For those people who aren’t aware, April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and April 11th is our official World Awareness Day (I say OUR since I, too, have early onset Parkinson's disease). This is my 2nd one since being diagnosed. Unlike Pitchers Catchers’ Report Day (AKA male Valentine’s Day), my birthday, or Christmas, I don’t think we get gifts for it. However, since we have an official flower, the tulip, I think we will probably get things that have to do with that.
All things considered, it’s more likely than getting a classic car like this (although I’d settle for a ride in one).
With that being said, there is a Facebook group called 10 Million Tulips, and I would like to plug their site. Mind you, I get no money for this (nor did the admin ask me to plug them), but they post pictures of said flower in honor of what we, as Parkies, go through. I would like to encourage you to go visit their site and consider being a member of the group.
If you are like me, though, and you have access to a real stately or local garden with tulips, please take advantage. In April, they blow up really big and bright and beautiful (just like the really amazing ones in Holland). Nothing beats being in the fresh air of nature, even if it’s a human-arranged facility like Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, and more importantly to the plight of us Parkies, nothing makes us feel better than empathy for our situations.
Once again, I’m not paid to advertise for them, nor did they ask me to do this, but as one of my favorite places in the world (it is that good), I’m going to recommend them.
My thoughts on Longwood:
1. Getting in is $23, though you can buy a yearly membership. I recommend that. If you think this is pricey, remember, this place is humongous, garbage + graffiti free, and artistically beautiful. It’s worth your time. The same is true with their food. You’re paying for flower upkeep. Trust me; these people are pros. They don’t slough off.
2. Much of it is paved for wheelchairs, and there are plenty of benches (this is important since I write to a lot of people who have Parkinson’s).
3. There are plenty of events going on all year round. Christmas is spectacular (and requires timed tickets).
4. They rotate dead flowers out at night, and there’s always something bright and wonderful growing.
5. There are seasonal flowers everywhere.
6. You shouldn’t try to see it all in one day. For your first visit, I recommend the conservatory and the main fountain garden. If your legs and energy can take you, hit the waterfall and the Italian water gardens. If you’re there in spring, go see the Truffula colored trees down from the waterfall.
7. Sometimes, people bring kites or picnic lunches.
8. Bring or buy water.
9. Hats and sunglasses are nice outdoors.
10. Be ready to see a million people taking pictures. You will be, too.
Rather than tell you what’s there, I’ll give you 32 more pictures so you can get a feel for it!