Monday, January 16, 2012

Huntington Library
was having a pre CNY celebration. Sort of a kick off to CNY almost being here ;-) Sounded like fun! We went a bit early and enjoyed their tea room. G loves to go to tea. I think it makes her feel grown up to drink her pink lemonade from a tea cup.
G mimicking the scary lion face!
and then came "the pose"

the pink blossoms were so pretty! they provided pretty much the only color in the garden as everything else is dormant. I think they're cherry blossoms but I'm not sure.

They had these awesome stilt walkers. So cool!

Once G heard there was going to be a lion/dragon dance she couldn't stop talking about it. The demos and activities were scattered throughout the gardens, which are absolutely HUGE, and it was sometimes a bit confusing to us where we needed to be and when. After walking around in some very large circles for awhile we finally found ourselves where we needed to be. While we waited G burned some energy RUNNING through the grass, searching for sticks and then creating quite a large pile in the stroller. She was really pleased with her collection and not just a bit miffed when I told her we needed to leave the stick collection there. lol!

I have no idea why she's making this face but its funny!

Check out that make up. They didn't speak and were very, very serious. No smiling.

Finally the lion dance began! They had 5 or 6 lions and they all danced around for about 15 mins. Talk about good exercise. I was exhausted just watching them.

Before the dance began the speaker explained that touching one of the lions is supposed to be good luck. G really wanted to touch one and kept a close eye waiting for them to come near so she could reach. Some kids were afraid of the lions but not G. She LOVES them!

Finally G got to touch them. Looks like the Year of the Dragon is guaranteed to be a big success! I didn't take any chances and made sure to touch the lion too.

Beautiful, beautiful G

We were lucky to be joined by friends Paula, Frank and their little girl Sophie. G and Sophie spent most of the day holding hands, running and squealing. Cute!

The "little family"

The Chinese garden at the Huntington is relatively new and really beautiful. The buildings, ponds and walkways are just like many we saw while in China. There are also a few of these giant volcanic rock formations that were shipped here from Jiangsu the province where Sophie was born. We looked at a lot of these when we were in China. I must admit that when I first started looking at them I thought "whatever". Strangely enough I'm starting to develop an appreciation for them.

The event was partially supported by the PRC and they had demonstrations of various Chinese art forms being presented by people who I think were visiting from Jiangsu. They had a candy/sugar artist, brush painter, paper cutter, and someone doing reverse paintings in snuff bottles and beads. I ended up buying a beautiful paper cutting (olive green rather than the traditional red) and getting G a bracelet with her name painted inside a bead featuring a pig. G was born in the year of the fire pig!

The sugar artist had some relatively simple creations. He may have been able to do much more complicated things but these did not compare to the ones we saw being made in the People's Park in Nanchang.

G getting her bracelet!

G's so funny. She loves, and I do mean loves, to have me take her picture. She saw Sophie getting her picture taken here and immediately wanted to do it too. Good thing I love to take her picture as much as she likes having it taken. The poses she comes up with are great.

The blossoms were so pretty!

They had these lanterns hung about in the trees and G really liked them. This was the only low one we encountered so G "needed" to have her picture taken near it :-)

In the conservatory we came across this giant heart shaped leaf plant. There are some interesting displays there. Unfortunately, G seems to be bothered by the warmth of the building --it's like being in a giant terrarium so it is a bit humid-- so we couldn't really check it out as much as I wanted. Oh well, maybe next time.

Finally!! we made it to the Children's Garden. Georgie was so excited. It is a super cute area and the weather was nice for walking around and looking but it was really too cold to be splashing in the water. G started with fingers, moved to hands and eventually splashed up to her elbows when I finally had to tell her stop. When it warms up we'll have to go back and bring bathing suits.

I was able to snap a pic of G on the walkway on our way out. The lanterns in the trees were so nice!

What a great day! We're planning on going back in a few weeks for their official CNY festivities so we ended up buying a membership. They were having a GREAT deal which made it free after only 2 visits. There's so much to do there. I think G could spend the whole day in the children's garden. As it was we were there for about 6 hours and never walked into a single gallery. Should be fun!

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