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A Day at Disney's Epcot - With My Best Friend!

Updated on April 1, 2016
Glenda Motsavage profile image

Glenda has been a Florida Resident for 17 years and delights in publishing travel articles from her journeys throughout the South.

Best Friends Forever - At Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Best Friends Forever - At Epcot Flower & Garden Festival | Source

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - the Flora, the Food, the Friendship!

What could be better than a day at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? A day at Epcot with your best friend! Oh sure, as Floridians my husband and I visit the Walt Disney World Theme Parks quite often - but it's a rare occasion that we get to enjoy them with our best friends from Pennsylvania.

Despite the distance between us, we have forged a friendship and bond that cannot be broken. Our fifteen year relationship started in a little church up North, and continues to blossom into something beautiful. Life can be hectic (and quite serious), but we've made a commitment to visit each other at least once a year (and laugh, laugh, laugh!).

We affectionately call them Ricky and Lucy, and we are Fred and Ethel to them. (Yes, our reunions are guaranteed to ignite spontaneous craziness, just like our beloved "I Love Lucy" episodes!) Recently, we spent fourteen fun-filled days together. One of the highlights was our visit to the 20th Annual Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. We had a blast. Join us as we showcase the flora, food and friendship of that day!

(Image Credit: All photos in this article taken myself with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150)

Epcot International Flower & Garden Keepsakes - Official Festival Merchandise

Every year Disney creates limited edition gifts and products made exclusively for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

The Amazon products I've selected are the "official" keepsakes that were sold at the Festival's specialty shops throughout Epcot. For most items, the supplies are very limited.

Disney Vinylmation Figures

Vinylmation Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Figure -- 3''
Vinylmation Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Figure -- 3''

If you're a Disney Vinylmation collector or just a huge fan of all things Disney, this is the perfect product to add to your collection. The Vinylmation Figures were created for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and are a very limited edition. They include the matching tin.

 
Sensational Sculpted Garden
Sensational Sculpted Garden | Source

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival - A Huge Event

Walt Disney World's Largest Theme Park Event!

According to Disney, the Flower & Garden Festival is the largest Theme Park event at the Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, in 2016 it was extended from 75 days to 90 days. That should give you some idea of its popularity.

Epcot is my favorite Disney Theme Park any day of the year, but with the backdrop of the Flower and Garden Festival it created a dazzling day with Ricky and Lucy. Everything was in full bloom! There were gorgeous gardens, hundreds of topiaries, thousands of plant types, dozens of seminars and presentations… and ONE flourishing friendship!

We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh? asked Piglet. Even longer, Pooh answered.

~ A. A. Milne ~

If I Had To Choose Just ONE Favorite Topiary… this might be it!

The Lady and the Tramp Topiary at Epcot
The Lady and the Tramp Topiary at Epcot | Source

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Topiaries - Photo Tour! These Plants Have Real Character!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Party with Mickey & FriendsParty with Mickey & FriendsPhineas and Ferb  (From the Disney Channel)Buzz LightyearMater  (From Disney Pixar "Cars")Lightning McQueen  (From Disney Pixar "Cars")The Lion KingMonsters University  (Disney Pixar - Coming to theaters in 3-D this summer!)Monsters University  (Disney Pixar - Coming to theaters in 3-D this summer!)Captain Hook  (From Peter Pan)Winnie the PoohClassic Disney Couples - DancingBeauty and the BeastLotso Bear  (From Disney's Toy Story)Woody  (From Disney's Toy Story)Tick-Tock the Crocodile (From Peter Pan)Lady and the TrampSnow White and the Seven DwarfsSome of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs  (I, too, was yawning by the end of this incredible day!)PandasTroll TopiaryWardrobe and Lumiere  (From Disney's Beauty and the Beast)
Party with Mickey & Friends
Party with Mickey & Friends | Source
Party with Mickey & Friends
Party with Mickey & Friends | Source
Phineas and Ferb  (From the Disney Channel)
Phineas and Ferb (From the Disney Channel) | Source
Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear | Source
Mater  (From Disney Pixar "Cars")
Mater (From Disney Pixar "Cars") | Source
Lightning McQueen  (From Disney Pixar "Cars")
Lightning McQueen (From Disney Pixar "Cars") | Source
The Lion King
The Lion King | Source
Monsters University  (Disney Pixar - Coming to theaters in 3-D this summer!)
Monsters University (Disney Pixar - Coming to theaters in 3-D this summer!) | Source
Monsters University  (Disney Pixar - Coming to theaters in 3-D this summer!)
Monsters University (Disney Pixar - Coming to theaters in 3-D this summer!) | Source
Captain Hook  (From Peter Pan)
Captain Hook (From Peter Pan) | Source
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh | Source
Classic Disney Couples - Dancing
Classic Disney Couples - Dancing | Source
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast | Source
Lotso Bear  (From Disney's Toy Story)
Lotso Bear (From Disney's Toy Story) | Source
Woody  (From Disney's Toy Story)
Woody (From Disney's Toy Story) | Source
Tick-Tock the Crocodile (From Peter Pan)
Tick-Tock the Crocodile (From Peter Pan) | Source
Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp | Source
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Source
Some of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs  (I, too, was yawning by the end of this incredible day!)
Some of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs (I, too, was yawning by the end of this incredible day!) | Source
Pandas
Pandas | Source
Troll Topiary
Troll Topiary | Source
Wardrobe and Lumiere  (From Disney's Beauty and the Beast)
Wardrobe and Lumiere (From Disney's Beauty and the Beast) | Source
Taste of Marrakesh
Taste of Marrakesh | Source

