Dallas Blooms 2014 and Why I slept for 4 hours This Afternoon

Today was our annual family outing to the Dallas Arboretum's "Dallas Blooms" tulip festival:

"Now in its 30th year, the annual Dallas Blooms festival offers one of the most spectacular floral displays in the world featuring over 500,000 blooming spring bulbs. Visitors are invited to view our outstanding collection of tulips, daffodils, pansies, violas, poppies and thousands of other annuals and perennials. Highlights of the festival include the blooming of over 100 Cherry Blossom trees and the mass flowering of 6,000 azaleas that bloom into April." - Dallasarboretum.com

It is always incredibly striking (how many times in your life will you see half a million tulips at one time?!) but be warned, fair reader. The Arboretum has terrible parking and now charges $5 a person to non-members to ride the shuttle. (That service used to be complimentary. :P)

Oh yeah, and when you can't park at the arboretum (because you never can), you have to trek (uphill) .75 miles from the next available parking to the entrance. We have a craptastic umbrella stroller whose wheels delight in going wonky and sticking ever third step. Not fun for mom and dad, but our two boys had a blast laughing at our pathetic attempts to haul them both up hill, along with an SLR camera, a big purse, a diaper bag, two sippy cups, and enough edible provisions to comfortably sustain a small family for a few weeks in a Dallas-wide famine.

But, um, inexplicably we seemed to have had 0 diapers. Yeah, it's awesome to go change your fussy kiddo, open your diaper bag and find everything---including "bacon icing"---except diapers, FYI.

We spent nearly our entire time at the Arboretum in the awesome new Children's Garden. The boys LOVED the playhouse, sandbox, vegetable garden that shows you what carrots and radishes look like underground, and of course all of the waterfalls and splash fountains (ASIDE: whose bright idea was it to put the sand box 10 feet away from the splash brook?!!! Mud and wet, nasty matching outfits ensued almost immediately . . .)

On the way back to the car, I opened my "map my walk" app and discovered our trip from the children's garden to our car was 1.75 miles. In other words, we walked around 4.5 miles today. That is why, dear friends, I heroically took one for the team and napped with Noah for 4 hours on our return home while my poor husband cooked and cleaned the house. Yes, winning at being a responsible and helpful wife.

A few closing warnings / suggestions for arboretum trips: ***beware of parking! Expect to walk nearly a mile uphill. Bring strollers for little ones! -***snacks at the arboretum are really pricy but you can bring your own. Do it! If you are going to purchase a drink, get the standard Arboretum lemonade. It has one free refill! ***bring sunscreen! We always forget that and suffer sunburn on our pale skinned family. ****Beware of White Rock Lake cyclists! They are moody, bike in droves, and will mow you over! And they love to shout "out of the way!!" ****bring an extra change of clean and dry clothes for little ones is a VERY good idea. ***Prepare to have to wade through dozens of bridal and quinceanera photo shoots. ****pack as lightly as possible (yes, a paradox from earlier advice ;)