Sunday, December 30, 2012

One of the best birthday presents ever

As a birthday gift, Hubs presented me with two tickets to see Wicked at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Saint Louis. When the day finally arrived, I was so excited to finally be able to go.

It was a rainy mess on December 19 and Hubs suggested we may not want to wear our nicest clothes since we had to walk 5-6 blocks from the free parking garage to the theatre. I gave him a look that said, I'm wearing my new dress no matter what the weather is like, and we dressed up anyway. I wore my Uggs for the fast-paced walk and changed into heels when we got to the theatre.

Windblown and cold, but excited!

Once inside the theatre, I literally just stood and stared at everything. My mouth was probably hanging open. It was one of the most beautiful places I had every been. It was so hard to describe, but modern-day architecture is so plain compared to the ornate intricacy of this theatre. We found our seats on the mezzanine level and tried to take it all in. We thought the lobby was beautiful, but the theatre itself was magnificent. Carvings, columns, intricacies and details that I don't see very often.

Before the show began, we went back into the mezzanine lobby to snap a few photos. There was an area that was well-lit and it was obviously the spot to get your photo taken. My hair was disastrous, but since we rarely never get dressed up like this, we needed to document it. I had bought a dress for the first time since he graduated from dental school. Completely serious about that. We need to do fun things more often!

I was on the edge of my seat for the entire first act; and then, I couldn't wait for the second act to start! When musicals are well done, they are so beautiful. Seamless, exciting and enchanting. I had purposely stayed away from reading anything about the plot so that it would be completely new and it took me on an adventure I didn't expect. I loved the plot, the music and it made me love The Wizard of Oz even more.

It was a late night (waaaaay past my bedtime) and a cold, wet walk back to the car, but it was so worth it. I was still singing the songs in my head the next day and I could go see the show again. It was one of the best gift Hubs has ever given.

The only way he could top it would be a trip to New York City for my big 3-0 birthday in 2013!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh, Good Grief

I searched through my past photos to see if I had anything interesting to blog about - you know, since it has been 2 months - but I didn't have anything. Photos seem to make things more interesting though, so I pulled some random ones while I update you on our life.

If you have done much moving around, you will understand this. It is so interesting how you adapt to a new place. Without knowing it, you plant roots. For a while, I didn't think I would ever extend roots in Saint Louis and maybe I even tried not to. Now I can see that there are people and things I would really miss if we leave. That topic - what happens after residency - is a subject that is approached almost daily but never do we leave it with an answer or a leaning any certain direction. We have lots of thoughts and ideas and plans and dreams. And faster than we ever imagined, we are now down to 12 months left.


One thing I love here is the trees. Beautiful trees in the fall. Each Sunday as we drove to church, my face was glued to the forests searching for the brightest and boldest colors. I wasn't disappointed. 

Have I told you that I ride the MetroLink to work? It is the transit train. I drive about a mile to the station, get on the train at 7:15 and it takes me within 3 blocks of the office. AND, there is a Starbucks on my walk to the building. It's like it was meant to be. I have really enjoyed this. It is way cheaper than parking, plus I don't have the expense of gas. Sometimes I read a book, sometimes listen to a sermon and sometimes I sleep. Every once in a while I have to drive to work for one reason or another and I am reminded why I love the train - St. Louis traffic.

I am so anxious for Christmas this year. I haven't seen my brothers in FOREVER and I have NEVER met my niece. I can't wait to savor every moment spent with the family before we go our separate ways again.

 When we come back from Christmas, I am starting a new job. It came without me looking for it (which are usually the best opportunities), and I seem to think it fits me pretty perfectly. It won't be without its challenges, but I'm excited about being used in a way to serve people and the Lord. It wasn't easy to leave my old job, though. I attach myself very easily to people and positions and roles. And I have a great boss who taught me a lot about professionalism, work ethic and office management. I'm so thankful for the job the Lord has provided me with for the past 18 months and very excited about where  I'm headed now.

Hubs and I are as happy and in love as ever before. I finally understand what all those people meant when they said your love grows deeper. Its entirely unexplainable and wonderful. But what they should tell you is that it doesn't just happen. It takes purposeful, intentional loving of one another - putting each other before yourself and loving the Lord more than everything. It takes forgiveness instead of bitterness. But it is worth it.