What's New at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival?

Culinary Delights!

In 2013, for the first time in it's 20 year history, Epcot Flower & Garden Festival added culinary creations that continue to be a big hit with foodies from around the world. These are tapas-size gourmet tasty treats, celebrating eclectic international flavors.

There were 12 Garden Marketplaces inspired by the gardens around World Showcase. Each booth represented a different country, quite similar to the concept found at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival held every year in the Fall. Each Marketplace showcased live plantings with some of the ingredients featured in their offerings.

We especially liked this new addition to the Festival, as we love to try new ethnic foods! My photo tour represents the selections we sampled from Canada, France, Japan, America, Germany and China. We chose to have dessert from Norway's bakery (which is one of the permanent restaurants at Epcot).

I have to confess… there is one photo missing. It's my snack from China - a Spring Pancake with Grilled Chicken and Green Apple. I had almost finished it by the time I remembered the photo… my bad!

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival - The Food Photo Tour!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour CreamZucchini, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Onions and Tomato Tart with Goat CheeseGrilled Salmon, Cooked Shrimp and Crab Stick, over a bed of fragrant Ginger Rice (Volcano and Dynamite Sauce on the side)Grilled Salmon, Cooked Shrimp and Crab Stick, over a bed of fragrant Ginger Rice with Volcano and Dynamite SauceFrushi - Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cantaloupe, rolled with Coconut Rice, atop a Raspberry Sauce sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped CreamPulled Pig Slider with Cole SlawTop Center: German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots -  Bottom Left: Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout -  Bottom Right: Potato Pancake with House-made Apple SauceA Dole Whip from the Pineapple PromenadeDessert from the Country of Norway -  School Bread: Sweet cardamom bun filled with vanilla creme custard and topped with glazed and toasted coconutDessert from the Country of Norway -  Berry Cream Puff: Whipped Cream with Strawberries, Blackberries and Red Raspberries
Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream
Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream | Source
Zucchini, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Onions and Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese
Zucchini, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Onions and Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese | Source
Grilled Salmon, Cooked Shrimp and Crab Stick, over a bed of fragrant Ginger Rice (Volcano and Dynamite Sauce on the side)
Grilled Salmon, Cooked Shrimp and Crab Stick, over a bed of fragrant Ginger Rice (Volcano and Dynamite Sauce on the side) | Source
Grilled Salmon, Cooked Shrimp and Crab Stick, over a bed of fragrant Ginger Rice with Volcano and Dynamite Sauce
Grilled Salmon, Cooked Shrimp and Crab Stick, over a bed of fragrant Ginger Rice with Volcano and Dynamite Sauce | Source
Frushi - Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cantaloupe, rolled with Coconut Rice, atop a Raspberry Sauce sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream
Frushi - Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cantaloupe, rolled with Coconut Rice, atop a Raspberry Sauce sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream | Source
Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw
Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw | Source
Top Center: German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots -  Bottom Left: Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout -  Bottom Right: Potato Pancake with House-made Apple Sauce
Top Center: German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots - Bottom Left: Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout - Bottom Right: Potato Pancake with House-made Apple Sauce | Source
A Dole Whip from the Pineapple Promenade
A Dole Whip from the Pineapple Promenade | Source
Dessert from the Country of Norway -  School Bread: Sweet cardamom bun filled with vanilla creme custard and topped with glazed and toasted coconut
Dessert from the Country of Norway - School Bread: Sweet cardamom bun filled with vanilla creme custard and topped with glazed and toasted coconut | Source
Dessert from the Country of Norway -  Berry Cream Puff: Whipped Cream with Strawberries, Blackberries and Red Raspberries
Dessert from the Country of Norway - Berry Cream Puff: Whipped Cream with Strawberries, Blackberries and Red Raspberries | Source

