Girls Only Trip - Day Two, Part Two

After a long day at the zoo, we returned to the hotel to relax for a minute before heading out for the evening festivities. The girls relaxed by swimming in the pool during a downpour. Me and Aunt Vicky did something a little less ambitious (like watch the girls out the window).

We were scheduled to go on a moonlit horseback ride. The rain made me a little nervous, but the horse people hadn't called to cancel. We stopped for a quick bite at Pizza Hut (pay no attention to the chicken). The girls were mesmerized by the rain - torrential downpours on one side of the restaurant, no rain at all on the other. It was pretty weird.

About 45 minutes from New Stanton is Rolling Hills Ranch. When we arrived, the weather was absolutely, perfectly beautiful.

After seeing a woman thrown from her horse (and almost kicked in the head) last year on our Girls Only Trip, I insisted everyone wear helmets. Aunt Vicky was resistant (she's like that), but eventually we were ready to go.

I forget how many horses they have on the farm, but there were at least 45 people there for the moonlight rides. I've never seen anything like it. They picked your horse based on your size. All of the horses were pretty tame (kinda like riding a carousel).

Zoe (the professional) was the first one on board.

Maddie was second. If you asked Maddie, she'll tell you that horses are her passion. However, once she gets on that horse, she's very serious and looks like she's having a horrible time. I'm not really sure how to take that. But, anyway......

As always, I brought up the rear. It was a beautiful ride. We started at dusk, and were able to appreciate how beautiful the farm was. As the sun set, there were some amazing views. After dark, they had the wooded part of the trail lit up with tiki lights. From the pasture, you could see the entire city of Pittsburgh lit up. I keep saying that it was beautiful because I have no better word to describe it. If I could've pried my hands off the horses saddle, I would have taken some pictures.

It was a funny ride. There were people there with all levels of experience. A few people were clearly frightened of their horses, and you could hear them screaming periodically because the horse moved a step or two off course.

My horse was a little stubborn. Any time I tried to steer, he shook his head violently as if to say "Lady! I've done this a million times. I think I know where I'm going. Please leave me alone to do my job!!" At the end of the ride, he just wanted to run to the barn. That was almost fun.

After the ride, they take all the horses into the barn to get the saddles and stuff off, and to give them a drink. Then, they open the barn doors and let the horses stampede to the pasture. It was an amazing sight. It reminded me of that Disney movie - Spirit - when the horses ran free. It was funny to see them drop to the ground and roll in the dust!! I didn't know horses could do that! (Yep - shows you what I know).

After the horses, we went on a hayride to a campfire in the middle of the ranch.

Once at the campfire, we were served dinner. Ribs, potato salad, pasta salad and rolls. Delicious!

(Yes, I know that I said we ate dinner at Pizza Hut. Pizza was at 5 and the ribs were more of a midnight snack!).

For dessert, we roasted marshmallows around the fire.

Some folks stayed a little longer, but the girls were actually tired at this point and ready to go home. The girls were asleep by the time we got to the hotel. I think they wanted us to carry them in. Once we were in our room, everyone fell asleep immediately. We had exactly 6 hours to sleep before our next adventure!


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