Monday, August 24, 2015

Montana - Days 3 & 4

Welcome back!  If you missed my post about our first few days at Flathead Lake, you can see it here.

Day 3 was going to be a busy, Brian, Danny, and Sally were all heading out to go horseback riding!  I will pause here a minute and toot my own horn, giving myself full credit for this being my idea.  A few weeks before the trip, Brian and I had a text exchange during the day that looked like this:

Me: Would you want to go horseback riding while we're in Montana?
Brian: sure, that would be fun!
Me: Great! I'll look into some places.  We can pretend like we're on a date on the Bachelor, this is so one of the kinds of things they'd do on there!  Think we can arrive by helicopter?
Brian: Please don't try to relate this to the bachelor.
Me: I really hope you give me a rose at the end of the date.
Brian: We're done with this conversation.
Brian: This behavior is unacceptable.  No rose for you.

Whatever, Brian!  Ashley I says ,your loss!!
 Anyway-once I promised to not make references all day about "taking our love to new heights as we explore the mountains" and "getting in touch with our fears", we booked a trip to a ranch! We went with Artemis Acres and it was a great experience!


We got signed in, hopped on our horses, and we were off!!  There were about 10 of us in the group and we had signed up for the 2 hour session.  We had a great time, but in hindsight, I might have gone with the 1 hour session!  Don't get me wrong, the view from the top of where we went was beautiful (and that would have been the downside to the one hour, we wouldn't have gone up as high) but man is it painful riding those things!  I just couldn't get comfortable on my horse for the last 45 minutes or so.  It didn't help that there are raging fires all over Montana right now and it was SO dry, even drier than usual, according to the guides.  So not only was the hot sun beating down on us, but the dust was kicking up everywhere.  Even my poor horse was struggling, he kept wheezing!


Despite the heat and dry conditions, we really did have a great time and I'm so glad we went!!  After we left there, we were starving and headed to a local brewery for some lunch; we spotted this outside of the restaurant, so of course these two had to get their picture :)


After that quick photo shoot, it was back to the lakehouse...and time to cool off!!  I had not been in the lake the day before because it felt FRIGID to touch with just my feet getting in and out of a kayak and the outside temp hadn't been as hot.  But after baking in the sun on those horses, I was more motivated to jump in!

Me, Liam, and Nana took the plunge can see my reaction to the temperature of the water in the 2nd picture.  Yeah, it felt just as cold as I had expected it to.


 I kept my adventurous streak going and tried out paddle boarding for the first time...success!!

We hung out the rest of the day, enjoyed a yummy dinner, and then more s'mores of course!



Funny note about the picture of Liam and Nana playing sorry...he became OBSESSED with that game during the week.We have it at home and he'd played it before, but for whatever reason he became addicted on vacation.  The first thing he'd do in the morning is grab the game and stalk anyone who was already awake and beg them to play :)  Liam still has trouble pronouncing some letters and "R" happens to be one of those, so whenever he'd send another player back to home, he'd yell "SOWWY!" which became the catchphrase of the week.

The next day, we didn't have any specific plans, which was nice after being gone much of the morning horseback riding the day before. The little fish were in the water pretty much all day!


Nana and PopPop gave paddleboarding a try, too!!


We had a bald eagle sighting that afternoon:

 Liam fell into a little routine during the week where he'd fall asleep everyday around 4 and sleep almost until dinner time :)  It worked out well for the week (though it was harder for him to adjust to the time change back home, I think!) because without that nap, he would have fallen apart by dinner...and getting that extra rest allowed him to stay up later and be able to shovel s'mores in every night.  It was a win-win for everyone. Even Jake took a break from the water nearly every afternoon, and hung out in the chair pictured below....he definitely asked if he could take the chair home as his souvenir!


One more note to round out this post,: when we were done for that day, Brian showered first and got dressed while I was in the shower and went outside...I showered, got dressed (without having seen him) then headed outside where we quickly learned that we looked like we should be coordinating models for a Gap ad.  Loved it. The first is our "aww, we're cute" pose....

...and the 2nd we were instructed to make our best duck face/jersey shore pose.  This is what we came up with:
Nailed it.

That's a wrap for days 3&4! Peace out!

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