Words can’t even describe how peaceful it was to stay on our friend’s family ranch for their wedding. Located in St. Cloud, Florida, the ranch we stayed on was 10,000 acres yet part of the bigger Partin Cattle Ranch. Our friends, Anna and Jarrod Cowell, live on the ranch, which is home to multiple houses of their families.
I’ve never spent time in Florida’s “country”, and it’s a little different than the country scene I’m used to at home. Their “forest” includes tropical ground cover and the occasional palm tree. It also includes critters like armadillos, deer, gators, bald eagles, and they’ve even spotted the occasional bears and a panther. Anna also kept talking about some “skunkape” but I’m not so sure about that one.
We spent our New Year’s Eve here with our friends around a campfire after taking a late night drive around the ranch spottin’ gators. Except each time we spotted eyes they belonged to cows. Bummer. As the ball dropped at midnight, our friend Nick popped the big question to his girlfriend Stacy, so that was really exciting. Hopefully another fun wedding around the corner?
We stayed in “Pa’s House” and it was like a dream to stay in a country ranch home overlooking pastures of cattle with the windows open and the breeze a blowin’. By the way, on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch, I guess you fence your houses in and let the cows roam free. Our favorite afternoon was the day of the wedding, because the groom’s party was spread out through the house chilling out. We had cooked a big breakfast together, ate it on the front porch while soaking up the rays of the 78 degree sun. This made us all sleepy, so some of us took naps. It delighted me to lay down in Pa’s room atop a hand-sewn quilt, windows open, reading a book until I fell asleep.
It was tough leaving this place, but the good news is that we can always go back to visit our friends. Jarrod kept saying that we all needed to go get a cabin somewhere together like the movie “Grown Ups,” but I was like “What the heck do you think we’re doing now?” Haha. We grabbed a few ripe oranges off a tree for the road and reluctantly began our journey back to Indiana.
Congrats to the newly weds, Anna and Jarrod Cowell. Ain’t she purdy?
Miss some of our travel memoirs? Check out other posts from our New Year’s Eve roadtrip here: