Yesterday on the 'Ranch'
I hope you had a great Easter. Did you eat the chocolate you received or did you give it to your kids?! Although I didn’t do anything specific to celebrate Easter, I went out for the day with my family and some friends. We visited a place that is in the suburbs of Beijing, in the countryside and it took us about an hour to get there by mini-bus from where we live. The place we visited is called a ‘ranch’ but in reality it’s is worlds away from a real American ranch. It is supposed to be a countryside retreat for families with facilities to stay overnight and outdoor activities. We had a great day out because the weather was lovely (sun-burnt noses and foreheads all round) but the place did not live up to our expectations and we were a tad disappointed with it.
Does this match up with your idea of a ranch?
We arrived about 11am and had drinks on the outdoor patio, Teah and my friends’ son ran around and investigated the area! At noon, there was a buffet lunch with freshly barbequed lamb, fish and sausages with salads, rice, fries and soup. It was nice to have lunch outdoors for the first time in 2008 and the food was decent. We then decided to go to the stables so the children could look at the horses. There were only 2 horses and 2 ponies and they all looked like they had seen better days. I rode one of the horses hoping for a steady trot along the horse trail but it decided to gallop all the way and I had a sore rump afterwards!!By the way, it was my first horse ride as I’ve only been on the back of a donkey before!
Tally-ho! Just finished my horse riding!!
Then we went to do some archery which was fun. Although Robin Hood makes it look like a piece of cake, for novices like us it was difficult! Most of our arrows hit the fences and stuck in the ground, missing the targets completely! Then we followed our map to the shooting range only to discover it didn’t exist (they plan to build one in the future apparently). Then we went to check out the outdoor swimming pool, it was a grey concrete square hole in the ground devoid of water. We then scouted out the karting circuit which was, by far, the coolest activity at the ranch and I’d go back there again just to whizz round the circuit a few more times.
Here is a picture of my husband flying round the track!
Moving onto the kids indoor activity centre, it was filthy and dilapidated so we gave it a miss. The bowling alley was dimly-lit and in need of repair and was busy with other bowlers at the time we went there. There was a river nearby and although we felt like a bit of fishing, couldn’t find any designated areas or fishing equipment so we had to give up on that idea too.
Finally about 4pm, we got the bus home and all slept on the journey home, kids included! We all agreed it had been nice to escape the city and get to the outskirts for a day in the great outdoors but calling that place a ‘family ranch with many facilities’ was stretching the imagination a little.
Yanko, I really liked all the photos from your last blog and it was interesting to get a glimpse into your typical daily routine. I liked the information about the ‘van stop’ and it’s in this paragraph I’d like to point out a few errors. My changes are in italics:
‘Near the van, I introduce you to Sales. This man is responsible for organizing the van queue. He advises the passengers about who the next driver is and traffic problems. He’s very nice and polite and he says, “I wish everyone a good journey”.’
What are your plans for this week Yanko? Mine consist of work, study and looking after Teah as usual, nothing special lined up for this week as yet.
Thanks for the loan words and the links!! Does that mean that cashew nuts originate from Brazil as well as Brazil nuts?
ranch (n) A large farm on which a particular crop or kind of animal is raised
world away from totally different to
retreat (n) A place giving peace, quiet, privacy or privacy, usually outside the city
a tad a bit
decent (adj) quite good
stables (n) a building that houses horses
gallop (v) a fast run of a horse
rump (n) buttocks !
a piece of cake very easy
novice (n) a beginner
devoid (adj) empty
scout out search and find
dilapidated (adj) disrepair or deterioration through neglect; broken-down and shabby.
designated (adj) specified
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