Tuesday, May 14, 2019

EASY TEXAS GETAWAY | HYATT LOST PINES, BASTROP, TX

Regency Hyatt Lost Pines is one of our family favorites when it comes to spontaneous getaways. One thing that makes it so sweet is that you can feel thousands of miles away from the stressors back at home by only traveling a few hours in the car. It's literally a hop, skip and a jump for those within driving distance around Houston, San Antonio, Austin, or Dallas. For "non Texans", it's only a 30-minute drive from the Austin airport, making it an easy destination for plane travelers, too. The resort’s 400+ scenic acres are located on the banks of the Lower Colorado River, adjacent to the huge McKinney Roughs Nature Park, and it’s laid out so you never feel crowded. There are 500 guest rooms, with amenities including the Wolfdancer Golf Club, Spa Django and Renegade Trailhead equestrian facility. 


For families looking to get away, get outside, and disconnect it really can’t be beat. The resort offers non-stop activities for all ages, and during our two day stay, we were able to do some of them on our own, and some together. The perfect balance. Looking back at our family photos I can literally see my family growing up here.


Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort has animals all over the property – including these adorable “mini-mascots.” They have an actual time to meet them with a handler, but at any time, walk over to their pen and see these gentle creatures.


There is a secret walkway on the second floor over the lobby that connects the two wings of the resort – there some board games on the tables, including one called Bastropoly!


Once you get there, almost everything from the evening s’mores, to the crafts, to the animal interactions, to the water slide, bike rides, to the outdoor movie is included for resort guests so it is easy to just relax and say yes to everything that the kids want to do.

Not that we don’t all love family fun but with golf courses, a spa and restaurants, you may want to take advantage of Camp Hyatt. When it came time for us to pick up the kids after cocktails and dinner, the two of them came home with stories of new friends, games aplenty, nature walks, playground time, crafts and a movie. It seemed that we all had a great evening.

Available for all sizes and abilities, we love the collection of bikes. We went for a leisurely ride every chance we got. All the huge trees the resort has makes a wonderful shady area to ride in.


There are many other activities that we did not have a chance to try during the 3 days we were there such as birding, kayaking, rock wall & zip lining, archery, fly fishing, tennis, golf, tractor-drawn hay rides, painting your pony….the list goes on & on. There is truly something here for everyone. Most of the recreation activities are included in the resort fee ($25 per room per day). Some do have an additional fee.





Wednesday, May 8, 2019

ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT'S ME, MANDI.


Although there have been lessons worth learning along the way, there have certainly been seasons that felt much more like the wilderness than the Promised Land. I have had more questions than answers, and my hands hold more unknowns than certainties. But somewhere in the desert, somewhere in between what once was and what will be, I started to ask a familiar question in a new way.

Are you there, God?

In John 11, in the midst of her deep sadness and disappointment, frustration and confusion, Jesus comes and Mary asks, “Where were You?” In other words, Why didn’t You come sooner? Where were you in all of this? Why didn’t You change this, prevent this, fix this, heal this? Where were you 
when I needed You?

I admit, I’ve asked those things. I’ve wondered where He went and why His timeline differs so greatly from my own. I’ve walked laps around hospital hallways, I've met people who are deeply hurting, some deeply wounded by fellow Christians, I've seen hungry children, and I’ve said heartbreaking goodbyes. I recently found more cancer in my body, which I've attempted to ignore while fighting against the message He gave me to share.

Like Mary, I’ve asked why.

I’ve asked why plenty of times. Now, I’m learning instead to ask where.

When I look back over the book He’s written for me, flip through the pages and consider the chapters I’ve lived, there’s one constant running through: His presence.

When I look back on each season, I see a hundred reasons to believe that He really can work all things for good. This is my story and my song, and I’m trusting that He isn’t done working and declaring that as I’m waiting. He’s here, present and good, faithful and kind in every valley and on every mountaintop and every step in between.



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