On being around trop­i­cal plants, young peo­ple, deli­cious French pas­tries and his­to­ry — all com­bined in one fine day! 

Sev­er­al months ago I was talk­ing to my neighbour’s 20-some­thing daugh­ter about orchids. A friend at work has been giv­ing her cut­tings from his orchids – how lucky is she?

So, with her sis­ter, she is learn­ing to main­tain their lit­tle col­lec­tion of orchids. As a sci­en­tist – she’s train­ing to be a phar­ma­cist – she is fas­ci­nat­ed to watch the flow­ers devel­op and open; she looks at her orchid col­lec­tion every day. Her sis­ter has become the per­son who fer­til­izes them so they have a com­mon interest.

The arrival of the 19th Inter­na­tion­al Orchid Show at the end of Jan­u­ary, in Mia­mi no less, caused me to sug­gest that we go to vis­it. This was a once in a life­time oppor­tu­ni­ty for the girls — just hap­pened to be my sec­ond chance.

The dis­plays were gor­geous!! Colours amaz­ing — every imag­in­able orchid was on exhib­it. I have long since got over the urge to buy. Many of the plants are quite unusu­al so prices were sel­dom below the $20 mark – too rich for my blood. I already have enough orchids that do their own thing with lit­tle help from me and I get con­sid­er­able plea­sure out of them when they flower. 

My young friend had saved her mon­ey for the occa­sion and decid­ed on a cou­ple of the plants she ‘had to have’! With her two pur­chas­es made I was excit­ed for her and can look for­ward to her show­ing me them when they flower under their com­bined TLC. They can relive their expe­ri­ence when they look at all the pho­tos they took. 

That’s already trop­i­cal and young enthu­si­asm at the same time! I told the girls about a won­der­ful French pas­try shop I vis­it­ed in South Beach the pre­vi­ous week­end when I was there for an Art Deco Week­end lec­ture at the Wolf­son­ian Muse­um. So we drove over to South Beach — anoth­er trop­i­cal first for the girls!

My apple cus­tard pas­try was as good as the week before and the girls enjoyed their crois­sants. We walked east to the beach at South Beach (just so they could say they’d been there!) – hordes of peo­ple lay­ing out in the sun on the big wide beach, a glimpse of Versace’s old man­sion, checked out some of the old art deco build­ings (South Beach’s Art Deco His­toric Dis­trict is home to one of the largest num­ber of Art Deco build­ings in the US) and then we found our car and slow­ly drove home.

It was eye open­ing for two young girls who don’t dri­ve more than 10 miles in their school and work­ing days and had nev­er been to Mia­mi – not so scarey after all!

All in all I think we three had a won­der­ful day togeth­er. Goes to my husband’s the­o­ry of mix­ing with younger peo­ple to keep you young – I real­ly love the oppor­tu­ni­ty of shar­ing what I know.

Great day! Great kids! The future is bright with kids like this in the world and I had a blast!

P.S. The girls final­ly expand­ed their hori­zons and went off togeth­er for an adven­ture in Key West! Yippee for them!