Monday, October 29, 2012

Rock Ranch 2012

IMG_0075eTwo years ago I took Maisie down to The Rock Ranch for a fun filled day.  The Rock Ranch is a 1,250-acre working cattle ranch / agritourism farm that is owned by Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy.  From the end of September through the beginning of November they open to the public on Saturdays for their Fall Family Fun Days.  When I took Maisie two years ago I thought it would be a fun few hours, (surrounded by a two hour drive each way) but it was so much more.  She and I spent seven hours having an absolute blast and had we not had to get back home by a reasonable hour, we would have stayed longer, until they closed.  I had wanted to take Maisie last year but between our cruise, Saturday morning TOPs practices, some parties and all her gymnastics meets, we just never had an open day to make the trip.   This year though, once I had her spa-tastic birthday party and gymnastic meet dates on the calendar, I blocked out our one free Saturday and kept my fingers crossed for good weather so that we could make our day happen. 

IMG_0005eI couldn’t have asked for a better day, cool morning to start, bright sun and it turned into a warm afternoon.  Saturday morning Maisie and I arrived at the ranch right when it opened and she had a plan and knew what she wanted to do.  Our first stop was right outside of Tiny Town, the face painting station, where she was the first child of the day.

IMG_0009eThen it was into Tiny Town and she was off.  Funny as I have almost the same picture from two years ago, her off and running. 

IMG_0012eTiny town is made up of 14 fabulous pint-sized playhouses and Maisie was delighted to run in and out of each one, checking out everything that each had to offer. 

IMG_0013eHere’s Maisie in the court house.

IMG_39742And here she was two years ago…how much she’s grown!

IMG_0014eMaisie ventured into each house and happily played with everything each had to offer.

IMG_0015eShe really liked that she was still small enough that she didn’t have to yet duck down to get in the doors.

IMG_0016eIt worked out perfectly visiting Tiny Town first as there were very few people there as later in the day it got quite crowded and they had to limit the time that each group could spend in the town.

IMG_0018eIn the Church.

IMG_0019eChecking out the multiplication and division tables in the school house.

IMG_0021eIn the pharmacy… May I serve you?

IMG_0023eUpstairs in the Boarding House Maisie met a little girl named Hannah.

IMG_0024eThe two of them decided they were going to play together and were off.  For over an hour they playing all around Tiny Town.           

IMG_0028eThe girls were students in the school, taught by Hannah’s younger sister.

IMG_0033ePutting on a show in the Theater.

IMG_0034eEnjoying some food at the ice cream parlor.

IMG_0037eSliding down the fire pole in the Firehouse.

IMG_0039eThese pint sized play homes are just the cutest!!

IMG_0042eAfter almost two hours in Tiny Town it started to get busy so it was time to move on.  Maisie would have liked to return later in the day but the queue to get in was more than she was willing to do.  It was good that we visited there first as she got a long time to play, good to know when we hopefully return next year.

IMG_0043eAfter our time in Tiny Town we headed to the pedal cars.  Maisie wanted to ride on this tractor but they couldn’t move the seat close enough for her to reach the pedals.

IMG_0045eSo she sat on my lap and steered as I pedaled us round and round the track and tried to take a picture of us.  Not the best picture but at least I didn’t cut off one of our heads.

IMG_0048eNext we boarded the train for a little ride around the ranch.

photo (4)eMe and my girl on the train.

IMG_0063e Maisie’s way of “walking” up from the pond.

IMG_0067eA ride on the cow train.           

IMG_0077eFollowed by a ride on the pedal boats.  Funny, it worked the same as the pedal cars, Maisie did the steering and I did all the pedaling! 

IMG_0081e Freshly made spicy pork rinds and a frozen strawberry lemonade, a perfect southern treat on a gorgeous Autumn day.

IMG_0082eAn open field just seems to call Maisie to do gymnastics.  

IMG_40311Or maybe it’s this open hill as here she is back in November 2010 doing her thing in almost the exact same place.

photo (5)eThere are a number of stages where music or shows are presented so  Maisie and I sat together on a swing and watched a magician.

IMG_0093eNext we visited the petting zoo area where Maisie fed the donkey a carrot.

IMG_0095eAnd as she’s no longer afraid of the animals, she also made friends with one of the goats.

IMG_0097eThe ranch is just gorgeous and there are beautiful little areas to just sit, relax and enjoy the view.

IMG_0098eNext we ventured into the corn maze.  Decisions, decisions, which way to go?  Maisie did an awesome job leading us through the maze and we never had to raise our flag and call “uncle.”

IMG_0101eMaisie checked out the artifacts in the teepee.

IMG_0105eSliding through the hill, very fun!

photo eMaisie had a blast navigating the rope maze and zipped through really quickly.  This activity was her second favorite, with the first of course being Tiny Town.  We returned to this rope maze three times and she followed all the paths at least twice.

IMG_0106eAfter 7 1/2 hours of fun at the ranch, Maisie “relaxed” and finished her pork rinds before our trip home. 

It was a really awesome day with my girl and I’m going to have to make sure that we get a date on the calendar for next year, got to enjoy these days before she gets too much older and doesn’t want to spend a day like this with her Mom.

