How I turned the California Poppy Super Bloom into a teachable moment.

Last Spring, my son was assigned a marketing project. The kind that requires the student to come up with an all-natural and homemade product that can be sold amongst his classmates.

He chose to grow and sell the California Poppy flower. So we ordered the seeds online, excitedly picked out supplies at Home Depot and went off to work.

Here's a quick stroll through the journey.

April 9, 2018 - Seeds planted.

2 weeks later - April 17, 2018.

3 weeks in - April 28, 2018.

May 10 - 1 month later.

The finished product. No sign of the flower just yet, but definitely a start and ready to market and sell!

Jump forward four seasons later a beautiful teaching opportunity arose.

Weeks of rain bless California with magnificent California poppies all over various parts of Southern California. I flipping amazing would it be if I could now show my sons what a full-explosion of California Poppies looked like vs. his 30 plant project?

Side Note, in case you're not from California: Rain in Los Angeles brings negative and positive feelings to residents.

  1. Even longer traffic delays (people suddenly don't know how to drive)

  2. Absolute hysteria. Angelenos aren't used to rain. (I'm from Guam where we have a rainy season. Rain does not create the same impact on the island so I'm allowed to add jokes to the matter).

  3. Seeds that lay dormant across our deserts are suddenly generously watered and now we're blessed with an incredible super bloom.

Now, my adventure side kick, aka my sister-in-law, and I were both very much on a mission to see, for ourselves, the California Super Bloom of 2019. Our decision was very much influenced by Instagram hashtags and the fact that the internet was blowing up with incredible sightings of the gorgeous orange explosion.

We committed to an early start and locked the mindset that we were doing this. Even if that meant waking up at 5:45am on sacred Sunday.

Rolled out of our comfort zone, loaded up our sleeping children and off we were. The 50 mile drive to Lake Elsinore, from Orange County, was every sort of worth it. Together, we celebrated the rare ability to actually drive the speed limit (LA traffic is the absolute worst), and we graciously witnessed the morning sunrise. (My favorite thing to do, ever, hence the name Sunsets with Kids).

We made it to a fully-loaded parking lot at 7:15am. Traffic was already a thing with hundreds of people excited, cold and ready to witness the majestic super bloom.

The roads were being closely controlled by city officials and police officers navigating traffic and crowds. Very necessary!

I felt like a motivational director trying to convince my six year old that it was "going to be absolutely incredible, wait 'til you get to the other side!!!!" Lots of whining and bribing was going down. My go-to bribe? "After this Austin, we'll get icecream if you make it to the top! What's your favorite flavor?" Works every time!

Finally, after a good wake-up hill hike, Austin was 100% awake and ready to take full-control of his negative Nancy attitude.

It was quite coincidental that, just a year ago, my eldest son learned the amount of effort needed to actually grow 30 little poppy plants. Now, me and Auntie Mary gave him the opportunity to see a full-super bloom in its most glorious form.

My most proud mom-moment is watching my son embrace and recognize how important it is to nurture and care for the plants.

He saw two ambitious/careless gals stomp 1,000 unnecessary feet over poppies just to selfishly take photos. This made him angry. Angry at careless behavior.

Although it's an emotion we teach our children to control, I was proud.

Super proud that my son recognized why it's wrong. Being able to teach your offspring the value of caring for your planet has absolutely no price tag on it.

Ironically, our poppy learning moment lead to an announcement that following day. The city of Lake Elsinore shut down the Walker Canyon Poppy Fields. Photo takers were disruptive to the poppies and the city just could not manage the volume of visitors. Some new sites refer to it as the "poppy apocalypse."

Although this poppy reserve shut down, we are incredibly thankful we got the opportunity to experience the 2019 Super Bloom up close and personal.

For those who didn't, there are other locations you can visit. One I personally recommend is 90 miles from Orange County in Lancaster.

As parents, we can find an array of ways to teach our children valuable life lessons. The outdoors is the perfect platform for those teachable moments and 100% free. I hope that these words inspire you to go outside and find those moments 💗.

Cheers 🥂,

From your fellow adventure mom 💖.


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