June 6, 2012

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

playing on a bench. I didn't know there
was this much green in CA.
I have been wanting to check this place out since the moment I found out about it, and we were finally able to go this weekend!! Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden has Big Bugs, as they're called, dispersed through the gardens. I thought M would get a kick out of the bugs, and we'd get a little hike in, and we'd all get a Green Hour or two. M was a little less excited than I thought, and a little more whiny than I would have liked, but all in all it was a nice trip.
The garden boasts lots of trail combinations and we didn't even see half. Even though we stuck to hunting the bugs, we managed to meander over 2 miles (according to my MapMyRun app). Along the way, there was such a contrast in landscape from the utterly lush and green to the more desert landscape, and everything in between. There were several water spots, and even a container garden. M particularly like pointing out, and waving to, all the cacti - and there were lots of them. He also picked up sticks and rocks and we watched butterflies (in fact there is an entire butterfly house!) and lizards around the path. There are also several other sculptures (not related to the bugs) dotted in along the way. 
look! a TALL redwood! (not that tall compared
 to those in the National Forest by the same name,
 but still rather tall compared to the other trees)

playing in the water, damselfly sculpture in the background
The garden was also hosting some local artisans and I got a little souvenir and M got a new bug-themed pop-up book from the gift shop! He also is still "reading" the brochure from the park and naming all the bugs!

In case you are looking for a more grown-up afternoon, you can enjoy the Bugs and Brews even they are hosting between now and the end of June!

After our hike, we let our Yelp app help us find a place for lunch in downtown Claremont. The town has several colleges, including a seminary, and the downtown was super cute!! And Dr. Grubbs, though pricey, was delicious!!
hiking near a sculpture
wandering through an Oasis
stopping to smell the flowers
An "itsy itsy 'pider"!
praying mantis
stopping to look at lizards running
looking in this little pond at tadpoles

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