I hope everyone had a wonderful Happy New Years Eve and day!
We have been super busy, hence the bad blogging I could be accused of. We were away and don't have a portable, so I had to wait to get home before I could jump on the computer.
This will probably be a long post, so sit back with a cold drink of your choice and enjoy.
Tuesday morning came and nobody wanted to jump out of bed. We got a late start to the day. It was made worse by the fact that we had not packed to go away at all. It was a morning peppered with annoyance. I was overwhelmed at the sheer amount of stuff that still needed to be done. We finally got our acts together and headed out at 1:30 pm. We had a fairly easy drive there. Ping was awake for awhile, but then fell asleep. I took the opportunity to sleep as well with my fuzzy u shaped pillow. We temporarily got lost in NY, but only for a short period of time. The directions were a little hazy. We arrived at the ranch, checked in and grabbed our luggage. We headed for our room, our little base camp for days! We walked in, threw our stuff on the bed. Within moments, I asked my dear hubby if we could leave. I offered to drive us home. Just turn around and check our asses back out. He said no! See I wasn't expecting a high class hotel. I was expecting clean and decent though. This place was NOT that. For those of you who know me, you know I can be a bit snobby about stuff. This was one of those times. Personally, I thought the room was a freaking dump! Bill called it rustic. HELL NO, hardly rustic. Rustic can be done well. This was dumpsville. I was afraid. I felt dirty instantly. Bill immediately started to unpack. I begged and pleaded to go home, but Bill wasn't budging! I asked him to at least leave the stuff in the suitcase. I didn't want my stuff to be burned after leaving. Again I was met with opposition. So Bill unpacked. Thanks hon!
Shortly after settling in at the Bates hotel, we went to dinner. We were assigned a table. Everyone is. We sat down in the dining room and was greeted by our waiter. Never did get his name. He was an absolute smuck! He couldn't get an order straight to save his freaking life. We had to keep asking over and over again for things like bread plates, a drink, a straw. At some point, I asked him if he wanted to write it all down as it can be overwhelming. He said he didn't need to. Really pal? Bullshit. You are indeed not good at your job! Ping had chicken fingers. They supposedly do not have sauce. They do. I got mozzerella sticks. Bill got chicken. I told him I felt like cattle. The food wasn't of the best quality. We ate since we were starving and then headed to our room. Shortly after, we ventured out for the show that was at 9:00 pm. We went to what is called the Bullroom. It should have been called the freaking FREEZER! Surely we were at the North Pole. It was so damn cold. Ping was all over the map crazy, so we left and went to our room. I was excited though. The faster we got back to our room, the sooner I could crawl into my disgusting bed that slanted at a terrible angle! JOY. Our alarm clock wasn't working. I went to plug it in, but when I pulled out the nightstand and saw the old food behind it, I figured it wasn't worth finding the plug. Know what I mean???? I called the front desk to see if they did wake up calls. They do! I was shocked.
Now before I forget, I need to tell you that when we checked in, we were upgraded to another room! I was pleased as punch. A bigger and nicer room with no additional cash. I thought we hit pay dirt. HA! So we were in an upgraded room. We actually had bunk beds in our room. Like we needed a set of bunk beds with a climbing three year old??? Save me the upgrade people, please! What Bill and I like especially about this room is that the water from the bathroom sink was brown. Not liquid gold like one would expect in an upgrade, you know?
So we went to bed at 11 pm. Can't remember the last time I went to bed at that hour. However, the room wasn't so bad once the lights were off:)
The next day, we got up and went for breakfast. I have to say that the egss and French toast was NOT bad at all. Bill liked his food as did Ping. Score. Shortly after breakfast, we walked down to the day camp area. The night before, we signed up to ride horses each day. It was included in our stay. We also signed up Ping for day camp. She is too young to go on the horses, so we would have her stay at the day camp for the ride and then we would go and get her. Ping seemed to enjoy her time in the camp. It was only and hour and the two girls manning the place seemed very nice. So we went down to have our ride. We stepped up to give our name and we were assigned a horse. I stepped up and the woman says "can I have your name honey?" I said "sure, if you can find a horse to fit my big ass!" She said "no worries and then Can I have Mabel please?" I said "heck, she sounds like she is fat too!!!!" I thought she was going to keel over from laughing. Well Mabel was a sweetie pie. She was so tall and she was sort wide. So Bill mounts the horse and I go to get on the biggest step they have. The woman who help us sign up the night before was there. I told her that night about the terrible experience I had in the Poconos. She assured me there wouldn't be an issue, so I was thrilled to see her. So I go to get on Mabel and I can't. I try again. She says to me "Honey, do not force yourself. If you feel you can't, don't worry about it." I looked at her and said "I adopted from China, if I can go through that hell ride, I can get on Mabel!" I did:) I was so pleased with myself. Everyone else got saddled up and off we went in the snow which was coming down like hell.
