Finding Your Family’s Vacation Spot

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When I had just one child, a then one year old toddler known around here as Little C, we were in search of an easy to reach, points-friendly, but still fun and relaxing summer getaway. We found Hyatt Lost Pines about 30 minutes outside of Austin, and made our first visit in late August of 2011 thanks to using Hyatt points for Club access room, as I hadn’t yet ever even tasted Hyatt elite status. At the time, I summarized that visit with one word…”wow”. If you want a trip on the flash-back machine you can check out my first posts on the property as a brand new blogger here and here. Some moments from the trip with my first traveling kiddo hanging with animals and getting covered with ‘smores can be found below.

Now probably over a dozen trips later, I retain the wow impression, but if I had to summarize my thoughts on the property into just a few letters, I would now say “our spot”. We are so lucky to have traveled to some amazing locations around the world, but thankfully in the process I think we have unintentionally found a spot that our family collectively views as ours. It is a spot that we have created so many memories in as we watch our girls go from babies learning to crawl on the great lawn, to toddlers in the splash pad, to preschoolers creating art in Camp Hyatt and flying down the water slide, to school aged kids now doing the trail ride.

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We have not only seen our first daughter make that progression, but we are watching our second daughter now follow through those milestones as well. Since the property doesn’t require a plane ride to reach and is close to many of our friends and family members as well, it is a place we have had the honor of sharing with others to make collective memories and simply enhance the overall experience by having others by your side.

Having ‘our spot’ that we return to at least once or twice a year doesn’t feel redundant or uninspiring simply because of familiarity. In fact, it is sort of the opposite because we know enough to feel comfortable and get right into the fun, but every trip ends up being different because of the variety offerings. Sometimes we spend more time on the lazy river, sometimes the beach wins out. Sometimes we take a million trips down the water slide, sometimes we spent more time on the playground slides.

On some trips we take advantage of lots of the animal centered activities, and on others we play down by the Colorado River. Sometimes we are lucky enough to sneak off to the outstanding spa while Camp Hyatt takes the reigns, and on others we all stay together 24/7 for family fun. For Mother’s Day one year I even got to take my then two year old Little C to the spa with me!

We may eat watermelon and turkey burgers by the pool, or snow cones and pizza from the food trucks, or save money by filling up in the Regency Club. Now for the first time in six years of visit we have even enjoyed the nicer food in Stories.

While at Hyatt Lost Pines we have yet to ever touch a tennis racket, golf club, fishing pole, kayak, wildflower, star gazing telescope, and so many other activities and amenities offered. In other words, even after a dozen or more visits, there are still major parts of this resort for us to explore and enjoy. Mixing the familiar with the new keeps ‘our spot’ fresh to us because no two trips are the same.

This is not a resort we will outgrow, because you can’t outgrow old fashioned fun brought to you in a comfortable and effortless way. You may go from a trike, to training wheels, to a full fledged bike, but you won’t outgrow exploring on wheels. You can change the way you enjoy your pool time as you go from splash pads and sand castles to laying out and floating in tubes, but you can’t outgrow the water. You can go from crawling to cartwheeling to sitting and chatting on the great lawn, but you can’t outgrow time spent outdoors. You can go from making bracelets during craft time to getting pedicures in the spa, but you can’t outgrow relaxing and creating. You can go shift from being held by your parents to spending more time playing with cousins and friends, but you can’t outgrow playing and being with others.

While I encourage you to continue exploring new places, I also think you may find a whole world of enjoyment in finding your family’s spot. That spot that you all enjoy, that holds your memories and milestones, and that grows with you instead of grows old. I know how tempting it is to add more pins to your map and spend your resources exploring new places, but don’t be afraid to also return to the spot that you and your family love. I’m so grateful to have found our spot in Hyatt Lost Pines, and while I don’t know when our next visit will be, I know there will be a next visit with more memories and milestones just waiting to unfold.

Not bad. Not bad. Hot, but not bad. #coloradoriver #familytravel #sunset #instatravel #inahyattworld #worldofhyatt

Does your family have a spot? If so, I’d love to hear all about it!

 

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. I’m right there with you about Lost Pines (we’ll be there next weekend). We’ve lived in Austin for 7 years and discovered it 4 or 5 years ago. We typically visit a couple of times a summer and just float in the lazy river for hours, unplugged, having some of the greatest conversations with our kids. As my kids have gotten older and busier (for better or for worse), the uninterrupted family focused time has become much more scarce and much more cherished.

  2. Our spot is the JW Marriott in Orlando. Living outside of Tampa it is about an hour and half drive and we love to take long weekend trips there. We started out going as a couple for a quick getaway and now 2 kids later it is our go to for short trips and to “learn,” how to travel with kids. There is so much to do there plus it’s Orlando and we can also enjoy Disney. It is also shares amenities with a Ritz Carlton that has some great dining options!

  3. We are fortunate to have a group of locations possibly fitting this role – Newport Coast, CA; west Maui; South Lake Tahoe.

  4. Our spot is Sandy Island Family Camp in Lake Winnepesaukee, NH. We return every year, to the same friends we made on our very first trip. Despite going on many, many other trips each year to some pretty exotic locations, my kids universally say Sandy Island is their favorite vacation every year.

  5. We visited Lost Pines last year and loved it! My family has found “our place”. It’s Disney Cruise Line. We have been on 6 cruises. My youngest was 1 on our first cruise. There is something for every age group, and we all feel relaxed and like we truly got a vacation. Unfortunately, DCL is very expensive, so we can’t go every year.

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