Summer Vacation!

Popsicles: sometimes they aren’t worth it.

(He’s showing us that it’s dripping.)

Our first non-work-related, just-the-three-of-us, family vacation with Jackson: totally worth it.

Curtis, Jackson and I just got home last night from our weekend vacation to none other than San Antonio, Texas. I thought of all my siestas while we were there. I can’t wait until we converge on that beautiful city in a couple of months!

We stayed at the wonderful Hyatt Hill Country Resort from Thursday night through Sunday. I’d found a great deal on rates for a stay before June 1. What an amazing place! It was really unique to be at a nice, beautiful resort that totally catered to families. I’d heard that it was a great place for kids and it definitely was. We spent most of our time in the pool and lazy river. In the evenings they do s’mores over a fire and show a movie on a big screen over a beautiful lawn. They even had pony rides! This is not where you’d want to stay for the Siesta Fiesta due to its location, but if you are ever in town with your families, definitely consider it.

On Friday we stayed at the hotel and enjoyed everything there. For Mother’s Day, Curt and Jackson gave me a gift certificate to have a massage at the hotel’s spa and I got to enjoy it that day. It was wonderful! The spa building looked like an old ranch house attached to a red barn. Check it out:

On Saturday we got up early and headed to Sea World, which was only a mile or two away from the hotel. We watched the Shamu show first thing and I won’t lie – I totally teared up. What kind of God do we have that would make such incredible creatures? And that He would give man the ability to have some sort of relationship with them? Our God is awesome! Sea World also has a water park and we took advantage of it in the afternoon when the sun started beating down on us. Jackson, our little water bug, had the time of his life.

We checked out of our hotel on Sunday and drove to Gruene, Texas, to have lunch at the Grist Mill. It is not to be missed. After that, we stopped briefly at the San Marcos Prime Outlet Mall where they have a Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, and a ton of other great stores. (I think we were about an hour away from San Antonio.) I didn’t need one thing, but it was fun to look! We grabbed some ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins, taking great care not to repeat the Popsicle Incident of ’08, and started the trek home.

You may notice that I don’t have any pictures of us at the pool or at Sea World. As usual, I didn’t want to take a chance on getting my camera wet. So just imagine the three of us drenched from head to toe, smiling big, having pruny hands and feet, and looking slightly more tan than before. Welcome, summer!



116 Responses to “Summer Vacation!”

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  1. 51
    Ashton says:

    Always enjoy seeing your pictures of your little family, Amanda, what a blessing.

  2. 52
    meghan says:

    Welcome Summer indeed! We used to have a Sea World here in Ohio. Unfortunately it closed a couple of years ago. It is one of the most amazing experiences. So amazing. A killer whale vicious in the wild, yet able to form a bond with a human strong enough to communicate and trust, who can say there is no God? The bond between humans and animals has always fascinated me. It has to be God.
    So glad you had a good time with just the three of you. I can relate to our fellow siesta, from the age of 1 down all the pictures of my daughter are with my husband. I always had the camera.

  3. 53
    ABL mom of 3 says:

    One of my favorite places in the world is the Hyatt Hill Country. We have gone every summer for so many years, but didn’t go last year and I missed it terribly. I have girls and they have gotten their hair braided when we’ve gone. The ladies who braid hair there in the summer are awesome. I am amazed at how quickly they can move their fingers. So glad your family was able to go! Maybe some day you’ll have a little girl who gets her hair braided there as well!!

  4. 54
    Anonymous says:


    It sounds like you guys had a great vacation weekend. I am so glad you could get away and have fun.

    Thanks for sharing with us. Kim B in Az

  5. 55
    Melana says:

    Love Jackson’s “Cars” shoes!!

    I’m so glad you had a great vacation!

    Melana in Wyoming

  6. 56
    Emmy says:

    So thankful you had an awesome vacation! I prayed for you all!

    Makes me so excited just reading the words San Antonio! (I have only been to Texas once for a wedding in Dallas) can’t wait!

    Love- Emmy

    Jackson you are precious! : )

  7. 57
    Marie says:

    sounds like such fun! Makes me remember the days of family vacations when my babies were still at home with me. Sweet memories!! And, you are SO right – TOTALLY worth it!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. 58
    Sheri Lyn says:

    What a cutie! Don’t you love family vacations!

    My fam gave me a spa gift certificate, too – they are the best gift ever for a mom.

    Happy Summer!

