Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dixie Dude Ranch - 5/12/14 - 5/15/14

My hubby planned such a fun mini-vacay for us back in May!  We went to the Dixie Dude Ranch in Bandera, TX, and we had the absolute best time!  My sister-in-law and her family had gone several years ago and raved about how much fun they had.  Wade and I made a mental note that we would like to take the boys when they were old enough to enjoy it.  We decided that this May was the perfect time to take our little buckaroos to the Ranch!  :)

It thrilled me to no end to pack these five pairs of cowboy boots.  ;)

This was our little corral!  So cute!  It was perfect for our family.

We never left the ranch for the entire 3 days.  There were tons of things to do, and we never felt the need to leave!  We got to ride horses twice a day and there were scheduled entertainment events every night.  During any downtime, you could hike, fish, explore, play volleyball, play ping pong, practice lassoing, swim (it was too cold to swim while we were there), visit the little souvenir store, play board games in the lodge, etc.  The boys were in heaven and never once turned on anything electronic.  They were filthy dirty by the end of the day, and I LOVED it!  I was happy to wash clothes that were dirty from romping in the great outdoors.  :)

This city girl couldn't resist propping up her boots and chillin' by the pool.  Ha!

The first night's entertainment was a good ol' boy named Macon Dust that played the guitar for us.  The boys loved singing cowboy songs (which Macon Dust explained were very different than country songs). 
On Tuesday, we went for a hike after breakfast.  The farm dogs, Pearl and Bravo, came along to show us the lay of the land.

We got the fishing poles and went to the pond.  We didn't catch anything, but it sure was fun to try.
On Tuesday night, they had a huge bull that made an appearance.  They assured me that he was gentle, and even went so far as to let Owen hold the leash to prove that he was super docile.  Hmmm....

Wade tried to get Drew to give me a Hook 'Em hand signal.  Sweet Boy signed "I love you" instead.  That's my boy!

After some time with Casino the Bull, we roasted marshmallows by the campfire.
We were so surprised by the fact that there were lots of guests from other countries.  Clayton became fast friends with this couple from London and another couple from Australia.
Clayton was a fan of lasso practice.  He looks pretty legit, huh?
Horseback riding was the favorite activity for all of us!  We had the best time getting to know the horses and choosing our favorites.

Wade & Owen on Ruthie (the only mule)
Drew rode Buddy all week, and did so well riding!  The website said that kids had to be 6 to ride alone, but they said that Drew seemed old enough to handle it.  He listened well and kept control of the horse.  We were so proud of him!

The scenery was gorgeous!  It was hard to believe that we were in Texas.
Clayton rode Little Boy all week.  He loved that horse!

Drew found the perfect Hide and Seek spot - it took Clayton forever to find him.

We went for a hayride on our last night at the Ranch.  The owner's son pulled a the trailer full of hay behind this old farm truck.  At one point (when we were miles away from the main house), the truck stopped and Clay's son couldn't get it started.  We were stuck in the middle of nowhere!  Fortunately, he finally got the truck to start, but we were sweating it for awhile (he was too!).

The food was super duper yummy - stick 'em to your ribs country grub!  We ate in the lodge with all of the other guests.  Mealtime was always a fun part of the day!
On our last ride before we went home, Owen fell asleep in his Daddy's arms.  Homeboy was OUT!  Poor guy...  He had played hard for several days and the rhythmic movement of the horse was enough to put him to sleep.  Zzzzz...
I rode Hammer all week, but got to ride this beautiful Palomino horse on the last ride.  He was such a pretty horse!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Dixie Dude Ranch!  We started talking about when we could go back on the car ride back home.  Ha!  It was the neatest place!  We made some great family memories and enjoyed every minute of our time in the country.  We will definitely return to the DDR!


Lone Star Family said...

How fun!!

Matt and Cindy Fleharty said...

That boot pic is a framer! Love y'all!

Darren Lanphere said...

The photo of the cowboy boots made my day! Well, it did until I saw the rest of the pictures. It is always great for families to bond and spend time with each other for during these times we discover how much our family means to us. It was nice seeing how your family had fun in the ranch. And your son Owen even falling asleep in his dad's arms while riding a horse. Thank you for sharing your family's precious moments with us. Have more fun y'all!

Darren Lanphere @ MirrRanchGroup.com