This past weekend I jetted off to Tuscon, Arizona with Mom and Dad for a few days of R&R at the Tanque Verde Ranch! We were technically there for an office Christmas party, but we filled the rest of our days with jeep tours, horseback riding, and evenings by the fire.
Our beautiful adobe-style abode was complete with a dining area, living room, and fireplace. And we even had pile of logs out back so we could make our fires everyday!
Our first morning on the ranch was bright and sunny, the perfect time for an open jeep tour. My mom set up a 10:00am drive with Bob from Trail Dust Off Road Tours, and we spent the next three hours bumpin’ along the foothills learning about the Sonoran Desert.
Bob was so knowledgeable about the desert plants and animals, I felt like I was back on a science field trip (and I loveee science). He even taught us about cactus fruit and we ATE SOME! All caps = really excited to eat cactus fruit
And at the end of the tour, Bob brought out his friend, Honey, who I got to hold. I’ve never been fond of things with lots of legs (I’m still not), but I thought “Why not!” #adventurous. Not pictured: Bob put Honey on my shoulder and I started squirming like a 5-year old.
Day two was our horseback riding day! Mom opted out because she has an injured back and the bouncing wouldn’t be a good idea for her, so Dad and I hopped on Rocky and JD and headed out on the trails. This was my sixth ride in my life, I think, and each time I go I feel more at ease on the horse. (LOL so type A that I don’t like things that could potentially have control over me aka a large mammal…but I’m better about it now)
Look at me, I’m a damn horse whisperer.
After an afternoon of riding, it was time for the ranch BBQ! No BBQ is complete without strings of lights, picnic tables, fire pits, and live music… and we had it ALL!
The food was amazing, there was a cowboy with a guitar serenading us all night *swoon*, we were surrounded by friends, and were laughing all night.
But I think my favorite parts of the weekend were the times I spent outside, just sitting in the silence, looking up at the night sky. Living in cities like New York and Las Vegas means bright lights and dirty skies, so whenever I get out of town and have the chance to see the stars I take my time and take them all in. My Dad and I even pulled out our Stargaze app to find some constellations.
If you haven’t visited the Southwest yet, it should definitely be on your list!