Better than Arkansas

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Mar 18, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I came to a revelation yesterday – before when I said I wanted to go camping, I meant this. A place full of planned activities, where you sleep in an air-conditioned room and have tons of nice people all around you. Where all the food is prepared and someone rings a bell when it is time to come eat. (Actually they ring a bell as a 30 min warning and then again when it is time to come into the dining hall.) J

At breakfast yesterday, we signed up for a little later horseback ride because a bunch of our new friends were departing before lunch, and the ranch wanted to work them in before they left. So we said goodbye to Allie and Carter and Cameron and their parents, and then we went on a hike. The ranch Labradors joined us. There are four of these big yellow labs laying around the ranch sleeping in the sun, but anytime you go on a walk, at least one of them goes with you. We had Sancha and Zoro (I think) – they are really funny because they herd you all together and then run ahead and then wait until you show up. We met another new family on the trail, and Zoro (by some mutual agreement with his sister) stayed with us and Sancha went with them. It was just a short hike but I think we may try it again today before leaving.

Our ride was great and this time Grandma Lucy went – she was on Bob and did fine, had a blast, loved it and will not be doing it again. HAHAHA. Seriously tho – she did enjoy herself – the scenery is really nice up in the hills and each ride has been on a different trail which has kept it interesting. Mom did make the mistake of telling Lucy Lin that she was going to need help to know what to do when riding. So the whole trip Lucy Lin would tell Grandma Lucy, "lean forward we are going up a hill," or “grandma, put your reins in front of the saddle horn.” ;)

Lucy Lin was on a horse called Floppy and Julie is still loving Popeye. I was riding Brownie again and Kelly was on Buckshot - a horse that does not like other horses in front or behind him. Which I think is a pretty tough life for a line horse. Kelly had good control and like wrangler Joe says “if after an event, you are still on top – everything is good.” Because of Buckshot's orneriness, Kelly and I got to trot a little and are considering paying for an extra session of fast riding – all of our people who did it seemed to think it was worth the money. I am not sure my butt thinks it is worth the money tho – I am sooooo sore.

Right after our ride was lunch (chili mac and corn) and after that Kelly and Julie had their picture taken. They have this professional photographer that comes out every couple of days and takes some really great shots of you on your horse, on the trail and then around the ranch. Lucy Lin and mom and I got ours done Saturday morning but then he left before Kelly and Julie got here. So I was glad to see him back. The pictures are WONDERFUL – I will be uploading a bunch of them with this post.

After pictures, we had our ride and on this one Julie got to ride right behind Brandy, which she loved. She is doing so great with her horse. Lucy was behind Julie on Blaze and Blaze is kinda poky. Which for the record is fine by me, since she looks so little sitting on top of him! I was right behind Lucy for the first time and it was so great seeing her ride. Anyway, Blaze was lagging behind and Lucy had been kicking him and the wrangler Justin told her to kick harder and she did about three times in a row and he trotted. Her smile was so huge and Brandy told her it was a big deal to get Blaze to trot. That she must be a real cowgirl now. I am pretty sure it made Lucy’s trip. However she spent the rest of the ride kicking poor Blaze, so I don’t think we will be see a repeat.

After our ride we let the girls go outside and play for a while and then we played games and colored in the lodge until dinner. The constant excitement is starting to wear on Lucy, she is just going so hard and now she is crashing sooner. Julie is holding up great. For dinner we had excellent chicken fried steak and some sort of yummy white rice. We are on food overload at this point because we don’t usually eat 3 huge meals a day. And we are active, but not that active!

After dinner today they offered a storyteller who told some really cute stories and then sang some cowboy songs at the campfire. Every night they build this giant campfire and put out some 2-pronged metal “sticks” and marshmallows and everyone roasts marshmallows at their own pace in the evening – the girls are loving that. Also that storyteller was a bit of an animal lover and he had rescued 2 baby squirrels and the girls got to hold them – they were so cute, and they had bonded with this guy – they rode around and slept in his 2 shirt pockets.

We turned in early and are going to be getting up early so that we can get the car loaded. Check-out is at 11, but they will let us stay for lunch. We are sad to be leaving, but I am for sure going to be coming back. This has been an awesome vacation. 
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Karen on

The pictures are amazing. I am jealous, and REALLY missing my kid... Please tell Julie I love her.

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