Callaway Gardens

So let’s get back to June. After my cousin’s wedding, my parents, one sister and our family headed to Callaway Gardens, which is in Pine Mountain, GA, about an hour south of Atlanta. We spent the next few days, exploring the gardens and just relaxing. I’ve got oodles of pictures (I uploaded over 125 to flickr, but that is the narrowed down amount), so I’ll try to keep it fairly short and if you want to see more pictures, you can see them on flickr, provided you are a flickr member and a ‘friend or family’ of me.

We got there late afternoon on Sunday and I don’t think we did much that day, dinner and bed. Callaway Gardens is a very large private gardens with all sorts of stuff happening. There is a butterfly house, horticulture center, plus a whole resort type section, with golfing, a lake (with lake-type activities), bike rentals, the FSU circus, etc. Overall, we picked a good time to be there, everything was empty. Apparently later in the summer it is packed. I’m certainly glad there weren’t many people around. The next morning we headed out for a little walk to explore and then over to the butterfly house. I think there was one or two couples besides us in the butterfly house, so nice. We saw some pretty flowers and pretty butterflies. One landed on my dad’s foot, but no one else was able to convince any to land on them.

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There are lots of walking trails around Callaway Gardens. There was one, the Rhododendron trail right outside the butterfly house, that we went on. The rhododendrons were not really in bloom, but it was a lovely walk anyways.

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One day we went to the pool, but I didn’t bring the camera since I knew we would be in the water the whole time. My favorite walking trail that we went on was the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail. It was just lovely and we got so many good pictures along the walk.

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We visited the vegetable garden and saw the birds of prey show, but didn’t take many worthwhile pictures. We also went to the horticulture center one afternoon, where there were lots of cool plants. The girls especially loved the little children’s trails hidden behind some plants that had little tables and chairs or benches just the right size for them.

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We also spent a morning at the manmade beach on the manmade lake. Not my favorite, but the kids loved it.

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The FSU Flying High Circus performs twice a week at Callaway Gardens in the summer. We went both times since the girls just loved it. I took lots of videos of the circus and they are up on flickr if you really want to see them. Otherwise here was Greta’s favorite part, what she called the ceiling fan.

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The last day we headed up to a look out point before heading to dinner. It was lovely.

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All in all a good trip. Thanks to my parents for inviting us. We really liked Callaway Gardens, but I do have some minor complaints. Nearly everything is far apart, so we had to get in the car and drive everywhere. If the kids were a bit older and could bike, we could have rented bikes and rode them around to some of the places. Another big negative was food. We stayed in a cottage with a kitchen, which was nice and helpful, but there are few grocery stores nearby and not a ton of restaurants in the small town of Pine Mountain. We were told there was a Walmart about 30 minutes away and a nicer grocery store, but we didn’t actually go to either. There are oodles of activities to take advantage of, but I think our favorites were the circus and the butterfly house.

mud puddle fun

I have no good excuse as to why I haven’t posted here, just lazy I guess. Maybe I’ll get caught up eventually.

Anyways, we have had some pretty good rainstorms lately and we try and get out to play in the puddles after the storm is through. Here are some pictures of the girls enjoying the mud puddles.

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And another day (yesterday in fact).

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Wedding

Finally getting to some more of the trip to Birmingham. My cousin, Sarah, got married to Andrew. The wedding was beautiful, of course, but from our point of view was kind of a disaster. We sat near the front since we were family. The wedding at 5 pm, so kind of an iffy time for the kids, but they at least two of the three had taken a decent nap. Right before people started walking in, Beatrice started screaming that she wanted water, which she thought I was hiding in the diaper bag. (We have general no food/drink in church, so I didn’t bring them). But she was insisting that it was in there and screaming “wawa”. Matt had to fight through all the bridesmaids and groomsmen to get out of the church so there wasn’t a screaming child at the front of the church. He never returned and missed the whole thing. A little while later Eloise started complaining she was so thirsty and after trying to get her to be quiet, she just kept getting louder and louder and more demanding of water. So I took her out to get a drink. I snuck back in and sat in the very back of the church, but she started talking very loudly about water again. (Looking back I’m wondering if we didn’t give them anything to drink all day or something). Eventually I took her out and left her with Matt. I sat in the very back of the big church for the rest of the ceremony.

Then it was off to the reception and time for some pictures. Here we are all dressed up:

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And my sister, Catherine, and her boyfriend, Kevin.

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There was lots of yummy food at the reception and lots of dancing. Sadly, I’m not able to take nearly as many pictures at weddings these days, so there aren’t too many great ones. Eloise was the big dancer this time around. She had so much fun dancing.

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And of course we need some pictures of the beautiful bride and groom.

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A cute picture of my sister and Eloise:

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My cousin and her dad, my uncle, dancing:

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My aunt and uncle watching some dancing:

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My cousin and my other uncle:

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Eloise dancing:

My dad dancing with the girls:

The girls dancing: