1.3_Lumi 2Last Thursday night, December 19th, the last storm we ever expected in Phoenix was a rainstorm. We had in hand  tough-to-get tickets for all of us (six plus a stroller with baby) to spend an illuminating evening enjoying the luminaries, with music too, in the Desert Botanical Garden.

rainy-2183As we drove to the Garden it began to drizzle. By the time we arrived, it was pouring. We could never figure out if the light show was cancelled as there were as many cars leaving as were arriving.

1.3 Lumi_4 headerThe parking attendants, somewhat protected in rain gear,  were guiding the traffic both ways, in and out of the Garden. I waved to one of them, as the rain pelleted my face, and asked, “What do we do?” He said, “Call them tomorrow at 8AM. They will exchange your tickets.”

rain cloudsYup, it was raining torrents. And I got soaked. Umbrellas would not have made a difference. I called right then and left a message. Good thing, because calling in the morning was not a pushover. But they called me, and connected me to the correct agent. I was on hold for thirty minutes to discuss my plight. Finally, once she figured out who I was, I got my money back. But honestly, we were all so disappointed. When will we ever go? Phoenix is far away, and this is a once a year Christmas celebration. I guess our Phoenix family can go sometime, but for Tom and me, nah, won’t happen.

1.3 Lumi_2 headerI had planned to take spectacular night pictures. Now, the only pictures I have to share comes from them.

The Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ

As the Desert Botanical Garden celebrates its 75th anniversary, we invite you to join us this holiday season as we bring Las Noches de las Luminarias and Chihuly in the Garden together for 31 fabulous nights.

Each night of Luminaria, the Garden will come to life with the soft glow from more than 8,000 hand lit Luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and Chihuly’s vibrant works of art. As you walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, the sounds of hand bells ringing and Dickens Carolers singing remind you of what the season is all about. Make plans with family and friends to attend this year’s very special Las Noches de las Luminarias.

The bell

The bell

Wishing for your good health and happiness in the New Year.

How was your Christmas Day?



Twelve foot fountain light structure designed to replicate  water movement.

It’s early the next morning and your head is filled with the bleakness of winter. What happened to Christmas? What happened to the millions of tiny sparkling lights? Bring back the happy times, the presents under the tree, the sounds. Bring back the history of the holidays dating back to December 23, 1921. Founder Pierre S. du Pont and his wife, Alice du Pont, began a fantastic festive tradition of holiday sharing by hosting parties from 1921 to 1942 for the families of the Longwood workers. Finally, in 1957 Longwood Gardens opened its doors to all.

Blue lit tree, one of so many

This magical place was on our drive south agenda. We had no idea we would be witness to the most gorgeous grounds we had ever seen at Christmas time. We traipsed through the acres of Longwood Gardens from eleven in the morning to seven in the evening to see gardens aglow with millions of twinkling cascades of hanging and draped lights on all the trees and foliage.

Tree forms, not actual trees

We also took a “how do they grow their own” tour.

We treasure the memories to warm us on the cold, snowy days of winter.

Christmas wreath

I have hundreds of photos I would love to share with you. Or you can visit their website: www.longwoodgardens.org

Longwood gardens is open year round and always has a showing of their grounds and indoor gardens. It is worth the drive. Have you ever been to Longwood Gardens? If you have, what did you enjoy the most? The Gardens are located in Kennett Square, PA 19348-0501. You must have pre-bought tickets.

Trees at the du Pont house

Tree form at the du Pont house

Central Ticketing is P.O. Box 501, or www.longwoodgardens.org, or phone: 610.388.1000.

Next stop is the oldest city in America … come back and find out where.

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