Floriade is here again, that annual flower festival that heralds the reawakening of Canberra in September. The sun shines. The lake glistens. Canberrans strip off their winter layers and millions of blooms wave their heads in the air. It’s spectacular and today we went with my sister and her family as well as our nine year old niece. Six children plus four adults equals an exhausting but wonderful outing.
As teenagers, my sister Adele and I would wander around Floriade in the sunshine imagining what it would be like to be there on a date, walking around hand in hand with some handsome guy, eating an icecream and feeling very, very cool. Twenty years on, I told this story to the kids and thought of how life plays out. We were there with kids never dreamed of, partners a million light years from the teenage boys we were probably dreaming about in the late 80s. But the flowers are still the same; the festival still full of entertainment and treats and there’s still that sense of a city waking up.
This was Alice’s first Floriade and she enjoyed some of it from the prime viewing spot of Uncle Sean’s shoulders.
She also got some time in the petting zoo with all the baby animals (animal noises are her most common vocal expressions. Her cat and rooster are amazing.)
There were plenty of these up close
But from a distance, a great distance up high on the ferris wheel, you got to see what the layout of the beds really looked like. The Lollipop beds were a great hit with the two nine year old girls in our ferris wheel cabin.
And this checkerboard was impressive.
The kids in our group were amazed at how what just looked like a bunch of flowers down on the ground could be made into pictures and even words once you were seated high up above the action.
As always, one visit isn’t enough. I think Sean and I will go back on our own some time in the next few weeks to take in more of the grown up stuff, like the wine bar and the coffee and, well, the flowers. Funnily enough kids tire of fields of flowers fairly quickly, wanting to go on rides and eat sugar and run around a lot.
Next time, I might take a bit longer to appreciate the flowers.