We’re a few weeks away from the start of first grade. It’s 100 degrees outside every day. We have a six-month-old golden retriever puppy who likes to bite us, and my in-laws are living with us until closing on their house later this month. Who needs a little vacation?
Now, in defense of my in-laws, they are lovely people and we are happy they are staying with us. But it does make the house a lot busier than usual, and the dog has been even more excited than normal as a result. Excited dog = bitey dog. In defense of Sunny, the aforementioned bitey hound, she is a retriever and always wants to have something in her mouth. She’s still a puppy, and is still learning that she can’t just chomp us when she wants to play. Or when she greets you. Or when you’re just sitting there trying to drink your coffee/put on shoes/wear pajamas.
She’s lucky she’s so cute.
Sunny particularly likes to play with our daughter. They are roughly the same height and weight now, and Lark makes lots of loud noises, so Sunny naturally (and correctly) thinks she is the most fun member of the family. She likes to grab Lark by the skirt or shoes, or mash the toy she’s carrying into Lark’s back/stomach/ribs when she wants to play, which is pretty much all the time. Lark does not want to play all the time. It can be a bit overwhelming when an animal as big as you are is always coming after you, full of puppy energy. I get it. I thought she could use a little humans-only time.
Since getting Sunny, Lark has asked me a few times if Sunny is more important than she is. Ouch.
I’ve explained that Sunny is a baby and needs a lot of attention right now, but that things won’t always be this way. Although Lark was excited to get a puppy, this addition to the family has been a big adjustment for her. I thought Lark might like a few days of our undivided attention, so I did some research on a quick little trip we could take without too much effort. First, I checked into the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort, which is only about 45 minutes from us. We stayed a night there last year when my husband spoke at a conference, and we loved the lazy river and nightly s’mores. Unfortunately, their rooms were running about $400 per night for the dates I checked, which sucked the fun right out of that idea. That was when I found a great deal on Groupon for the Horseshoe Bay Resort: $119 per night with a two night minimum. Go, Groupon!
I’d never been there before, but reviews of the resort indicated it was very family-friendly, with tropical birds, four swimming pools to choose from, and most importantly, s’mores. In addition, the resort is just an hour’s easy drive away from our house. I asked Lark if she’d like to go stay at a holiday house with Mommy and Grandma for a few days, to swim and eat s’mores and leave the boys and dog at home. “YES!!” she said. And off we went.
That’s a happy girl.
The kids’ pool area is immediately next to a larger, family pool with great shade in the late afternoon. The very nice lady working the oh-so-conveniently located bar adjacent to the pool made me a fantastic grown-up lemonade to enjoy by the water, which is really what resorts are all about, aren’t they?
Yes. Yes, they are.
But this is a family place, so the little one got a pink lemonade of her own. It was not as much fun as mine, I’ll wager, but she loved it.
After all that swimming, we had a little down time in the room. Thanks to Peppa Pig, Lark refers to all hotels as “holiday houses”, which I find adorable. That kid loves a good holiday house. The beds were comfy, the pillows were fluffy; the snuggle time with my little bear was priceless.
Occasionally, because we’ve arrived late and tired, we have had meals in our hotel rooms when we’ve traveled with Lark. She loves this. Here she is perusing the menu for Room Service.
I’ve raised a child who loves resorts and room service. I may be in serious trouble here.
We did not have room service this time. I was smart and packed lots of snacks for the room, including some little mini muffins for just this sort of emergency. After muffins, we went to visit the birds.
There are several kinds of tropical birds at the resort, and you can meet some of them at Whitewater, the activity center. A staff member gives a talk on the birds each morning. Some of the birds give their own talk, as well! Here I’m holding Gracie, a friendly cockatoo.
Very friendly! She was making her way up onto my head when the resort staff stopped her.
I look like a pirate, don’t I?
Mingo, the resort’s flamingo, was not quite awake for the morning’s bird talk, but she still looked lovely. And check out the giant African tortoise that lumbered by! Pretty neat!
Then we got back into the pool. The Yacht Club pool, this time. Can you blame us?
A break for ice cream…
But most importantly: the s’mores! Lark finally listened to me about toasting her marshmallow and squishing it between the graham crackers and chocolate. She only ever wanted the chocolate and marshmallow separately before.
Yay! She loves them! Maybe Mom knows a thing or two, after all!
If you’re looking for a nice little getaway within easy each of Austin, I highly recommend Horseshoe Bay Resort. I didn’t intend to write about this trip when we went, so the photos that I took were really just meant to capture the fun we had there for our own memories.
I think we’ll be back. Hope to see you there, too. Take some time to make a few last-minute summer memories of your own before the school year starts. It’s well worth the trip!
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