me, Wil, Ivy, Bett, and Cin (picture taken by Mayu)

As another surprise for Ivy, the other bridesmaids planned a day of horseback riding...and today was THE day! *yikes!* We checked out of Hill House at 9:30am, loaded up the minivan, and headed over to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma. It was yet another sunny day, and the drive was beautiful...the countryside and the vineyards were breathtaking.

In an email sent out last week:
Bett: "Peg, I know that you might have an issue with horseback riding and if you think this is something you won't want to do, then please let us know. But I totally wouldn't mind if we saddle up together if that's something you might consider."
"I wanted to send out a little *loving and tender* nudge to my sis, Peg, who has this unearthly fear of horses. One more resolution to add to your list for 2002 - - "Overcome my fear of horses and have faith that they won't try to buck me off again." Often they use more elderly and docile horses for such trail rides. And as Betty so kindly offered, you can cuddle up with her if possible. =) Or you can pretend you're on "Fear Factor" just without the nationwide audience and cash prize. Are you game?"

Am I game? Well sh*t...coming from my lil' sister, it's the same as getting a "I double dog dare you!" challenge. So for the past week, I've been psyching myself out. Ironically, one of my New Year's resolutions was to face a fear or overcome a fear...not specifically horses...but well, I guess when opportunity presents itself...*deep breath*

Wil, Mayu, Bett, Cin, and Ivy

Once we got to the stables, and after signing a bunch of liability release forms, we saddled up.

I made sure to let our trail-guide, Cindy, know that I had a fear of horses. She gave me the gentler of the bunch - 'Chip'. Bett got 'Cody', Cin got 'Henry', Wil got 'Cowboy', Mayu got 'Bo', and Ivy got...hmmm, I forget. =P
I was pretty freaked out, but my friends talked a whole lot of smack to me all morning and that helped a lot. I guess the only thing stronger than my fear is my pride. HAHAHAHA!

our trail-guide, Cindy, leading the way

The ride was two hours long and the trail was pretty tough on our steeds...narrow, steep, and muddy. We trekked up the mountain in a single file line, making sure to space the horses or else they might aggravate each other...and we can't have none of that! By the time we reached the summit, the view was awesome! (below)

Going down the mountain took less time than going up, but it's also a lot scarier. I felt like I was going to get pitched head over feet. I was so relieved when I finally saw the stables. hehehehe Overall, I think I overcame my fear of horses. It was a good experience. Not sure if I'd do it again any time soon...but I'm happy. =D

After that, we headed back to SF, and grabbed a late lunch at Kitaro (one of Cin's favorite eats). YUM!

5723 Geary (and 22nd)
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tel: (415) 386-2777

Wil and I dropped everyone off before returning the rental car. We all had a pretty amazing weekend! I realized that this weekend was not only a treat for Ivy, but a treat for me as well. It's been a while since I've spent time like that with them...and it was really wonderful!

I'm pooped, and I kinda smell like poop, too (horse manure, to be exact)! I---must---shower!
I want to spend some time with my lil' pumpkin-head before bed. =D
Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Ashlyn's pic of the day

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