It’s the middle of the night when I make my list in my head of what I packed and what I need to pack for our spring break road trip. That never ending list that mothers do to make sure their children are protected, safe and entertained…cough syrup (check), sunscreen (check), Cars DVD (check).
On a sunny Sunday our family of four hit the road to the Texas Hill Country. I felt in control driving down I-35 with the navigation programmed; it was going to be an easy trip. For weeks my children had been saying they were so excited for our vacation in Austin.
It was fairly easy. The navigation had us turn one road too soon and just when everyone had to go to the bathroom, we seemed to be lost. A quick phone call to the Lost Pines resort got us back on track and we started to wind down the road with that Mighty Python feeling that we keep on driving and we’re not really going anywhere.
As we entered the resort, we became one with the lost pines down an extremely long driveway. It felt like we were far, far away from civilization. Once arriving at the beautiful resort, you don’t really want to get back in the car until it’s time to go home.
We ventured out to Austin only once to go on a sunset bat cruise which was well worth the effort. Capital Cruises is the ultimate Austin experience because not only do you get to see one and a half million Mexican free-tail bats fly under Congress Avenue (their home from March through October) but you also get to see a traffic free look at Austin’s attractive cityscape.
Some travelers like to return to places they already know. I certainly do. We had stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio last year. We knew another Hyatt Resort was going to be a hit. We met many people who were on repeat visits. It’s obvious why they wanted to come back; this is simply the kind of place that is almost magically bound to make those lasting family memories.
There were more activities than we knew what to do with. Upon checking in we were given an activity calendar of all the things we could experience: tennis, golf, horseback riding, kayaking, trap shooting, s’mores by the campfire, nature hikes, zipline, biking, archery, wagon rides, face painting, balloon making…My children’s favorite was the Crooked River water park because “a river runs through it!” This water park has a sandy beach, waterfalls, a lazy river, and waterslides.
My favorite part was enjoying being outside and admiring the old pecan trees and bluebonnets. Every time we saw a big bluebonnet patch my daughter would say, “Mommy look, bluebonnets! Don’t pick them!” I bet I heard her say that twenty times!
When I was researching where to stay in the Texas Hill Country, I found many places said that they were not child friendly. I knew the Lost Pines Resort was the place to stay when I read that Travel and Leisure Magazine ranked them #23 for World’s Top Family Hotels. Also, Conde Nast Traveler magazine highly rates and recommends the spa (another one of my favorites). It’s one of those places that keeps everybody happy.
We found a very laid back vibe with a Native American/Texan farmhouse style. It’s easy to feel comfortable enjoying the outdoors when you can relax in luxury. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort is a 405-acre resort 20 miles from downtown Austin with more than 490 rooms that have patios or balconies.
Our room looked out over the beautiful Butterfly Garden. My daughter and I were lounging in the hammock when I looked over my shoulder to check on my son who was playing leap frog on the rocks by the lily pond when I turned and saw that he had just accidently jumped into the lily pond. An all boy picture, he was covered with green goo. Thankfully, our room was also right by a laundry facility! Something not on my check list…extra shoes!
Breakfast at the Firewheel Café was the perfect way to start the day and Texas style BBQ was the best way to end it. We enjoyed live Willie Nelson style music by the band Campcookie. The kids got up on stage with stick horses and cowboy hats to sing, Deep in the Heart of Texas (which I’m proud to say that my daughter knows all the words to thanks to her wonderful kindergarten teacher).
We left Lost Pines when the bluebonnets were blazing. All our cowboy activities seemed to add a little country swagger to our step. I’m proud to be raising little Texans. They look right at home on a pony, eating BBQ, wearing cowboy hats, singing campfire songs…
Like many of the families we saw who were repeat guests, I said to my husband…let’s come back next year!