Yesterday's high temperature of 103 set a record for the day. It was almost 20 degrees higher than the average for this time of year. Not the best day for an outdoor activity, but last night Tony and I had a wonderful time at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Normally the garden closes at 5:00. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, though, they're open late on Wednesday nights, so after Tony got home from work, he quickly changed clothes and we got in the car, along with our picnic dinner, and some extra bottled water. Traffic wasn't bad, and it only took about 20 minutes to get there.
There were only a few cars on the parking lot. We grabbed our food and walked up to the entrance. Just before we went in the door, Tony saw a notice that said "no picnicing on the grounds". Uh-oh. We got our admission tickets, then left and walked to a far corner of the parking lot, where we sat on the curb under a tree to eat. Tummys full, we went back in.
The buildings all closed at 5, but there was still plenty to do. They were already setting up tents and stages for the Japanese festival this weekend, when the garden will be wall to wall people. However, last night was different. The garden covers 79 acres. In our hour and forty five minutes of walking, we only ran into six other groups of people. It felt like we had the garden to ourselves.
It was still hot ("only" 96 degrees at 5:00), but I don't think it the humidity was as bad as it had been earlier in the summer. There was a nice breeze, and we took advantage of sprinklers several different times, running through the drops of water, or standing under gentle mists from the irrigation system.
After the Japanese garden, we strolled through the English Woodland garden and into the Victorian District area, developed around the home of Henry Shaw, the garden't founder. We meandered through the formal gardens, then climbed the steps to the top of an observatory. Coming back down, we managed to navigate through a maze made of yew hedges.
About that time our feet started to get tired, so we decided it was time to go. As we started towards home, air conditioner blasting, I thought about what a perfect night it had been.