Our kids have seen their share of this beautiful country. They were still in diapers when we started traveling on a “steel horse,” and KK was barely a month old for her first plane ride. They’ve done mountains and prairies and of course, the ocean. They have considered at least 5 cities home, or a home away from home.

And don’t even get them started on Disney World, thank you.

Because we have a share in the Disney Vacation Club, KK and Randa have been to WDW an obnoxious number of times in their short lives. Their Daddy and I have fed their addiction happily. After all, the time share allows us to stay in amazing places for relatively low prices, and once you buy an annual pass and stretch it across several trips, and it’s never the same twice and…

Yes. But even so, the trip we were to make last week just didn’t make sense right now. Tickets are expensive and so is eating with Princesses… so we decided to postpone and do something different.

We did something totally different.

After a very specific internet search, we found a place that was affordable, simple, scenic, and would allow us to give the girls a first time experience we’d all been craving: a real horseback ride.

Our 3 nights and 2.5 days at Sunburst Stables flew by quickly, but were filled with big breakfasts, many animals to play with, snuggly movie time on the couch, books to read, NO CELLS OR INTERNET, feeding peacocks on the front porch, a total of 12 fish caught, laughing as we explored LAKE BURTON, and one unforgettable trail ride.

On our last night there, after the girls were already asleep in their sweet loft bedroom and Rod and I were re-watching a favorite movie (Dan In Real Life), we discovered a little friend scurrying through the kitchen.

A mouse.

I never saw him save for a blur, but I’m going to call him Mickey. It was good for us to discover a different kind of magic together.

IMG_3758Time to feed the peacocks!

KK's first fishKK’s first fish

Randa's first fishRanda’s first fish

their first cowboyMichael… their first time meeting a real cowboy :)


IMG_3760Take multimedia away, and your children might just spend an entire evening pretending to be Avengers and seeing how big they could make their hair…

Beautiful Lake Burton!

IMG_3681Just a swingin’

I absolutely fell in love with Dixie the Wonderful Stable Dog

IMG_3714For those of you who know Rod’s song… yes, the whole time they were doing thing,
I was singing, “I’m going fishin’ with the Fisher of Men…”

IMG_3677These little piggies…

IMG_3725The trail ride took us right past our cabin, aptly named “Horse Whisper.”

IMG_3683They’re better at conversation than at checkers… #lifeskills

IMG_3707One of these goats peed on me…

I will never, ever forget riding with her for the first time. Our horse was named Bo. He was a little stubborn and a lot of fun, just like his riders!

Their horse was named Nemo… surefooted and gorgeous like his riders.

Loved everything about our time together!

IMG_3726 IMG_3743

IMG_3737IMG_3719There are a few views that rival that of the ocean…