Tiny Hippo Goes to the Railroad Garden

I recently took a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden where I had an immensely good time exploring the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America. These miniature gardens are filled with all things tiny, I felt right at home. The great thing about this garden, other than the fact that it is full of small things, is that it depicts great American landmarks using many natural materials.

Let me welcome you to the Chicago Botanic Garden's

Let me welcome you to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America

Everything is to scale in this garden, the little bridge is perfect for the Sata Fe train

Everything is to scale in this garden, the little bridge is perfect for the Santa Fe train

The Seattle Space Needle looks better than ever made from branches and a large mushroom

The Seattle Space Needle looks better than ever made from branches and a large mushroom

I was lucky enough to survive one of the eruptions of Mount Saint Helens. I fear that the poor  house at the base of the mountain may be a dire choice.

I was lucky enough to survive one of the eruptions of Mount Saint Helens. I fear that the placement of the house at the base of the mountain may have been a poor choice.

This small Mack Engine delivers open passenger cars to a station.

This small Mack Engine delivers open-air passenger cars to a station.

The hilly landscape of San Francisco is looked down from by a trolly car.

The hilly landscape of San Francisco can be viewed by a trolley car.

I was able to get a

In the background, notice the stunning riverboat, the Belle of St. Louis

This wee hiker was traversing the wildernes

This wee hiker was traversing the wilderness

Trains chug along tracks high above the ground, they must get dizzy, right?

Trains chug along tracks high above the ground, they must get dizzy, right?

I just loved the miniature Napa vinyards filled with the smallest grape vines (of the ivy variety)

I just loved the miniature Napa vineyards filled with the smallest grape vines (of the ivy variety)

At the center of the train garden was a small depot housing trains not currently in use

At the center of the train garden was a small depot housing trains not currently in use

The sign says everything you need to know about the wonderful care takers of the garden. All of the wise gentlemen volunteering at the garden were kind and thrilled that a Tiny Hippo had entered their territory

The sign says everything you need to know about the wonderful caretakers of the garden. All of the wise gentlemen volunteering at the garden were very kind and thrilled that a Tiny Hippo had entered their domain.

While admiring Mark Twain's boyhood home I noticed a colorful tent in the distance...

While admiring Mark Twain’s boyhood home I noticed a colorful tent in the distance…

It was none other than the Ringling Brothers Circus. Their famous train can be seen in the background

It was none other than the Ringling Brothers Circus, their famous train can be seen in the background

After seeing the circus I was not surprised when I encountered a train with a face

After seeing the circus I was not surprised when I encountered this train with a face and moving eyes

No tour of the landmarks of America would be complete without a glimpse of the White House, and my was it impresive, with its large green lawn and organic vegetable garden

No tour of the landmarks of America would be complete without a glimpse of the White House

I highly recommend that you take a stroll through the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America the next time that you visit Chicago Botanic Garden. You will find it more than charming and should you have any questions, just ask one of the wonderful engineers who will be more than thrilled to help you.

Tulip Time

Tulip Time is an annual festival that occurs in Pella, Iowa on the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in May.

Everything is very clearly labeled in this fine town

Everything is very clearly labeled in this fine town

I had never been, so I thought this would be the year to make the journey. Unfortunately, the weather did not agree with my decision so I waited out the rain and went to visit the tulips the day after the festival ended. Thus, I missed out on the many fun attractions that I am told Tulip Time has to offer, such as parades,  the Tulip Queen and Court, and the quilt show. This did not dampen my spirits, while I do love a good parade and a cuddle with a fine handmade quilt, my true passion is for tulips!

I am indeed a Hippo who is smitten over spring tulips

I am indeed a Hippo who is smitten over spring tulips

The Tulips may have still been wet from the rain but they still made for a great place to frolic gleefully, as only Tiny Hippo's are known to do

The Tulips may have been wet from the rain but they still made for a great place to frolic gleefully, as only Tiny Hippo’s are known to do

The variety of flowers was just amazing

The variety of flowers was just amazing, from delicate whites..

to playful pinks and greens

to playful pinks and greens…

There was even this one lone yellow tulip in a sea of red

there was even this one lone yellow tulip in a sea of red

I was able to take some time to look at the other attractions that Pella has to offer, including this gorgeous Vermeer Windmill

I was able to take some time to look at the other attractions that Pella has to offer, including this gorgeous Vermeer Windmill

This fountain adds charm to the center of the city

This fountain adds charm to the center of the city, though they don’t seem to want anyone to play in it

The large sundial seemed to be out of order while I was visiting

The large sundial seemed to be out-of-order while I was visiting

This lovely man was able to offer me a lift in his bicycle, I am not sure how he managed to peddle it in those large shoes, but we did arrive safely

A lovely man was able to offer me a lift on his bicycle, I am not sure how he managed to peddle it in those large shoes, but we did arrive safely

Giving gifts of tulips seemed to be a well honored tradition that I was pleased to take part in

Giving gifts of tulips seemed to be a well honored tradition that I was pleased to take part in

There was a huge grandstand which I believe is used during the many parades that Tulip Time has to offer

There was a huge grandstand which I believe is used during the many parades that Tulip Time has to offer

But most importantly, were the tulips!

But most importantly, were the tulips!

The tulips of Pella are very exciting, you will be all tuckered out at the end of your visit

The tulips of Pella were very exciting, I was all tuckered out at the end of my visit