Thursday, July 17, 2014


Well, I could tell you about where we went today, but why not just read this helpful sign?

We started off at the Children’s Farm, where they have goats and chickens and pigs and other such fun things. 

Next, we headed down the hill to view some of the more wild creatures...

There’s a gray fox slinking off.

In “Raptor Valley” we saw several native bird species of Virginia.

Wish I could remember what kind of owl this is, but at least I know it’s an owl!

You can’t really tell in this photo, but just above the sign, the actual hawk is sitting on top of that brownish structure in the background.

It’s a bald eagle! Charmin definitely needed a photo of our national bird!

Read all about ‘em!

Audrey checks her wingspan.

Charlotte (somewhere under that hat) checks hers.

We decided that Charmin’s wingspan was about the same as a sparrow’s. 

 Audrey takes a shot of me checking mine. So close to an eagle’s! 

We were thrilled to actually get to see a bald eagle- they’re not the kind of birds you just see flying around on a daily basis.

Charmin is very wild and dangerous. We did not feed him.

Black bears!

Charmin gets a look at some of his native cousins.

Next, we headed to the Japanese Garden. It’s so beautiful there!

Teeny up near the top of the waterfall with Charmin.

There are also lots of bamboo “forests” near the Japanese Garden. Over the years kids have made trails through the bamboo- and my kids love getting lost in there! Charmin sat on a rock and waited for them to find their way out.

While we were having lunch, we spotted a beautiful cardinal. Cardinals are the state bird of Virginia!

Tyson, Charmin, and Audrey make their way across the stepping stones. See the fish (koi) in the water?

And just for you...a video!! (Sorry about the quality- apparently Blogger does something weird to videos. Maybe I’ll send it to you on Facebook.)

Charlotte and Teeny and Charmin (he’s lying down in the stroller- he was pooped) take a break by this grotto while we wait for Tyson and Audrey to find their way out of the bamboo again.

Then we go check out this cool tree.

The steps up to the Italian Garden.

I see a little bear poking his head over the railing!

Up at the Italian Garden we have this week’s edition of Where’s the Bear? Can you spot him?

Have to get a shot with the beautiful garden and hilltop view in the background.

Pretty fountain.

Next, we headed to the Maymont Mansion, where we met this kind docent who had a suspicious accent- we discovered that he was from England, specifically East Essex, and he was happy to take a photo with one of his countrymen- er, countrybears. 

It’s a big house. We didn’t do the whole tour (opulent antique mansions and toddlers/preschoolers don’t really mix) but we did check out the basement where we learned all about the role of servants in the household.

Charmin thinks he’ll move in. 

That house was too big, now this house is too small! Found this fairy house hidden in the trunks of a tree on the mansion grounds. See the little thimble vase?

BUFFALO! Or bison. He’s big and hairy.

We hope Charmin enjoyed his day at Maymont. We haven’t been there for awhile, even though it’s only about 25 minutes away, and I was happy to go back this summer. I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather waiting for a day cool enough for us to enjoy it! There’s also a very large nature center there, but the park is HUGE and by the time we got over to it we were ready to head home. Maybe next time...


  1. How amazing that you should meet someone from Essex! Did he say what town?

    The video worked perfectly! Blogger made a complete pig's ear of the videos I tried to post, so that was good.

    Charmin was cute meeting the big bears! He's having such a wonderful time he's not going to want to come home to us.

  2. He didn’t say what town, but he did say he lived in Sweden for 30 years and then moved to the U.S., so he hardly thinks of it as his “hometown” even though he was born there. Crazy though, right??

    My only complaint about the video was that it turned out super grainy- at least on our end it is.

    Yes, Charmin is having a blast but he will be happy to come home when it’s time. :-)