It’s been a little while since our family vacationed anywhere. We decided to get away this past Labor Day weekend to the Texas Hill Country, about an hour outside our home in San Antonio. I love road trips. Thomas and I dream about RVs and traveling all over the US to see everything and everyone. Because my recent pregnancy had me slightly confined for nearly a year, driving out on the open road, even for an hour, thrilled my heart. We were on an adventure with our three kids in tote.

The original plan was to spend the whole vacation visiting with Thomas’ grandma, letting her get acquainted with our newborn, one month old Levi. After a bit of discussion with family members, we opted for a much shorter visit with Grandma and a longer detour into the small German town of Fredericksburg. We realized that seeing our family for an entire weekend might be too much of a good thing for Grandma, and we didn’t want to overwhelm her.

We didn’t come to this decision until the night before we left, so finding a hotel room in a very popular little get-away town proved slightly difficult with elevated prices and not much room in the inn. We finally found a room at the Hampton Inn. It was their last room with only one King size bed; but the hotel had a great pool, so we packed the kids’ sleeping bags and set out for a fine emprise.

As long as we have small children, I will always stay at the Hampton Inn in Fredericksburg. Their pool proved the biggest hit of the weekend. What fun. There was a bridge over the pool, a large waterfall feature with two places to swim under the falls, floating toys to ride on, and best of all a high water slide. The atmosphere was serene and accommodating for both children and adults. In fact, being there made me appreciate the fact that we hadn’t gotten out in a long time. Our kids were so grateful and joyful. It was a true treat. We swam and swam, watched movies and Discovery channel, ate usually forbidden snacks, went window shopping in the little town, and swam some more. The pool was such a hit, the kids talked about it non-stop. Caleb kept asking if we could live there in what he called the "apartment.” Apparently the thought of sleeping on the floor forever was overshadowed by the pool. He kept asking me, “Isn’t this the nicest apartment, mom? Don’t you love it?”

All I could do was smile and say, “Yes, Caleb, it is fun, isn’t it?” Thomas and I finally gave up trying to explain to Caleb that people just didn’t live in hotels, that it would be too expensive. We had to settle for, “Maybe we’ll get to come back here someday. You pray that Jesus gives us the opportunity!” To which he immediately set to praying.

Finally, we drove a short ways to Kerrville to visit with Grandma over Sonic hamburgers. We always love those visits. We took several pictures of the kids with their 90 year old Great Grandma and chatted about events and people and the way things used to be. We thought it was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Little did we know that the adventures were far from over. Just before heading back to San Antonio, we stopped in to say hi to Thomas’ aunt and uncle. Uncle Sam (yes, we actually have one!) gave Thomas directions for a scenic “short cut” back to San Antonio. We decided to try it since we were in no rush to be home. Thomas said, “This will either save us thirty minutes or cost us an extra hour.”

Rather than costing us an extra hour, we spent an extra unexpected two hours on an exciting escapade, wondering if we would ever see civilization again! Clearly we were lost. For a long leg of this journey, we drove at 15mph on an unpaved road where herds of cattle crossed back and forth. We talked about the possibility of having to settle there in the uncharted territory should we never reach the paved road. For some reason turning back seemed ridiculous to both Thomas and me. So we made command decisions on which roads to take based on the location of the setting sun and our estimation of where San Antonio was located in proximity to us. Things like littered beer cans gave us hope that not just cows walked this lonely stretch of unpaved trail. We hoped that we weren’t trespassing when we passed signs for a ranch, and discussed whether Texans were more likely to shoot first or say “howdy” when encountering trespassers.

Finally, we hit paved road, with a bit of sadness at the end of a true adventure. We decided to extend the trip another two hours by stopping in at my parents house, when we found the paved road back into San Antonio passed close to their home just outside of the city, west of where we would have come back into town if we had taken the road more traveled by.

Now we’re back, nearly in the swing of things. Piles of laundry, pictures on the digital camera, and some lasting memories are all that are left of a small holiday in the country. I’m truly grateful for a husband with whom I share an adventurous spirit and a love for family and friends. My life is abundant and full.

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