Tinkerbell's Butterfly House - Butterflies in Flight. And, LOTS of Fairy Dust!

Butterfly Topiary at Epcot
Butterfly Topiary at Epcot | Source

Lucy Loves Butterflies!

Lucy LOVES butterflies! We've often talked about visiting a butterfly conservatory, but never have. For her sake, I was so happy to see this butterfly pavilion as part of the Festival. In honor of Tinkerbell, there were a plethora of fairy topiaries and hundreds of beautiful butterflies amongst the flowers and greenery. We even witnessed one butterfly landing on a guest's hand!

We spent almost 30 minutes in the butterfly exhibit. It was a pleasant (and quite peaceful) experience that we truly enjoyed.

Tinkerbell's Butterfly House at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival - Photo Tour

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Entrance to the Butterfly HouseA Black & White Butterfly BeautyA Poster Showing the Various Butterfly Types - With a Challenge to Find Them AllThe Butterfly Life Cycle - An Incredible Visual DisplayThe caterpillar forms the chrysalis or pupa. We actually watched the movement as they were maturing into a butterfly. Breathtaking!A Fairy TopiaryA Fairy TopiaryA Fairy TopiaryA Fairy Topiary
Entrance to the Butterfly House
Entrance to the Butterfly House | Source
A Black & White Butterfly Beauty
A Black & White Butterfly Beauty | Source
A Poster Showing the Various Butterfly Types - With a Challenge to Find Them All
A Poster Showing the Various Butterfly Types - With a Challenge to Find Them All | Source
The Butterfly Life Cycle - An Incredible Visual Display
The Butterfly Life Cycle - An Incredible Visual Display | Source
The caterpillar forms the chrysalis or pupa. We actually watched the movement as they were maturing into a butterfly. Breathtaking!
The caterpillar forms the chrysalis or pupa. We actually watched the movement as they were maturing into a butterfly. Breathtaking! | Source
A Fairy Topiary
A Fairy Topiary | Source
A Fairy Topiary
A Fairy Topiary | Source
A Fairy Topiary
A Fairy Topiary | Source
A Fairy Topiary
A Fairy Topiary | Source

A Fairy Topiary - One of My Favorites!

A Fairy Topiary at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
A Fairy Topiary at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival | Source

A Fairy Topiary - Another Favorite! The Colors On this One Were Crazy Cool!

A Fairy Topiary at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
A Fairy Topiary at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival | Source

An Electrifying Burst of Color!

An Electrifying Burst of Color!
An Electrifying Burst of Color! | Source

Photo Opportunities Abound

Epcot not only looks lavish and vibrant this time of year, but SMELLS wonderful too! And… did I mention the outstanding photo opportunities? It's a photographers paradise! Everywhere you look, there are fantastic photo spots.

