Sombrilla Ranch Retreat Review

Experiencing Sombrilla Ranch, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA.

By Jessica Shouse

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I was thrilled when I first received the email from Nicole of campingforwomen.com with the opportunity to go to Pagosa Springs, Colorado and review a new Glamping getaway spot. The Pagosa area had been on my Colorado travel bucket list for quite some time. After a few email exchanges, the opportunity evolved into a giveaway for the first-ever, Women’s Glamping Retreat at The Barn on Sombrilla Ranch.

The Barn on Sombrilla Ranch sits on a sprawling 500 acre, fully operating, cattle ranch just outside of Pagosa Springs, Colorado; about 5 hours southwest of Denver. Sandlin Reed Niccum is the 100% all American, powerhouse woman owner/operator of the ranch. Sandlin comes to Pagosa from the Austin, Texas area. Sandlin’s family has a strong history in the ranching business. Sandlin’s Mother passed away a couple of years ago and had always dreamed of having Glamping tents on the ranch. It is in her honor that Sandlin went to work and opened The Barn and the glamping resort. And let me tell you, she has done her mother proud. What a spectacular place!

 

Sombrilla Ranch
Sandlin and Laura

 

The drive down to the ranch was breathtaking. The last stretch back to the ranch takes you about 10 miles down a very remote, dirt county road. You lose all cell phone service just upon turning onto this road. The tradeoff is the incredible views of the San Jan Mountains that surround. I arrived late on a Tuesday afternoon in September after a long day of travel. Laura, Business Manager & Sandlin, Owner/Operator, welcomed me onto the ranch with open arms and a hot, delicious home-cooked dinner. After dinner and some nice conversation, I made my way from the lodge back over to the Glamping area to get settled in for the evening.

 

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Tent area on the ranch

 

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Looking at the Red Tent from the outside

 

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Luxury within the Red Tent

 

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Our bathroom and shower

 

The Glamping area is made up of four large canvas tents, a group fire pit area, and a bathroom/shower area. Now, these are not your typical tent setups ladies. Each tent is outfitted with real, comfy beds with cozy, plush linens and room for 5. Each luxurious tent has its own color scheme and unique homey, décor & touches to match; including propane space heaters to keep you nice and toasty warm. My tent, the green tent, had two rustic rocking chairs on the front porch area where I sat and watched the sunset. No detail was left untouched in these tents. In the middle of the tent area sits a bathroom area, complete with flush toilet, sink with running water and an outdoor shower with plenty of hot water. The shower area even had its own private fire pit.

Perhaps the highlight of the property is the old historic barn that Sandlin has completely renovated into an amazing, welcoming entertaining centerpiece. It certainly was the hangout hub during our retreat. The barn is fully equipped with power, WiFi, a kitchen area, two bathrooms and a shower room. The lower level has a pool table and a cozy sitting area. The upper level boasts a large dining area, a movie room and a spectacular balcony with breathtaking views overlooking the pristine pastures of the ranch. Just outside the barn you will find a gorgeous, rustic wedding altar, made out of old aspen trees and a large fire pit area. Again, no detail left untouched. The Barn on Sombrilla is the perfect space for a wedding, family reunion or your next girl’s trip.

 

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The barn

 

Wednesday morning, I woke up early and spent a few hours exploring the grounds around the ranch before the giveaway winners arrived for our wellness retreat days. The 500-acre Sombrilla Ranch sits at the base of the San Juan National Forest and Wilderness. Standing on the front porch area of my tent, the Continental Divide was easily in view. Deer, cow, horses, elk and even bear freely roam the ranch. After a quick morning hike, it was time for the other guests to arrive.

 

Camping for Women at Sombrilla Ranch
Attendees of the first-ever women’s retreat at Sombrilla Ranch

 

Once our 14 guests arrived and after a quick round of introductions, everyone was sent to settle in their tents and then return to the barn area for some relaxing afternoon yoga. More to come on the barn area, truly the highlight of the property. Our amazing yoga session took place on the upper level of the barn, on the old, rickety, wood plank floors. With the large sliding barn doors left wide open, the warm, glowing afternoon sun bouncing off the mountains surrounding us, sneaking in to warm our faces. A nice, slow, flow is just what the ladies needed after a long day of travel.

