Monday, December 09, 2013

Membership has its privileges

We try to make it out every year to see the trains at the Botanical Gardens, but it can be a challenge. As the space is fairly small and the demand fairly large, you can end up waiting outside in the cold for an hour or so, or more accurately, Allen can wait outside in the cold while the rest of us check out the other exhibits until her texts us. Once inside, we usually only spend about 15 minutes watching the trains before the crowds chased us out.

But a month or so before its unveiling, I got an email from the "Moms on the Hill" list-serve informing me that by joining the Friends of the National Botanic Garden Fund we could both support Owen's favorite place on earth, and attend the holiday preview of their annual "Season's Greenings" display which meant avoiding the masses and getting to enjoy cookies, wine, and hot chocolate while leisurely touring the gardens after dark.

So I sent off a check and an RSVP for five, and on Saturday night we (including Grandpa Fawcett) spent an hour and a half marveling at all the wonders. The entire center was largely empty which meant we had the run of the place (literally -- Owen and Nora kept disappearing down pathways) and could spend as long as we wanted in each room enjoying DC in miniature as well as various scenes and trains (this year's theme was World Fairs). It was a pretty magical night which was topped off by swinging by the National Christmas tree on our way out.

It was by far the best and easiest way to indulge one of our favorite holiday traditions and as it doesn't require Allen to battle the elements, probably means we're about to become lifetime members.

(To see all the Botanic Garden pictures, please click here.)


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