Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vacation Time

So that last triathlon I did was out of town.  And I won a free night at the resort where the triathlon was held.  And the triathletes were given a reduced rate.  That means we were able to enjoy two nights at the Hyatt Lost Pines resort for $170 total.

My overall impression: we are not yuppy enough for the resort.  It was nice, the room was very clean, beds were comfortable, I wish I could've brought the whole bathroom home with me, and there was a fridge in the room.  Anything that cost extra money cost A LOT of extra money though.  More than we were willing to spend, so we stuck to free activities.  We did not eat in any of the restaurants because they were way out of our price range with 5 people to feed.

We did have a fun weekend sticking to the included activities though.  Mainly, the kids wanted to spend all their time at the pool.  There is a lazy river, a water slide, a couple of pools, a large baby pool and a splash pad.  No pictures from there because I wasn't taking a camera out to the pool to get ruined.  One great thing about the pool is it opened early.  So when our early risers were dressed in swimsuits at 8am, we could actually take them for a swim.

When we weren't at the pool, there was still a lot of resort to explore.  Inside, they had an activities room set up.  This gave the kids a chance to play while still taking a break from the sun.  Secora liked the giant legos:
And all the girls had fun playing ping pong
There was also a bowling set, a giant connect 4 game, tunnels to climb through and board games.

Outside, there is a butterfly garden and a hummingbird garden.  We ended up exploring these in the heat of the day, so I didn't catch anything but plants with the camera.  There were tons of butterflies around the resort though, we kept commenting on how many butterflies and bumble bees there were (happy bumble bees, with tons of their favorite flowers around, they weren't bothering anybody)

We also came across this garden spider at one point:

In the pasture, there are longhorns and llamas to visit with

There are also a couple of horses on the property.  We happened to be around on shoeing day, so the girls got to watch that and the guy was really good about explaining why it's all done the way it is.
They also got to pet the horse that was waiting for her turn
One of the best free activities is free s'mores at night.  They light up a fire pit and supply marshmallows on giant roasting sticks.  When they're done, you take them up to the table and an employee sandwiches your marshmallow between graham crackers and chocolate.

All in all, it was a good weekend.  I can't say I'd recommend paying full price, but if you happened to find a good deal, it's worth it.  Most definitely bring food with you.  There aren't microwaves, but there is a small fridge and it takes about 20 minutes to drive into town to eat anywhere else.  At the resort, you'll easily pay $15 or more per person for a meal.  We knew that ahead of time, so we brought our own food for breakfast, lunch and snacks, then drove into town for dinner.   There are a ton of activities available, everything from spa services and golf to archery and rock climbing.  Be prepared to fork over a hefty chunk of change for all of it though.

One of the highlights was on our way out of town, when we stopped to explore The Dinosaur Park.  More on that tomorrow!

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