I think some of the best traditions happen by accident. You know, something you do once on a whim, and it works out so well it becomes a tradition. A few years back, I decided we would celebrate birthdays and holidays by emphasizing memories more than presents. Instead of planning a birthday party for my son’s last two birthdays, we planned a road trip. It wasn’t until we checked into the Omni Barton Creek, that I realized this was the second year in a row we’d spent Hunter’s birthday at an Omni hotel.
Oh, and when I say “planned a road trip”, well I use that very loosely. Basically my plans consisted of getting the kids out of town and winging it. This was the first time I’d attempted a trip with both kids and no back-up, so just making it to Austin was a victory of sorts. They really should hand out awards to parents that survive road trips, or wine, yes, I’d prefer a glass of wine over a ribbon or trophy.
Anyway, after they’d asked “how much longer” at least 50 times, we checked into the Omni Barton Creek Resort around 3 PM. The front desk immediately recognized we were there for a special occasion and wished Hunter a Happy Birthday. When they handed the kids their activity backpacks, I imagined taking a quick nap while the kids colored.
My six year old had other ideas, and now that she can read, she was already navigating our way to the resort pool. With temps over 100 degrees I was prepared for a crowded pool, but traveling during the week has its perks. We had our choice of loungers all in prime locations with shade or sunshine, and the kids had lots of room to practice swimming. While we splashed, raced and took goofy photos under water, I watched with envy as servers delivered cold beer and frozen adult beverages to other guests.
When we returned to the room to get ready for dinner, we were surprised to find a hotel elf had left us a plate of cookies and carafe of milk. After dinner, the kids enjoyed their dessert from the French balcony, as we watched the sun set over the Hill Country. Located on 4,000 acres the Omni Barton Creek Resort has beautiful views of the Hill Country, and my daughter kept talking about how nice it was to be surrounded by nature.
The next morning the kids woke me up for an early start to Hunter’s fifth birthday. I was worried I’d have to leave the resort to find ways to keep them entertained. Lucky for me Omni Barton Creek caters to families with a miniature golf course, nature trail, an indoor and outdoor pool, ping pong tables, chess, outside play structure, and a kids club and camp.
Our day started on the mini-golf course, and when we started cooking in the Texas heat, we headed to the pool to cool off. Returning our equipment at the fitness center, and passing the The Springs Spa without booking an appointment was almost painful for me. Note to self: return to Omni Barton Creek for a relaxing girls weekend and schedule a trip to the spa, maybe some golf lessons.
We spent our day exploring the resort, swimming, chasing golf balls, and relaxing. If I’d known the resort was going to deliver a red velvet birthday cake for Hunter, we would have also spent time at the gym!
A recurring theme for our Austin visit was stress-free fun, so we weren’t counting calories. From the time we arrived at the Austin resort, throughout our stay, both of the kids commented about how great the staff and service were at the Omni Barton Creek. As we pulled away, and left the beautiful hill country behind us, they were already talking about when we could return to the resort. And I was thankful for a relaxing getaway with the kids that was only three hours away from home!
A big thank you to Omni Barton Creek for hosting us and helping make Hunter’s 5th birthday even more special.