A high-scale hunting lodge for women in the heart of the Hill Country offers its guests a retreat to enjoy the owner’s two loves -- bullets and Botox.
The Dry Hollow Ranch sits about 90 minutes outside of San Antonio. Kathy Simmons purchased the ranch in 2009 with the premise that she was going to build a lodge tailored to the modern-day woman.
"I also own a med spa in Kerrville," said Simmons. "I was trying to figure out a way to bring my two loves together."
Groups of girlfriends spend the weekend relaxing, getting pampered and learning about fire power. Kathy Simmons is part ranch owner, but she's also a licensed gun instructor and registered nurse.
"To learn from Kathy, being a woman, is a lot less intimidating," said Mike Simmons, Kathy's husband. "A lot of women are some what resistant to become acquainted with guns because they're intimidated by men teaching them."
The weekend started off with a little mingling, a glass of sangria and casual conversation. Around the kitchen, the ladies discussed their comfort level with guns.
Some ladies had no experience, but others are as comfortable firing a round as they are unwinding in a spa. One woman even brought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with her.
After a chat about firepower, the roundtable discussion turned to the lady’s experiences with Botox.
"Have you done Botox before?" Somer Tinsley asked Shannon Lawrence.
"No, have you?" said Lawrence.
"Yes! Haven't you noticed my smile is different? My lip doesn't go up as high, so I don't have a hyperactive lip anymore,” said Tinsley. "Are you doing it this weekend?"
"Yes,” said Lawrence, who wants to get Botox in her forehead.
The ladies called it a night following drinks and dinner.
In the morning, Simmons held her gun class in the lodge's living room. She talked about safety, what it's like down at the range, and how to fire.
Then the ladies were off to the range.
The ladies started with small pistols to build their confidence. Lawrence was nervous at first, but was the first to try ‘The Judge.’ Then she took aim with ‘The Defender.’
"I want to do it again!” said Lawrence.
Next, it was time to bring out Sabra Holmes’ AR-15. Holmes took aim at a piñata filled with explosives. She hit it dead-center, causing it to explode like a firework.
After the massive adrenaline rush, the ladies retreated to the lodge for massages, facials and pedicures. Some of the ladies also opted for Botox.
"I believe every person that comes here leaves going away saying, 'What just happened to me?'" said Simmons. "From the fun, to the girlfriend time to the fabulous food, the experience about learning about a handgun, the empowerment they get and the spa services, it's just the icing on the cake that brings it all together."
A weekend at the ranch costs about $895. Botox is additional. Mike and Kathy have been holding bullet and Botox weekends for about a year. So far, they've hosted six.
For more information, visit the Dry Hollow Ranch’s web site.