It was cool this morning when we launched, but we’re not complaining there is no need to rush into summer’s heat. It was a gorgeous day to get out on the bike. We rode through Forest Park, which was pretty empty, except for Bark in the Park that was going on then. “Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!” Speaking of which, the Shakespeare Festival starts tonight. This year they are offering a double-header. Two five-act plays, for the price of none (i.e. free), Henry IV and Henry V, albeit on alternating nights. We’ll wait and let the temperature warm up a wee bit before venturing out into the cold and dark.
Our next stop was the botanical garden, which was unexpectedly mobbed. The garden is hosting Chinese Culture Days this weekend. They had lots of Chinese performers, crafts and food there. We were parking our bikes when Mayor Slay drove up. He stopped to speak with us for a few minutes. Anne had seen a photo of him on our Facebook feed celebrating yesterday’s Bike to Work Day. I volunteered that Anne had ridden, but I had not. He also had not ridden, but said that he likes to bicycle around his neighborhood.
We watched some of the culture day’s proceedings, but spent most of our time looking at this year’s iris crop and visiting the newly reopened Japanese Garden. There was a sign in the iris garden that announced, “We are at our peak. Thanks to the long cold winter, we are blooming bigger and better this year!” The Japanese Garden had been closed since last year, but is now open again. It appears that most of the work for the renovation involved the rebuilding of all of the bridges. It couldn’t have been reopened for too long, because the koi were still rather voracious.
After the gardens, we headed off to the Taste of Maplewood. While riding through the Hill neighborhood, we detoured on to the street that Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola grew up on. Their houses almost faced each other across the street. When we got to Maplewood it was mobbed too, but again parking was not a problem. This time Anne was the politician, meeting and greeting everyone. We had a late lunch there and then headed for home.