Have you ever been on a road trip and thought to yourself, today I am going to take a detour! and actually followed through? No? Yeah I didn’t think so… First of I don’t think people plan on taking a detour, unless you’re like me and have been on the same road trip about 50 times. After those 50 times you start to realize there is more to explore than just point A and point B.
That, my friends, happened to me. Since my family and friends live in Miami, I often make a trip from Orlando to Miami. On this 4 hour drive, there is nothing except for cows, fields, trees, pit stops and crazy drivers. Of course I kept seeing a sign to visit Morikami, but I never did until one day I decided I had enough. I had enough of the same old cows, the same old trees, the same crazy drivers and the same stops. So I took a detour…
Arriving to Morokami
When I first arrived at the entrance of Morikami, there was a huge line of cars trying to park. I was surprised there were so many cars, especially for a place that’s supposed to be nice and quiet. As soon as I made it to the front of the line, I realized an event was taking place in the Japanese gardens…meaning people… People everywhere! It wasn’t what I wanted, I was expecting tranquility and lots of pretty photos, but I decided to go in anyway and to be honest I’m glad I did.
The event was in celebration of the New Year and the gardens were completely packed. Forget about nice selfies with beautiful backgrounds, a lot of my selfies had people in the back…I always see a pro and con to events such as these, but in the end it was still very enjoyable.
The Bonsai Collection
One thing you must know is that Morikami is huge. There are so many areas to explore that it can get quite overwhelming, but at the same time it is exciting. I walked around trying to find places to see, but most of what I was seeing were the vendor tents and people…that is until I arrived at the Bonsai Collection. Yes, Bonsai…all sorts of Beautiful Bonsai.
While I looked around at the Bonsai, I noticed a group of people gathered. This made me quite curious and so I made my way to the tea house. As I got closer, I noticed a lady dressed in what looked like a kimono carrying a tray of some sort. I was watching the tea ceremony and I didn’t know until I continued watching. The tea ceremony is a choreographic ritual, which incorporates strict etiquette for preparing and serving Japanese green tea.
Aside from Bonsai, Japanese gardens and tea ceremonies, Morikami also has museums. One of the museums I ended up going to was Yamato-Kan. This lovely museum gave me a chance to learn more about Japan. I was able to see Japan through a child’s eyes, the classrooms, the transportation and the home. Since I have never been to Japan, this was an amazing experience to me.
Morikami has about 6 different historical gardens, each offering something different to see. However, since I wasn’t really paying attention to the names and just taking photos like I always do, I can’t really name many of the photos by the garden names. However, I can tell you that these gardens were inspired by the gardens in Japan. Hence, the name Japanese gardens…some often think they are replicas, but really they are only inspirations.
Since I wasn’t able to see most of Morikami due to the event, I decided to pay the store a little visit. Of course, there were so many people that I didn’t stay long. I did end up buying some delicious candy though!
Morikami is gorgeous and though I was in a bit of a time crunch (had to get to Orlando at a certain time), this experience was just breathtaking. So, if you find yourself on a road trip and you see a sign to go elsewhere, do it. You never know what you might find!