Family Vacation 1.0

by Courtney Sirotin on November 26, 2012

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We have been on a few vacations since Dylan was born, but never with just the three of us as a family. Over Thanksgiving we embarked on our very first vacation as a family unit. The destination was Pine Mountain, GA and Callaway Gardens.

We knew we wanted to go somewhere in a country setting that was an easy drive from our house and Callaway Gardens, a massive botanical garden in the mountains, fit the bill for our three night stay.

We arrived and unwound with drinks before heading out to see a beautiful Christmas light display called Fantasy in Lights.

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We boarded an open air trolley and were driven through the gardens for over an hour and viewed over eight million lights. This was one of my favorite moments:

We didn’t plan too much in advance, so over breakfast the next morning we plotted out our first day.

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The first stop was a butterfly pavilion where we could spend time with tons of beautiful butterflies fluttering all around us.

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Dylan was hyped up for the occasion so my time was split between enjoying the butterflies and keeping him from tearing the place apart.

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I think he found it fun…and a bit surreal.

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As much as I tried to keep him away from the water displays, Dylan eventually broke free and jumped in one, soaking his socks and shoes. Jay hung them out the windows to dry as we made our way to the next stop.

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This video was taken as we were waiting to enter a Birds of Prey show. I think it sums up my relationship with Dylan pretty well. Winking smile

Dylan was hysterical during the bird show. Every time he saw an owl he would yell, “Whoo, whoo!” super loud and on a loop. Many of the people in the room thought there was a bird flying around and kept looking for the source of it. It was funny and awkward all at once.

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We walked around the gardens a bit after the show.

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Dylan “read” all the signs he came upon.

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And enjoyed the natural beauty.

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We brought Dylan a bunch of new toys to keep him happy in our room at the Mountain Creek Inn. Of course, he was more interested in some of the reading material the Inn provided…

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Oh, I forgot to mention that it was Thanksgiving Day. After the Birds of Prey show and Dylan’s nap we attended a Thanksgiving dinner at the Inn.

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The food was pretty good and I ate the requisite “too much”. Dylan didn’t eat much of anything until it was time for dessert and then he dove in face first.

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The next day we went to a really cool animal safari! We rented a van with bars on the windows and were allowed to drive through the animal park and feed the animals.

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They were not shy!

Dylan was surprisingly daring and fed them right out of his hand.

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This is a great video that really captures how intense the safari was at times. We had zebras, buffalo, reindeer, giraffes, llamas, donkeys, pigs, horses, rams and more soliciting us for food!

Later that day we drove to a very small town called Warm Springs were Franklin D. Roosevelt had a residence during his presidency. He actually died there too. The town boasts warm springs which he thought had healing properties (he had polio). The town was so rich with history.

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Jay took a bunch of cool, vintage-looking pictures while we explored the main street. I’ll include them here because they are weird and awesome.

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Creepy! —>;

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Can you spot Dylan? —>;

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Tug of War…(wish he wanted real carrots this much) —>;

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To wrap up…we had breakfast each morning in this banquet hall. It was a pretty cool place to eat and Dylan was semi-adventurous and tasted the muffins.

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The food was good, not great and the hotel room was little beat up, but when I look back at our Family Vacation 1.0 I know it will be with the fondest of memories. We hope to make Thanksgiving vacations a yearly tradition for our family!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

CAROL GLOSKI November 27, 2012 at 2:39 am

And a Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you!! Can’t wait to see Dylan in person at David’s!!

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DONNA CUSHING November 28, 2012 at 2:34 am

What a magical vacation! It looks like you had so much fun!
Thank you for sharing the experience! Lots of food for dreams for Dylan! Just amazing!

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