Chocolate Festival at San Diego Botanic Garden

The Mother's Day Saturday event will be, as is tradition, as sweet as can be.

CHOCOLATE AFICIONADOS? They're plentiful in this world, but not everyone prefers to take their square of sweetness in the same way. In fact, not everyone likes a square, to be honest; some prefer an orb-shaped candy, one that can more fully hold a flavorful filling, while others prefer their cocoa to be of the liquid or melty or gooey sort (and gooey most definitely isn't square-shaped). It's a good thing, too, we're all so different in our dessert-based preferences, because when a lovely Chocolate Festival pulls into a lovely place, say, the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas, there should be a vivacious variety of delectable choices, so everyone's tum/mouth is pleased. And that very festival is going to roll into that very spot, as is tradition, on...

MOTHER'S DAY SATURDAY: You know what that means, of course, but if we're being a tad vague, we'll illustrate further: Your mom gets her dessert first, ahead of the actual Mother's Day holiday, aaaand the notion of celebrating all weekend long is a reality. The date is Saturday, May 13, and "nearly a dozen chocolate artisans" will be out lining up the nuggets and nougats and squares and truffles. Demos detailing how to make delish chocolate goodies at home are also part of the festive day, as is the opportunity to stroll about the lush grounds with your family before or after you taste the star sweets. Tasting tickets are available "for a small fee," but the Chocolate Festival itself is free with your admission to the garden. Don't you need to start Mother's Day early, with chocolate and flowers, but not the kind of chocolate that arrives in a box? And the flowers are on trees and shrubs and blooming from the ground? Call it a twist on the time-honored tradition of Mother's Day.

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