Cheers to you all. Hopefully I'll touch base with you soon.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On the edge of a milestone

Am I the only person out there that looks back and cannot believe how fast the years have gone? We are starting to be one of those couples that has to have each other nearby when telling a story because just one of us can't remember exactly how it goes. I can look back and think, "that was sooooooo long ago."

I turned 29 yesterday and I felt 29, too. It's not a bad feeling, it just realize I'm not 24 anymore. I enjoy going to bed at a reasonable hour most nights. I have no desire to go to I-Hop at midnight anymore and I like listening to music at a reasonable volume level. I like my routine life. Don't get me wrong, I still love adventures - and we will still continue to take them - but I'm not going to fight against the age this year.

My 29th birthday was absolutely great. It started off with birthday texts bright and early. I then went to Starbucks and savored my free [would have been $7] drink and time in Psalm 119.

I spent half a day at work and then was home by 12:30 p.m. Last year I worked a full-day on my birthday and it was horrible. I didn't make that mistake this year. I actually caught up on laundry, some work, ran some errand and bought myself an outfit for dinner.

Hubs came home and he had made reservations for us at Aya Sofia, a turkish restaurant that has interested me ever since we moved to St. Louis. It is right down the street and looked really cute. We both enjoyed our dishes - I had lamb for the first time - and we were done eating by 6:45. [Did I turn 29 or 69?]

Then he gave me my birthday gift - Tickets to Wicked! I had mentioned this would be a great gift, but didn't know if it would actually happen. Now that it did, I am so excited! He picked great seats and this is something we haven't done together since we were engaged.

We couldn't find a movie to rent, so we just went home and watched some tv. Hubs needed to work on stuff for school so I got into bed and prayed. I have been blessed so very much. The Lord has seen fit to give to me in abundance more than I deserve since I know I don't deserve one bit of it. I saw that so clearly at that moment and I was brought to overwhelming gratitude and love for the Lord. So often I focus on the things I don't have, you know?

So, 29 was a good birthday and it will be a good year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Treasures...and a little more random information

Can you tell that blogging is not high on my priority list anymore? I once loved it so much and now I hardly think of doing it. I don't check other's blogs as much anymore either. Tonight is actually the first night in a long time where I am trying to find things to do. And I really didn't even want to blog, but when I saw my last post was in August, well, that was just depressing.

And it won't be a very exciting one either. Our life is busy. Hubs with school, research and life. Me with a new position at work, keeping up the house, and life. We have adjusted into the routine, and it seems so long ago that our life was different. Time just keeps going by and there doesn't seem to be any way of stopping it. It just blows my mind when I sit and think about it. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Hubs was buried in dental school and we were newly married in Nebraska? Wasn't it just a yesterday that Hubs was practicing in Kansas and I was living the dream with a part-time job and coffee with the girls every week? Nope. We've been here 16 months and we only have 14 more to go. Without even knowing it, St. Louis became home and we've adjusted to this stage.

There have been new challenges here, one being my skin. You would think I was turning 13 instead of 29 in a few weeks if I didn't have so many eye wrinkles. But my skin has been more oily than ever and just when I think it is finally clearing up, it goes haywire. It is one of the most annoying things ever.

Now that I've rambled on about nothing, here is a blog post.

* * * * *

Moving 13 times in your life keeps you from holding on to junk. Who wants to have to unpack and repack stuff that you didn't even use at the last house? And the worst is all those boxes of items we "just can't throw away" yet, we have no clue what is actually inside of them. Even when I think I have purged through our stuff, we end up with more. After this move, I limited myself to 1 box of items that I just couldn't throw away. Because we all will have our treasures that we want to hold on to.

Since we love to travel, I have really tried to steer clear of bringing home things that are just going to sit somewhere and get in the way - knick-knacky things. We try to pick out something that will last. A charm for my bracelet, or other jewelry; a painting or photo; or even a dish.

Some of my favorite treasures are from our trip to Israel. Hubs bought me a necklace with Roman glass, a charm for my bracelet and 2 scarves. The best part about them is that they don't get in my way, I get to wear them and I can keep them for a long time without having to dig through a box to remind me of the trip.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Clean white to colorful bright

I was so excited when I found out The Color Run, aka the happiest 5k on the planet, was coming to St. Louis! Hubs and I signed up within the first week that registration was open.

