The Tropics in NH

This has been vacation week--we've been virusy and stuck inside for too many days. I thought we'd go crazy with one more day in the house so we went off on an adventure. Where do you go when you've got a chest cold? Somewhere humid! So, I gathered up the girls and our art supplies and took them out for a day of surprises.

We began our adventure by going to the Dartmouth greenhouses. I had always heard about them, but had never visited We discovered room after room filled with banana trees, tea plants, cacoa trees, and coffee plants. Here's Hels holding a coffee bean--it's red!

Their biggest collection is of orchids. There were orchids of every size and color imaginable. The botanist on duty gave us a tour and showed us how to identify them.

We had fun at the greenhouses and then went on to a sinus-clearing lunch at the new Korean restaurant. Lots of chicken soup and spicy sushi.

Our sinus cure continued with a stop (with our art supplies) at the Dartmouth College art museum--you need humidity to keep paintings in good condition. I was most excited to see their new exhibit of Native American basketry--something I collect.


While I was very happy to see the exhibit, the girls weren't so excited about drawing at the museum. Luckily it didn't cost anything to get in (love college art museums!). They wanted to go back to sketch at the greenhouses. Back we went!

Hels decided to paint orchids.

Lou found her corner.

I settled in near this little fountain.

Darwin the Zebra Finch kept me company. I could almost imagine I was in the Galapagos!

These 3 tiny rooms on the roof of the Life Sciences Building were like a tropical fairy world. We sketched for over an hour and came out with red cheeks and cleared heads.


We frequently go off to a greenhouse at this time of year. The beauty of this little one was that nothing was for sale. There was no argument over which plant to buy. The gestures were of appreciation rather than acquisition.

And guess what? No coughing last night!

Martha  – (February 20, 2009 at 11:16 AM)  

What a wonderful idea! We have a college greenhouse and museum near us as well...always a fun trip.

Maribeth  – (February 20, 2009 at 12:16 PM)  

We go over to the botanical garden at Smith College a few times a year. The kids love walking through all different climates within one building. They have a fantastic bulb show right about this time of year - probably time for another visit!

Dawn  – (February 20, 2009 at 12:37 PM)  

That's the best treatment for a cold I've ever heard about! What a fun day. There's a rain forest exhibit at the Woodland park zoo in Seattle that I love to visit...I'll try and remember to head to the tropics next time we're suffering from colds.

Lisa Anne  – (February 21, 2009 at 9:06 AM)  

Warm and humid, bright and green, Yes, that is what I am longing for. I have been trying to make an overnight trip for a day at the the Metro. Museum of Art and then the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens the timing just hasn't been right. I hope you all are feeling better.

Melissa Ellen  – (February 22, 2009 at 7:24 PM)  

Hi Sarah
As a brand new blogger I have found your blog incredibly inspiring. AND I am so loving seeing pictures of snow when we are surrounded by parched earth and fire scarred land.

Sarah  – (February 23, 2009 at 6:22 AM)  

Hi Melissa-- thanks for your kind words. It was fun to go peek at our blog as well. I wish we lived on your side of the world so we could help in a tangible way!

denise  – (February 23, 2009 at 10:08 PM)  

What a beautiful place! We love visiting our local conservatory in the coldest part of winter - always so nice to be in the heat and steam.

Linda  – (February 24, 2009 at 1:53 AM)  

Hello Sarah

I have nominated you for the Lemonade Award, thanks for your inspirational blog!

anthromama  – (February 24, 2009 at 10:31 PM)  

That's a great idea! We could use a good clean-out around here, as we seem to have been having colds nonstop for a month. I'm writing this listening to my daughter coughing in the other room :-(

I don't think we have any humid greenhouses around here, but I know we could make some spicy food and chicken soup!

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