  9. 59
    Bobbie says:

    It sounds like a fabulous weekend! Jackson is obviously enjoying himself and as long as he’s smiling and having a great time, you & Curtis can enjoy it all the more!! I do love San Antonio, but I could spend A LOT of time in Gruene. I love to wander through the little shops and lunch at the Grist Mill is something our family always insists on.

    Glad you had time away that wasn’t work related! Can’t wait to see you in SA!

  10. 60
    annette says:

    What cute pictures. Glad you had a wonderful tine together.

    Some of my favorite memories are as a young child with my parents in San Antonio and at Aquarena (sp) Springs riding in the glass bottomed boat…

  11. 61
    Bev Brandon says:

    The Grist Mill – one of my favorite restaurants in Gruene. The onion rings are beyond comparison. And the outdoor garden levels, so rustic and real with rushing waters below—love it! But wait…we are still in school cause of the Texas legislature! 4 more days…never have ever been in school in June.
    San Antonio will be a great START and END to your welcomed summer!

  12. 62
    Momma 2 5 says:

    Sounds like you had a BLAST!!!! Thanks for thinking of us while you were there! Looking forward to August!

    Love you!
    Amanda in SC

  13. 63
    Tara says:

    I’m so glad that you all had a great time! The pictures of Jackson eating the melting popsicle were priceless… And your description of Sea World and the water park sounded like such a blast too!

    I grew up in FL with annual trips to Sea World. And you are right: Those creatures are amazing! I love Shamu even after all these years:)

    Thanks for giving us Siestas a glimpse into your fun family vacation!

  14. 64
    Kristib says:

    Jackson is just precious! Love the pics! Glad you had a great start to the summer! I envy you getting a massage though.

    Can’t wait to see you and all the siestas in San Antonio!

    Much love!
    Kristi B.

  15. 65
    Rebecca says:

    It looks like you guys had a ton of fun! You guys make a beautiful famaily!

  16. 66
    lori says:

    Those pictures of Jackson are too cute, he is getting so big.

    Glad you guys had fun

  17. 67
    Anonymous says:

    So glad you enjoyed our city. My husband and I went there for our anniversary – in October – it is great for couples too!!! Also, we got engaged at Gruene hall! Love all the places you mentioned!!!!


  18. 68
    cindy says:

    Hey Amanda,
    Thanks for the great pictures. They speak volumes! Jackson reminds me so much of my nephew Max. He and his sister, Maggie, are 2+ year old twins and a riot. My son (11) taught them how to say, “dude” and point their fingers at you. Very cute. I love that age. My kids (11and 9) still eat popsicles (when inside) with a paper cup to catch the drips and spills… Looks like you had a great summer vacation. Sometimes the weekend trips are as much fun and not as much stress as the longer ones. A massage about now sounds awesome. I’m going to go put that on the calendar! Thanks for sharing.
    Cindy R.

  19. 69
    Kelly @ Love Well says:

    Can I come on your next trip? You know, maybe, like, invisibly? That looks like too much fun. (Said the woman who’s acting as a single parent this week to three kids 6 and under. I feel blessed to be able to put a sentence together at this point.)

  20. 70
    Anonymous says:

    Amanda, im so glad you went to San Antonio and had such fun….Yes i knew you’d love (choke up) watching those animals aand people interact…did you watch the walrus , seal, otter mystery show??? but the again who needs walrus and seal s when popsicles work just as well!!!!! So glad the three of you got away for a great vacation!!!!

  21. 71
    Anonymous says:

    ps look for that Beuchner book at lpm…i left a copy for beth last year so you can read that sermon…it is great!!!!

  22. 72
    Anonymous says:

    Ah yes, yet another mother-less child in the photo album of life 😉

    I’ve been thinking the whale thoughts about the local garden centers – Who but God could have created all those colors and shapes and leaves and flowers. The overwhelming joy of the sheer beauty is just nearly too much!

  23. 73
    kevintessa says:

    Agh! A girl after my own heart…I cry every time over Shamu.

    Now, do not miss this: swimming with the Beluga Whales! Yes!

    Sea World San Antonio offers that experience for a reasonable rate and it is incredible! Last summer, we treated our ten year old honey to the birthday gift of swimming with them! She was smitten instantly and learned to communicate with them in a snap!

    Talk about making you cry!