After a lovely welcoming champagne toast, we headed out for a hors d’oeuvres and wine tasting campfire tour of the ranch. The ranch’s in-house chef prepared some lovely pairings that were enjoyed amongst the setting sun. At one stop, we were even joined by some of the resident cattle! It was a spectacular evening enjoyed by all. After the tour we went back to the barn to enjoy more wine and each other’s company. Sandlin entertained us all late into the evening with her incredible, vibrant storytelling about life on the ranch.

 

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Our lovely hors d’oeuvres

 

Sunrise was spectacular Thursday morning. The Alpen glow lit up the mountains in soft hues of pinks and purples, as the rising sun warmed the cool early morning air. We were welcomed to early morning yoga in the barn with the soft sounds of some beautiful singing bowls. The mornings meditation, “How does nature heal you?” The morning yoga session was followed by a beautiful breakfast and a couple of hours of free time where guests enjoyed reading on the barn balcony, relaxing in hammocks and even some archery.

 

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Guests enjoying a yoga session

 

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A great exercise to start the day

 

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Archery is another optional activity

 

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Such a beautiful place

 

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Showing the way to Opal Lake

 

Around lunchtime, we headed off the ranch to hike to nearby Opal Lake in The San Jan National Forest.

This is a moderate, 2.5 mile out and back trail with about 500 feet of elevation gain, that features a beautiful, pristine, alpine lake.

You pass through the most magical Aspen grove and hike alongside a stream with the most beautiful blue-green water.

Once at the lake, we all enjoyed a boxed picnic lunch before heading back down.

 

 

 

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Hiking on the way to the lake

 

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The nature in this area is just lovely

 

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How beautiful is Opal Lake?

 

After our hike, guests were given the opportunity to venture into town for the evening. About half of the group enjoyed the time by soaking in The Pagosa Hot Springs; 24 mineral water pools that overlook the San Juan River. We had great conversation while enjoying a little relaxation & rejuvenation. After our soak, we headed out on the town for a round of margaritas and some dinner at a local Mexican eatery. Friday morning, we enjoyed another beautiful breakfast in the barn and some of us enjoyed wonderful massages as we enjoyed a few last peaceful moments on the ranch. As we said our goodbyes, guests were gifted a small parting gift that included an adorable group photo.

The first-ever Women’s Retreat at The Barn on Sombrilla Ranch was a huge success. The hospitality and customer service was unmatched. I’d like to send a huge “Thank You!” to both Sandlin and Laura for creating an experience that will never be forgotten. One guest wrote, “the experience was absolutely wonderful. The ranch was absolutely stunning, you all did such a great job, we had a wonderful trip.”

 

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Sombrilla Ranch at sunset

 

Blogger, Reviewer and Multiple Contributor at | Website

Jessy is a 30 something, wife, mother, photographer, blogger, gear reviewer and avid nature lover. Nature, hiking and camping are her game! Jessy is blessed to call colorful Colorado and her beautiful Rocky Mountains home. Jessy lives just 45 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park and spends as much of her free time in the park as she can. Frequently visiting the park for Sunday morning sunrise sessions that are truly breathtaking! Jessy is also a volunteer for the US Forest Service and conducts patrols of some of her favorite trails in the Indian and James Peak Wilderness areas.

Jessy believes deeply in and advocates for all the health, mental and physical, benefits that spending time in nature provides. There is more and more scientific, evidence-based, research supporting this. Jessy tries to share that with as many people as she can.

Through her honest and authentic writing on her Colorado Mountain Momma blog, accompanied by her nature photography, Dragonfly Colorado, Jessy aims to share how nature has been one of the, if not the most, powerful healing tools for her in overcoming her mental health struggles. By opening a very candid and personal door into her own journey and life experiences Jessy hopes to show others that they too can benefit from all nature has to offer. Jessy aims to guide others how to find a healthy balance between catering to life’s responsibilities and caring for one's self and one’s deep passions.

“Her religion is the Earth. The mountains, the air, the water, the fire and the soil are her sanctuary. They live in her as she lives in them.” -Colorado Mountain Momma, Jessy Shouse-

42 thoughts on “Sombrilla Ranch Retreat Review

  • November 8, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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    This sounds pretty fabulous as a group trip and to do it in such beautiful terrain is a plus. Good for you lot!