The Color Run is more of an event, not so much a run. At least we felt like more of the 15,000 participants were walking than running, but we planned on that and so it was fun.

A lot of people had fun with it and dressed in white, but had accenting wigs, tutus, socks, etc. We saw one girl even running in her wedding dress.

In our white - nice and clean. 

So, you start out in clean white and the whole point is to get covered in color by the end. We lined up at the start at 8:00 am. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, 50 minutes later, we crossed the start line.

Each kilometer was a different color. So, at 1K we got red, 2K blue, etc. Since we were at the back of the group, there were actually lines at the kilometer color marks. And we even saw people rolling on the ground trying to get as much color as possible. I wonder if it started out as a legitimate run but has turned into more of an event. At any rate, we stood in line to get covered with the powdery color.

Immediately following the race.

At the end, they have a huge party with fun music and everyone throws packets of color up into the air at the same time. It was a lot of fun and I would totally recommend doing it for something different.

We found more color packets and threw them at each other.

I'm a mess.

The after party - about ready to release the color!

Color explosion. So fun.

Lost in color.

I'm not sure the St. Louis Metro Transit system really appreciated the color run. It was full with people on our way home and the color probably made a mess, but it was really a cool thing. And the color comes off relatively have to scrub.

Look for the color run to come near you. Sign up and have fun - the money goes towards a local charity!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Long's Peak: An Adventure Never to Forget

The alarm went off at 12:40 a.m. and we both got up. I hadn't slept well at all, but I was wide awake for now. We got ready and left, reaching the trailhead at 1:30 a.m. We started the hike at 1:45 a.m. Richard recorded our start in the log book they keep at the trailhead. It was official! We were hiking to the Long's Peak Summit.

Within 100 feet I was breathing heavy. And I realized this was going to be a long, slow hike. We hadn't even been in Colorado for 24 hours and our lungs were obviously working overtime at the higher altitude.

So excited to be hiking at 1:45am!

The darkness around us was still. At one point we stopped and turned our headlights off. The  forest enclosed around us in silent darkness and it was both eerie and calming at the same time. Looking up, the stars were bright and there were so many! Never had I seen the sky like that.

Throughout the first two miles we hiked steadily but took more breaks than we were used to. I ended up taking off my fleece layer and I felt constantly thirsty.

After two miles, we crossed over a log bridge and entered the "alpine tundra." (There was a sign that told us so.) Without the trees, the air was cooler and I put the fleece back on, as well as the hat I borrowed from our cottage hosts. The hike hadn't been easy, but now we started going up steps - rocky steps - and my body was tired from the lack of sleep. We stopped and I took Advil - my head hurt bad. Hubs constantly checked in with me to see how I was doing. I wasn't having fun, but it wasn't horrible.

We were hiking on and on, switching back as we went up the mountain. Of course, we had no idea what the terrain looked like but as we looked up and down we could see lights - other hikers at different places on the path. I liked that we weren't alone. It was apparent that we were taking more breaks than most, but we got used to people passing us.

After 4.5 hours of hiking in the dark, I was thrilled to see the sun!

As the sun came up, I began to fade. It was helpful to take our head lights off and look around. We saw the silhouette of Long's - it was still far off. I ate some dried fruit snacks for the sugar, which helped, but I was tired and very cold. I started moving slower and my eyes were drooping.

Obviously not feeling well here and a long way to go.

So happy to see the sun!

As we approached the boulder field, the sun was up. I could see where we would reach the sunlight which meant warmth. I was starting to feel nauseous but kept pushing through to get to that sunlight. It was getting harder and I stopped frequently through the boulders. Hubs was wiling to turn around if I needed, but I wasn't ready. It got to the point that I felt awful and I was over any desire to reach the summit. But I also knew it would be so disappointing the next day if we hadn't reached the summit - the whole purpose of the trip. So we kept on, even slower than before and taking more breaks. My body and mind were tired, my hands were cold. Hubs kept lightening my pack and traded glove with me - whatever he could do to keep me going. I stopped eating & drinking - the boulder field was taking forever. My thoughts were jumbled and my words were unclear. Not surprisingly I lost my balance and Hubs caught me before I fell.

