Our room started waking up at 8:30. The enthusiasm level was high in our room, as the kids and I were going on a horseback ride this morning.
Breakfast was enjoyed on the outdoor patio at KK & PK’s room. Our group’s lawn chairs and ice chests were now expanding out from the patio, onto the sidewalk, and beyond. Anybody walking down to the lobby now had to take a wide berth around our party.
We had a 10:00 reservation at Sequoyah Stables for the three kids and I. Steph volunteered for the role of official photographer. Mallory is horse-crazy and it is due to her that we were riding horses today. This was Marissa’s first time to go on a full-fledged horseback ride, although she has sat upon a horse before. Miles signed up to go, but he is rather indifferent to the whole experience. I was looking forward to the ride, as it has been over a year since I have been on a horse.
There were about a dozen of us that were on the 50 minute trail ride. We had some great horses, and the most excitement was when Marissa dropped her reins and one of the wranglers had to come pick it up for her. That was accompanied by a “Hold on to this. Don’t drop it again.”
Marissa was the first one on her horse, and it was named “Hollywood”. Mallory was next, on “Josey”. Miles followed on “Duke” and I saddled up last, on “Sam”. We originally planned to put a helmet on Marissa, but the staff and other riders promised us that the horses were so tame that this would not be necessary.
We had planned on going on the trail ride before we left, so we had packed long pants and tennis shoes for everybody. I think we were the only family on the ride who was not in shorts and flip flops, so I would like to think we gave the impression that we knew what we were doing.
When the ride was over, our ride (Stephanie) back to the lodge was not there yet, so we took a 20 minute walk back instead. Upon our return, Miles and Mallory made a beeline for the Rec Center so that they could sign up for a Wii bowling tournament that afternoon.
The rest of the day was pure recreation! We arrived at the pool around Noon, and had our choice of the lounge chairs. The crowd was minimal, as most of the hotel guests had checked out from their weekend stay. Our lounge chairs were, at most, 50 feet from the overflowing patio, so we had easy access to food & beverage all day long.
At one point in the afternoon, all of the adults except Erin had a swimming race in the pool. Miles was the starter and official judge. That was a very neat experience, that we had the pool that much to ourselves, and we were able to swim five wide across the pool having a great time!
During the afternoon, the kids had retired to KK & PK’s room, where a Phase 10 game transpired. The Wii bowling tournament kicked off at 4:00, and we showed up a few minutes early. Miles and I played ping pong for a while, but there were other options as well. The lodge had a great rec center, staffed by several teenagers, that also had a pool table, dance floor, arcade video games, a dance floor, and a big screen tv hooked up to the Wii. Outside, there was tetherball and shuffleboard.
The bowling tournament did not last long, and Miles was proud to call himself the champion when it was done. Mallory made a new friend and they were painting each other’s faces. I jumped in and Mallory and I painted a star on each other’s face. Marissa also got a star on her cheek.
Not too long later, Miles and Mallory checked out some tennis rackets from the rec center and played a little tennis on the lakeside tennis courts. That outing did not last very long, as Miles told us “Mallory is not very good”.
Sometime in the late afternoon / early evening, Marissa and I went back to our hotel room, took a shower, and took a nap. This is definitely a low-impact vacation.
Around 7:30, we all reconvened at the patio and we grilled brats & hot dogs while we sat around and remarked about how the place was nearly empty on Sunday night.
After dinner, most of us loaded into KK’s truck, and we took a wildlife viewing drive. The deer are thick at this park, and it was not uncommon to see a dozen or more congregated together, just off the road. Altogether, we estimate saw over 70 deer during our short trip, as well as a substantial number of Canadian geese. This was a very relaxing way to wind down.
A few folks in our group decided they had not been in the water enough today, so a little after 9:00, the kids and Scott jumped back in the pool and splashed around until the pool closed down at 10. After a quick pow-wow regarding our plans for the next day, we retired to our rooms. Our unit has two full-size beds, plus a cot that we brought along. Tonight was musical beds, as everybody switched beds except me. Miles and I bunked tonight, as we wanted to read for a while. We put our books down around 11:00, feeling exhausted, and looking forward to another day.