A Weekend at the White House

This White House ain’t in D.C.

COME VISIT THE SOUTH Y’ALL

Experience that warm southern charm, & hospitality. Get out & mingle with the locals, & drive through the farm lands of Georgia. Put your cell phone down & enjoy the ride. Because there’s no cell phone service on these backroads. Place a hand up high on the steering wheel, & wave at oncoming traffic. People wave back in this neck of the woods.

How did my partner & I end up in Georgia? It all started in the Springtime one April, when our jobs had us extremely busy. We didn’t have much time, & her birthday was quickly approaching. I was trying to figure out the best Gypsy Gift (a pack your bags, it’s time to hit the road type of gift) with very little time to spare. She’s an avid animal lover, therefore I wanted to find something that included animals, so I started planning.

WHAT’S YOUR TEMPERATURE?

With both of us having been stuck at work since at least February without any kind of vacation, or getaway (2 whole months 😱). I was starting to exhibit all the tell tell symptoms of early onset Gypsy fever. You know the classic slow scroll through the photo album looking at pass adventures, with the occasional sigh, while stopping outside & looking up. Just to catch a glimpse of a plane flying across the sky, & wondering where those passengers were off to? That feeling when the invisible borders of your city start closing in on you, & your very own hometown starts feeling just a little snug around the collar. Yes, I know the symptoms are quite horrendous indeed. It’s a case of the dreaded Gypsy Fever.

OUT ON THE HIGHWAY

We both had to work through Friday, with my partner having to work late into the night, the day before her birthday on Saturday, so the trip was only going to be 1 night, & 2 days. Just long enough to break a Gypsy Fever. After some quick brainstorming, I came up with a final game plan for her birthday weekend. I found the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain Georgia, made reservations for a horseback trail ride at Roosevelt Stables in Hamilton Georgia, & lastly with my love of history. I had to gift her a trip to the Little White House, a historic landmark in Warm Springs Georgia (okay, so maybe I dragged her to this last one, just a little bit, but since I’m telling the story. This one was for her birthday too ;^)

With the game plan complete, bright & early Saturday morning we were on the road for a 4 hour drive to Pine Mountain Georgia at 6a.m. With my partner having worked late the night before, she was understandably, still exhausted. She snoozed most of the road trip away.

Kick back & Relax. I got this 🙂

The majority of the 4 hour drive was Interstate. Our first destination for the day was the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain Georgia. The closer you get to the Safari Park. The more rural the roads become, driving through pastures & farm land. The cell phone signal is sporadic at best, so if your using your cell phone for a GPS. Don’t wait until you get close to the Safari Park to activate the GPS.

WILD ANIMAL SAFARI

The actual Wild Animal Safari Park is an extremely cool & fun place. It’s a drive through animal Safari Park, which gives you the opportunity to experience wildlife from around the world, all in one place. You can buy food to feed the animals. Which my partner was all about, grinning ear to ear the whole time the animals were slobbering on her hand as she feed them (Don’t forget to pick up your “I got slobbered” hand cloth from the gift store to dry your hands). This Safari is one of the largest in the U.S. covering 3.5 miles, with over 450 animals, & 75 different species in the Safari on 300 acres of land.

The Entrance to the Safari Park

You can purchase your tickets online, in advance as we did. You have 3 options to get around the park & see the animals:

Option #1 – Drive your own vehicle around the park. Keep in mind, should you choose this option. That some of the animals are very large, & the park is not responsible for any damages to your vehicle.

Option #2 – You can rent a vehicle from the park for you & your family. Most of the vehicles are vans, of varying makes & models, painted white & black with zebra stripes. With this option, it’s best to make your rental reservation in advance. There’s only a limited supply of Zebra vans, & on a busy day, they may all be reserved at the hour & time you want.

Option #3 – If you don’t want to drive, you can ride on the Safari bus, which are old school buses, also painted in Zebra print, & you can feed the animals from the windows of the school bus, shared with other families.

I’d show you Zebras, but they’re camouflaged 🙂

The animals will come right up to your vehicle, & eat from your hand. They know when you stop, it means food for them. If your not alert, you just might end up with a sly zebra, or ostrich reaching their head into your vehicle & stealing your whole bag of feed. We saw many animals Water Buffalo, Wildebeest, Zebras, Giraffe, elk, & ostriches.

My partner eagerly awaiting Giraffe nibbles

After you finish the 3 plus mile drive around the Safari Park. You can head back to the main building, & start the walking tour of the petting zoo, & big cat Safari. On the walk through Safari you’ll get to see a few of the more predatory animals that can’t freely roam the park, due to the off chance they might want to nibble on a juicy Zebra, or customer.

Crikey Mates! We have us a sunbathing Alligator (Steve Irwin voice)

They have Lions, Tigers, & Bears (oh my… sorry, couldn’t help myself :-). No really, they have them all, including Alligators. All the apex predators of the wild all in one location. They have snakes, sloths, lemurs, baboons, & lizards of every sort.

My partner trying to convince me to run lookout as she attempts to swipe a baby Goat.

As you leave they have a little petting zoo. Here you can get up close & personal, & feed the gentler animals like sheep, & goats who want all the attention. Which my partner, the birthday girl was more then willing to give them. Two adult Safari admission tickets – $48 bucks. Leaving with one happy woman – Priceless.

COWBOY ON THE EQUESTRIAN TRAIL

After leaving the Safari park we were off through Georgia to our next adventure, Roosevelt Stables. Just a hop & skip away from the Safari Park is this amazing gem tucked way out in the Georgia wilderness, Roosevelt Stables. Located in Hamilton Georgia, many of their horses have been rescued, & rehabilitated from neglectful owners who couldn’t care properly for there animals. Roosevelt stables nursed those horses back to peek health. Located right in F.D. Roosevelt State Park. the Stable is full of beautiful horse trails through the woods, & along the creek, with plenty of places to camp. They even have packages available for a overnight horseback camping experience, if you feel the need to be one with nature.