Two side notes here. One is that right before our ride, the people that were getting off the horses were talking about one of the wranglers. He got off his horse to tell two of the horses to stop fighting. The horse ended up kicking him and they thought he broke his leg. He also went down on his face and broke his nose. Poor guy. So we were told the horses are not fans of the snow and so they were a little annoyed. So I was a little scared. It was snowing and so it was slippery. I just wanted to make sure I was safe. After all, I have a daughter to take care of. However, as you can see from what I said, we did go. Secondly, for those of you who don't know the story, I will tell you about my last horse catastrophe. For our first anniversary, we went to the Poconos and stayed at Ceasers Cove Haven resort. Bill wanted to go for a horse back ride, so we did. Well the horse was never saddle properly, so I kept slipping off the horse. They said it was because I was too heavy. They also did a lot of talking about me and staring. I was very uncomfortable. Well I went on the ride, but the saddle continued to slide. A few minutes into the ride, one of the people that works there called the base and told them to come get me and that I couldn't finish the ride. So someone came and got me. I bawled all the way back to the barn. I told Bill to continue on and I would see him when he was done. When I got back to the barn, the woman who came and got me said that the reason why I was having issues was that the wrong horse was chosen for me and it was never saddled properly. It had nothing to do with my weight. She said that they were not about to admit that though. Didn't matter. I was destroyed for the day. To tell the truth, I swore I would never get on a horse again. I just thought that I was too heavy to. Well that is not the truth and I am thrilled it isn't. I just need the right horse and people need to know what the hell they are doing. These people did!!!!!
So we went out on a beautiful ride in the middle of the woods while it snowed. It was very picturesque. Unfortunately, you can't take photos though, so I can't share that with you. The flash can make the horses very jumpy! Mabel was great and Bill loved his horse as well. When we got back, it was hard to get off Mabel, but I did it. We then headed to the day camp for Ping. We had some lunch at the lunch courtyard and then sat in the lobby. The lobby was the place to be for everything. We met another couple there. They are regulars. They go all the time. Apparantely, they don't have an issue with the rooms. They asked if I was looking for a five star resort. Um, no, but clean, yes! At 3 pm, there was a clown that did face painting and balloon animals. There was also cookie decorating with whipped cream. So Bill, Ping and I all made a cookie and then we stood in line for the clown. While there, I got to talking with other parents and Ping helped herself to a woman's lap! I have no idea where that came from! She sat on her lap until her turn. LOL. The woman's name is Wendy and she didn't mind at all.
After Ping got her balloon and her arm painted, we went back to the room. We headed back out for the cocktail party. We just wanted to see what it was all about. Wendy saw us and so we went over to say hello. Before we knew it, I was playing Uno with Wendy and her son Arnold and daughter Raylene. Raylene fell in love with Ping. They wanted to have dinner with us, so when the dinner bell rang, we all sat down to dinner together. Same waiter, same horrendous service. Dinner took forever to be served. After dinner we went downstairs to the Bullroom and attended the kid's New Years Eve party. It was cute. It was really for older children. They played musical chairs and such. Ping was happy to just run around and play with the balloons. During the party, Wendy and her kids went to change. When Ping saw Raylene in a dress, she had a major meltdown. So at 9 pm, we went off to our room to get Ping into the "perfect dress." My little one is such a nut for dresses!!!!!!!
