I love butterflies. This is no surprise given the title of my blog. Those who loved these glorious winged creatures and marvels of nature, welcome again. I have much to share. Today I want to tell you about a butterfly sanctuary a few hours away. The visit was inspiring and one of the best experiences of my life. It is a two-part compound and one of the best places for viewing for miles around. One section is a fenced in areas of trees that draw the amazing monarch in droves at certain times of the year. The foliage is dense so you have to have keen eyes to detect them when they are at rest. After a spin in the garden when your eyes are nice and dilated, you go into a huge greenhouse-style structure to see more at close range.
As if you could top the outdoor fantasy, inside you have the privilege of butterflies landing on your arm or leg. If you stand still and are super quiet, they will come to you. I don’t know why, but it happens. With all the visitors, they must be used to humans. Otherwise, you walk around various exotic plants and see the monarchs (and other species of the area) testing out their assorted roosts. They stay for a while and then flit away—just like that. They are flighty to say the least as if intimidated by the breeze. I loved every single minute of the day. I dreaded the ride back in the car. Not only did I want to continue to witness my beloved butterflies, but the friend who accompanied me smoked all the way. Of course, she repeated her nasty habit on the way back. By the time we got home I was nauseated and coughing. Then there was the matter of the stale-smelling car.
The first thing I did was to air it out by opening the doors and windows. I even opened the trunk just in case. Ha! Seriously, I had a problem and no idea how to get the smoke smell out of my car. I resorted to what I have seen on TV—a huge dousing of Febreze deodorizing spray. It helped but I needed a bit more treatment. I hung a scented air device in the most innocuous “flavor.” Now the car smelled like cinnamon spice. What was worse: that or the cigarette odor? Ha! The last resort was a special detailing at the car wash and I was smoke free at last.
The moral of the story is to ask friends not to smoke in your car if you are not a smoker yourself. You will be sensitive to it and the ashy smell will linger in your car seats and rugs for days. It helps if they open the windows, but frankly the secondhand smoke permeates anyway. You may not keep this friend, but that may not be so bad after all. What I had hoped to be the perfect trip, was marred by cigarettes. Next time I will go alone.