Day 5 Minnesota…It couldn’t be better…More photos from Butchart Gardens…Dinner with friends…

This was my favorite photo from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.

Please note: We’re finalizing the headcount for the “Meet & Greet” for our readers in Minneapolis on June 9th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at:
Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill
220 Carlson Parkway N, Plymouth, MN 555447

Please RSVP my by email if you plan to attend and haven’t already done so. Hope to see you then!

The well-arranged paths made it easy to see the entire facility in about two hours.
Seeing this garden reminded us of the rainy day we spent in Versailles in 2014. Click here for details of the most extraordinary gardens we’ve ever seen anywhere in the worldTodayay we’re continuing with more photos from the exquisite Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, to provide a break from our ramblings on family events.
A garden viewing house.

It was a day we’ll always remember which was cool and sunny, a perfect scenario for an afternoon in the world acclaimed gardens. Please see this list where Butchart Gardens is listed as one of the top 10 in the world.

Each unique garden was followed by another on the blissfully sunny day.

Another major garden we’re looking forward to seeing is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina where we’ll be staying for 30 days beginning on Tom’s 65th birthday, upcoming on December 23, 2017. For the link, please click here.

The crowds were huge but we tried taking photos without obstructions.

We still have many photos to share on Butchart Gardens and we’ll continue to do so when we take breaks from sharing family event details throughout our remaining 37 nights in Minnesota. Please bear with us as we attempt to “mix it up” a bit during this period of family visits.


Last night, we had our first dinner with friends Chere and husband Gary at their lovely home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Chere and I met years ago in a work situation that caused us to immediately delve into a meaningful and lasting friendship. 

Colorful collection.

Now almost 20 years later and throughout mine and Tom’s years of travel, we have stayed in close touch never seeming to miss a beat in the events of our daily lives. 

Perhaps, the last of the spring tulips, these flowers were so dark they were almost black.

Chere is a successful well-known national speaker, registered dietician with contemporary views, motivator and lifestyle coach. Her upbeat attitude and enthusiasm for “living life to the fullest” is illustrated here in her comments on her website:

“I Make Positive Change Easy
I love the challenge of working with busy, successful people that are tired of living a ‘ho-hum” life, tired of feeling low on energy and having no time to do the things they truly want to. Sounds impossible for most, not for me.
I believe that knowing your purpose, energizes your life, which creates your happiness which you need in order to live healthily and then you can truly feel balanced and authentically love your life.”

Miniature garden in the carousel building.
Pretty merry-go-round at Butchart Gardens.

It’s not hard to see why Chere and I have easily connected with one another with our mutual “overly bubbly” attitudes about life. Last night, at dinner at their home, made to perfection for my way of eating, both Tom and Gary rolled their eyes a few times over Chere and my many likenesses and enthusiasm.

Hand painted horse in the merry-go-round.
Painted Panda on the carousel.

It was a delightful evening of engaging chatter while seated at their beautifully set dining room table. There’s nothing that can compare to the joy of lively conversation with like-minded friends with whom you share many interests.

A redwood tree.

Thanks to Chere and Gary for sharing their home and lives with us last night. Gary was off on a white water rafting trip leaving Chere and me more girl-time to spend over these coming weeks in between times with family and other friends. More on that later.

What a pretty display at Butchart Gardens.

Soon, we’re heading to grandson Vincent end-of-the-year school picnic at a local park and again we’re thrilled to have a sunny day in Minnesota, each of which is treasured by the locals after the long, cold winters.

See Chere’s overly bubbly smile, with husband Gary, as they prepare the table for dinner.

Later today, Tom will spend some quality time with son TJ and daughter Tammy. At this point, who knows what the evening holds???

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2016:

In Bali, the Buffaloes stayed relatively calm until it the race began. For more on Part2 buffalo races, please click here.