This week’s Sunday Outing took us to the Kapok Tree (aka Sam Ash). Sixteen years ago Ken & I had our wedding reception there. It was the fairytale ending to my fairytale wedding. The Kapok Tree is a special event venue in Clearwater, complete with beautiful gardens off the banquet rooms. It was Ken’s idea to take the boys and show them where we par-tayed after we got married.
It’s no longer exclusively an event venue. The location also serves as Sam Ash, a music store. A huge music store. It appears that they do still rent out the rooms for special events though. To our disappointment, they haven’t kept up the gardens as I would have guessed. I can understandd why; it can’t be cheap to keep up all the flowers and fountains. It’s still a nice place to visit but just not as grand as it used to be. I’m including this post in my “Touristing” category and encourage you to visit it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
These are the first gardens you enter:
For our reception, our guests entered here and were escorted into a smaller ballroom for drinks and appetizers while we had our pictures taken. It was so pretty lit up that night.
This is a close up of the wall above. The fountains were not running when we were there with the boys but when Ken visited a few days ago, they were running.
This wall runs along the perimeter of the gardens. Beautiful, isn’t it?
There was a photographer taking pictures of a model in the gardens next to the Grand Ballroom so I didn’t get a wide shot of those gardens. And the Grand Ballroom wasn’t open but I put my camera right up to the glass & got these shots of the inside. Our bridal party walked right down that staircase to the head table.
This huge chandelier is right in the middle of the room.
During dinner, our guests were seated on the lower level as well as in the balcony. It was a dream reception. I sure wish I could have gotten inside the ballroom to take my pictures.
The wall opposite the staircase is one big, giant window so you have a view into the gardens from the inside. These columns are all along that window:
While there, the family decided to have fun with my new camera remote.
After a zillion pictures (with everyone getting a chance to try the remote), I went back to the camera to adjust the settings so that my mom & dad could join in the fun. We got a few shots with all of us. A nice one, one with “jazz hands” and this sophisticated one. Jackson thought this was hilarious (he’s on the left, cracking up):
We had a great time sharing a special part of our lives with the boys. I highly suggest you visit. Even though it’s not as pretty as it was in 1995 and now it’s also a music store, it’s worth a visit. And while you’re there, you can pickup a set of guitar strings!
You can check out the Kapok’s website here. The pictures are beautiful and you can get an idea of what it looks like to have an event here. Thanks, mom & dad for THE best wedding (and reception) ever!
Since this is the longest blog post known to mankind, I’ll continue. We left Kapok Tree and drove across the street to Kapok park. I had no idea this existed. I could tell you the story of how it used to be a mobile home park and now is a beautiful park but I’ll let you visit & read the story for yourself. This is another place I suggest you visit. It offers paved pathways, picnic areas and a boardwalk over wetland areas complete with ducks, mice alligators and many, many birds. And trees. Lots of trees. I’ll let my pictures do the talking since I’m nearing 1,000 words already.
And since I hate to leave my boys out…