Monday, January 19, 2015

Deering Estate

I felt a little happy when my sister complained I hadn't posted in so long. Someone missed me! Haha. We've had a few sick babies over here. Nothing major, a runny nose here, what we thought was an ear infection for Molly and now I'm wondering if she's teething again (and heaven help us if that's true). A lovely lady in our ward came in to nursery right as Sterling was handing Molly to me so he could go teach the EQ lesson and I was making a face (she'd been up a good portion of the night, several nights in a row) and so she offered to hold Molly. The entire time Molly was a complete angel, smiles, laughs, the whole bit. A few minutes after the sister left, Molly was screaming in her highest, toppest reaches and adding to the nursery clamor that has become known as 'way-too-close-to-dinner-and-bedtime' since we started 1pm church time. Gotta love that about kids. Too bad she was going off to fulfill her calling or I would have called her back! On the upside, my two older kids have been sleeping a little bit better lately, so I guess it all evens out in the end. :)

So besides lying on my couch and watching Gilmore Girls and giving my kids dry cereal in cups for breakfast while I try to recover from sleepless nights, we have done a few fun things. Tuesday we went to the zoo with our good friend baby Clarke and it was so much fun. It was REALLY humid (rained all that afternoon and the next day) but cool enough that it wasn't too bad. Ruthie picked seeing the giraffes from the very beginning of the ride, so that's where we headed. There seemed to be a TON of animals out that morning, so we saw some fun stuff like the hippo getting a bath and the bear moving on his tree,  and especially the monkeys (remember Henry?) SCREECHING at the orangutans when they got put back in their habitat. It was good times, trust me. 

On Friday we were fortunate enough to tag along with Beth and Caroline to the Deering Estate for a visit. It was lovely. She had a free pass from somewhere, and I got one with my library card, but between us we only ended up needing one. I wish there were more days so I could have brought Sterling back to show him!

Background: Deering Estate is the estate of Vizcaya's brother (remember the last really awesome place we went over Christmas break?) but apparently he mostly lived in his castle in Spain (you can take a Deering cruise and see all of his ownings, I'm tempted, really.) so this was definitely not as lavish as the Vizcaya Museum. Again, no photography was allowed inside the house so all I have is estate pictures, but it was pretty awesome. The highlight of the house was the wine cellar. I have nothing to judge it by, but it seemed pretty impressive. It was built during the prohibition era, haha, behind vaulted doors. A hurricane in 1945 closed it off and it was not reopened until 1985! It was cool. It had little tags to show you how each country's wine bottle looked different from another.

Taken off the porch, through the screen.
Beth and I decided these chairs are a must for our future homes! 

This is the house as you come up to it, from the back.
The little cottage off to the right...and Beth and Caroline! We love them so much!

I wouldn't mind a yard like this.
Gorgeous. The little pink flowers in the boxes are just perfection. 
I also LOVE the wind vane.
The cottage is from somewhere else and it took seven years to move it to this location.
 The cottage was really cute and made me want to have a deck with an ocean view for all of my future bedrooms!

Will actually is sitting on the footrest of the stroller. Usually he sits in the stroller and Ruth pops on and off riding the footrest whenever she pleases. Who knew I had a 3-passenger stroller all this time?
Sleeping angel.
 And now, for the main event:


A nice lady on a golf cart (all the workers there were SOOO nice to us!) told us there were some manatees with a baby in the little docking area, so we headed over to check it out. 
At one point Beth saved the stroller from rolling right into the ocean. Thanks for that one, Beth.  

Ruthie is a splendid photographer. 
Ruth took a picture of Beth taking a picture and I wanted a camera to capture it all!

More from Ruthie.

We just sat there for a little while, watching the manatees. The rainstorms were over so there wasn't any humidity and it was a nice, cool morning. You couldn't hear any city noises. The ocean was absolutely enchanting and the sun hit it just right to fill the soul to its very reaches. I really, really loved sitting and walking along this part of the estate. The manatees were really cool and the kids were great and it was really fulfilling.
Can't be a kid without doing the balancing act! 
It's harder to see them in this photo, but there are more of them in it than my other ones. 

This guy came up to blow air at us one last time! 

Then there was a boardwalk through the mangrove trees. My mom asked when she visited what Miami would look like if it wasn't so populated. I think this, along with the massive jungle-y trees that overgrow everything, is a pretty good idea. But this swampland is pretty true to Miami form.

The roots going into the swampy land.  
Oh that smile!

These signs are specifically for you, Kami!

I guess manatees are generally a fresh-water thing, but there is a species that is only really in the Florida area that is dual. It has to have both to function, so it comes into the bays and things where fresh water flows out. I really have no idea what I'm talking about--but Sterling finds it REALLY fascinating. It is, really. They are a VERY unique animal and its pretty sweet that we got to see them in real life. Ruth asks to go back to see the 'cows' all the time now, because "they won't bite me". All in all, it was a really neat place and I just LOVE the ocean--but mostly when it is far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is so rejuvenating. 

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