Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Very Special Day in the Summit City

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

History Center

Grand Wayne Convention Center

Allen County Public Library

Allen County Public Library

Well today was an extraordinary day that I never would have anticipated. Cathi and I were watching our great-great niece and nephew for the day, ages three and five. It was hot, humid and we didn’t know what to do.

I suggested we go to the downtown library. It is expanded and just reopened last year. The kid’s room is fantastic. We played, read, did arts and crafts and toured the museum and its art gallery.

Just getting to the library was fun. We parked a half a block from Harrison Square project. That is the baseball stadium, condominiums and hotel project that is suppose to anchor and revitalize our downtown. Well we parked near it and watched it begin to take identifiable form. Further down the street were the Grand Wayne Center and the Embassy Theater, both of which will make the whole area a cultural and entertainment hub.

After we checked out our books we drove to a McDonald's for food. We don’t normally like fast food but we wanted air conditioning and a play area for the kids. It was just a nice break.

After that we went to the History Center. This was the original Town Hall. It is a beautiful building that serves as our History Museum. The kids had a great time playing with trains, locking themselves up in jail, using typewriters and interacting with the exhibits.

Finally we thought we were on our way home. However he drove past the Botanical Gardens. These are three connected domes covered in shrubbery. They are downtown across from the Cathedral and next to the Embassy. Our nephew knows the place well. So, we ended up there. The kids loved the waterfall, the rain forest, the desert, the fish and the outside gardens. When we left we decided to walk across the street to show them the inside of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, my church. As I opened the huge doors I almost ran over the bride waiting for her wedding! They smiled and asked us to use the side door and have the kids watch the wedding procession. So we did. The bride maids actually had beautiful red gowns. The bride looked like a princess with a long, long train on her dress. The music was wonderful and the kids loved seeing a fairy tale right in front of them.

Finally we went home, did some arts and crafts and I then drove the kids to their house. For not knowing what we were going to do it really was an extraordinary day!

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