While our road trip is mostly about the food, we had some time to kill before Pig Minds Brewing opened, so Chris suggested we check out Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens. (If you’re interested in gardening, make sure to check out his gardening blog Everyday Urban Gardener.) It costs $6 per adult and I found it well worth the hour or so that we spent there. Walking into it, I immediately thought of the Como Conservatory because of the fresh smells, the lush green plants and the humidity. All of the plants are well-labeled and look extremely healthy.
Once I saw their huge section of orchids, I started snapping pics to text to my mom because orchids are her favorite. They even have potted orchids available for purchase. From there, you can go up a set of stairs to look out over the conservatory and also admire their green roof. We saw vines and trees and ferns and flowers — I’m so ready for everything else to be green again!! There are paths outside to walk around, but it was crazy windy so we skipped that part.
Inside the conservatory, you’ll also find a butterfly house full of beautiful butterflies! They have wonderful volunteers carefully regulating the patrons coming and going, and they do a great job keeping an eye out for the butterflies. Since the floor tiles are warm, the butterflies will sometimes land on the floor so you have to be very careful not to step on them! It was fun seeing kids getting into it and carefully letting them sit on their hands. My favorite part was watching the butterflies eat (watch the vid!), especially the one pigging out on the bananas. There’s a separate room where you can check out the chrysalises and we got to see a few very new butterflies. If you’re as much of a fan of A Bug’s Life as I am, this has all made you think about this.
The Nicholas Conservatory has a cute little gift shop with postcards, butterfly-themed items and even carnivorous plants and air plants for purchase. We each picked out a postcard for our moms since my mom loves flowers and Chris’ mom loves butterflies. I was really tempted to buy The Drunken Botanist because it sounds like a fun book. This was a great little pit stop and if you find yourself driving through the area, I would recommend checking it out. Coming up, Pig Minds Brewing!
To see more from the Vegan Road Trip, check out Chris’ blog Everyday Tastiness.