(AKA, City Slickers.)
By the end of the day on May 26, my husband and I have one goal that needs to be accomplished:
Our summer vacation.
We still need to figuring out the when and the where (the how is a) asking for time and b) shelling out money and traveling). We brainstormed about it a touch yesterday afternoon. I told him that I wanted a more active vacation with mountain scenery, but with the opportunity for some kind of spoiling for ourselves (nice hotel, spa, what have you). He’s for an active vacation but doesn’t want to drive a lot day to day.
Before we got married and before we lived in DC, the vacations we took were road trips in the southwest, where we headed from park to national park. We found the cheapest hotels; our biggest splurges were the Mexican restaurants we hit every night. Breakfast, to my dismay, was always a bagel, and lunch was usually a picnic put together from a quick morning run to the grocery store. The day was spent hiking, driving to hikes, or putting together a plan for the next day’s large hike. It was a lot of fun (save for the store-bought bagel — I love breakfast).
After we got married, we did one last trip like that to the California desert parks. We enjoyed ourselves a lot, but our honeymoon was next. Cancun and a resort we fell in love with — we’ve been four times already. And after our honeymoon? We both got injured in different ways that impeded our ability to hike long distances.
We’re both much better now, though, and are looking for something a little more challenging than lying on the beach. However, as I said, I need a tiny bit of luxury; I don’t want to go back to the cheap hotel/sad breakfast days, and my husband wants to avoid the long-distance driving. So after speaking last night, I tooled around the series of tubes and tried to come up with a Western vacation that was active enough to keep us moving but gave us the opportunity to dial it back on a bit on some days.
Lo and behold, I stumbled across the all-inclusive guest dude ranch.
I will say, holy shit, these are expensive. Much more than what we paid in Cancun for a top resort. But they have access to a lot of things we enjoy: hiking, fishing, swimming. We’d be able to take a couple of horseback riding classes and mountain bike. All meals, usually farm-to-table, are included, but alcohol is not — makes sense if you want to keep your butt moving the next day. Driving would be limited to get to the ranch — they’re usually a few hours away, but the husband was amenable to that.
I feel a little guilty at the idea of not planning a vacation similar to the above without the all-inclusive expense. But I kind of want to do this so I can try new things like the horseback riding. Let’s be clear: I don’t want to go to a working ranch, but I would like to go somewhere where I’m encourage to try new activities but have the option of sticking to what I want to do. Also, I just think it would be fun to try something like this once.
Nothing’s final. But I’m leaning toward this.