Giant Bugs That Don’t Terrify Me

summertime

We spent our Saturday at Cheekwood Art & Gardens. It was our first visit in a year. We love Cheekwood and I CANNOT believe it’s been an entire year since we went to “Light. This summer’s trip instantly beat out last years because this trip included Luna. My in-laws, Husband, myself and Luna all spent the warm summer afternoon walking around the gardens, the mansion and the really cool sculptures.

This little girl loved playing in the bamboo.
This little girl loved playing in the bamboo.

The most prominent part of Cheekwood this summer is the giant bug sculptures exhibit. There are huge wooden bugs scattered throughout the grounds, all made of wood and some our even large enough to explore. There is a beehive, a treehouse and an enormous butterfly that everyone is actually allowed to touch, climb, swing and slide down. And, by everyone, I mean adults too.

davidrogers

 

spider

We pushed the stroller around, but only to carry our bags, water and camera because Luna wanted to be carried around so she could look at the world. It was a hot Saturday, but luckily we found lots of shade to sit and relax. Luna even got to dip her feet in one of the water gardens.

water

Besides the giant wooden bugs there was also a crazy stick house created by Patrick Dougherty. The house was created on the property and is made of all sticks and twigs tangled together.

patrick

Thank God there is a mansion in the middle of the gardens to offer some relief from the 93 degree weather. The Cheekwood mansion is always lovely by itself, but it also holds different art exhibits throughout the year. It’s currently hosting Andy Warhol silkscreen painting of flowers, and I swear they’ve never looked so beautiful as they did in the air conditioner that day. Luna seemed to really enjoy walking around and gazing at all the photos with her Grandma.

These are, of course, real flowers, not painting, but taking photos of the paintings is forbidden.
These are, of course, real flowers, not paintings, but taking photos of the paintings is forbidden.

There’s just so much to look at in the Gardens we saw a crazy outdoor train set, the Japanese gardens, the herb garden, the dogwood garden and more. Then there’s lots more we didn’t even get to this time around. I guess we will just have to go back and maybe pack a picnic basket next time.

our family

For my local friends (or my traveling friends) keep in mind that Cheekwood has extended hours on Friday nights and several other summer events for the whole family. It’s beautiful there, seriously, you don’t want to miss it. In fact, if you go, let me know, maybe we can meet you there!

cheekwood

Cheers!

Baby’s First Waterfall

Ready for our first hike to Cummins Falls!
Ready for our first hike to Cummins Falls!

After Luna had her first swim last weekend we figured we might as well take the next step and take her on her first hike/visit to a waterfall. Last summer we discovered Cummins Falls, one of the US’s top ten swimming holes, when my friend Sara came to visit. Ever since that day we have been itching to go back.

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I was a little concerned about the slippery, winding, wet and rocky hike with a baby, but I carried her in the Ergo carrier for most of the hike and when she got tired of it Husband carried her. It turned out to be very doable and while I couldn’t be quite as adventurous this time around, I was happy to be sitting with friends, holding my baby and watching the beautiful waterfall. Even Belle had a good time running through the water, chasing sticks and barking at every stranger we passed.

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I still got a chance to swim and walk behind the waterfall while Luna napped with her Grand-dude, but Husband really got to explore and climb around the big rocks surrounding the falls. Most of the afternoon, I relaxed with my friend Donna on a large rock set in the side of the hill. We brought tons of snacks and had plenty to talk about as “the boys” did every dangerous thing they could think of. The swimming hole was unbelievably crowded! Apparently word has spread about the beautiful falls and excellent swimming hole. The dozens of people sitting on rocks, eating packed lunches and taking dips in the water made it seem more like a day at the beach.

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Miss Luna didn’t get to play in the waterfall, but I did let her sit in the cool water for a bit.

luna

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I absolutely love all of the beautiful scenic places to visit in Tennessee, and I cannot wait for the many more adventures that summer holds!

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Cheers!