There’s no better way to end a perfect day than with a perfectly delicious meal.  Maisie adores grilled steak, especially one that’s been marinated in a slightly sweet sauce so this Steak with Bourbon & Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce was a huge hit with her and all of us.  Click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Steak with Bourbon & Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce

More delicious recipes posted on Cook Lisa Cook include: Mango Lassi, Stir-Fried Asparagus with Water Chestnuts, Ginger & Cashews, Curried Roast Chicken Pieces with Spicy Sweet Potato & Carrots, Grilled Corn & Bacon Pudding, Oriental Chicken Salad, Potato Salad with Bacon, Coffee Crusted Steak, Home Style Chicken Curry, Watermelon FrostyMango Gazpacho, Toll House Double Stuff Oreo Brownies, Long Beans with Walnuts, Blacksmith Pizza, Rhubarb Crisp, Laksa, Math Book No Bake Cookies, Aloo Gobi, Mint Lassi, Red Curry Chicken, Lamb Curry, Grilled Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, Baked Egg Cups Two Ways, Thai Peanut Salad, Holy Guacamole, Cantaloupe Agua Fresca, Wallaby Darned, Piggy-Out Cookies, Wicked Good New England Lobster Roll, Long Beans with Garlic, Super Simple Summer Shrimp Salsa Salad, Grandma’s Teriyaki Steak, Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho, Red Chinese Long Beans with Peppers & Red Curry, 24-Layer Crêpe Cake, Fig & Watermelon Salad, Grilled Chèvre & Fig Panini, Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad, Grilled Prawns, Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon, Kicked Up Piggy-Out Cookies, Pesto Pita Pizza, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Nutella Crêpes, Mango, Lime & Chile Spiced Ice Box Pie, Roast Beef & Garlic Herb Cheese Sandwich, Layered Crespelle with Bolognese, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil, Jamaican Jerk Meat Pies, Nutella No Bake Cookies, Velvety Mac & Cheese, Welsh Cakes, Tom Yam Ghoong (Spicy Shrimp Soup), Lime Jewels, Southwest Pasta Salad, Walnut Roca Squares, Uncle Bubba’s Shrimp & Grits, Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps, Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies, Copycat “KFC” Coleslaw, Happy 6th Birthday Maisie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies, Thin Mint Irish Coffee, Caramel Apples, “Rotisserie” Chicken, Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Mummy Hotdogs, Mango Upside Down Cake, Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens, Aloo Tikki, Pink Strawberry Cake Balls, Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake, Apple Dumplings, Rum Cured Salmon, Apple, Cranberry & Rhubarb Crisp, Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic Sour Cream, Crunchy Oat, Almond, Cashew & Pebbles Granola Bars, Texas Chicken with Lime Butter, Biscoff Fudge, Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter, Creamed Corn with Cheese and Cilantro, Potato Crusted Pork Chops, Oatmeal, Cashew & Chocolate Granola Bars, Texas Chicken Sandwich, Seared Scallops with Creamy Pesto & Lemon Pepper Pasta, Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, Glazed Lemon Squares, Chang-Style Brussels Sprouts, Maisie “safe” No Bake Cookies, Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart, Pork Dumplings with Rice Wrappers, Sweet & Spicy Apple Pork, Dark Chocolate Dipped Candied Lemon Peel, Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites, Double Chocolate Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake, Malted Pretzel Crunch, Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing, Apple Pancakes, Baked Egg & Avocado, Health(ier) Peanut Brittle, Crab Cake Stuffed Mushrooms, Broiled Sushi, Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter, Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, Slimmed Down Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Baked Meatballs, Skinny Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars, Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Hearty Sausage, Mushroom & Cheddar Mini Quiche, Strawberry Soup, Chicken Tenders, Mango Melon Banana & Chia Smoothie, Lacy Cheese Crackers, Dried Cherry Almond Tart, Thai Cucumber Salad, Grilled Thai Chicken, Chili Maple Mustard Ribs, Curried Grilled Thai Chicken Salad, Copycat “KFC” Original Recipe Fried Chicken, Double Chocolate Mousse Cake, Cauli-Rice, Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Fritos Crusted Pollock, Chicken Satay Noodle Salad, Mini Cheesecake Bites, French Fries Hash Browns, Soup Day Soup, Thai Curry Shrimp with Shirataki Noodles, Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon with Sesame Ginger Honey Glaze, Bacon & Cheese Zucchini Fritters, Fried Green Tomatoes, Crispy Zucchini Chips, Zucchini with Onion & Brown Sugar, Shrimp & Vegetable Madras Curry, Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings, Maisie “safe” Bacon & “Cheese” Zucchini Fritters, S’mores Granola Bars, Marshmallow Pops and Broiled Tomatoes.



  1. What a FUN ranch. It isn't, by any chance, two hours north of you? Z would love it, but that would be a little far for us.

  2. What an awesome place! I would love to take Bri one day. I just wish we didn't have soccer every Saturday morning! Looks like that is the time to go!

  3. What a great place!! Wow, such fun! It's neat to see Maisie enjoying each little bit and they have so much variety! Fun, fun, fun!!

  4. Holy cow, there are too many pictures to comment on, but I have to say, the ones of you two are fabulous. You are both beaming. That did look like an awesome way to spend an autumn Saturday. Lucky!

  5. I love it when ranches open their properties to the public. It’s such an awesome feeling to experience the free and independent life there, if only for a day! :D How does Maisie remember this trip, by the way? I’m sure it was memorable, since she made a friend back there.


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