Thursday, August 2, 2007


Serenity? O.K., not really. But this is about as close as you can get to it when you've had two kids in tow all day and it's getting late in the afternoon. Last Friday (yeah, I'm behind again), I took the kids to Happy Hollow...well, actually, I made an ill-fated trip to the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose. Smunch really, really wanted to see the Clifford exhibit that they've been advertising on PBS and both kids love the museum. It seemed like time to take them back. But I didn't count on it being the first day of the Silicon Valley Grand Prix...and the roads to the museum parking were all blocked off. And parking was going to cost me $25. I bailed...thankfully. It turned out it took a Grand Prix ticket to get the the museum anyway. The kids begrudgingly agreed to go to Happy Hollow instead.

We've been to Happy Hollow a lot this summer, so I didn't feel the need to take a lot of pictures since I did that every other time we were there. It was another fun day with the kids. No fighting, just a lot of wandering around, riding rides, feeding goats. At least Mommy managed to remember to bring a pocket full of quarters this time!

The most surprising part of the day (and this is where the serenity comes in) happened when we left the park. We were headed back to the mommymobile when Smunch spotted a little sign with an arrow and asked me what it said. I told him it said "Japanese Friendship Garden".

Smunch: Can we go there?
Me: Well, sure Smunch, but it's getting a little late. (looks at time on phone) You might miss Curious George
Smunch: (pauses to think) O.K.
Me: Really? Mam, do you want to go to the Japanese Friendship Garden?
Mam: O.K.

I have no idea where we're headed because, although I've seen the sign before, I've never actually considered going down there. But all three of us head down the hill. It doesn't look like Japanese garden down there. There's a big sign "Japanese Friendship Garden". I took the kids that way and finally spot a little doorway, which opens, as you might hope, into a big, lovely Japanese garden.

I don't know what I expected, exactly. There were really quite a lot of people there and it was just a garden, after all. But the kids were thrilled and they were well-behaved.

They loved the bridges, the giant koi, the water lilies and the dragonflies. There was a waterfall, flowering trees and streams running around the whole place. There was even a dispenser for fish food...but I'd used up all my quarters on the goat chow at the Happy Hollow petting zoo.

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