The tears rushed out while Hubs held me and prayed. I felt so sick but we were almost to the keyhole. I had to keep trying but everything inside wanted to quit. I ate 3 bites of a cliff bar and took 3 gulps of water. We were going to make the keyhole and then reassess.

The keyhole was our first goal.

I took about 5-6 steps, then rested. I concentrated on taking deep, long breaths of air in and pushing it out. This was helping. Even though I was still out of breath, I was starting to feel better. We were in the sun now and I started warming up. Finally, we reached the keyhole. I sat down and knew that we were going to make it.

The Ledges (the bull's eyes mark the preferred path).

Before Hubs could ask, I said, "Let's go. Before I change my mind." So we started on the Ledges. Although the ledges might be more precarious of a spot, they were less work. We even went downhill at times and it was a break from the constant uphill climbing. Richard started to feel the effects of the altitude though. We stopped and had a Powerade and the rest of my cliff bar. We finished the ledges without complaint. Sure, we were slow, but we were feeling better...and my nauseousness was gone!

Looking pretty happy after making it through the ledges.

The Trough made the boulder field look like a walk in the park.

When we reached the Trough, the boulder field looked like a cake walk in comparison. We slowly tacked this section, climbing up for what seemed like forever. "Smart steps," was Hubs' constant reminder. One stupid step could be your last. I was happy if I could take 4 steps/climbs and rest 30 seconds. It seemed like we weren't making progress, but we reached the top and moved on to the narrows.

Making our way across The Narrows.

As its name describes, the Narrows are narrow and you instinctively lean into the mountain as you go along. Again, this happened to be one of my favorite sections because it was easier and surprisingly the height and sudden drop to death did not bother me as I expected it would.

And the Homestretch.

Almost there! I swear my little legs had to reach and work much harder than taller people!

Still very tired and working hard at breathing, we reached the Homestretch. This was it! It was very steep and more smooth stone than the trough. This was a challenge in skill, but also with the altitude. As we reached and passed the 14,000 foot mark, we both started getting dizzy. Not the right place to get dizzy or faint. Deeper breaths & even slower pace until finally we both were standing on the summit of this giant mountain.

So happy to make it to the top!


Side note: I was decked out in Athleta gear - headband, two shirts & pants. Love it all!

It was worth the pain. We had conquered through adversity which made the view and the accomplishment much sweeter. At the summit we snapped photos, at, drank, logged our arrival and enjoyed the view of God's creation. A lone marmot joined us, waiting for our leftovers.

The fearless marmot that inhabits Long's Peak.

After an hour, we decided to head down. I could have taken a nap instead, but we still had a long way to go to get back to our car. Although I could go on about the journey down, it is enough to say that it took a long time to go back the 8 miles we had come. It was easier though. The further down we hiked, the better we felt. Headaches disappeared and spirits were lifted. It was like hiking a brand new trail since we hadn't been able to see it in the early morning darkness.

Were we really at the top of that 2 hours ago?

We still have 3 miles until we are back at our car!

While hiking, I never thought I would climb that mountain again. It was my nemesis. After a few days, it doesn't seem as bad and I would consider doing it again. I highly recommend a few days of acclimation to the altitude before attempting it. Since we didn't have that, I am very happy with our accomplishment of 16 miles & 4,854 feet in 14 hours. And most of all, it was so fun to do this with Hubs!

So glad we made it to the top!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Hubs and I are celebrating SIX years of being hubs and wife!

Hubs and I have had a busy weekend and have a busy week ahead so it just wasn't practical to go anywhere special. We went to an early breakfast at Ihop before church and discussed how much differently we would have done our wedding. Both of us would have changed so much, but both of us are overjoyed that we won't have to do that again. We also talked about how much has changed in six years. One of my brothers had just graduated from high school - now he is married and going to be a father in just a few short weeks! The other brother was about to start high school - so young. But, we were so young, too. It's fun to see how much we have changed in the years together.

After breakfast we went to church to listen to one of my new favorite preachers, Carey Hardy. Really great stuff. The rest of the day has been spent running errands, doing chores working, and catching a little of the British Open.

