Save a Horse….

From Sept 9th-

Our first night sleeping in the yurts didn’t have nearly enough sleep in it.  It seemed to take everyone a while to fall asleep, and it’s been a LONG time since I’ve tried to sleep in a room with that many people tossing and turning and creeky bunk beds.  We’d all forgotten to bring a white noise machine and it was just hard to sleep.  I’m not sure what time I finally fell asleep, but it seemed like it hadn’t been long when one of the girls had an accident in her bunk, resulting in pretty much everyone waking up while she swapped beds, changed, and then a lot of us ended up getting flashlights and taking the walk outside to use the bathroom.

We had a packed schedule the next day and after a really, really bad breakfast we went walking around to explore camp.  We had certain times for our group to ride horses, and then within the overall schedule various times for activities.

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We got our first glimpse of the lake.

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The famous Widji stage where they sing lots of camp songs and see various skits.

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We were able to do the tie dye craft before our horse riding time.

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Our first horse session was an arena ride.  They went over the basics of telling your horse commands and making it stop, go, turn and she even made us do twirls and some other nonsense.  This was my first time ever on a horse and MAN they are big and strong and probably shouldn’t be ridden by humans.  My horse, Eduardo, had a distaste for the hot sun.  I can’t say that I blame him, I’d prefer the shade, too.  Somehow I was always the lead horse for our group of 4 (me, Lilli, Livvy, and Jen) and he’d stop in the shade and the other horses would pile up behind us.  Basically, horses are bigger and stronger and can do whatever they want, regardless of how hard I pull or jerk them around.  I’d say during the arena ride I decided I’ll never be a cowgirl.

I only got this pic after I was off my horse, since most of the rest of the time I was pretty certain I was about to die.

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The girls in front of the lake.

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After a really, really pretty bad lunch (at which point one mom in our group ran out to the Kroger a few miles away and bought us some fruit and other snacks to get us through the rest of the weekend) it was time for our trail ride.  Lilli’s horse was super cute and really sweet.  She had a good little horse.

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This time I was on Dubs.  They call him Dubs because he likes to shake his head a lot like he’s listening to music.  Great.

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Me and old Dubs.  It’s also amazing how sore I already was from the one morning ride.  This time we went out on trails around the lake, all in a line, all 8 of us.  These horses could walk these trails in their sleep and even though we’re supposed to tell them what to do basically all you have to do is just sit there and hold on.  The only problem is that they want to pass each other and are impatient to get back to the stable and not have people on them.  Some of the horses wanted to stop and eat the trees, so we were supposed to keep them from doing that.  Good luck!

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We survived the trail ride and then it was time for Archery! Archery was SO much fun! After a quick lesson we all got several turns to shoot, and I discovered I’m actually really good at it and enjoyed it. It was a nice calming activity and really relaxing.

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And then – banana boat time! We’ve always heard about the famous banana boats and the girls were so excited.  Jenn and Sofia rode in the speed boat instead of the boat.  I had no idea what to expect until they started going.  Basically the speedboat pulls the banana boat as fast as possible while slinging you around and you have to hold on for dear life.  It was chilly that afternoon and MAN that water was cold.  I felt like I was back on the Niagara falls boat ride.  It was NUTS.  At this point, I think Lilli was getting really tired – we’d gone nonstop all day and were up to over 7 miles just walking on our feet! It ended up being her largest steps day on her steps tracking watch.   I didn’t even realize she wouldn’t pose for the picture before we got started.  Once one of the girls fell off she raised her hand to get off the banana boat and get in the speedboat, so we only did part of the ride in back.  I didn’t mind getting up in the larger boat AT ALL.

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After dinner we went back down to the lake for sunset and a bonfire with Smores.

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At the bonfire, we gave the girls all the letters we’d gotten from important people in their lives, and they surprised us with a letter they’d ridden us the night before during separate Mom-Daughter time.  Lilli was so surprised by all her letters and loved them all! She had letters from her teacher, her grandparents, me, her Aunt Nancy and Mrs Stephanie (Sofia’s mom and their Girl Scout leader), surprised each girl with a letter, too.

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When we got back they had snacks and a movie for all the girls in the lodge before bedtime.  It was a nice and relaxing way to wind down from a crazy busy day of activity!

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Meanwhile…..back at home Abbi and Brent had some Icees and a visit to the playground.

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After tackling some projects around the house they went to dinner at Noodles.

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And then did her favorite thing – sit in cars at CarMax! What else could she ask for on her weekend away from Lilli and I?

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