Monday, September 6, 2010

Vacation... for real this time...

We had the opportunity to visit The Cliffs Communities this weekend. Can you say, fabulous?

No need to explain it again, but our dear friend set us up with what has been one of our most favorite weekend vacations ever.

One of Mark's best friend in the world, a fellow Olympian (2000 breaststroker and fellow Auburn Tiger, Pat Calhoun) happens to be his favorite golf buddy. So, when we heard that we would have the chance to visit The Cliffs, which is known for its golf, we knew that Pat and his wife had to come. So, the four of us, Annabelle (our baby girl) and Amy (a dear friend and #1 babysitter) loaded up the car and drove to the Mountains on Friday (Daisy, the dog, was boarded at the vet, but I'm sure had a lovely weekend, too).

The weekend was perfect. Full of golf, food and a ton of fun. Because I am a nagging wife I couldn't let Mark just golf all weekend, so being the planner I am, I planned for horseback riding, pool time and a trip to Greenville, SC.

Mark had never ridden a horse until Saturday. So, we took advantage of The Cliffs horseback riding experts and took a trail ride through the South Carolina mountains. Mark's horse's name was Hollywood (go figure) and my horse's name was Butter (if you say that this is fitting, you may be banned from the blog). Matt, our guide, led us (Mark, Hollywood, Butter and I) through a beautiful trail for about an hour... we're both still walking funny. Mark said his hips and knees were also sore because his big ol' flippers (size 13 feet!) weren't fitting in the stirrups correctly.

Mark and Hollywood

Ashley and Butter

This is the Gangloff version of riding off into the sunset--okay, fine... there was a guide and it was 9 am.

The boys also joined us ladies at the pool one afternoon, and, as you may have guessed, a nice leisurely afternoon at the pool turned into racing... down the water slides. I, being the seriously athlete I am, decided to up the ante and went head first. Yes, I managed to injure myself (I have a small cut--I like to say it is my stab wound--on my hip). Darn the Gangloff competitive streak.

Mark said that he won, but I think this might be the winning pass--check out that streamline.

Finally, our trip to Greenville, SC gave us some time to be a family with our friends. Mark adores Annabelle, our baby girl. I love to watch him play, interact and learn with her. He is unwilling to think that she will be anything but a water baby.

Thank you, The Cliffs Communities. All in all, our vacation was a huge success. There were no missed flights, no tears (except Annabelle, who is teething), and no cursing (well, maybe on the golf course). There was a lot of fun, a lot of love, and a lot of relaxation before Mark hits the pool (the real one--not the kind with slides) this week.

Mark, Ashley and Annabelle Gangloff and Pat and Anna Calhoun; The Cliffs Communities

Tomorrow officially marks the beginning of Mark's training for the short course world championships which will be held in December.

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