This was a really cool spider that wouldn't let us take it's picture. It kept coming up as this bright light. Pretty clever guy.
"I think we're lost?" "Which way do we go?"
Self pic before our hike.
"Roses in our Garden" Jim's anniversary gift to me to add to my Willow Tree collection.
We just got back from a long wonderful weekend away for our 10th anniversary. We went to an incredible resort in the Ouachita National Forest and Lake area in Arkansas, and it was great. We're already planning to go again with some friends. It was relaxing to be kidless for 4 days. We had great family (thanks Tallmans) and friends (thanks Williams) taking excellent care of our children while we were gone.
We had planned to hike, play tennis (not that either of us play), relax at the spa, go boating to our own island. However, our plans changed a bit due to weather, missing equipment, and an extra long hike. But, no loss. I loved the weather! It was nice and cool, rained a little, and overcast. No humidity! That was the best. That's relaxing weather for me, especially for fall. And let's not forget to mention the beautiful colors! We also met some really fun people.
We left Thursday night, stayed in a hotel along the way; got up the next morning and headed to check-in at the resort. We got there earlier Friday than we thought we would, but thank goodness our room was ready for us to check in. After check-in, we drove into town for a few necessities and checked out town. Then we checked out the resort area. Then, we just sat in our condo and enjoyed....dare I say it.....SILENCE! Ahhhhh! And we enjoyed a wonderful seafood meal cooked by my chef of a husband. Yum!
Saturday, I slept in. Jim has a hard time sleeping in, poor guy. After going back into town to pick up items we should have gotten on our first run, we decided to check out a part of the Vista Ridge trail. We hiked 4 miles. On this part of the trail, we were passed by lots of mountain bikers who were participating in an adventure race that was going on the same weekend. They all looked really tired. We found out later after talking to the coordinator of the race, that the biking part was the last part of the race. Before that, they had been running, canoeing, and hiking off trail with only a compass and map. The entirety of the race was anywhere from 8 to 14 hours.
After getting back to the condo, I enjoyed a nice hot bath (which I don't generally get to enjoy at home). Then we went to the resort restaurant and enjoyed a yummy steak dinner. Then back to the condo for a movie. And I talked Jim into coloring my hair. Never done that before. He's was quite funny.
Sunday morning we got up, ready for our longer hike. This hike ended up being 3.5 miles/2 hours longer than we planned, due to someone's error in reading the map (and can I say, it WASN'T me...miracle). Neither of us cared much though. We actually got quite a good laugh from it. The end result....13 miles of hiking beautiful forest and streams. It's a good thing (1) we packed our good hiking boots for the trip, (2) I didn't sleep in that morning and got a good start time, (3) we packed plenty of power bars and water in the backpack. Our feet were barking at the end. When we got back, I took another nice hot bath. Jim was so hungry he cooked while I bathed. (Yes, I do actually cook for our family. Jim likes to do the cooking on vacation....and I don't argue). So, we enjoyed another of his wonderful meals. Then, because we're both football fans, we watched the Sunday night football game.
Monday morning, we got up, bodies screaming. Poor Jim had blisters on his feet. I went down to the spa for a massage, only to find out they didn't have any openings until 3:00pm.....we had to check out by 11:00am. Lesson learned.....make reservations. So, we packed up, turned in our tennis raquets and keys, loaded up the van (along with the boat we'll use next time as well), and headed home. The kids were great when we picked them up and were great the rest of the night. That made it a nice transition back into the swing of things. Oh how we never take advantage of our time away!