Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Callaway on foot

This week we’ve been enjoying a brief visit from my mom, who flew in from Colorado Sunday afternoon and will leave us again Thursday morning. The last time she was here without my dad she was slaving over dinners, scrubbing floors and counters for me (and everything in between) and accompanying me on power walks as we tried to prod overdue Owen out of my bulging belly. This time I’m doing the cooking and letting her get in as much play time as possible with Will and Owen (mostly because I love to work on a simple meal with no distractions while listening to the sweet sounds of grandma-grandkid conversations in the other room).

Yesterday we laid low but did the usual walk to Lakebottom Park, where Grammy and Will enjoyed swinging side by side.
And today we hit Callaway Gardens, where I realized that the next best way to see the Gardens when you can’t tour the whole place on a bike is to stroll down the bike path (which is pretty clear of bikes on a weekday) from one stop to the next. A good mom tip for those of you who live nearby and frequent Callaway: Stop the madness of loading kids back in the car at each tourist destination and park just a couple times – first at the Butterfly house and then somewhere like the Discovery Center –and make it a car-free stroller journey from there.
We took in a Bird’s of Prey Show (which had Owen shouting so loud in amazement that the crowd sometimes took their eyes off the owl or the peregrine falcon to crane their necks and get a look at squawking baby), fed some turtles, ate a lakeside lunch, strolled down the bike path where Will found nature objects for a “decoration” he was scheming about as he pushed his own stroller most of the way, wandered over bridges in the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl and then looped back to the Sibley Horticultural Center, where Will tried his hand at nature photography for the first time. Here is one of his point-and-shoot masterpieces.

But the highlights were really the walks in between the sites. In the woods, away from the crowds, we stopped for several minutes to watch a great blue heron, who stood just 20 feet from us at the edge of the lake, while a bald Eagle soared in large loops over the lake.

Just before we headed back in the car, Owen nearly jumped out of the stroller when he saw these ducks.

1 comment:

shannon said...

Oooh- I'm so glad you get Mom-time and the kids get Grandmom-time.
Callaway's a hidden treasure in this area. We always feel like we have the bike trails to ourselves; even on the weekends, we rarely see many people. I'm glad you highlighted it here because many are missing out.
Annie, I bought a Baby Trend double stroller for our walking tours of San Francisco. It is rad- easy to fold and carry and very easy to push- very narrow. Nora was as old as 5 (and was as big as a 7 yr old) but fit nicely on the "jump seat" and also loved to stand, too. Anyway, wanted to plug that and offer ours to borrow for your next walking tour of anywhere. . . .