Mike and I spent a wonderful day with our friends Howard and Linda Payne. Howard and Linda came into our lives in August 2005 when they had just started full-timing and we were just thinking about it. They were camped near Birmingham, Ala and we decided to journey over and meet these two. We sat and talked for a couple hours that afternoon and as with most full-timers/Rvers we had made new friends. These two meant so much to Mike and I during a really dark time in our lives. They were there and it meant a lot. We will never forget their visit to FDR in April 2006 where we sat together and they allowed us to cry. …in fact I believe they joined us. Today was different!! Today we talked, laughed and enjoyed the beautiful azaleas at Callaway Gardens. We greeted each other with hugs and picked up the conversations as though we had never been apart.
We began by having a good Mexican lunch at San Marcos. As many of you know, San Marcos is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. We met Howard and Linda around 11:30. We ate and talked until around 1:30.
We went from San Marcos to the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl. This is the newest azalea area at Callaway and it is bordered by a lake and at the far end sits the chapel. Very pretty and peaceful. From this point we journeyed to the Overlook area. This is the oldest of the azalea areas and the paths wind around and around the most beautiful azaleas in all different colors. There are many Japanese Maples in both the dark red and bright green colors. To make the day even better the sun decided to shine and it became a beautiful sunny day.
As we walked through the area Linda gave me a quick lesson on identifying different bird songs. They pointed out different birds to us as we walked about the area. I would love to take a few hikes with these two…..I could learn so much about birding from them.
After finishing our tour of the azaleas Linda had the great idea to get some ice cream. Our first choice of places was closed so we went further down the street to Lubell’s Ice Cream Parlor. We each got our favorite flavor and enjoyed the moment. What a great idea Linda!!!! There is nothing better than a good cup or cone of ice cream, good friends and good conversation.
All too soon the afternoon was over and it was time to say “so long” to our friends. We brought Howard and Linda back to their car and did our traditional so long hugs. It was a wonderful day with good friends. Thanks Howard and Linda for venturing our way to camp for a few days and spending some time with us.