the wedding chronicles | decision #18


Hello!  Phillip Davis here.  By now I am sure that everyone knows who I am:  Kelsey’s fiance, “other half,” photographer for our NRW (New Restaurant Wednesday) excursions, vacation planner aficionado, and finally significant other.  It’s great to finally guest blog on her website, and for that reason I am honored to begin my blogging quest with wedding decision number 18, the honeymoon!

This decision came to me as a surprise because I did not know where to begin.  I have envisioned lots of different places and ideas that could all be very unique to our traveling experiences thus far.  For instance, we could travel abroad and visit new countries over in Europe and make it a week-long excursion by “Euro” hopping around.  We could keep things simple and do a domestic road trip around the Atlantic coastline with food and drink stops along the way.  Or, we could make it a nice getaway to a Caribbean island and relax on the beach.  It was very difficult and challenging to decide because my dialogue with Kelsey for the past year has been something like, “So, honey, where would you like to go for our honeymoon?”  She’d respond, “Oh, it doesn’t matter…as long as we are together.”  This made the decision more difficult in my mind because I would have hoped she could have envisioned the ideal spot for us to land for a week or two.

With the help from our AAA agent Renee, we decided to give her a visit during one of our vacation days away from work and grab some suggestions from her.  Now Renee came highly recommended by our siblings Kyle and Kari since they used her to plan their two-week European excursion a couple of months ago.  The family mentioned to us that “prices were good, “she was the best agent at AAA”, and “you won’t be disappointed.”  Seeing that family is almost always right about these kind of decisions and ideas, Kelsey and I gave her a try.

When we arrived at the AAA office, the entire staff was very friendly and welcomed us inside.  Renee, who was diligently typing away at her computer and finishing a phone call with a prior client, smiled at us and said, “You must be Kelsey and Phillip; please grab a seat.”  Immediately Kelsey and I sat at the two seats at her desk and introduced ourselves.  Renee’s first question to us was “So, where do you envision going for your honeymoon?”  Kelsey began by responding, “Anywhere that is adult-friendly and has no kiddos around.”  I nodded my head in agreement but wasn’t quite sure what to say after, so I let the ladies continue in conversation.  Shortly thereafter Renee grabbed a large AAA destination handbook that literally looked like the Bible for vacationers!  She flipped through the pages and came across some highly recommended resorts in the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands.  Notice the pattern?  I may have mentioned to Renee that a Caribbean resort wouldn’t be such a bad idea, so she went on to peruse the typical spots that most adults had traveled to.  Now I was excited and wanted to see which resorts would be nice for a relaxing time.

Of the countless options we saw in the book, Renee did in fact recommend a few resorts in the Dominican Republic (specifically the Punta Cana area) that would suit us perfectly.  The options were adults only, all-inclusive, provided easy beach access, and included amenities and activities to do.  Shortly after hearing the details of these resorts, Kelsey and I decided to leave the office and think about it together.

I did some more research on my own accord while Kelsey was traveling for work and came to a final decision that would be ideal for our needs.  I decided on the perfect resort in the Dominican Republic that would an ideal spot for our first week as newlyweds.  Besides, I wanted to ensure that Kelsey gets a massage or two while there and that we can go on a snorkeling excursion, which by the way is included in the resort package!  To me it’s a win-win situation and I am sure that Kelsey will enjoy it, and that is all that matters to me.

all the fleurs

as i sit here this afternoon, enjoying another beautiful (but hot) atlanta day, the breeze wraps around me and the shade offers comfort.  folks on their sunday drives are passing by in their cars, the music from disco starbucks is setting the mood, and i get to work.

i spent the entire afternoon yesterday at the atlanta botanical gardens, and i’ve got a lot to share!

after gaining admittance and refilling my water bottle, i stepped outside to begin my journey.  what a beautiful day for a leisurely stroll around the garden!  you know what’s even better?  this fuzzy fellow was the first spectacle to greet me.

shaggy dog.

shaggy dog.

seeing as how i was in no hurry, which i hardly ever am, i began my trek through the canopy walk on the reverse suspension bridge.  the bridge was designed with the art of balance in mind, rising 40 feet above the terrain and stretching 600 feet  long.  getting to be above the forest floor was quite a treat, and walking across the only tree canopy-level walkway of its kind in america was pretty neat, too.

as i wound through the wood, i came upon more sculptures from the imaginary worlds display.  here are the gorillas…

…and then here is the earth goddess, perhaps the most majestic of them all.  her colored tresses are created from a multitude of low-lying shrubs that flow onto and into the ground surrounding her.  she wonderfully embodies the art of mosaiculture, a form of gardening and horticulture that first became popular in 16th century europe.  although it originally referred to simple geometric forms, mosaiculture has become more complex as it creates a mosaic-like appearance of the planted sculptures’ surfaces.

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walking along the pathways, i couldn’t stop the childhood memories that rushed back to me.  i closed my eyes as i pictured after-school days in the backyard with my neighborhood friends.  the smells and sounds all around me were comforting and nostalgic.  i couldn’t help but smile as i remembered the outdoors full of imagination and joy.  ah, those were the days!

as the breeze whirled around me, i allowed it to carry me on.  i found all the color as i entered the parterre garden.  i easily could have gotten lost, so i stuck to the right side of the path and moseyed along.  oh, and in case you were wondering, since i am almost never in a true hurry, when i say i “moseyed” somewhere, i mean it.  i am usually the last one of the pack, which has rightfully earned me the nickname “kelsey caboose.”

at this point, i’ll leave you with all the photos to enjoy.  thank goodness my phone camera didn’t act up too much!

the great lawn.

the great lawn

the edible garden was fun and lighthearted.

more creations from the imaginary world installment.

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the fuqua orchid center offered a brief respite from the day’s heat, so i welcomed some time indoors.  of course there were orchids, but my goodness, there must have been hundreds of plants in this space!

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i liked these tall flowers very much, although i could not tell you at all what they are.

tall flowers

as i found myself back at the great lawn, just before my grand exit, the philip haas sculptures were impossible to miss.  upon first look, they may seem familiar, and not surprisingly so.  these sculptures are references to giuseppe arcimboldo’s 16th century paintings that “personify the art and sculpture of horticulture.”  haas’ creations take things to the next level by becoming “whimsical embodiment(s)” of each season that “feature oversized twigs, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and other natural elements indicative of their respective months of origin.”  the spring sculpture, of course, was my favorite.

something i made sure to savor while i roamed around was that although atlanta is a large and sprawling city, we have a lush space like the botanical garden smack dab in the middle of it.  even though i could see the cityscape peeking through in the background, i couldn’t help but think how lucky we are and how beautiful this place is.