We are ending our anniversary with the kickoff to the young marrieds small group at our church. It's fun to think that SIX years ago, we were joining a small group as the newly married couple and now we are getting involved in a group where we have been married the longest.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about an anniversary without the fun that we normally have. However, it has been a wonderful day together, savoring the blessing of our marriage. I'm not saying it is the easiest or the most perfect marriage. I know we haven't figured it all out yet and I'm sure there will be challenges to come. It takes a lot of forgiveness and the desire in each of us to become more like Christ. Despite the hard times, I can't imagine life without my partner, my best friend, my godly leader, and the one I love.

Happy SIX to us.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

St Louis Site: Fitz's Bottling Company

So, it's been a while. Again. I guess just get used to it. It's obvious I'm not going to ever blog as frequently as I once did.

We've been in St. Louis over one year and I have this to say. Summer is not my favorite. Last summer was HOT and everyone said it was unusually hot. This year, it is HOT. Ransom has take to this pose under the ceiling fan to keep cool:

In other news, we did a little project in the house that I will post about tomorrow. My mom came for a visit! And we sold our car. To celebrate, we took mom to Fitz's Bottling Company for root beer floats. After seeing the size of these floats, Hubs and I decided to split while mom decided on a root beer shake. The great thing about splitting was that they put them in two separate cuts for us. It was a good call to split, because although I know I could have definitely put down an entire float on my own, I definitely should not.

We hope to go there again sometime and try their food. We also just got ordinary root beer floats, but they have all sorts of different options. Afterwards, we walked around "The Loop," which is the area of town Fitz's is located in. A little different of an area - interesting shops and people, not necessarily my area of choice but fun for eating.

Come visit. If not to see us, to have a root beer float at Fitz's!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Black Monster vs the Bunnies

Despite living in a large city we have spotted quite the wildlife. We saw a hawk, with a squirrel in its talons. We have plenty of bunnies and birds. And, of course there is Ransom.

A few weeks back, Hubs discovered a rabbit hole in our front yard filled with brand new baby bunnies. We left them alone and watched them grow. When it was time for Richard to mow, they had been there about 2 weeks and were now super cute. For some reason mini rabbits are waaaaay cuter than big rabbits that eat my hostas down to nothing.

We caught the babies and put them into a large Panera sack while Hubs mowed. I brought them inside with me and away from the black monster (aka. Ransom). Afterwards, we put them back into their hole and they were gone the next day.

The next rabbit-mom was not quite as smart. She did pick a spot completely in the shade, knowing the temperatures are going to be high this week. However, she chose the backyard. Within the invisible fence boundary = Ransom’s Territory.

This morning as I was in the bathroom getting ready for a normal day of work, I hear a loud, high-pitched, incessant squealing. When I finally put two and two together – that Ransom was outside and that the noise was not a bird, I quickly go and find a new baby rabbit on the patio with the black monster sniffing and nudging it with his nose. I did the worst thing possible. I panicked and said “Ransom!”

Which triggers the response of “take it and run.” So he puts the entire bunny in his mouth and moves to the other side of the lawn. I ask him if he wants to eat, but the squealing of the bunny distracts him so much he doesn’t even budge. Still panicking and not wanting a baby bunny to die on my watch, I yell for Richard.

The bunny stops squealing, assumedly dead, and Ransom loses enough interest that I ask him if he wants to eat again. Torn between the bunny and me, he comes to me – or so I thought. Instead, he goes running under the bushes for another bunny giving me a chance to pull on his tail until he turns around and I grab his collar and also giving us the location of the hole.

Richard has now come outside and gets the bunny. It is a new baby with his eyes still closed, barely any hair, and not strong enough to use his own feet. Ransom hadn’t tried to eat it or kill it and it has survived this extreme trauma, barely. We put it back into the hole. The hole is empty and I try not to think about what happened to the rest of the babies. Perhaps she had only had one of them when Ransom found it. Maybe the others escaped. The last possibility is one I’d rather not think about.

Ransom’s normal routine allows him to be outside all morning until we leave for the day. After we brought him inside and fed him, he stood by the door, followed me around, begging to be let back out. He never gets toys because he ruins them, so this was probably a big excitement for him – a toy that was soft, moved and even squeaked. Although I would love to cut down on the rabbit population in my yard, I don’t necessarily want it to be the brand new babies completely helpless against the giant black monster.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To the dad's in my life.

There are a lot of people that do not have the amazing relationships that I have with all the father's in my life. Rarely do I say anything personal about my family, but I am not spending the day with any of them and I want them to know they are loved.

