Hi friends! I have contemplated whether or not I should create a blog on the website and I didn't really feel the need to since I am very active on my social media pages and I show you what we're up to all the time. I didn't really feel like you needed a play by play when you can clearly see what fun things are taking place during classes and events. I also struggle with the thoughts that people wouldn't care enough to read my blog or have much time to, or that what I have to share isn't really of importance. But what the heck right? I'll give it a go!
Anyways, this year, I decided to join the 1000 hours outside movement and I thought this would be a great topic to update you on! So, when I started following the Instagram page @1000hoursoutside it got me thinking about how much time I spent outside last year. Doing what I do, I will have naturally spent many hours outside. I estimated between 600-700, and I figured a way to add more hours to that is to intentionally seek out more hours.
So, I lay awake one night recently and decided to look up all the places within a1-2 hour drive of Redlands that I would love to visit and add to my hours outside. I was up for hours clicking on this one and that one and mapping it to see the distance and looking up websites to see what they have to offer, when they are open, the entrance fees, how big they are, reading reviews and figuring out if they are worth the drive.
After many hours of late night research, I compiled a list of about 32 places that i want to attempt to visit this year. I do not think I will have the time to do 32 but if I can do at least 15, I will be a happy camper! These places are nature centers, preserves, gardens, parks with trails, arboretums , etc. If you are interested in the list, let me know I can share it with you!
My daughter Paige and I kicked off the journey of 1000 hours by visiting the California Botanic garden in Claremont. It was about a 40 minute drive from Redlands, and the entrance fee is $10 for adults and $4 for children. Parking is free but limited. There is a gift shop in a building near the entrance area but we didn't get a chance to check it out. Come to think of it, I also don't know the restroom situation either. I assume there are some in the gift shop building. Note to self: make sure to find these things out when sharing information about places with others! Actually, I think there were restrooms in a small building in the garden as well, I vaguely remember my daughter mentioning it.
We spent 3 hours walking along the trails and trying to walk every path, I still think we missed a few! This was a really neat place to visit! There were interesting and beautiful sculptures all throughout the garden. And so many opportunities for hopping from stump to stump, balancing along a log, (I am not sure if that one was allowed or not because it wasn't exactly on the path) and finding all the interesting places in the garden. The rainy day added a pretty cool element because it created some pretty awesome sightings (like that puddle that looks like a heart)
There were so many places with seating to stop for a rest. There were also cool areas that you can tell were created for holding events and/or workshops/classes. We took the opportunity to compare and contrast leaves, explore small puddles, admire beautiful garden art and so many different plants!
I got to walk and talk for hours with my middle school daughter, who shared all about the book she was reading, her excitement for her basketball season to start and how she was glad that we went even thought it was a rainy day! And she's pretty funny! We were walking along and she was acting as the tour guide for a short period and she let me know that the first (picture) was a "rare garden snake" and the second is "what is known as a gathering of rocks", and the third is "what we in the nature world like to call the firecracker plant" She cracks me up!
It is so nice to get out and connect with nature and by doing so it creates opportunities to connect with the ones you are sharing the experience with.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."- John Muir
Thanks for reading my first blog entry. I will share with you the next place we visit when we do so!