  24. 74
    Susan Murphy says:

    Aren’t ya glad it wasn’t dripping on your carpet LOL! My kids ate there’s outside on the patio. Looks like ya’ll had an awesome time. I love the photo of Jackson with your Hubby they are too cute together.

  25. 75
    Elizabeth says:

    Totally off topic – but wanted to let Melissa know we made her rosemary chicken recipe tonight and HAVE SWEET MERCY! It was AMAZING! Even my six year old who eats nothing but chicken nuggets loved it and asked for more! Keep bringing the good ideas girl!

  26. 76
    Darlene R. says:

    That has to be the cutest pouty-faced picture ever! He is going to be quite the little heart-breaker when he grows up!

  27. 77
    Lisa a.k.a. The Preacher's Wife says:

    Didn’t read all the other comments so someone may have already suggested them, but you HAVE to try long lasting slow melt popsicles. They are awesome!

    (Though it does make me wonder about what in the world they put in those things to keep them from melting??)

  28. 78
    "Just Me - NC Beth" says:

    There is nothing worse than having your popsicle melt all over you! Not good at all!! (I have 5 grandkids of which 2 are 2 years of age, so I know!!)
    Great photos..thanks for sharing!

  29. 79
    Bridgette says:

    What a great weekend with your family! Those popsicle pictures are awesome scrapbooking pages! I’m glad you were able to enjoy a weekend. I know that alot of my memories as a child were the little weekend trips that we would go on. Which was usually a camping trip in the N.Ga. mountains. We didn’t really have money to vacation and my Dad didn’t get vacations! But every time we could we went camping for the weekend!

  30. 80
    Busyx3 says:

    Amanda, I am so glad you all had such a wonderful vacation. It is always amazing what a few days of rest and relaxation can do for us. Jackson is precious. Only one thing is missing in the pictures, pictures of you!!! On our vacations we used to always have pictures with our kids and only one parent in the picture until last year my hubby discovered that trash cans take great pictures. We would find a trash can, sit the camera on top, and I would get in a location so my hubby could zoom in/out or whatever so the picture would look good. We’d position the 3 kids, he’d set the timer, run into position, and badabing, badaboom, we had a family picture. You should try it. It works great. In the past (being the people-lover that I am) I would ask strangers to help, but my hubby is one who never wants to inconvenience anyone so he was a bit uncomfortable with me asking strangers all the time. With the trashcan taking our pictures we have mucho family pictures now! Good luck if you decide to try it:) Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!

  31. 81
    valerie says:

    I’m so glad you had a good vacation. Looks like a beautiful place.
    I love the pictures of Jackson with the popsicle. I’m hooked on Braum’s popsicles right now. My family gives me a hard time because at night I’ll eat at least two and plop myself on the couch and watch tv. 🙂 I wonder if a single (smaller) one (like those from Braums) might be easier and less messy???
    Do they have Braums in Houston?
    That last picture of Jackson is priceless! He is a doll!!!
    See you in a few months in San Antonio! I can’t wait!!!

  32. 82
    Anonymous says:

    What a great trip!
    We were at Sea World this past Saturday, too! The weather was great-hot, but not too hot.
    I wish I would have had the chance to talk to you and see sweet little Jackson.


  33. 83
    su says:

    I always tear up at Shamu also. I think it’s a combination of majestic music and massive beast. When one of my daughters was 4 or 5 she was chosen to hug Shamu. What a thrill. That was over 20 years ago so they don’t do it anymore because of liability. But for years her nickname was Whale Kisser. Aren’t memories grand?

    I also missed seeing a picture of you on this trip. Glad you had a great weekend.

  34. 84
    Cathy Davis says:

    Yippee pictures! I love the pouty popsicle face. Amanda – He is growing up so fast! (I know that really goes without being said.)

    I agree with Nicole – we need to see pictures of you too!

  35. 85
    It's All About Him says:

    It looks wonderful!! What a lovely place and I’m so glad y’all got away…just the three of you. And I know that massage was relaxing. I’m getting one in two weeks from a gift certificate I got for Christmas!!
    Have a great day in the Lord!

  36. 86
    Dudy says:

    My sister just graduated her oldest from high school and bawled when she realized she had only 1 or 2 snapshots of herself with him. She is divorced now……she pleaded with me to get my funny face into those pics with my kids! I am taking her advice!

    Thanks so much for sharing… sweet!

