When the kids were on Summer break we wanted to take them somewhere that would be a new experience. We had done the whole theme park thing, a week at the beach, and even camping at a local mountain resort. We found a new place that would hopefully give them memories to last a lifetime. We flew to the midwest and didn’t tell them where we were going. I had packed all the proper attire for the stay and when we arrived at the dude ranch we were greeted by our guide for the week. The kids thought it was going to be cool at first. When we were awoken at five in the morning to do chores, all that changed. They expected that we would be able to hang around, ride horses, and maybe do some fishing. Well, the experience we signed up for was more of a hands on vacation. They were going to be mucking stalls, grooming horses, and even harvesting gardens. A little hard work would build character. The guide told us that it was a family vacation so we all needed to work together. We toiled away the days working on the ranch and learning how much goes into making it work. Then, when the sun set we spent the evening relaxing under the stars. The rest of the vacationers along with our family sat around a campfire and relaxed after our long day of chores. I the only relief we found was the time we spent in the cabins. At least each one was air conditioned so those precious hours of sleep were spent comfortable. The aches and pains of the day seemed to melt away in the soft feather bed that was in our room. My memories from that vacation will be centered around the comfort I found there, not in the smelly horse stalls that we needed to clean.