Monday, July 25, 2011

These Boots Were Made For Walkin'

We visited family in Georgia this past week and had a nice, if too short, time with kids, grand kids, siblings and my husband's momma.  We usually find summertime in Georgia so much more hot and humid than middle Illinois.  Not so this time - Southern Georgia was almost ten degrees cooler.  Not to say cool, just cooler and of course humid. 

We stopped taking airplanes several years ago because it took almost as long with the guaranteed delays and a hefty layover in Atlanta.  Plus, it's expensive and just no fun to fly anymore. 

Next we used the interstate highways to make a fast trip in one day - 18 plus hours.  Then we become sane and now take two days (more if there are places we like to investigate.) 

This year we decided to totally stay off interstates.  It took no longer, was so much more beautiful and the stress level decreased.  No more hurried, harried, aggressive, or distracted drivers.  And this is how we wandered by Callaway Gardens in Georgia.

I'd heard about the gardens and we decided to make time to investigate.  It was different than I had anticipated.  I would describe it as a serene get-a-way, rather than what we think is typical for gardens.

Open since 1952, Callaway Gardens is the centerpiece of 13,000 acres nestled in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachians. Founder Cason Jewell Callaway longed for a place where man and nature could abide together for the good of both, and now more than half a century later, his retreat continues to offer solace, inspiration and discovery for all who come here.

To really appreciate the site, you must walk.  Most of the gardens and beauty can only be viewed after a little or lots of walking.  It allows the serenity and natural settings to unfold.  Many attractions are on trails. 
They have also provided many opportunities to attend events or hold events.  They have entertainment such as a high end golf course, beaches, cabins, bicycling, boating, fishing, lodge, chapel, nature centers classes and more. 

I enjoyed the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center and the large vegetable gardens.  I've included some photos that might show some ways to divide a garden (or your yard) into rooms.  Each room providing a different view and more serenity. 

Take your best walking shoes, bug repellent, water to hydrate, and a camera.  It's typical Georgia heat and humidity especially on the trails where nary a breath of air moves.  It does provide places to relax and simply enjoy at most every trail and attraction.

It's not an easy place for folks with handicaps or lacking strength.  They provide a clean, neatly managed, friendly and diverse park for the day trip or for a vacation.  Did I mention it was serene???

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