When planning what we wanted to do with the family this summer, we asked the kids to determine what it was they wanted to do. The idea was to get them to research some cities around us, and have them plan the activities. As usual, the boys wanted no part of that – they love sitting on the computer, but not to do things Mom and Dad want them to do… but our youngest and only girl, came up with plenty of ideas. We asked her to narrow them down, and she settled on horseback riding.
I did more research on what areas around us have guided trail riding, as well as a hotel nearby where I could get an employee discount. Springfield, MO seemed to be a great option – and while researching other activities, I came across a few ziplining courses in the same area. I signed us up!
Since both activities were near Branson, MO, an hour from Springfield, we decided to do them both in the same day.
The horseback riding was first. The guide set us up on horses that she thought would be a great fit, and off we went. I was behind my two boys (sadly, our oldest son had to work, so was not able to go with us), and my daughter and husband were behind me. “Brownie” was an awesome horse – responding quickly to anything I asked. My daughters horse… not so responsive… he did only what he wanted to – stopping to eat, walking slow, oblivious to what Maria was asking him to do, but she never gave up, despite a slight scare when he tripped going down a hill. Overall, it was an awesome ride through a beautiful, woodsy area.
After our ride, we went to a 50’s diner in Branson for burgers and ice cream, and then headed off to zipline.
We all were a little nervous at first, especially after climbing the narrow, spiral, metal stairs to the top of the first tower. But it was so exhilirating zipping through the trees, that we couldn’t wait for the next tower. The kids were awesome at it – they were able to stay straight, and stop in time, and never had to be rescued. I, on the other hand, spun around a lot, and had to be rescued once – against my wishes. After all, they had taught us how to self-rescue ourselves, and I wanted to do it, so I kinda let our guide know how unhappy I was about that. He took it all in great stride and let me know that on the next tower, he’d be sure not to save me. I didn’t need to be rescued that time, as I made it all the way to the next tower, but the following one, I spun around quite a few times, losing momentum, so ended up stopping just short of the tower. I put out my hand to stop him from coming out to get me – then turned myself around and pulled myself to the tower exactly how they showed us to. Fun!!
The very last tower, we were able to go upside down if we wanted. I tried, but never could get upside down, so I just spun instead. (That was different – lol) But my husband and son were able to and loved it! We were all hot and tired by the time we finished all the towers, but the experience was amazing. As parents, it was just as exciting to see our kids having a blast at something that wasn’t computer or x-box related.
And…. better yet, they are looking for places closer to home where they can ride horses, or zipline or do similar activities. Now THAT is a successful vacation. 🙂