Ash and his friends continue walking towards Olivine City. Misty hones into an odd sound, as predicted by Brock it's the shutter of a camera, which leads the group to their old friend and photographer extraordinaire, Todd. The group is pleasantly surprised and Todd goes on to show the group several of his latest photographs, some candid shots of various Grass Pokémon. Todd admits that he is now hoping to get a close up of the legendary Pokémon, Articuno. Their reunion is cut short, however, when an object falls directly for them. Todd is keen to get a snapshot, but Ash pushes him out of the way as the chunk of solid ice hits the ground. The group examines the object, Ash's Pokédex reveals that the Pokémon frozen inside is a Sunkern. Brock wraps it up in some cloth, and the group rushes it over to a lodge that Todd had passed by earlier.
At the lodge, they are greeted by an old lady named Sophia, who suggests that Brock can put the Sunkern into a basin of hot water to melt the ice. After a while, the ice melts, and Sunkern comes back to life. She then mentions that the lodge is named the Sunflora Lodge, and starts to explain the long, old story behind the naming of the lodge; insisting that the group listens, though they initially find it boring. As she starts her story, the group learns that it is actually a sweet but pitiful love story that takes place about 50 years ago between her and her lover, Marcello. Her lover, now her husband, Marcello, then appears and reveals that it was only some fictitious story that Sophia had cooked up that involved the both of them. She then proceeds to show them her photo album that contains 49 pictures that they had taken with the hundreds of Sunflora that came to the slope every year on their anniversary. Brock claims that this year would then be their golden anniversary and that the 50th picture would make a special one. Todd offers to take the 50th anniversary on the elderly couple's behalf. Marcello sighs and explains that there wouldn't be one as the weather is unusually cold this year and none of the Sunflora have appeared. Sophia is still keen to take the photograph, with or without the Sunflora, and Marcello agrees to keep the tradition going. Soon the couple leads Todd and the others to the south slope, and Brock decides to bring Sunkern with them in the hopes of finding out what has happened to the Sunflora.
A powdering of snow falls on the group as they look at the rather desolate south slope. This leads Sophia to tell the group another one of her fictional love stories, this one is about the time she nearly fell off a rope bridge, but Marcello manages to lift her to safety. Brock then realizes that they never crossed a bridge, and Sophia confirms that the story was another imagining. The source of the snowfall is soon revealed to be one of Team Rocket's mechas, and soon the thieving trio makes their entrance on skis. Todd is surprised to see the Team Rocket trio still following Ash's group, and they are quick to insult him. Meowth presses a button on his controller, and the snow machine begins to blow a blizzard directly at the group. The blizzard conditions lead Sophia into another one of her stories, though Misty interrupts to point out that they are currently under attack. The snow soon buries everyone, leaving Pikachu and later Bulbasaur feeling too cold to battle. Jessie calls out her Arbok, and it slithers across and carries Pikachu to its Trainer. Sunkern jumps into action and uses Sunny Day to melt the snow. The warmer conditions free Bulbasaur from the ice, and it goes on to use Solar Beam, which destroys the snowblower. In the middle of fleeing, Arbok loses its hold of Pikachu, who then lands at Ash's feet. Team Rocket is determined to escape another humiliating blast-off and climb aboard their Meowth balloon. Pikachu, however, still manages to send them blasting off with a Thunderbolt.
The couple is still set on taking their anniversary picture, and agree to pose with Sunkern because it is the pre-evolved form of Sunflora. Brock then suggests to Ash that he should evolve the Sunkern into a Sunflora with the Sun Stone he won as a prize in the Bug-Catching Contest. Ash agrees to the idea and places his Sun Stone by Sunkern, and it then evolves into a Sunflora. The newly-evolved Sunflora goes on to call many other Sunflora, and soon the landscape is transformed into a flowering yellow garden. Todd proceeds to take Sophia and Marcello's 50th-anniversary photo. As he moves the camera lens away from his eye, he spots a blue figure in the distance. Todd is adamant that he saw an Articuno. With that, Ash, Misty, Brock, and Todd wave goodbye to the elderly couple and head towards the mountains.