Once you get to Roosevelt Stables, the check in lodge has that beautiful rustic ranch look. Once you check in, they take you to the assembly area to join the rest of the riding group. They have a horse mounting platform that makes getting on the horses even easier, for those not used to mounting horses. The platform is elevated to just below ride height on the horse, a member of the Roosevelt staff will walk the horse right up to the edge of the platform. Then you simply pull up your good riding britches, step down into the saddle, & slide your feet into the stirrups (look around at your partner, tip your hat, use your deep voice, & greet them with “Howdy”).

Getting out on the trail

The trail is very scenic, & wound through a forest with gently sloping hills. The horses are well behaved. Not trying to buck the rider. You can tell the staff at Roosevelt Stables have been working hard with their horses. Making sure their well trained & taken care of. The horses march through the woods at a leisurely pace, to a symphony of hooves beating in rhythm upon the trail. The ride is quite relaxing, & well shaded, so it makes for a cool ride, even on a warm day. The birthday lady was really enjoying every second of the trail ride, & said next time she would be interested in a even longer horseback ride at the Stables.

Riding my noble steed, Big Mama. (Left)

At the trails end, the guides were more then happy to take pictures of you, & your group still mounted in the saddle, so you can always have fond memories of Roosevelt Stables to look back on. It’s a very good family outing, & grants you plenty of time bond with your horse (for the pony lovers out there). If your going to be anywhere in the vicinity of Roosevelt Stables. I highly recommend, calling & scheduling your trail ride. Enjoy!

THE WHITE HOUSE OF GEORGIA

Just a short 15 mile ride away from the Stables. In Warm Springs Georgia is a little slice of American history, nestled away neatly into the hills of Georgia. Roosevelt’s Little White House, a history museum, complete with a life like wax figure of the former President. It covers the entire life of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was the 32nd President of the United States of America. He was in office from March 4th, 1933 – April 12th, 1945.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wax figure.

The President was a strong man. Although ill, he refused to let the country pity him. With both legs being totally paralyzed, he fought to learn how to stand & walk short distances, with the help of iron leg braces & a cane. He never used his wheel chair in public, & with a helping hand he always stood upright when addressing the nation. Having took office in the midst of one of the most difficult times in our countries history, the Great Depression. He believed he needed to be a symbol of strength at a time, when the country needed it most.

The museum has a wall with a timeline covering Roosevelt’s life from childhood, to death. Right beneath it, is one of his wheelchairs, & the iron leg braces he used to learn how to stand.

Panorama of a timeline of the Presidents life.

Being the symbol of the free world, & having overcome such debilitating obstacles to get there. His story was known the world over. In a show of love, people from all around the globe sent the President canes to help him stand. He amassed a impressive cane collection in his lifetime. The museum has some of those canes gifted him on display.

The President’s cane collection

President Roosevelt visited Warm Springs Georgia, for the first time in 1924 for a polio treatment & fell in love with the place. He had a home built on Pine Mountain in 1932. He used it as his Presidential retreat, & it’s also the location in which he died of a Cerebral Stroke. He was still the active President of our country at the time of his death on April 12th, 1945. The home became known as the Little White House.

The Little White House (built in 1932)

Being a short distance away from the warm mineral springs, the namesake of the city. These are the very springs the President used to relax in as part of his treatment for polio (which is now thought to have been GBS) which stay at a constant 89 degrees Fahrenheit. It was located conveniently for Roosevelt’s needs. Inside you can see some of the model ships the President collected, being the descendant of an old seafaring family, he was a ship enthusiast.

The dining room & a model ship in the Little White House

There’s so much history about the life, & achievements of our 32nd President housed within the museum. There is so much to see from FDR’s antique 1938 Ford convertible, to his stage coach.

The FDR Memorial Fountain, at the start of the “Walk of Flags & Stones”

Be sure to let me know what you found interesting from your visit to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. if you haven’t been, & your looking for a weekend getaway, add this southern museum to your bucket list. It’s a must see for any history lover.

B-Day Dinner for 2

After a day filled with animals, & adventures. It was time to take the birthday lady out for a proper dinner. I booked a hotel room at the La Quinta Inn by Wyndham, located in Lagrange Georgia. Not far from Pine Mountain, Hamilton, & Warm Springs Georgia where our activities for the day were centered. Being only a 35 minute drive from the Little White House. It’s an excellent place to find lodging, with a great selection of amenities, food, & gas to fuel more explorations.

After checking into the room, we left to find dinner for the day. There’s a wide variety of restaurants located within walking distance of the La Quinta. We choose Longhorn Steakhouse, but in order to walk there, we had to pass a Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, Chick-fil-A, Burger King, & Sakura Sushi. Just to give you an idea of the selection available within walking distance, an excellent location indeed.

Cocktails with the Birthday Girl

The food was excellent, as to be expected from LongHorn Steakhouse. The staff was friendly, & the service was impeccable.

Grilled Pork chops, & fries, with a salad (Top). Grilled Salmon, on a bed of rice, with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (Bottom)

After finding out it was a birthday dinner, they brought the birthday lady a complimentary chocolate cake slice, topped with vanilla ice cream, & fudge drizzle. The waiters gathered around our table & song Happy Birthday to her, & she couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The spontaneous Gypsy Gift birthday present, of a weekend trip to Georgia, was a success!

THE ROVING GYPSY

Thanks for reading my Blog, I hope you enjoyed our adventure as much as we did. Like what you read, & want more content, or have suggestions? Follow, Share, comment, & let me know.