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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

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The Garden Coral Gables Florida United States
Yoko Ono's Wishing Grove Coral Gables Florida United States
Chef Allen's Chocolate Tea Coral Gables Florida United States
The Butterfly Garden Coral Gables Florida United States
Schnebly Winery at the Mango Festival Coral Gables Florida United States
Fairchild's Annual Mango Festival Coral Gables Florida United States
Hang in there Coral Gables Florida United States
The Garden Coral Gables Florida United States
Yoko Ono's Wishing Grove Coral Gables Florida United States
Chef Allen's Chocolate Tea Coral Gables Florida United States
The Butterfly Garden Coral Gables Florida United States
Schnebly Winery at the Mango Festival Coral Gables Florida United States
Fairchild's Annual Mango Festival Coral Gables Florida United States
Hang in there Coral Gables Florida United States
The Garden
While I went to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for their annual Chocolate Festival, I took time to walk around and found a little spot I'd previously overlooked. With a nearby bench, I took in a few moments to enjoy the sound of the water and the obvious scenic view.

The Butterfly Garden
Both adults and children alike had their cameras out trying to capture a picture of the butterflies in a still position. It was fun as I am generally impatient and as you can see, I was successful. I'm by no means a professional photographer, but I am thankful I actually captured one of these busy creatures enjoying the garden just as much as I did.

Chef Allen's Chocolate Tea
Thanks to all of the sampling options, I reached the cooking demonstration a few minutes late. I may not have gotten a chair, but I certainly had my own sample of Chef Allen's awesome chocolate tea. With a nice explanation of how chocolate is made (and as shown, chocolate sticks) and a brief history of St. Lucia, we were given this delightful "chocolate tea."

8 oz chocolate stick (or unsweetened bitter chocolate), 1 tbsp lime zest, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp mace, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 3 cups milk, 1 whole bay leaf, 2 whole star anise, 1 whole vanilla bean, 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour.
Step 1: Combine chocolate, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, & cayenne.
Step 2: Warm milk in small saucepan. Add bay leaf, star anise, vanilla bean, & sugar. Bring to simmer and whisk in chocolate mixture. Sprinkle flour over simmering mixture and whisk well to prevent lumping. Simmer for 20-25 min until slightly thickened and rich.

Yoko Ono's Wishing Grove
Among the many trees at the garden, there is a ficus where you can write a wish and hang it on the tree. While some wish for peace and good health, I also came across one wishing for a "pokemon booster pack" and for someone's children "to be as smart as their smartphone." Sponsored by Yoko Ono in 2010, I was happy to see so many positive wishes.

Fairchild's Annual Mango Festival
If I could only have one fruit for the rest of my life, it would be the mango. With hundreds of varieties and at least a 100 types on sale during the festival, the mango offers so many flavors that I somehow can't appreciate in apples and oranges. During the festival, you can sample mango cheesecake and key lime pies, mango salsas, and so much more. You can learn how to create your own variety during one of the seminars or buy a tree for your yard. Pictured are just a sampling of the mangos for sale. I picked up a Zill, Lucille, Keitt, Kent, and yes, a Tebow.

Schnebly Winery at the Mango Festival
While at the Mango Festival, I had the sudden urge to indulge in some wine. Now, I will admit I've been deprived of wine in the last couple of months so this was an absolute treat. I knew about Schnebly's from a previous segment on the news but never had the chance to drive down to Homestead for a visit. Pictured here is their brilliant guava wine. I don't always enjoy sweet wines but on a hot summer day and nicely chilled, I loved it. I also bought a coconut wine (not as sweet) and since it was Mango Festival, mango wine. Yummy.

Hang in there
Miami’s Fairchild Botanical Garden has one of the best butterfly gardens I’ve seen – plenty of space for them to fly and plenty of plants to amuse them and the humans. They’ve even included several pairs of humming birds for extra flutter. We were lucky to enjoy a release of more species; this one took a while to get used to the surroundings but gave us such a great shot while it did!

10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156, USA
+1 305-667-1651
Sun - Sat 9:30am - 4:30pm