Hi friends! Wasn’t that a weird 4th of July being on a Tuesday this year?! It made me feel all out of whack, constantly forgetting what day of the week it was since Friday, but I guess that’s a good thing, right?! We took an impromptu family trip to Lost Pines in Bastrop, Texas and it was so much fun! We’ve been before with just James, but this trip was even better with two kiddos and so much to do that we got to take advantage of this time.
We went Saturday morning and came back Monday morning, but I wish we had stayed one more day. The typical two-hour car trip took 4 hours with traffic (we left at 11 am), a stop at Subway and, of course, the obligatory pitstop at Buccee’s. If you road trip in Texas, you have to stop at Buccee’s. James got a pair of realistic handcuffs and played with them all weekend and I got a bag of caramel popcorn and ate 3/4 of it on the trip, then felt sick! Ahh, vacation life! But, I really recommend a two-night stay if you visit Lost Pines because, once you get there, it takes some time to actually relax, so one more day would’ve been even better! For us, once we were really getting into the vacation groove, it was time to come home!
ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS
Because the trip was planned last minute, we packed the morning of and just threw everything in the car. I kept my road trip outfit comfy and casual, and because I get cold in the car, wore a longer sleeve top. It’s so comfy I actually wore it home too.
Since it was only supposed to be a 2 hour drive, we didn’t load up the car with road trip toys, other than iPads and a movie. But, the funny thing is, I realized James didn’t really need any of that because he just likes to talk and talk! Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing his point of view and the things he has to say, but man, soooo many back-to-back questions!! Are your kids like that too?!
Once we finally got to Lost Pines, the long drive was totally worth it! The whole place has a cozy, woodsy cabin feel and the grounds are gorgeous and very well-maintained.
LOST PINES POOL, LAZY RIVER, SPASHPAD, SLIDE, WATER BASKETBALL
The place is a mini paradise and our first stop was to the heated pool, that is shallow enough for kids to stand up and play volleyball and basketball and there’s even a little man-made beach with sand and plenty of shade. Even though the place was full of people, you never feel on top of anyone and there’s always plenty of seating.
I’m still working on my fitness and waking up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. a few times a week, but no one cares what you look like while you’re here- everyone is too busy chasing kids and keeping an eye on their own crew. So, wear whatever you feel comfortable in with confidence!
At the pool, the waiters walk around offering frozen popsicles that are a welcome relief from the hot sun.
I think you can tell Jordan loved hers!
She really had such a fun time at the pool and I wish I got a picture of us on the lazy river (but I didn’t have a water camera), because that was one of the best parts. She sat on my lap in an inner tube and loved floating around with everyone.
I think Jordan’s favorite part of this whole trip was definitely the beach. We forgot to bring beach toys, but other little girls were happy to lend theirs and she was content with just a bucket and a shovel. Thankfully, she’s learned not to eat the sand (too much) since her first trip to the beach!
One key to our success with this trip was being able to divide up sometimes so that James could enjoy what he wanted to do, the things Jordan was too little for. For example, he went down the water slide several times and loved playing water basketball with Dad, while Jordan and I played in the sand.
Everything you need is on site, so we never left once we were there, but things are kind of spread out, so be prepared to walk around some. We didn’t bring a stroller, but if you have little ones who get tired of walking easily, you probably want to bring one. Jordan walked everywhere and when she didn’t want to, Dad’s shoulders were her preferred method of transportation. It’s funny to see how your kids can be so different- James was always half scared being up there, but she loves it!
There’s a cafe/ice cream parlor/coffee shop inside Lost Pines and I’m not sure why we didn’t get two ice cream cones. #duh! But, James is really so sweet with his sister, of course, he shared.
They did both enjoy a snocone on Day #2!
LOST PINES ACTIVITIES
This time, we took advantage of lots of the activities and amenities the resort has, but there wasn’t time for everything. We hung out at the bocce court and James started learning chess on their outdoor chess boards.
The first night we were there, when Jordan was ready for bed, Jimmy hung out in the room with her and James and I went and made s’mores in the open fire pit. It’s such a good, old-fashioned and innocent thing to do that brings a kid (and mama) so much joy.
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After we ate our s’mores, we looked over on the big open lawn and saw all these people sitting on towels and wondered what was going on. We realized they were waiting for the outdoor movie to start, so James and I grabbed a couple towels, claimed our spot near the front, and watched Moana outside under the stars. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip, getting that one-on-one time with him and enjoying being outside together.
James said his favorite part of the trip was playing pool, playing giant checkers, and floating on the lazy river.
He’s got skills but I still won! and someone kept trying to steal our checkers!
There are several good restaurants on site, but the prices are pretty expensive. We have one really ‘good’ eater (Jordan) and one super picky eater (James). For us, a $30 buffet for a banana did not make good sense, but Jordan ate everything up and loved it! I should have brought a few things from home for James because he rarely will eat anything besides bread and butter and fruit at a restaurant. And it’s always good to have snacks available in the room.
The first dinner, we ate delicious bbq, and the second night we ate at the Firewheel that had a buffet full of tasty food. Jordan and I shared salmon and she loved the mac and cheese. James loved the waffle part of chicken and waffles and Dad enjoyed the prime rib. Of course the dessert bar is amazing too.
I got a chance to wear a colorful new top I ordered from Loft. I saw this in the store a couple weeks ago, but they didn’t have my size, so I ordered it and love it! It’s silky smooth with a tie back, halter neckline and the colors are so pretty!
TIPS FOR VACATIONING WITH KIDS
Go with the flow.
Jordan is still on a schedule with usually one or two naps a day and we stuck to this loosely. We didn’t try to force naps, but also recognized when she had had enough fun in the sun and needed a break. Example, below:
She slept well in the room in a provided pack-n-play because the black-out shades made the room super dark and we put on her sound machine sleep app. We also brought her ‘lovies’ and special blankets to help her feel comfortable in her new bed.
Because there was so much fun stuff to do at the resort and a daily schedule of activities, I picked a couple things we wanted to do each day, but if we ended up missing them or choosing something different, that was okay.
Be prepared to split up.
I touched on this earlier, but because our kids are 6 years apart, their interest and skill levels are obviously different. We took turns with Jordan’s naps and earlier bedtimes so the other parent could still be out playing with James. I saw that Lost Pines has “Camp Hyatt” for kids ages 3- 12 where they can do group activities with other kids, so that’s basically a babysitting service if you are interested in that. We didn’t use it, but I saw several kids with camp counselors during the movie.
Pack things to do in the room.
We took several room breaks and both kids played with iPads. Yes, even Jordan has our old 1st generation iPad and knows how to use some apps like PBS Kids, Sesame Street, Paw Patrol, and Thomas the Train. But, we also brought books and James brought toy guns.
Pack specific bags for different activities.
For us, this meant having a dedicated pool bag for water activities and a separate, smaller bag for Jordan’s bibs, placemats, sippy cups and silverware that we could use at restaurants. This was great for grab and go when we were heading out the door. And Jimmy got to bring his ‘man bag‘ that we surprised with him for Father’s Day!
Even though we were only there a couple of days, we still should have brought a few apples, bananas, granola bars, etc. to have on hand.
Get a family photo.
I can’t believe we forgot to ask someone to take a picture of all 4 of us! When I looked back at all of our pictures from the trip, we didn’t have one photo of all of us! 🙁
We really had such a good time, I’m hoping we can go back every year! Do you have a good family-friendly destination to recommend?