Stop and Smell the Ranunculus!
29.03.2013 68 °F
In the planning stages of our spring break California getaway, our Lovely Hostess mentioned the spectacular Flower Fields in Carlsbad. Based on her recommendation as well as the enticing blurb on the website, not to mention it was five minutes from the beach--motivation for The Kid, I decided we would include the gardens on our list.
At The Flower Fields each year, a professional colorist (that's a thing, I guess) designs and plants waves and bands of colorful blooms that cascade down fifty acres of the hillside. They call it their Fields of Dreams, Fields of Color. I looked at the current conditions online and was a little aprehensive. The blooms were only just beginning to burst. I was afraid we would be disappointed. I wanted to have my breath taken away! I forced my family and friends to go along anyway. That is what a good traveller does. It would be an adventure!
We arrived at the gate and after teaching the ticket taker how to take our tickets, (word to the wise--always double check what you get and what you pay for) we entered a world of floral fantasy. Kind of.
As advertised, the blooms were only just popping. The fields had sprinkles of color, but definitely no cascading bands of spectacular hue.
We looked at and smelled the flowers up close while the men in our party mocked and teased me for wanting to see the pretty flowers.
We watched the workers gathering flowers. There is a variation of an assembly line here. First, someone goes in and cuts the blooms and packages them in bunches wrapped in plastic. Then someone goes up and down the rows gathering the bunches to load onto refrigerated carts to be shipped to customers around the world.
The Kid just wanted to play in the dirt.
We walked and talked and could see the colors getting brighter and denser in the distance. Aha! I thought to myself. I knew this would be spectacular!
And wouldn't you know it, I was right.
On our way out, the Kid and I wandered through the Sweet Pea Maze. It was more complicated than I expected. I was not alone. Our ears rang with echoes of "I just want to get out of here!" from kids and grown-ups alike.
We passed the Fairy Garden, a kids' playground, and a mining operation on our way out. My kid didn't want to do any of the activities. I think it's because he knew we were going to the beach afterwards. He probably would have been more enthusiastic if I had known about the yellow passport they give to kids at the entrance. Then again, if our ticket taker knew what she was doing, she probably would have given me one without asking. Something to keep in mind for future visits.
We waved a patriotic farewell to the gardens as we headed toward the beach.