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This summer my family tried something new. We booked a rust, ranch vacation on 1,000 acres in Waelder, Texas (about 30 miles directly south of Bastrop). My husband did lots of research on a vacation rentals website and found the perfect vacation destination for our family.
The property we choose was a little further from civilization than I’m usually comfortable with. Google Maps only got us so far. The property had five gated entrances, and I think we stumbled upon all of them before finally finding the main entrance to the ranch.
I have to admit, I was a little hesitant about “roughing it” for a week, but it ended up being an amazing trip. We stayed in a huge rustic lodge that came equipped with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a game room, an open concept living area, a wrap-around porch, and our own private, gated pool equipped with an amazing waterfall feature and lush landscaping.
We rented an ATV from the property owners and spent each day exploring the property’s vast acreage. Essentially, we had our own private safari. We encountered everything from water buffalos to gazelles to zebras and longhorns. The land also came equipped with three stock tanks, filled with catfish and bass.
Each night at dusk while the adults prepared supper, the kiddos visited with donkeys, horses, longhorns and a Shetland pony.
We enjoyed s’mores and lots of conversation by a backyard fire pit each night as the sun sank below the horizon. One night we even got to witness a lightning storm off in the distance.
This was the most laid-back family vacation we’ve ever been on. I didn’t put on make-up for a week. We were all able to get in touch with nature. Reading books and family board games became a daily occurrence.
If anyone is looking for an alternative to the standard beach vacation, I urge you to check out vocational rentals off the beaten path.
We will definitely visit a rustic ranch again. It was an amazing experience!
Avery has worked as an assistant professor in the Communication and Media Studies Department at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor since 2005. She is the Program Coordinator for the PR degree and oversees student internships. She earned her Accreditation in PR (APR) in 2015. She teaches classes in journalism, editing, public relations and social media. Avery also serves as a Subject-Matter-Expert in communication for UMHB’s myWay program. She earned an MA degree in Mass Communication at Texas State University and a BS degree in Journalism/Speech Communication from Texas A&M University. Avery and her husband Chad have two beautiful girls, Anya and Elise. When she is not teaching or chauffeuring kiddos to and from activities, she enjoys traveling.