Reiman Gardens…Lego Sculptures

Last Friday was our day off.  We met our friends from Eastgate at Reiman Gardens in Ames Iowa.  Rita and Ed Frette live in Story City, but have been wintering in Eastgate for a number of years.  Ed plays pool with Rich.  Really great people, as is all the people of Eastgate.  We have seen the advertisements of Reiman Gardens on Tv, so I was excited to visit.

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Reiman Gardens consists of 17 acres of absolutely beautiful gardens.  It is an educational resource for the Iowa State University.  It is also a major attraction for Central Iowa.  It consists of 26 gardening areas, a butterfly wing, an emergence area, where cocoons can be studied and viewed, conservatory, gift shop,  and private rental areas for weddings, graduations and meetings.  Their are many agricultural gardens within the grounds.  All produce is donated to local agencies and food pantries.  We met Rita and Ed in the parking lot and proceeded to the Butterfly Wing first.

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The butterfly’s were very active when we entered.  It was beautiful inside, full of tropical plants flowers and butterfly’s flying everywhere.

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Their were many feeding areas, filled with fresh fruits.  As we walked the path, we seen so many different colored and varietys of butterfly’s.

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This is a beautiful Blue Morpho.

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This is a green butterfly that blends into to foliage.  Finally we entered a small area after inspection for hitchhikers….lol…We inspected each other again and then exited the area.  Now we went out to the garden areas.

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What an absolutely beautiful site.  The beautiful settings, the grasses, the flowers….Gorgeous…..

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A beautiful arbor area, complete with a brick walkway and many benches.

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Such a beautiful place to just sit and enjoy the day.

The Gardens has an Annual Theme that they display.  This year is the Lego Art Exhibit, sculptured by Sean Kenney.  Scattered through out the gardens are 13 eye popping displays consisting of 500,000 legos.  Astounding to see…..

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Herd of Deer…..84,442 legos….Momma and Baby….so sweet…

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This is a close up….amazing

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Gardner and Grandchild……46,940 Legos…….This one is so life like…..

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Dragonfly…..27,788  sitting in the lake surrounded by lily pads and beautiful grasses…

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Pansy with a Bee…..29,314 Legos

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Bird Bath with Birds, Bees, and Squirrel…..14,802 Legos….This was beautiful.  It was by this white picket fence as we walked on a small garden path.  So pretty.

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Galapagos Tortoise with Darwin Finch…..23,317 Legos….This little guy was also sitting along the garden path in the shade.  He looked so real.

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Hummingbird on Trumpet Flower….61,107 Legos…..Now this one is amazing.  One wonders, how is the weight of the hummingbird supported? It is only connected from its beak to the center of the bud.

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Wheelbarrow….29,900 Legos…..I came upon this one and didn’t realize at first, it was made from Legos….so life like….It is sitting in a garden with a hose in it.

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Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed….39,708 Legos…..sitting in the middle of a sea of flowers.

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Corn Spider…..16,492 Legos….We followed the map and went into this building.  We asked someone if they had found the Corn Spider……They said “Look Up”…..OMG….Their it was, Hanging above our heads….lol….

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We entered the Conservatory to find the Peacock……68,827 Legos…It was prominently displayed in the center.

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This was the back side of the Peacock.

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On the way to the Gift Shop we found the Bonsai Tree in a Showcase…..9,143 Legos

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Mosaics with Two Face Cut Outs as Ants…..12,990 Legos…..lol….Rita and Ed….

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Along the way we also seen “Elwood”  The Worlds Largest Gnome….These were the most Beautiful Gardens.  In 17 areas, they have compacted so many different settings….Some  flower gardens, vegetable and herb gardens.  Beautiful paths of gravel, boardwalks, with wooden benches surrounding a tree.  Many small natural areas fenced with trees, small hills, small ponds with benches or chaise lounges.  So private and relaxing looking.  A different setting as you follow the path around the next tree.  Their was so much to see and so much I cannot even describe…something compacted in every corner and looks so natural and beautiful.  Can you only imagine, in the spring and Tulip season?….A different view every season, ever-changing….After we visited the Gift Shop, we exited and left Ames with Rita and Ed to go visit their home in Story City which was only 10 miles away.

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The next blog will be about the rest of our day with them.  Story City is home to a Restored Antique Carousel....an authentic 1913 Hershell-Spillman Merry Go Round……I will tell you the story of how this Carousel was attained and what a wonderful asset it is to the town today.  Thank You so Much Rita and Ed, such a wonderful day…..

Don’t miss out on the next blog…..Another AWESOME STORY…..

 

 

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4th of July….Adventureland

The 4th was a beautiful weekend.  The temps had cooled down to mid 80’s.  We even brought our sweatshirts several days as the evenings were so cool.  The park was open till 10pm on Fri. Sat. and Sun.  Of course we have Fridays off together now.  We went across the street to Prairie Meadows Casino and Race Track for lunch.

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They had a great buffet with everything one could ever want.  Salad and Dessert bars were to die for.  lol.   Yes all for only $21 for both of us.  You could almost spent that at McDonalds.  After we went up just one floor and checked out the casino.

