I always try to follow doctor's orders. So when Dr. Lisa told me I needed to go somewhere warm to treat my recent illness, I did my best to comply. I was unable to leave the Sprouts behind, but I did bring along a built in sproutsitter to distract them (Thanks, Dad). I spent 2 hours wandering Como Zoo's Marjory McNeely Conservatory and the new Tropical Encounters exhibit.
Since outside here in MN it is a couple of degrees below zero (with a windchill of MUCH colder), the 80 degree temps and very high humidity of the conservatory were very welcome.
I was really impressed with the Tropical Encounters exhibit. It is small, but there is no shortage of things to look at. They have two huge tanks full of fish and turtles, a couple of pythons, a tarantula, and birds flying all over. Every few minutes "misters" would kick in, sending out a very fine warm mist of water. It created a cool kind of fog effect, and felt so good on dry skin and throats!
My favorite room is the "Fern Room". There is something in the smell of all that water, ferns, and moss that just soothes my soul. I could have sat there all day.
Another fun garden is the "North Garden". Here they grow starfruit, papaya, cacao, peppermint, and many other edible and medicinal plants. This is also where the Koi pond is. The best part of the Koi pond is that you can stick your finger down into the water and the fish (very gently) nibble on your fingers. Guaranteed a hit with youngsters! Of course Little Sprout wanted to grab the "shshes" and take them out of the water, but luckily for the fish her arms weren't quite long enough.
I couldn't believe how much willpower it took to keep myself from burying my hands in the dirt and just rolling around in it. Spring can't come too soon for me, but at least now I feel better that I have smelled green growing things.