Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tyler excursion, day 2, part 2: Tyler Rose Garden.

It's funny how certain smells invoke memories. Occasionally I'll pass a water-filled mop bucket, and the odor makes me flash back to my elementary school cafetorium. The stale but clean smell of the back stairwell at school, especially right after summer ends, reminds me of my first day at Bell. And every now and then, in a garden or even at a funeral, I'll smell fresh roses. THAT aroma is HOME.

For many, Tyler is known for roses, and for good reason. As you drive into town, you notice the roadside stands selling the cheap, short-stemmed flowers at a bargain price. You might also catch a glimpse of some of the rose fields where thousands of the plants are loving Tyler's perfect rose-growing soil. And as you venture into the city, you'll come across the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden. At 14 acres, it's the nation's largest rose garden, and if you visit in October in the spring, you're likely to see nearly 38,000 rose bushes in bloom.

Alas, for this visit, many bushes were not in bloom, but it's still a pretty sight, nonetheless. Plus, it's nostalgic, not just for me, but for Brett and the kids, since they remember coming here with Memaw. And I remember countless visits with my parents and grandparents, especially around Rose Festival time.  

My mother always made me pose with
the roses, so I made Katie do the same!

For the Rose Festival each October, this big lawn in the middle is home to the Queen's Tea. My mom brought me to several of these teas when I was little so I could gawk at the queen's dress with its ginormous beaded train.

Our trips to Tyler are rare, but I'm thankful for the chance to revisit these nostalgic places from my childhood and share them with my family.

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