the other activity that the bean had mentioned to her dad while brainstorming for birthday activities was horseback riding. and so he and i had scoured the internet for ideas of where to go somewhat locally for a quick getaway that would incorporate that request. as luck would have it, their school had a 3-day fall break on the calendar that fell right on their birthday week. and with MIL in town for the annual birthday celebration, the timing was pretty much perfect. the old man wasn't able to get away, and so he and the old lady stayed at our house with the dogs while were gone.
after checking out everything from swanky resorts to full-on dude ranches, we ended up settling on something somewhere in between - a cute looking ranch resort just north of santa barbara. it was a nice drive, and we were pulling into the circle b ranch within a couple of hours.
when we walked into the lobby, there was just one person inside. the hub went over to handle the check-in process while the rest of us walked around and checked things out.
we'd booked one of their hillside homesteads - a 2-story, 2 bedroom cabin. it was cute and (mostly) clean, and it was home for the next two nights. we gave MIL the downstairs bedroom while we shared the loft with the bean.
accommodations at the ranch also include breakfast and dinner. we had our very own assigned table in the dining room, and we headed over when it was dinnertime. there were only two other tables of guests for that night, and it was a simple and adequate meal of salmon served with pasta, vegetables and a dinner roll.
the hub had mentioned the bean's birthday when he made the reservation, and the chef came out with dessert and the birthday song at the end of our meal.
the three of them were booked for a half-day horseback riding excursion the next morning, so we headed back to the cabin after dinner and hung out until bedtime. it was a nice, low-key, relaxing day and a great start to the bean's well-deserved fall break.