Monday, June 17, 2013

Ben's First Father's Day at Atlanta Botanical Garden

I hope putting this photo up doesn't land me in the proverbial dog house. I wouldn't let Ben wash his face and put his contacts in before we gave him his Father's Day gift, using the reasoning that it was "like Christmas". I hope that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt someday. Haha! 

While we were in California my sister, Aimee, had the foresight to work on our Father's Day gifts for our boy's daddies and Pop pop. Both Aiden and Benjamin put their footprints on a mug for Pop pop and Benjamin put his on a plate for Ben's jewelry, etc. We went to a place called Painted Earth in Temecula and it was really nice! I loved the atmosphere. It was very artsy inside and organized well. They had a good selection of paints and products. Despite having photos taken just prior both boys held it together pretty well during our project. My sister picked everything up a week later, after they'd been fired, and she carefully packaged and shipped ours to us.
 I think it was a big hit!
After gift giving we got ready for brunch downtown at a restaurant called 10th & Piedmont. Our reservations were at 11:15. I had read about and was really looking forward to their Bellinis (like a mimosa but with peach puree). I know it was Georgia and a Sunday but I had no idea there were still laws about alcohol in restaurants! I was bummed when we were told that they couldn't serve any until 12:30. Still, breakfast was good. The menu was unique and I enjoyed my blueberry pancakes. The actual restaurant was really nice. It was modern with huge windows facing out downtown.
I'd originally made plans for us to enjoy an outdoor Jazz concert later in the afternoon and we were going to kill some time and take photos at Piedmont Park while we were in the area. The parking structure for Piedmont Park is also used for people visiting Atlanta Botanical Garden. I'd never been and have been wanting to visit the new Imaginary Worlds exhibit. On a whim I asked Benjamin if he'd be interested in checking it out and he said he was! In hindsight it would have been nice to be a little better prepared with water, snacks, and sunblock!
Thankfully, we had off and on cloud coverage and a bit of a breeze so there were reprieves throughout the day. I've been to several botanical gardens over the years and this was definitely among, if not my absolute, favorite. There were several different exhibits to see and the grounds were sprawling. We first visited the hydrangeas where I was able to impress Ben with my knowledge of flower names. It's always been one of my favorite flowers. The hydrangeas there were stunning and in every shade!
Throughout the park were these frog statues seated on benches. I love this photo of my Benjamin's with the frogs! The funniest thing was while they were seated there an older lady came and sat on the other side because she wanted her photo taken with the three of them. Ha! Later when we ran into her again she told me that she and Baby Ben were old friends. So cute!
It's amazing that I managed to get a wide shot of that fountain without all the people there because there really were a lot of visitors on Sunday. I love this photo of Ben and I! He says it reminds him of the one we took together at Zoo Atlanta back in April. You can really see all my greys and those new baby hairs that are sprouting in every direction right now! *insert grr face here!!*
One of the exhibits there is called Edible Garden where they grew fruits and vegetables. The also grew sunflowers and the cutest daisy patches there.
In the corner there was a little cafe stand where a lady was giving a demonstration and cooking up samples. Yummy!
One of my favorite exhibits was the Orchids exhibit. It was neat to see each of the little plants cultivating in the greenhouse area. When you first walked in there was a wall of orchids that I fell in love with. How awesome would it be to have a display like that at home?! I've been obsessing a lot lately over plants and flowers that grow or are displayed up a wall. (I've pinned many examples of that here.)
I adore this photo of my boys. Benjamin is looking up and into the light at some hanging plants above him in awe while Ben looks at him in adoration. I think it's the sweetest photo and such a great illustration of their relationship.
We thought the orchids below were really cool after we overheard a tour guide explaining that they're carnivorous! They eat insects. Isn't that amazing?!
The heat was getting unbearable so we stopped by the snack stand for cold drinks before cooling off a bit in the air conditioned cafe. Afterward I nursed Benjamin and we started to head out while discussing how great the day had been and how beautiful the gardens. We were walking toward the entrance when we realized that we hadn't gone down one of the paths. It ended up being the biggest attraction of the entire place and I can't believe we almost missed it! It was so magical!! You walk across the Garden Walk which is a huge bridge. It looks like you're in the forest which is just amazing to me since we were really in the middle of downtown Atlanta!
The day wasn't much like I had planned and ended up being so much better! I loved celebrating this man. He does so much for Benjamin and me. He's such a great person, loving husband and daddy. He means the world to us.

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