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  • November 7, 2019 at 2:00 am
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    This place looks like a dream! What a tranquil and beautiful place surrounded by so much nature. Opal lake looks amazing. Morning yoga and all the other activities would definitely give a lovely break for a working mom. Will be bookmarking this post for sure!

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  • November 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm
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    A Glamping Retreat at The Barn on Sombrilla Ranch sounds really enjoyable. The trees are gorgeous and it doesn’t get much better than being greeted with a homecooked dinner. The set looks comfy with the porch chairs and fire pit. Great spot for a women’s retreat, sounds like it was a lot of fun.

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  • November 5, 2019 at 8:58 pm
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    I must admit I have not been able to get into the whole camping holiday yet but glamping does sound interesting. If you have a location and facilities like Sombrilla Ranch in Colorado I would surely want to experience it. It seems to have most of the amenities and the camps look pretty comfy. It would be a great place to start off with my kids and enter the camping world. A great way to finish would be the Hot Springs. Thanks for sharing this new world of glamping.

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  • November 5, 2019 at 7:08 pm
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    That sounds like a lot of fun. I have never done the ‘glamping’ tents but would love to try it out! So many great activities available too.

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  • November 5, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    WOW! This place looks so fun! I love a good getaway and this place sounds so ideal.

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  • November 5, 2019 at 7:12 am
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    What an experience, it looks amazing and sounds like you had a great time

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  • November 5, 2019 at 6:27 am
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    Glamping at Sombrilla Ranch in Colorado looks so much fun from your description and pictures. 500 acres is quite big and having the Pagosa Hotsprings nearby makes it even more interesting. I loved the breakfast spread you enjoyed. The wine tasting campfire tour and the yoga makes it even more irresistible.

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  • November 5, 2019 at 6:12 am
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    What an experience! I have had Colorado on my bucket list for so long- I am adding this as a girls stop! My friends and I are planning our 40th birthdays… maybe I can get them here. Loving the glamping idea- love camping in a little tent with my fam, but with my girlfriends… maybe a little luxury!

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  • November 5, 2019 at 3:45 am
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    OMG that looks like a great place for a girls’ weekend away. That red tent would even suit my glamping friends!

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  • November 4, 2019 at 11:59 pm
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    My wife has never been to a women’s retreat, but she does frequently go out with her women’s club and I feel those are fairly the same in that they go to the same few locations where only women work/ go. I’ll have to tell her about these actual retreats so her and her friends can actually get away for a day or two! Thanks for sharing.

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    • November 7, 2019 at 3:40 pm
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      Wonderful! We are planning retreats for next summer and fall now so if you have anything specific in mind please let me know! So excited that what we are doing is being appreciated and really taking off. So glad to be able to share this wonderful place with people that can appreciate it. Call or email me to get in on next summer/fall, its booking up fast!! Laura Legg, business manager, SombrillaRanch@gmail.com, 214-727-9016

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  • November 4, 2019 at 1:45 pm
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    I would love to experience glamping at a ranch in the USA as, during my recent road trip along Midwest, I came across many such enchanting ranches, though did not stay there. Experiencing Sombrilla Ranch, at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA would be the most wonderful thing to do. As it offers a women’s retreat then it is more worth doing for me. I loved how Sandlin is the all-power behind this concept and doing it beautifully. It would be great to try some archery too here.

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  • November 4, 2019 at 12:18 pm
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    It looks amazing! I’ve never been to Sobrilla Ranch, but I’ve been to Colorado many times. It’s one of my two favorite places on earth!

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  • November 4, 2019 at 9:31 am
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    Great post!! It seems like a really cool spot to spend a good weekend with all the basic amenities required to stay in the countryside. Since I have never been camping in Colorado I am definitely adding it in my to-do list for future reference.
    Thank you so much for sharing this review. We hope to visit them one day.

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  • November 4, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    I could see myself enjoying some time here!! That luxury tent looks fantastic.

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  • November 4, 2019 at 6:08 am
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    Well this looks and sounds so amazing. Great pictures! Thank you for sharing your experience on this retreat!

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  • November 4, 2019 at 6:03 am
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    Wow the first-ever Women’s Retreat at the Sombrilla Ranch looks and sound wonderful! I have only been camping before so this must be the ultimate place for me to be adventurous and try glamping! ? I am sure I will sleep like a baby on that bed in that tent!

