There are only a few people in life who are forever friends. The ones with whom you have an instant connection, and pick up right where you left off even when there's been months or miles between the two of you.
I'm lucky to call my friend Lindsey one of these people. We met in a parent/child swimming class when Tory and her daughter Ashley were six months old. Last year, Lindsey and her family moved from Minneapolis to Lexington, Kentucky and it broke my heart to have so much distance between us. We've kept in touch, and this past weekend Andi and I flew with Tory and Aden to Kentucky for a visit.
We left the Twin Cities Thursday afternoon and arrived in Lexington around dinnertime. The flight was ... unpleasant, but isn't it always with a toddler in tow? Tory's a great traveler -- so well behaved and easy entertained. She ate snacks, did activity puzzles and watched her iPad to pass the time. Aden, on the other hand, wasn't so easily distracted. His afternoon nap coincided with the flight time, so he wiggled and fussed on my lap for most of the 1 hour and 45 minute flight. Fortunately, Andi was along on the trip so I was able to pass Aden across the aisle a few times for relief. I kept telling myself it was last time I had to wrestle Aden as a lap child, but later remembered I'm flying solo with the kids to Nebraska for Halloween. Total #princessproblem I realize, but man, he's a handful.
Friday afternoon, Lindsey arranged for Tory and Ashley to take a riding lesson at Wingswept Farm. The horse farm is practically in Lindsey's backyard and Ashley takes weekly riding lessons there. I was so excited for Tory to have a chance to participate! I wondered if Tory would be nervous once she saw how massive the horses were up close, but she wasn't in the least bit. Quite the opposite, actually; she loved every minute of the 45-minute riding lesson.
Each girl rode a horse with their own instructor who taught them commands like "whoa," "trot" and "walk." Tory rode a horse named Jack with Instructor Christine, and she was very sweet to Tory. I could hear Tory filling Christine's ears full of all kinds of stories about her birthday, the cabin and living in Minnesota, as they strolled past us on the sidelines.
After the lesson, Aden and Taylor had a chance to sit on top of Jack. Taylor was ecstatic and kept yelling, "My turn!" but Aden was pretty freaked out. He lasted up there about six seconds.
Andi and I decided to take all the kids for a neighborhood walk on Friday afternoon so Lindsey could have a few minutes to rest. She's still getting up all hours of the night with Baby Brooke, and if anyone sympathizes with that experience, it's me. We loaded all the kids up in strollers, push cars and trikes and set off down the street in their gorgeous gated community.
Along the way, Andi told Tory and Ashley to sit on top of the fence for a picture and Ashley very flatly told him, "Well, my mom doesn't let me do this." New rule when we're the bosses: Get The Shot.
It's impossible to make a trip to Kentucky and not capture the picturesque picket fencing! It really is so beautiful there.
Saturday morning, our whole crew made a trip to nearby Boyd Orchard for hayrides and pumpkin picking. We've been to several orchards this fall, and they have something different to offer. This one had tons of activities for the kids -- potato sack slides, playground equipment, a bouncy house, hay bail mazes and a kid's train ride.
I was surprised to see many types of apples I'd never heard of before. I guess different parts of the country grow different types of apples? It makes sense based on various climates, but I'd never thought about it before. Interesting!
We grilled dinner Saturday night in Lindsey and Dan's backyard, and afterwards the kids had S'mores over the fire pit. Lindsey's home has breathtaking views of a neighboring horse farm and I could've sat and watched the horses for hours. I don't even like horses all that much, but it was just so beautiful.
Another great visit to Kentucky. So wonderful to see our friends again.