Flower and Garden Festival - The Flora Photo Tour!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Colorful Cone-shape Planters Surrounding Spaceship EarthHandmade Glass Poppies, Created exclusively for Epcot by Michigan Artist Craig Mitchell Smith. This display was part of the Oz-themed garden. Each blossom took 4 days to make, and there were 63 flowers! Stunning to see!Part of the English Tea Garden Display at the United KingdomPart of the English Tea Garden Display at the United KingdomBeautiful Bonsai Collection at JapanSensational Sculpting on the Lush Green LawnPart of the Backyard Play Garden DisplayPart of the Backyard Play Garden DisplayBrightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase LagoonBrightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase LagoonSome of the Plants that Helped Make up the Delicious Food During the FestivalEven the Lagoons are in Bloom!  Gotta Love the Floating Flower Pots!Colorful Country Cottage Display at CanadaNo Flowers Here - Simply a Magnificent WaterfallBrightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase LagoonNight-time Shot of Spaceship Earth from Across the World Showcase Lagoon
Colorful Cone-shape Planters Surrounding Spaceship Earth
Colorful Cone-shape Planters Surrounding Spaceship Earth | Source
Handmade Glass Poppies, Created exclusively for Epcot by Michigan Artist Craig Mitchell Smith. This display was part of the Oz-themed garden. Each blossom took 4 days to make, and there were 63 flowers! Stunning to see!
Handmade Glass Poppies, Created exclusively for Epcot by Michigan Artist Craig Mitchell Smith. This display was part of the Oz-themed garden. Each blossom took 4 days to make, and there were 63 flowers! Stunning to see! | Source
Part of the English Tea Garden Display at the United Kingdom
Part of the English Tea Garden Display at the United Kingdom | Source
Part of the English Tea Garden Display at the United Kingdom
Part of the English Tea Garden Display at the United Kingdom | Source
Beautiful Bonsai Collection at Japan
Beautiful Bonsai Collection at Japan | Source
Sensational Sculpting on the Lush Green Lawn
Sensational Sculpting on the Lush Green Lawn | Source
Part of the Backyard Play Garden Display
Part of the Backyard Play Garden Display | Source
Part of the Backyard Play Garden Display
Part of the Backyard Play Garden Display | Source
Brightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase Lagoon
Brightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase Lagoon | Source
Brightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase Lagoon
Brightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase Lagoon | Source
Some of the Plants that Helped Make up the Delicious Food During the Festival
Some of the Plants that Helped Make up the Delicious Food During the Festival | Source
Even the Lagoons are in Bloom!  Gotta Love the Floating Flower Pots!
Even the Lagoons are in Bloom! Gotta Love the Floating Flower Pots! | Source
Colorful Country Cottage Display at Canada
Colorful Country Cottage Display at Canada | Source
No Flowers Here - Simply a Magnificent Waterfall
No Flowers Here - Simply a Magnificent Waterfall | Source
Brightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase Lagoon
Brightly Colored Blooms Surrounding World Showcase Lagoon | Source
Night-time Shot of Spaceship Earth from Across the World Showcase Lagoon
Night-time Shot of Spaceship Earth from Across the World Showcase Lagoon | Source

English Tea Garden at United Kingdom in Epcot

English Tea Garden at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
English Tea Garden at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival | Source

Tour the English Tea Garden… For Free!

Lucy and I both love specialty teas. We used to be avid coffee drinkers until we BOTH started having issues with acid reflux. I know, I know… best friends are like having one soul occupying two bodies! But that's when we were forced to switch to tea - now we've come to enjoy it.

Two to three times a day Epcot offers guided tours of the English Tea Garden. This only occurs during the Festival each year. Only 12 guests are allowed in each tour, so it's virtually impossible to get a ticket unless you're at the Tea Caddy Store (in United Kingdom) right when it opens in the morning. The knowledgeable tour guides, all from England, feature the 12 types of Twinings Teas, and everyone gets a couple tea bags at the end of the tour. I was disappointed we could not participate in this, especially since it's a rare Disney "freebie!"

