But everything in between is great!
The plan was for Alec, McKayla, Chandler and I (Shanley is at EFY) to spend a couple days at our friends' ranch. We'd relax and have a great time. We did but all did not go as planned.
It started off a bit rough. I was packing the trunk of the car and left the trunk open and 1 sleeping bag and 2 pillows out on the lawn while I went inside to finish the last minute stuff. I clearly did NOT think about the fact that our automatic sprinklers would kick on. So, I left with a bit of dampness on everything in the trunk and 1 wet sleeping bag and 2 wet pillows (they dried quickly once laid out at the ranch). Also helping us get off to a great start was Alec who was refusing to go. Finally, Alec and wet stuff was loaded and we were out the door.
Once there we had a great time!
Here's Alec on Vanilla (the horses were Chocolate and Vanilla - I rode Chocolate every time but have no picture of him). Isn't the scenery gorgeous?
McKayla, Zach, Abby, and I playing Rummy-O. We played lots of games - Skip-Bo, Pandemic, Monopoly, Zilch...
McKayla on Vanilla. She even got daring enough to gallop.
Chandler on Vanilla.
Cole, McKayla, Chandler, and Abby hiked to the cave (the hole seen above Abby's head). They actually found a mylar birthday balloon and the cool part about that is that it actually was Abby's birthday! (We even enjoyed birthday cake while there.)
We played Minute-To-Win-It games. I think everyone's favorite was "Face the Cookie". Who wouldn't love a game where you get to eat an Oreo (besides Oreo-hating me, of course)?
All that play wore them out! Jill and I got the bedrooms and the kids crashed on couches, lawn chairs, and the floor. Alec's snoring failed to wake them. Even the sunlight streaming in that morning failed to rouse them.
But, of course, in life everything can't be fun and games. The first night we went to drive down the road a bit where we could get cell phone service and our car wouldn't start - no matter what. Kevin dropped his flights the next day and he and my nephew, Josh (a certified mechanic) drove up to check it out (a 3 1/2 hour drive). A pin was sheared off on the timing belt (so it wouldn't turn) so Kevin and Josh drove another hour each way to pick up a U-Haul auto trailer so we could tow the car home (again a 3 1/2 hour ride - lots of driving for Kevin that day).
Still, it's hard to complain too much when:
*you're surrounded by that much beauty
*a ranch hand was at work and able to google U-Haul sites for us
*a U-Haul trailer was actually available
*Kevin was able to drop his flights even though it was last minute
*we got to see lots of antelope
*McKayla avoided stepping on a snake
*Kevin didn't have to go to Scout camp today so he can take care of the car
*we had a downhill slope to aid us in pushing the car onto the trailer
*we were able to pull it up the steep, rutted dirt hill by the ranch house
*we made it home safely
All in all - a great (though maybe expensive) trip!
11 hours ago