We went back to the party, but it was loud. It wasn't that much fun and Ping grew very tired. Around 11 pm we headed back to the room where Ping passed out and we watched the ball drop. Bill fell asleep shortly after. I stayed up to read.
The next morning, nobody was springing from bed. We were zonked. When we did get up, it was late. We rushed Ping to the day camp and took off for our ride. I got Mabel again. It was a nice jaunt out into the woods. We then picked up Ping. She never got the pony ride or hayride that she was supposed to have because it was so cold and the wind chill was awful. We had some lunch and hung out in the lobby. Ping played with hula hoops. There was country line dancing and some other things going on. We didn't do any of the snow tubing that we had planned on doing because there was no tow rope. You rode to the bottom and then walked back up. I am sorry, but that is not snow tubing, that is sledding. There was no ice skating because the ice wasn't frozen. I was going to go skiing, but I heard various things about that. There was a rope to take you up, there wasn't, etc. So I decided not to even bother. Like I said, it was pretty damn cold out. Around 6:30 we had dinner. We ate at a different table this time because Wendy was very displeased with the service and said something to the manager. That turned into a major thing. Our waiter was mad, asked the manager what happened and the manager told him that it's because we didn't want him!!!! Now that was the truth, but I never said that and also, that is very unprofessional to tell this kid at night during dinner that we requested another table. It wasn't Bill or myself that did, it was Wendy. So I took it upon myself to tell the kid/waiter that he shouldn't be upset. It was a case of us wanting to sit together and it wasn't that we didn't want him to serve us. After all, I thought it was the only decent thing to do. Mind you, he did suck. He messed everything up all the time. He said 'it's okay maam, no problem."
After dinner we hung out in the lobby. Ping was asked by a woman by the name of Nancy, if she wanted to play a game. So Ping played with her. Not the real game, but just putting coins in slots. It was good that she was keeping busy as she was devastated she couldn't go swimming. The heater in the pool wasn't working, so nobody could swim. Ping was so upset. Well while we were sitting there, other people that we had met, who adopted a little girl from Korea were told that their room had been broken into! I was so upset for them. What a shame. I grabbed Bill from the coffee area and told him we were going to the room. Our room was fine. I promised I would bring Ping back to the lobby because Raylene still wanted to hang out with her. So Bill stayed in the room and I went to the lobby. I lost track of time and Bill joined us after some time, so we hung out in the lobby for awhile playing by the fireplace. It was nice, but it was late, the police were walking around, Ping was eating too much stuff and she was so tired. So the three of us went back to our room. I wanted to pack so we didn't have to do it the next day anyway, so it was good that we got back around 10 pm.
Friday morning, we got up early so we could get in breakfast before heading over to the horses. Ping was exhausted and getting up was not what she had in mind. We were able to get to the dining room in time to have some breakfast. Wendy and the kids were walking out as we were walking in, so they turned around and joined us. Today we were all going on the same trail ride. So we all went down to drop off Ping. She didn't want to stay today. So the young lady in the camp asked if she wanted to see Mommy and Daddy get on their horse and then go for a pony ride. Ping was delighted. I was so proud of her. She stood there holding this girls hand as we got on the horses. She didn't cry or yell or anything. I didn't get Mabel this day. She had the day off. So Bill was told to get off of Duke, the horse he was on and they gave him to me! Bill was less than thrilled with me. Like it's my fault????? Duke was a big boy. He was hard to get on, but I did it!!!!! It was snowing, so we had another snowy ride through the woods. It was nice.
