liberty of snapping a few photos to remember you  by and very much look forward to my next visit.  I won't wait so long this time, I promise.


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