Vacations never go as planned

Relaxing in the rocking chairs at the Hyatt Lost Pines near Austin TX

DAY THREE — It’s over 100 degrees but the kids playing in and around the pool at Barton Creek Resort don’t seem to care. Ten-year-old Ryan Libby is slurping a frozen drink and eating chicken fingers poolside.

His family just came from the beach, he says, and he liked this place better because “there’s a lot more to do” That includes basketball, the arcade, movie night and even arts and crafts on the weekends. Don’t forget to mention put-put golf, he says.

“I like the beach, but you have to organize everything yourself,” he explains. “Here there is always something to do.”

That includes four golf courses and a spa. While my husband, son and nephew play in the hundred-degree heat, I indulge in a facial at the spa. Terrific. Next time maybe I’ll opt for one of their signature scrubs.

Three are organized activities for the kids too, should parents want to play golf or head for the spa. This is “wacky water week” a good bet with the heat.

But as with any family vacation, nothing goes as planned. One brother in law ends up in the emergency room with a throat infection; a nephew gets a bad sunburn. That means the river float trip they’d planned for tomorrow is probably off the agenda. We don’t make it downtown either for dinner and instead opt for burgers here at the resort.

I’m glad we’ve got such a nice place to hang out and be together. Other families here seem to agree. “The kids are having a great time,” said Susan Moss, who was vacationing from Houston with her mom, sister and seven kids aged 13 to 3. The husbands are home working. “We’re going to run out of time before we run out of things to do,” she said, noting there’s the Texas History Museum, the chance to see the bats at sunset, Zilker Park with its chance to swim in the natural spring, great BBQ—but that’s if they can get the kids out of the pool.

On the last day, we take my husband’s mom, the 89-year-old matriarch of the family, around town to see some of her surviving old friends. We gather for one last meal together at a local Mexican restaurant – Austin is famous for its myriad Tex-Mex joints – and laugh about old times over margaritas and tamales. Tomorrow it’s time to head back home from this all-too-brief vacation/reunion.

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