We all then went to get Ping. She had a pony ride while we were gone and she loved it! I am sad we didn't see her on the pony though. We all headed to the lobby and played a little bingo and then had lunch. There were older kids running through the place and I got very angry as they could have hit any of the little ones and they would have hit the concrete floor. So I kindly said, "guys give it a rest." Well they were pissed at me. One kid would not stop staring. "So I said, it's okay sweety, keep staring at me, I will go to the front desk and have a little chat!" I was just so angry and fired up. Well they wouldn't stop and someone was going to get hurt, so I threw back my chair in a fit of rage and walked off towards Tony the Social Director! I told him that I knew one of the kids was his and I didn't know who the others were, but he could get them to stop or I was going to bring this to the managements attention. I was so enraged that these kids thought it was okay to run through the hotel like a bunch of idiots. As I turned around, the "regulars" who go all the time asked what the problem was. So I told one of them that is was their nephew who was amongst the pack! Well the kids came running through and they got an earful from everyone. I just went back to the table to eat. Shortly after, the boy who was staring me down, came to apologize. I told him I wasn't looking to be hard on them, but there were a lot of little ones around and they could potentially hit one of them and they would go flying. These kids were charging around so much that the floor was vibrating!!!!!! Mind you, Bill at this point was under the table covering his eyes. He hates that he has a confrontational mouthy wife! I don't care though. I didn't wait forever for my daughter to have her mowed over by a bunch of running kids! Most of you who know me know that I am as kind as can be, but don't make me flare my nose, or I will come after you. I am very protective of people and especially my daughter!
I finally said to Bill that I wanted to get the hell out of there. I had really enough of the place. The people who had their room broken into were sick of the place too. They headed out a few minutes before us. I just couldn't take the mindset of these people who were surrounding us. So we finally had to say goodbye to Arnold, Wendy and Raylene. Raylene was devastated. She was so teary. Wendy was really upset as well. I told Raylene that she needed to have a good time and that we would stay in touch and she could check in on the blog to see how Ping is doing! We miss them too. We bonded quickly. I wished they lived near us as Ping can't have enough people in her life that love her!
I have such mixed feelings about this vacation. The place sucked, but I loved just being able to hang around and participate or not participate in the activities. I loved that a lot of people were friendly and we could get to know them while they were there. Riding the horses and talking to the wranglers was the highlight of this trip. We may try another place that is similar, but supposedly a bit nicer. At first I said that I could never return, but then there is a tiny, very tiny piece of me that says that I could. I guess I would have to wait for some major renovations. The stuffing in the upholstery should NOT be showing anywhere, especially the damn lobby!!!!!!! I was always taught that if you have nice stuff, people will treat it nice. I truly believe that because they keep a place that isn't nice, people don't respect it.
Well I hope that paints a fairly clear picture as to what we have been up to the last few days. I am going to now post some photos!
Dining room view outside.
Ping enjoying her chocolate milk.
Ping with her Daddy.
I swear this is the sweetest photo.
Ping on the wooden horse in the lobby.
Ping and Daddy on the horse.
Big tree in lobby.
Ready to hit the outside. So cute when she walked.
Wednesday weather and horses.
Not sure who this was. Might have been Otis.
What is with the hat Ping?????
Making a cookie.
Butterfly painting with Sunshine the Clown.
Loving her butterfly. She picked the colors.
A bunch of kids watching the demonstration up close.
Demonstration of animals.
Bird up close. Massive.
Daddy sitting with restless child.
Ping up top and Lia on the bottom. She is from Korea. She is a sweetie. Parent of Lia are with Great Wall and decided to go with a Korean adoption since China is taking so long. What a coincidence, no?
Pooped out Pingster.
Daddy at the party for the kids.
Ping dancing in the middle of a game. She didn't care what was going on!
Daddy and Ping still dancing on.
Ping with Daddy, Arnold, Arlene and Wendy.
I can't see!!!!
Cool hat and blinking glasses that Wendy let Ping wear. Can't see the blinking though.
Raylene taking awesome care of Ping.
Heading out with the perfect dress.
Happy New Year headband.
Ping and Wendy dancing.
Daddy spinning Ping.
Ping with the hula the next day. Had to wear the perfect dress yet again.
Raylene and Ping on the horses in the lobby.
Raylene and Ping at dinner.
Ping and Daddy at dinner.
Ping playing a game with Raylene, Nancy and Lexie.
Disgusting refrigerator. Blow this picture up.
Floor shot with iron imprint.
Shower head. Blow this picture up.
Bathroom faucet. Blow this picture up.
Holes in wall.
Condition of ottoman outside of room.
Condition of ceilings outside of room.
Pretzel and dirt behind nightstand.
Picture of what looked like vomit. Gross.
Ceiling tiles in our room.