Ann & Brian's party at The Brink Lounge wasn't until the afternoon, so we had some time to do something on Sunday morning. It was going to be hot & muggy, so if it was going to be something outside, we needed to do it early.
We decided on a visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Ann & Brian used to live very close to Olbrich (so we had a nostalgic drive through their old neighborhood), and Rusty had done an art fair or two there back in the day, but it had been ages since we just visited.
It's so beautiful -- even the duckweed pond! One of my favorite things in the whole garden was three big copper balls floating in a small pool. They were about the size of a bowling ball, with wonderful patina and even a few dents from knocking into each other or bordering rocks.
I loved these mason bee houses! Rusty might even have been inspired to build one himself.
And someday I'd like a huge planter like this... just like this! Maybe two. hehe.
One of the biggest attractions at Olbrich, though, is the Thai Pavilion & Garden.
It is stunning! The site, the structure, the craftsmanship... I've never seen so much gold leaf in my life! And there's not a nail or screw holding it together... all done by joinery.
It was starting to really heat up around noon, so we went back to our hotel... and had a nap. Then it was party time! We took our nice short walk down the block, and it was so great to see people -- friends, family, in-laws -- that I haven't seen in ages. I spent a lot of time talking & catching up with people... not much taking pictures.
This is the only party photo that I'm going to share... (l to r) my cousins Kris, Claire, me, Aunt Arlene (who turned 91 in April) & Ann, with cousin Russ behind her, cousins Rae & Cindy on either side of my sister Karen.