Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 2 With Dad--Lifelong Dreams and Their Realization

We were on the road by 9:30 the next morning, off on our second day of adventure.

I have this favorite little spot in northwestern Virginia that I like to visit whenever I'm "in the area." That may sound weird, coming from an AZ girl, but I've been to the Old Lucketts Store twice before--once on Brad's and my trip to Baltimore, then again when I drove across the entire country with my four little kids in tow for the summer.

Some of you may be asking how I convinced my dad to detour to a flea market?

Truth is, I learned to love all things antique, rusty, mostly broken and barely usable from my dad. I knew he would love this store. Plus, he'd promised to buy me a birthday present while we were there. How could I say no?
He was duly impressed.  So impressed, in fact, that I had to force him out the door, but not before he bought me a huge spool of double sided satin ribbon and a silver plate for my plate wall.  I walked out with a treasure of my own:
This vase increased the weight of my suitcase by exactly 10.2 lbs. I don't know what's under the silver plating (copper, maybe?), but this puppy is HEAVY. And awesome.

As fabulous as our stop at Lucketts was, we had bigger plans on our agenda. Not only does my dad love all things Indian, he also loves everything about the Civil War, and the highest priority of places he wanted to visit on this trip was Gettysburg.
It was the most beautiful day ever--75 degrees, slight breeze, and fluffy clouds intermittently floating across the sun.

When we were in the American Indian Heritage museum the day before, I'd had to excuse myself to take a phone call. It seemed kind of rude, but I hung up the phone and giddily told Dad that I had another surprise for him. While looking up visiting hours and plotting out the days back at the hotel, I came across Hickory Hollow Farm's website: a private company that conducts guided horseback rides around the battlefield.

They had room for two riders at 3 pm on Friday. Could we make that?

My dad is rarely speechless, but he had no words at that moment. He reached down and hugged me tight, with a little tear in his eye. He then explained to me how it had always been his dream to tour the battlefields on horseback.

I had no idea.

Good thing he'd brought his boots and belt--but he'd left his hat at home.

This picture is my favorite from the entire trip.
 It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Well, except for all of the people we rode with who had never ridden horses before and couldn't get their mounts to obey and rode really slow and held up the entire line with their ineptitude.

But the rest was perfect.
Our tour guide had been working at the battlefield for decades, and she could answer any question thrown at her.
Dad was given "Slow Moe" to ride--a huge five-year-old draft horse who can never move fast enough. I was the only other experienced rider in the group, and although I grew up riding, I hadn't been on a horse for a few years. It's like riding a bike--it comes back, but the sore backside never goes away. They gave me Frisco, a feisty appaloosa that reminded us both of Dad's favorite horse, Starbuck. Frisco couldn't keep his opinions to himself, and I was constantly pulling his head back from attempted nips on the other horses.

The horse ride took about three hours and used up most of our sightseeing time. We decided to cancel our plans for monuments and more Smithsonian in DC the next day and instead return to Gettysburg to get a good look at the museum, movies, and the battlefield.

I've been on many, many rides with my dad.

This one will forever be my favorite.

It was a good day.


  1. Tours on horseback? Who would have guessed! So perfect, what a fun experience. Love hearing & seeing about it all!

  2. What a great adventure. I am loving your account

  3. I am loving reading about your trip with your dad! And you are right...he is a handsome guy...and looks too young to be your dad!

  4. What a neat surprise you gave your dad. You must have been so excited to tell him.

    I, too, love the photo with the horse.


  5. They are now so popular. I am now bookmarked to this site. I am happy to be one of their community. |

  6. I am really glad to be here.I hope to see more great articles here in the future too so keep it up and good luck to all of you! |

  7. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. |