The last day in Aiken is the worst. You spend the day fighting the urge to stress about going home. However, Lauren and I had a plan to keep ourselves under control.
Speaking of Lauren, I love that kid! My sister asked me if Lauren is the little sister I always wanted and that would be a big YES! I couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime for the trip. Lauren was great fun during the drives. We spent a lot of time singing and talking about what 2011 could bring for our horses. Throughout the week we had a blast. We both stumbled towards the hot chocolate in the morning before the barn. Lauren was great at helping me with anything if I needed it. Hopefully I did the same. I am very fortunate to have such a good friend. Thanks for a great week, Lauren!
Lauren even drove the truck and trailer! As Sally said, there are a lot of kids Lauren's age able to drive the trailer. I don't expect Lauren to do major driving, but I feel better knowing that she knows about the truck and trailer and how to drive it.
We took it easy on Sunday. The horses were supposed to ride over at Sandy Hills, but Tyler thought that would be too much work. We hacked around the property and did a pony switch. Both Hilary and Lauren rode Cody the pony. Vanessa did some work with TRose in the dressage ring. Then we packed everything up. Lauren is also super organized like me and treats the trailer like her own so we were packed in no time.
We had one last meal together at the chinese buffet and then ice cream at Marble Slab. It was so warm throughout the week that we had ice cream almost every day. Lauren and I earned 2 free ice creams for being frequent customers. I'm not sure I'm proud of that.
By 9pm we were passed out and ready for the drive home.
This trip was Tyler's third and most likely last trip to Aiken. What a difference 3 years makes! He is my comfy pair of slippers, as my good friend Diane says. I appreciate being able to take a horse I trust completely. (Well, except that 2 nights in a row he licked his way out of his stall. Oops!) I will be forever grateful to him for allowing me to have so many great experiences.