Thursday, June 8, 2017

Callaway Gardens Trip

Way back in the first part of the year when Matt and I started planning our summer trips, we started talking with his parents about possibly doing a trip together with the kids this summer.  A few years ago, they took LL and Matt's cousin (Gray) to Callaway Gardens for a few days, and they wanted to do that again now that Cooper is old enough to go.  We set some dates for a Friday - Monday trip, and they fell about two weeks after our trip to Destin.

We met up at Grammy and Pop's house, ate lunch, and hit the road. 

We ended up taking two cars just for space purposes.  Both kids opted to ride with Grammy and Pop, so Matt and I got a 3.5 hour quiet car ride - it was so nice!  We got to the hotel around 4ish and unloaded the cars.  We hung out for just a little bit before heading out for an early dinner.

We went to a place called The Oyster House for dinner.  Both kids were not on their best behavior, but I honestly think it was from being cooped up in a car for so long and then having to do a sit-down dinner.  They just had so much energy!

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and let them burn some energy in the pool!

It was national donut day, so after the kids went to bed (they slept in the room with Grammy and Pop), we set out on a hunt for some donuts.  We didn't find donuts, but we did find ice cream!

When we checked the weather before we left for the trip, we knew that there was a high chance that we were going to have to deal with some rain.  Saturday was our best day (weather wise), so we decided to do the Wild Animal Safari on that day.  This is just in the middle of the small town (Pine Mountain) that we were in.  Basically, it's this drive-through animal park where they have all of these crazy exotic animals that you can feed.  You can drive your own car (so stupid), ride for free on a school bus, or rent a (nasty) van and go at your own pace.  We opted to rent our own van.

Cooper has his food and is ready to go!

LL has been here before (and remembers it).  Well.  We had kind of a fail with Cooper.  We failed to adequately explain to him exactly what was going to happen, so the first time that a huge animal stuck its head in his window for food, he lost it!  He cried for a good 5 minutes until he realized the animals couldn't get to him.  Oops!

Zebras!  They even had a baby which was so cute.

With all these animals around, this girl and I were in our element!

I took a picture with this long horn cow, but here's a video of me feeding a different one!

These elk were amazing!!  I did take quite a few videos on our ride around the park, but everything was so hectic that I didn't get to really focus on what is was videoing.  I did take this video of the elk while were going, but when we got back to the hotel and watched it, it made me laugh so hard!

The zebras were so stinky!  They seriously smelled the worst of all the animals!  And they made sure to tell us to just throw the food in their mouths and not get our fingers close because they would bite.

The giraffes were my favorite by far!  I took two videos feeding the giraffe - they're so beautiful and gentle!  Video 1 and Video 2

So funny!!  And as you can see, the long horn cows didn't have any teeth in the front!  I guess because they're used to just grinding vegetation??

Their tongues were so funny!

Here's another video feeding the huge bison!

She didn't want to get close to the stinky zebras!  Haha.

We survived the safari!

After our safari, we ate lunch and then headed over to their walk-through animal part.  They had things like monkeys, alligators, kangaroos, and tigers.

Grammy and Pop gave the kids some spending money that they chose to use in the gift shop.  Cooper got this snake (that he later named Cooper Jr.)

LL got this white tiger and a zebra.

We drove back to the hotel and had some pool time!

After the pool, we rested in the hotel for a little while.  There was a DQ close to our hotel, so we just went there for an easy dinner with the kids.  I ended up being up super late due to my nap - everyone else was snoozing!

Sunday we knew we had a pretty good chance of rain, but we were going to fit in as much time at Callaway Gardens as we could.  LL came to our room pretty early to hang out and get some Cooper-free time (haha).  She also wanted her hair straightened, so we did that.

As soon as we got to Callaway Gardens, we headed straight for the "Birds of Prey" show because they only do it twice a day.

Testing their wing span!  (I didn't realize Cooper's was blurry until way later - boo.)

After the "Birds of Prey" show, we spent some time on this pretty bridge and fed the fish and turtles that were around.  Here's a video of Cooper feeding the turtles, and here's a video of LL feeding them.

Such a beautiful view!

Next we went to find the butterfly house!

I was just standing there watching the kids when a butterfly landed on my shoulder!

Callaway does have a big lake and this beach area.  We headed there for lunch.  We got there, ate, and as soon as we started to change to play at the beach area, it started raining.  We tried to wait it out, but then it started thundering.  We decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.

This was Cooper's third day of missing nap, and his behavior was not doing great on the way back.  Matt and I took him to our room when we got back to the hotel, and he cried and pitched a fit for about 5 minutes, and then this happened.  :)

The kids ate pizza in the room with Grammy and Pop, and Matt and I went and picked up Moe's.  We actually really loved our little "hotel date" - eating chips and queso, watching tv, and kid free!

We watched TV for a little while, and then I started my 36th book of the year.  I'm still reading this now, and I am loving it!

That's a wrap on our trip to Callaway Gardens!  If you live in Georgia, going to Pine Mountain to go to the Wild Animal Safari should definitely be on your list of things to do!  


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