The gardens were having a package deal in May so we were able to stay on the grounds. By the time we got there Friday, most of the places in the park were closed but we went ahead and drove around so we would have an idea of what to expect the next day. We were able to enjoy the scenery and catch a beautiful sunset at their biggest lake.
Now everything closes pretty early in Pine Mountain, so we were very limited on where we could eat dinner that evening. We chose a place called "Cricket's Restaurant" which had a bit of an identity crisis. The outside had a mountain(ish) feel and reminded me of a Gatlinburg style place. The inside also had a mountain lodge type of feel except for the Dollar Tree type Mardi Gras decor that was hung about everywhere. The menu had 1/3 Cajun style food, 1/3 seafood, and 1/3 American style food. It was definitely odd. We also were one of three sets of people there the entire time we were there! You could tell it was still their "off season". They closed at nine so we were back to our hotel by nine fifteen eastern which is eight fifteen our time. It was very strange to be in for the night that early on vacation!
The next morning we woke to realize it had rained the night before and everything was very wet. It was overcast and the forecast had changed to possible rain all day. I sent a quick prayer up that it would hold out at least until that evening and we set out for the gardens.
One of the first places we stopped was this beautiful chapel that was built nestled down amongst the trees next to an alcove of the biggest lake. It had absolutely, gorgeous stain glassed windows! I love stained glass windows so I think this was one of the prettiest sights I saw on the trip.
Unfortunately due to the strange weather we have had in the south everything bloomed early this year so we didn't really get to see many of the flowers and such because they were already bloomed out. They have an entire area dedicated to azaleas that I would have loved to have seen in bloom but it was still pretty because everything was green.
We headed next to the horticulture center, mainly because I had to go to the bathroom, but ended up looking around there as well because we had about 30 minutes until one of our scheduled events was to take place.
One of our funny traditions is for me to take a picture of my reflection in his sunglasses and I have actually forgotten to do this a time or two before so I made sure to get one this time!
Part of our package deal was passes to their Treetop Adventure which is basically a obstacle course/ zipline adventure 30 to 40ft up in the trees. I was really excited about it when we booked the reservations because I have not really done anything like it. Well, of course, when we got there it said "Pregnant Women Prohibited" but we had already paid for the tickets in advance and neither their website nor the tickets had said anything about no pregnant women so I told Sexy Husband that for the hour or so "I was just fat!" Ha!
We got outfitted in harnesses, helmets and gloves. They gave us a quick instructions class and then we were off on the "self led" adventure. By the second obstacle I was asking myself and Sexy Husband why I had thought I wanted to do this! I am not really afraid of heights but I am afraid of unsecured heights. So basically if I do not feel safe enough I get afraid. Even though we were harnessed and hooked to wires, I did not really feel safe because I had to keep looking down to place my feet in the right place. Then came the zipline. The gloves were used on the zipline to slow yourself down so you would not smack into the next platform. Well the gloves they gave you were standard work gloves. Not so great for a woman who has to buy children's gloves! They were almost ripped off my hand when I was trying to slow down. When I did finally manage to slow myself down it was too early, so then I had to pull myself the rest of the way to the platform. Needless to say my pecs are sore! LOL
There were very few places where you could "abandon ship" and get back to the ground so when the halfway point offered such an opportunity I took it! By that point I was quite upset/nervous so I knew it would be better for me and baby girl if I got down and just watched Sexy Husband do the rest. I might try something like that again one day when I am not pregnant and I have my own gloves!
Sexy Husband did finish the whole thing, the second half being even harder than the first. He was definitely sore that night and the next day as well!
After he finished, we stopped at the cafe and had a snack. I was able to grab a picture of this beautiful cardinal!
We went out in a canoe after that so that we both could sit, relax and enjoy the peaceful water. Rain was threatening at that point so after we got back from being in the canoe, we called it a day and just in time! They had a country store that had a southern style restaurant inside so we ate dinner there. I enjoyed a yummy pot roast.
We got back to the room around seven(ish) eastern time and I took a shower. We watched some television as there was not much else to do until I decided I needed something sweet. It was eight o'clock and every place was pretty much closed. We decided to try the gas station down the road and I prayed that had poptarts because I was craving poptarts for some reason!
They did have poptarts! So we got a pint of bluebell ice cream to share and poptarts for me. Ha!
On Sunday, we saw their "Birds of Prey" show and went to their "Butterfly Display". I was a tiny bit disappointed at the butterfly building because I was really hoping to see one of those beautiful blue butterflies but alas they did not have any. I did get a picture of this pretty fellow though!
Since it was rainy and we had seen everything, we decided to head back towards home and get lunch on the way. When we finally found a place that had restaurants we could not figure out why so many people were out to eat, it was past what we thought would be the church crowd. Then it dawned on us that it was Mother's Day! Doh!
Luckily we did not have to wait long since there was only two of us. After lunch we headed home. It was a great trip, and though I think two days is all you really need to see Callaway Gardens, it was pretty and fun!
Until Next Time....