    And how amazing isnt to be starting the day with a fresh mountain air and a great view of lush forest while having a session of yoga!

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  • November 4, 2019 at 1:12 am
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    What a lovely off the beaten path destination. Though in an isolated piece of nature, sounds like this is the best of both worlds since it still has modern amenities. and I agree – Opal Lake is gorgeous!

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  • November 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm
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    This place looks stunning and peaceful, Would love to experience this oneday.

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  • November 3, 2019 at 2:16 pm
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    This is my kind of camping! Those tents were beautiful and so accommodating. I love the combination of hiking and the outdoors with the comfort of glamping! This would definitely be a place where me and my girlfriends would like to spend a weekend getaway!

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  • November 3, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    The view is so stunning! Wow. I love the fact that there are amenities because I’m not keen on no-amenities camping at all. I wanna try archery too!

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  • November 3, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    I have always wanted to undertake a trip like this staying in tents, hiking and enjoying beautiful nature. Beautiful ranch and lovely pics.

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  • November 3, 2019 at 6:55 am
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    wow! the place looks super exciting and very relaxing. I would LOVE to spend my time there and enjoy it the fullest

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  • November 3, 2019 at 2:00 am
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    it looks great. I wish we were there but we are couple and looking more for wilderness campings. However we like your story and pictures and Colorado is on our way!

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  • November 2, 2019 at 3:16 pm
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    I must admit I am past the point of camping. But I have alway wanted to try glamping. And since we have not yet been to Colorado, the Sombrilla Ranch might fit the bill. I like that the beds are up from the ground. And that there is a shower with lots of hot water. The barn looks like the perfect hang out spot for the welcoming champagne. It looks like a very lovely place to stay. With some easy hiking spots. I would definitely relax in the Pagosa Hot Springs after.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:21 pm
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      Thanks for reading Linda. We had an amazing time. I highly recommend Sombrilla for your first glamping experience!

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  • November 2, 2019 at 7:45 am
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    Sounds like a great retreat with everything you need to enjoy that amazing countryside. I’d love to go hiking in Colorado it looks so amazing, your photos really show it off. Sounds like the retreat was such a success there will be more to come.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:22 pm
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      Thanks for reading Paul. Hiking in Colorado is unmatched. We are very blessed for sure. I’m only about 45 minutes from Rocky Mtn National Park and have hiked most of the park! Simply breathtaking!!

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  • November 2, 2019 at 4:39 am
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    This is an amazing weekend trip. The barn looks awesome, your whole stay, foods and companions.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:23 pm
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      We had a spectacular time on the ranch! Thanks for reading.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:24 pm
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      It was so peaceful and serene. Great place to pause & reflect for sure!

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  • November 2, 2019 at 1:08 am
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    Ooooh, how beautiful! As someone whose idea of roughing it is slow room service, I can really wrap my head around this kind of camping. Just gorgeous. And Opal Lake is breathtaking.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:26 pm
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      The owners really made the experience oh so luxurious! They were there to provide almost anything upon request. Better service than some top notch hotels I’ve stayed at! Thanks for reading!!

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  • November 1, 2019 at 10:01 pm
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    Colorado is such a gem of a state and this experience sounds awesome. I’m not one for roughing it if I don’t have to and this is perfect. A little bit of both. It’s amazing how the owner has really not missed one detail in this glamming experience and I venture to say it’s nicer than most out there.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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      Thanks for reading Scott! They really did not skip a detail! This is a hidden gem of our state for sure 😉

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  • November 1, 2019 at 7:41 pm
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    Wow! Am very jealous of the barn, the wine tasting campfire tour, and the yoga! Looks idyllic! 🙂 Great post!

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:29 pm
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      The barn was the highlight of the ranch for sure! Thanks for reading!

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  • November 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm
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    This looks and sound amazing I would love to visit a womens retreat, I wonder if they have them around here in the UK.

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    • November 2, 2019 at 11:31 pm
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      Hi Samantha –

      I’m sure they have women’s retreats in the UK. I think they are popular many places around the world. Maybe try searching on Facebook or online. Thanks for reading.

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      • November 6, 2019 at 1:49 pm
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        Wow, it looks like you guys had fun. I would love to do this sometime. All the clicks are very pretty.

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