A Day in the Forest Chasing Giants and Creating Moments and Memories
Kayla and Andrew were celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary. My daughter-in-love Amanda and I were on nephew/grandson duty. It was a gorgeous day here in Kentucky! The temperature was perfect. There was no humidity. We even had a little cloud coverage to dull the intensity of the sun. It was the perfect day for a road trip and time outside.
We headed west up the Bluegrass Parkway to Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Ky.
This land was purchased by German immigrant Isaac W. Bernheim in 1929 and was dedicated as a gift to the people of his new homeland.
There are 16,140 acres of land to explore. This land boasts three manmade lakes, a 600-acre arboretum with over 8,000 varieties of documented trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials, including the Hubbuch Holly Collection with over 300 specimens. Today, more than 500,000 visitors from the U.S. and abroad visit Bernheim each year.
As we pulled up to the entrance, we were greeted by dozens and dozens of vehicles lined up on both sides of the road trying to get in. This was our first trip there. We couldn’t believe the number of folks who had the same idea as us. We immediately knew we were in for a treat.
Nearly every parking space was occupied. Luckily, we found someone pulling out and were able to park fairly close to the picnic area.
Would you believe we ran into some good friends of ours who were finishing up their lunch? We decided to hang out with them.
In total, there were three adults, four children, one toddler, one infant, and a dog. It took all of the adults plus some help from three of the kiddos to manage two strollers and a dog. I’m sure we were a sight to behold, but the memories we made were completely worth it.
We spent a good three hours scouring the park in search of GIANTS! Yes, giants!
We barely scratched the surface of this magnificent gift to Kentucky; although, what we did see was beautiful. The thing that makes the park so special is that everything about its creation is 100% natural. There are no factory-made playgrounds. The kids play on trees, rocks, and logs, and in the water, sand, and dirt. This park affords the kiddos a beautiful canvas to conjure up what the imagination can dream, and no electronics are needed!
One of the biggest highlights of the park is “The Giants” — Pregnant Mama Loumari and her two children Little Elina and Little Nis. In 2020, Bernheim welcomed Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, to construct the three giant troll sculptures throughout the arboretum using recycled wood from the region.
These giants were a hit. The kids loved them (so did the adults). It was so fun to watch the kids climb on and interact with these massive trolls.
I believe the circuit to see the trolls is around two miles. There are a couple of spots that are a bit bumpy for navigating a stroller, but for the most part, the paths are relatively smooth.
It truly is a remarkable place and very much worth the hour-plus drive from Versailles to get there.
It was so nice to "stop and smell the roses." The fresh air and light exercise hit the spot.
I could have easily let the beautiful day go by. I could have stayed inside and worked on The Celebration Co. stuff, scrolled through Facebook, or watched mindless TV. I could’ve kept Griffin cooped up all day and let him have electronic time with the occasional rolling around of cars and trucks on the floor or drawing and coloring for a few minutes. Had I chosen these things, we would have all missed out on blessing after blessing.
Sometimes, you just have to put blinders on to ignore the laundry, the housework, the yard work, the TV, the phone, etc. You have to be intentional with your time. We are only given 24 hours; it’s up to us to decide how best to use those hours. Our time is not limitless; we all have an expiration date and time — right down to the second.
How do you spend your time? Think about that. Ponder on it. You can always implement change. It’s your time and your choice.
We should all take time to slow down, to enjoy God’s beautiful handiwork, to create moments and memories, and then savor them for the rest of our lives.
Keep on Crafting and Keep Celebrating!
xoxo - Cindy