Friday, we spent the day in Mannheim at Luisenpark. It was completely gorgeous. A bit chilly, and some of the attractions were closed down, but the park is just beautiful in the fall. Much like the gartenschau in Kaiserslautern (the dino park with the huge playgrounds), Luisenpark is a large (several miles long) park complete with walking paths, playgrounds, boat rides, mini-golf, a small zoo, and lots of nature! We will definitely be going back again in the spring to do some of the stuff that was closed for the season!
Overall, the day ended up being a pretty rough one for us. I have an insatiable desire to travel and see new things, whereas Jon feels that the reward isn’t worth the effort of dragging two young kids around Europe. This dichotomy causes a bit of tension, but I thought I would just plan a nice casual day at a child friendly park and we’d all be happy… wrong. Both kids could be described as being the epitome of negative toddlerhood, personified. Whining about walking, whining about snacks, whining about EVERYTHING. Gah, and I thought I had picked the perfect activity.
There were still bright spots during our day, however, so I’ll focus on the positive… Hmm, happy thoughts, playing with my new lens! Jon got me a Lensbaby which I’m really enjoying. Everything about it is manual, so it’s requiring me to step up my game a bit. Chasing kids while trying to adjust settings and manually focus is exhausting! But also, so rewarding when you get the shot you’re looking for. These photos are the first things I’ve shot, so, while definitely not perfect, you can still get an idea of some of the fun things the lens can do.
The kids also really enjoyed the mini-zoo portion of the park. There were mostly birds on display, including penguins, which were their favorite, but there was also an indoor section that was divided by animal habitat. A jungle, dessert, forest, aquarium and butterfly house all in one. It wasn’t anywhere near as big as the Henry Doorly Zoo which we were lucky enough to grow up right next to, but the kids enjoyed it.
They also had fun at the castle park, that is, until Aurora decided she wanted to do the big tornado slide, climbed all the way to the top, realized she didn’t really want to do it, and couldn’t go back down the ladder so she was forced by, and with, Daddy to go down… Traumatic. Ask her, she’ll tell you.
We spent a lot of time leisurely wandering the trails through the animal habitats, they were all so pretty, covered in fallen leaves. This area especially as there were flamingos just up the stairs. The jade green color of the water, with the coral colored birds was beautiful. Ah, I just want to capture and absorb and reflect all of this beauty everywhere. I don’t know what to do with myself, I suppose that’s why I enjoy photography. I just wish I could figure out what I want to do with it all…