We were up early on Sunday, before 7 AM. It was bright, sunny and warm out, a prelude to a perfect weather day. We had an early breakfast in the dining room. What a spread they have! All kinds of breakfast foods, buffet style, including a number of southern specialties like biscuits and gravy, and grits. We ate and then decided to take a walk into the town of Hot Springs.
The town was desolate. It was a single strip, with businesses on either side, all of which were closed today. In style, it reminded me a lot of Katakolon, Greece, when I was there this summer. Except that there were no people in Hot Springs. Or open shops. Or body of water nearby for that matter. It took five minutes to walk through town and then we walked back and decided to walk up around the perimeter of the resort. It made for a pleasant morning walk.
At 10 AM, we had massages scheduled. Most of the soreness from my renewed strength training efforts had subsided. We arrived at the spa at about 9:50. We were each led in the separate wings, Kelly into the women’s wing and I into the men’s wing. I changed into a robe and waited about 5 minutes before I was called in for my massage. It was the 6th massage of my life. It was not as good as the last two I had on the cruise ship, but it was still very relaxing and I enjoyed it. After the massage, I sat in the serenity lounge and a few minutes later, Kelly came in, her massage finished. We sat there for a while, and then I went to the showers. After my shower, I went into the steam room. It was very relaxing.
We had a quick lunch by the pool, and then went for a 2-hour hike on the “South Trail”. The hike took us past the horse stables, and through some very pretty wilderness. It was not a tough hike, but it was strenuous enough so that we could skip the gym today. When we got back from the hike, we went back to the pool and had a few drinks. Then we waited in front of the resort for a shuttle to take us back to the horse stables. We’d signed up for horseback riding. We got to the stables and were assigned a horse. Kelly rode “Micky” and I rode “Sport”. There were about 9 people in our group. I’d never ridden a horse before, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. My horse followed Kelly’s horse and Kelly’s horse was the smart one, staying in the middle of the trail and not really drifting off the way some of the horses did. I must admit I was a bit nervous, but it was still fun. The ride took about an hour and when I finally got off the horse, I was saddle sore!
Back to the hotel to change into our swim suits and then we headed to the pool. We found some lounge chair and sat basking in the sun. I ordered a couple of strawberry maragaritas while we lay there. And when I got hot, I jumped into the pool to cool off. We spent almost 2 hours there before heading back to the room to get ready for the cookout.
The cookout was great. We were seated at 7 PM at a table with a family with twins girls and another couple. Kelly “outed” the couple. She asked how long they had been together and the girl said, “Oh, we’re not together”. But given the way she said it, and given other subtle hints, Kelly and I were sure that they were having some kind of affair. The food was great. All kinds of delicious comestibles. I had shrimp and hot dogs and hamburgers and ribs. I chocolate cake and delicious rum balls. Both Kelly and I were stuffed and had to forcibly remove ourselves from the table, lest we do further damage.
We discovered that the fireworks would take place out over the driving range, so while people gathered in the cookout area to watch the fireworks, Kelly and I went back up to our room, which overlooked the driving range. We ended up with a perfect, birds-eye view of the fireworks display, which lasted about 10 minutes, the perfect end to a perfect day.