  37. 87
    Jolinda says:

    Curt and Amanda what a precious little guy! I’ve so busy I have not been able to comment on all the wonderful posts. From awesome recipes to Summer vacations! Beth I am so sorry about Sunny. I was in tears when I read the news. You are such a wonderful gal. I did not go along to say good-bye to our cocker a few years ago. I would have been a total mess. My husband was brought to tears when he came home & for him it takes a lot for that to happen. I truly am blessed by this blog . . . words are not enough to explain. Thanks for all the fun! God Bless!

  38. 88
    Jina says:

    I love that you got to take some time away! You no doubtedly have had a busy few months with moving! Praise Him for all these experiences. Even your son crying!


  39. 89
    Laura says:

    I have to tell you that I had the exact same emotions at the Shamu show in Sea World San Diego over Spring Break with my family. It was such a cool experience to share with my 9- and 12-year-olds. BTW, the long, skinny pops in the plastic that you freeze yourself will save you!

  40. 90
    Karen says:

    That’s why my kids eat popsicles on the steps of the pool – no cleanup for Mama!

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Dripping Springs, TX

  41. 91
    The Silva's says:

    Looks and sounds like you had a great time in SA!!! Oh, try the slow melt popsicles! My boys love them!!! And they are not messy at all! Even AJ Kindergarten teacher gave one to every child in her class and there was no mess to clean. What, no mess and 20 five year olds??? It is true my friend it is true!!

  42. 92
    Jaime says:

    I can completely imagine tearing up over orcas. Last summer we took our 2 year old to the Outer Banks and cried over jelly fish and sea mud. Spring boards to praise, indeed!!

  43. 93
    Amy Storms says:

    Can one of you Texas girls help a siesta out? My family is converging on San Antonio for a reunion this summer, and we have to fly into Austin. My question is–how long a drive is it from Austin to San Antonio? What’s traffic like at 4:00? (I’m from LA so I’m guessing it can’t be that bad. :)) If you can, comment back here or through my blog. THANKS!

  44. 94
    Lauren says:

    Oh my gosh, what a wonderful vacation! I love it! Can’t wait till my little guy is big enough to enjoy something like that! And I can’t wait to visit San Antonio again and have some to-die-for Tex-Mex. I miss it so much.

  45. 95
    ocean mommy says:

    Looks like a fun trip! I tear up at things like Shamu too. 🙂 Drives my family crazy…

  46. 96
    Anonymous says:

    I wanted to thank you for leaving up the old devotionals on the lproof site. On Sunday, I was having a bit of a meltdown… (I wish it was the Popsicle kind!) and I went to the devotionals and found your 25th birthday entry. I was lifted from the floor to my feet by the reminder that we shouldn’t look at what we haven’t done (or what is falling down all around us) but what God has done. Want He more praise? YES!

    LPM has helped and taught me in so many ways, I get emotional just thinking about what wonderful friends I have in all of you and I haven’t even met you. Can you imagine how fun heaven is going to be!!!!! Not only will we get see everyone face to face but we won’t have to wait in the bathroom lines like we do at the conferences!! Glory!! (just kidding… it isn’t that bad)

    Many thanks and hugs!!
    Love, Amy

  47. 97
    Missy says:

    And Miss Priss…where was a picture with you in it??? As always, Jackson is ADORABLE! I could eat him up. And that picture with the pout…my, my…too cute! I’m glad y’all were able to go and have a great time! 🙂 Welcome back, though..we missed you!!
    Missy in SC

  48. 98
    Isaac's Mom says:

    They say the Family that Plays together stays together!!!

    My family and I were just there for spring break and had a wild time together. Shamu was as always the highlight of the Sea World adventure. We did not get to the water park…it was not open at the time of our visit. Glad to hear you made it. We saw the resort on our way to Sea World and talked about taking our children sometime this summer. Now I have a great review to insure our visit.

    My husband was raised in San Antonio and we love to visit often. We don’t have anymore family there… and we are going to have to get a hotel room for the LP conference and the Siesta Fiesta. Oh the shame!! Can’t wait.

    Isaac’s Mom

  49. 99
    Robin says:

    That BooBoo-face close up of Jackson could win prizes…so very cute :). I’m sure his face “said” exactly what he felt!

    Sounds like a wonderful, memory-makin’ vacation…and takes me back to when my babies were that age :).

  50. 100
    connorcolesmom says:

    I love the pictures
    I can’t wait to get to SAN Antonio!
    It is going to so fun!

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