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Pretty typical of a casino.  All the same machines and tables.  It was decorated very colorful and all the bells were ringing of course.  The one thing I don’t remember was the smell of Cigarettes.  Must be smoke free.  But I still seen the people gambling with their Oxygen tubes hooked up.  Sad isn’t it, that’s all they have to do.  SSI check comes in and off they go to gamble.  We walked to the back and that’s where the big windows were that looked out over the Horse Race Track.

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The water trucks were preparing the track for the weekend races.  Their were lots of outside tables to the right and left of the picture and inside their were all the box seats.  Seems like a lot for just a few minutes of racing.   I guess I just have never appreciated horse racing.

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We left deciding to come back again for the buffet……Excellent….and maybe spending $20 next time gambling.  lol  .  Saturday and Sunday, we of course worked.  Rich is working the Himalaya this week as the Operator this time.  This gives him an enclosed area that has AC.  How nice.  I was up in the Alpine Arcade area.

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These pictures are taken with my old camera, as we cannot take our phones in to work…..Bummer…..The quality of colors inside is ok, but outside in the evening, they are horrible.  This is called Water Gun Fun.  Its a squirt gun game.  I worked this game all day.

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This was my friend Carolina, (pronounced Catalina, like the dressing) who was my reliever during break.  She is from Brazil, and is really a neat person to talk to with her accent.  More about her later.  The prizes are these cute little dragons.

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Another picture of the Arcade area.

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These girls are the Manager and Assist. Manager of Alpine for the nite.  Very nice girls, both still in High School, but very good at what they do.  Jordyn on the left and Morgan on the right.  We can tell what our positions are by the striping on our shirts under the arms.  Ours are a light blue.  Now Morgan’s is more of a medium blue, which designates an Assistant Manager.  Jordyn’s, if you could see hers, has a black insert.  That is for managers.  All areas have the same shirts so it is easy to tell what their position is.  Then by reading their name tag, you can tell what area they are in, Games, Rides, Retail or Foods.  All Company or important people…..lol…are dressed in Black shirts and Kaki colored slacks.

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This is a picture of the Big Wheel…..So much prettier than this.  In this picture the lights blended together, when their were really many different colors….That’s what the ole camera does.  lol.  But it is just beautiful at night.   All the pretty colors of the rides as they go around and round.   The sounds of the different rides and the laughter and voices of the kids.  And theirs always the sound of the train whistle as they start their ride on the rails.  At 9:30 pm Prairie Meadows had a fireworks display, but we couldn’t see anything because of the trees, but we sure could hear it.  Beautiful sounds.  The next night was the 4th of July.  I worked in County Fair.

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I worked the Goblets Game.  This is a game of chance.  You toss a whiffle ball in the rink.  If it falls on white, you lose.  Yellow gets you a small snake. Red is a medium and the center blue is a large.  You can also trade up.  3 small makes a medium, 3 med. makes a large.  Several guys came up and played and played.  You can also buy a bucket of balls with a small prize in it.

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After lots of laughter and money spent,  these guys won and traded up to several large snakes.   Notice the one kid has the snake head on top his head.  They had won many other prizes.  Now I am pretty sure that they had to have spent way over $100 to win all these stuffed animals.  But they sure had a good time winning.

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As the evening progressed I watched the Storm Chaser.  It is so cool to be near it when it goes up.  They leave their shoes and belongings on the ground as they will lose them.

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This is the Storm Chaser as the sun set and darkness came.  Such a beautiful site.

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This camera doesn’t show of the true colors.

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Once it reaches the top, it goes around faster and the swings swing way out.

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Finally it came time for the Parks fireworks.  They were set off on the other side of the park.  We were allowed to walk up a ways to watch.  We could only see the high ones, over the Monster.  They were pretty.

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The beautiful lights of the rides, the music playing in the different areas, and the laughter of the people made it a magical evening with the park closing at 10 pm.  Now that our golf cart  is here, it is so easy to go home.  Rich parks it right at the Security gate.  We meet each other there when the park closes and head home.  That nite the traffic was horrible.  The cops were directing traffic, which was stopped…….and we just drove off through the parking lot and sidewalks and over to the campground……it just takes minutes…..From now on the Park will be open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and on Friday and Saturdays were open till 10 pm.  So our nites are late now.  We work all the Pm shifts.  The park stays open until the last week of Aug.  That week they will close on week days and only be open on weekends till the last of Sept.  As long as we stay till then, we will be paid a bonus money per hour we worked.  So it is worth it staying, especially as we still get free camping.   Its really a nice package deal.  More people are leaving every week, but they have their own issues.  Some depts. have their own problems, some of them can’t take the heat.    If you look at the whole deal, it is really a great seasonal job.  Just imagine if you received a pay check and didn’t have to pay rent or electric.  All we do is buy food.  Meals at the Commissary are cheap also.  Today we had Turkey, Dressing, Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.  All for $2 with your drink.   What a deal.

Stay tuned for my next blog…..We went and met friends last Friday and visited Rieman Gardens in Ames Iowa…..FABULOUS…..