Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On the way to Callaway

A visit to the Christmas lighting extravaganza at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA, is becoming a tradition for my husband Walter and me. On Saturday evening, Nov. 21, our eldest son, Walt, and family piled into our van with us and headed to Fantasy in Lights, five miles of fantastic lighted scenes.

Four-year-old Nate, left, and seven-year-old Luke were happy to have their mom Sarah squeezed in between their car seats in the back of the van. Walt had brought a stack of Christmas CDs, so we started getting in the spirit immediately. Walter and I first experienced Callaway Gardens’ Christmas lights in 2007 when we joined the annual March of Dimes Walk – the one night that is reserved each year for walkers only, no vehicles allowed! We introduced Walt, Sarah and kids via the trolley ride in 2008.

Walter – Baboo to our grandchildren – took this photo of our 2009 trek from parking lot to the entry. We opted for the 6 p.m. “Jolly Trolley” ride although driving your own vehicle is an option. Our son herded Luke and Nate into the front row of the trolley.

As the trolley carried us through the fanciful exhibits, the excited boys vied with each other to identify individual lighted and moving elements. We rode through Santa’s workshop, critters of forest, meadow and pond, Jack Frost’s winter scenery and more. The youngsters were oblivious to the trolley full of people behind them and the chuckles that greeted their enthusiastic, and loud, commentary. But the chuckles turned to outright laughter at their gleeful announcement in a dark stretch between exhibits: “Here comes the haunted house. Get ready for the haunted house!” Their dad clued them in on why they were unlikely to experience a haunted house in Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights.

Taken with my point-and-shoot Canon, this was my first and last attempt at capturing the wonder of the exhibits. The jiggle of the trolley is evident, but this photo still makes me smile about our evening in magical lights. Walter had a little more success. Two of his photos are below.

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