Flower and Garden Festival - The Friendship Photo Tour!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Persuaded Ricky and Fred to Pose for a Few PhotosLucy Listening to the Serene Sound of the WaterfallCheers to Forever Friends!Ricky and Fred Exiting the Land of OzLucy Chit-chatting with Her Good Friend Mary PoppinsRicky Toting His Newly Purchased Patriotic Backpack in Front of the American AdventureThere is Nothing Better than a Friend - Unless it's my Best Friend Lucy!Ricky, Fred and Lucy - Controlling their Desire to Take this Baby for a Test DriveLovely Lucy Looking Radiant in the SunlightRicky and Lucy Making Music in MexicoLucy Testing the Patience of this TrollRicky and Fred - It's a Man-thing!How Appropriate - the Name of our Epcot Boat was "Friendship!"
Persuaded Ricky and Fred to Pose for a Few Photos
Persuaded Ricky and Fred to Pose for a Few Photos | Source
Lucy Listening to the Serene Sound of the Waterfall
Lucy Listening to the Serene Sound of the Waterfall | Source
Cheers to Forever Friends!
Cheers to Forever Friends! | Source
Ricky and Fred Exiting the Land of Oz
Ricky and Fred Exiting the Land of Oz | Source
Lucy Chit-chatting with Her Good Friend Mary Poppins
Lucy Chit-chatting with Her Good Friend Mary Poppins | Source
Ricky Toting His Newly Purchased Patriotic Backpack in Front of the American Adventure
Ricky Toting His Newly Purchased Patriotic Backpack in Front of the American Adventure | Source
There is Nothing Better than a Friend - Unless it's my Best Friend Lucy!
There is Nothing Better than a Friend - Unless it's my Best Friend Lucy! | Source
Ricky, Fred and Lucy - Controlling their Desire to Take this Baby for a Test Drive
Ricky, Fred and Lucy - Controlling their Desire to Take this Baby for a Test Drive | Source
Lovely Lucy Looking Radiant in the Sunlight
Lovely Lucy Looking Radiant in the Sunlight | Source
Ricky and Lucy Making Music in Mexico
Ricky and Lucy Making Music in Mexico | Source
Lucy Testing the Patience of this Troll
Lucy Testing the Patience of this Troll | Source
Ricky and Fred - It's a Man-thing!
Ricky and Fred - It's a Man-thing! | Source
How Appropriate - the Name of our Epcot Boat was "Friendship!"
How Appropriate - the Name of our Epcot Boat was "Friendship!" | Source
Fireworks & Friendship!
Fireworks & Friendship! | Source

Celebrating Our Friendship with Fireworks!

Another blockbuster day of memories to add to our journal! It was a challenge to see everything that the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival had to offer, but we gave it our best shot. Disney not only stretched our imaginations, but our leg muscles as well. An outstanding day of colossal color culminated in an explosive fireworks display that Epcot calls, "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth."

What was my favorite part of the Festival? Well, you probably already guessed. My focus was not so much on the food or flowers… but continuing to cultivate a forever friendship!

© 2013 Glenda Motsavage

Have You Ever Experienced Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival?

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    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Charito1962: Oh my... you must put this Festival on your bucket list! Thanks so much for visiting today!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I visited Disneyland-L.A. in 1987. I have yet to see this flower and garden!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @anonymous: Wow, you gotta be kidding me??? My head's a little swollen right now... LOL. (If I were younger I would love to learn photography!) I sure do have a soft spot in my heart for the Disney Parks. Blessings to your wife for her kind words, and I pray you both get to live out your dreams in your retirement years! Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      My wife is a retired Castmember and said your pictures were wonderful. We have many photo albums of her time with Disney and the parks (both behind the scenes and regular) and she liked your photos better. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @rainykua: Thank you for the very kind words, and for stopping by!

    • rainykua profile image

      rainykua 4 years ago

      I enjoyed your tour! The pictures are a feast for the eyes!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @artbyrodriguez: So happy you enjoyed the Epcot article and photo tour! Apologies for not including the dates. This year the Festival was March 8th through May 19th.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @gina1209: Oh my...you are sooooo blessed to be able to have a Disney Wedding! We go to the WDW Parks quite often, and one of my favorite things is when I see a Wedding in progress. Being in such a Fairy Tale setting, they bring tears to my eyes every time! Perhaps I'll see you there next year??? God bless your vows and commitment to each other...and, may you live happily ever after!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @JeannyLeRoux: Yes, I loved the fairy topiaries as well. The Disney designers are soooo creative. They put a little spark in my imagination - I even envisioned having one in my own garden! Thanks so much for visiting Jeanny.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      Beautiful and entertaining lens. Love to hear about your special friendship, too. Maybe I missed it, but what month is the Festival?

    • gina1209 profile image

      Gina Valley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Love this lens! Great photos! Next year I'm getting married at Disney World and will be there during the Flower & Garden Festival. I'm so excited to experience this festival next year! (and to get married lol)

    • JeannyLeRoux profile image

      JeannyLeRoux 4 years ago

      I love the fairy topiaries! Great Lens, thanks for sharing!

      SquidLove

      Jeanny

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @DebW07: Thank you Deb for taking the photo tour of the flower & garden festival. Yes, I think I'm partial to the topiaries as well!

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      It looks like you had a fun trip! Your photos are amazing and my favorites are all the unusual and beautiful topiaries.