My grandpa's are the best. It was so fun to grow up with my Pop-pop nearby. He took us along on his errands and taught us things as he worked in the garage. He was always fixing or doing something and we got to join in. And he never stopped teaching us. I remember learning about the center of gravity while stacking my blocks to make a tower. I looked forward to spending time with Grandpa. He was always making me laugh or trying to get a rise out of me, which worked. We would go out to eat and he would say [still does]: "I pay, you pray." I still go places and get introduced as "Rod's grandaughter" and I love it. He is matter-of-fact and no-nonsense. I don't get to see either of them as much I wish, but it is the best when I do. I'm so proud to have them both as my grandfathers.

My father-in-law is one of a kind. I see him through my Hubs. He taught him to work hard and to be honest and is always encouraging us in what we do. He is always so excited to see us and to spend time with us and it makes us know he loves us. His desire to grow and learn is something I admire and I'm so thankful for the relationship he has with Richard and I.

But I have to admit, the most special of all these dad's is my own. My dad is absolutely unwavering in his faith and he has never minced words over the truth in God's word. He is solid and strong and loves my mother to the utmost degree. He has the heart of a servant and is always there when you need him. He is always concerned with other more than himself and I've seen him work through pain I didn't even know or forgot he had.

Dad cooks the best scrambled eggs and he makes the best coffee. He is always willing to make a fire and s'mores for me when I come to visit, or to have Breyer's ice cream in the freezer. He taught me to change my tires and he taught me to read God's word. There will never be a time when I don't need him in my life. He is stubborn; so I am I. He has crooked pinky fingers; so do I. He doesn't like coconut; neither do I.

I always knew we had to talk about something serious when we were "going out for a coke." He forgave me for dropping (and breaking) his ipad. He's forgiven me for much, never deserved, but always freely given. He taught me to forgive in that way. Having him upset with me was always the worst. But he's always believed in me, even when I've made the wrong decision.

Not everyone can say that their relationship with their dad has pointed them to their relationship with their heavenly Father, but mine has. My dad would rather have me know Christ more than anything else and that is what he has shown me for the past 28+ years.

There will never be a time when I don't need my dad in my life, and although I rarely say it, I know you know it: I love you, Dad.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

St. Louis Site: Uncle Bill's Pancake House

Before we went to the Botanical Gardens, we went out to breakfast. I love going out to breakfast and I really love First Watch, but we decided to try something local in the city. I saw Uncle Bill's the very first day we moved here, so that's were we went.

When you pull up, you can tell it's been there a while. And when you go inside, you can tell they haven't done any remodeling...ever. But I don't mind old as long as it is clean, and it was very clean. It had its own charm. In my mind, the waitress staff has worked there for years and know their regulars by name. The menus are printed on paper placematts with at least 3 typos. The feel was comfy and friendly.

We both ordered the 3 egg omelette, which also came with 3 pancakes. I'm not sure why I ordered an omelette. I prefer french toast and my eggs over-medium. It was way too much food for me, but I worked about 3/4 of the omelette and all the pancakes and then I had no need for lunch and wasn't even hungry for supper.

All in all the food was good and I enjoyed it, but I have to say that I would prefer to go to First Watch.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

St. Louis Site: Missouri Botanical Gardens Climatron

In search of a free activity for Hubs and I, the Missouri Botanical Gardens are free to St. Louis City & County residents on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. So, we went on a Saturday morning date. We were both sportin' the sperry's.

Neither of us had ever been to a botanical garden before, but I had searched the web for info and knew it was quite large. We planned to only spend an hour or two there, so we chose to start in the Climatron which is an indoor rainforest.

We were not disappointed. There were so many plants we had never seen before. And it was complete with waterfalls and geckos.

We saw all sorts of fruit & spice plants: banana, cacao, pineapple, coffee, all-spice, turmeric, ginger & more.

We were amazed at the amount of different plants and the variety. What a Creator! Some of the plant life was familiar from our hikes in Hawai'i, but most of it was brand new. I would love to visit the rainforest someday!

Of course we took our standard arm's length pic where I realize its time to pull out the whitening trays.

The Climatron was so much fun that we continued our venture to the Japanese Garden. But we'll save those details for the next post!