This July, we went on our first vacation as a family of five. My cousin on my dad’s side was getting married, and honestly, we do not see that side of the family much. Everyone lives far away, and now that we are older, people get busy. We have our own children, have careers, and family reunions with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins is no longer the go-to family vacation.
But with my cousin getting married, it was the perfect opportunity for my extended family to meet my children. Because outside of one uncle and aunt, no one had met any of my babies. So we decided that I would go back to maternity leave a week early so we could take a week off of work to spend a week in San Antonio, Texas–with the trip ending with the wedding.
When I told my parents our plans, they immediately asked if they could join. “Of course! We will never say no to extra sets of hands with the kids!” both Matt and I exclaimed.
Initially, the plan was to stay at a fellow content-creator’s house. The basement of the house could easily fit our family and the idea of not spending money on a hotel solidified our plans to stay a week. Already, the plane tickets were going to be a big pill to swallow. JR and Max were no longer free. And as a self-proclaimed cheap mama, I was not thrilled with the idea of buying 4 plane tickets. But I did. We got the tickets for the end of July through the beginning days of August, and waited for the trip to arrive.
Then, about two weeks before our trip, we got the bad news. We could no longer stay at the content-creator’s house. “Umm, what?!” I said to Matt when he broke the news. “That is the whole reason we decided to go down for a week! We wouldn’t have to pay for housing!” I cried. Matt just shrugged in his typical fashion. Of course he didn’t care as much. He wasn’t the one who would need to find us a new place to stay 9 days from now.
Most hotels were booked, and the ones that weren’t were ungodly expensive. I couldn’t stomach paying over $250.00 a night for just a simple room. So I went on Airbnb. had never rented a place through Airbnb, but I heard good things about it. Most people I knew had used it. Even my parents. But I was hesitant. Where you stay can really dictate the type of trip you have. I didn’t want to take a risk staying in a terrible place. But I also didn’t want to settle for mediocre. After some searching, I found the most perfect place to stay. Once I saw the pool and porch, I was basically already putting in my credit card information.
This place exceeded all our expectations! It is a 211 acre ranch property that is only about 15 minutes away from San Antonio. We got the benefits of the middle of nowhere while being so close to stores and things to do. The house was the perfect size for our family of five. The kitchen was big enough to cook meals while the boys played in the living room with the gigantic bucket of LEGOs that were in the closet.
The yard around the house is drop dead gorgeous. Every morning we ate breakfast tacos and donuts outside under a huge live oak tree. Pro tip: eat breakfast tacos for breakfast every single day. They are delicious and we have yet to find any taco that comes even close in Minnesota.
The property has two white horses that roam around that are friendly, and our toddlers got such joy petting and feeding them. Every morning, they would look out the window for the horses. And at night, my parents would sit with the kids, and Matt and I would walk around the property with a glass of wine, soaking in the sunset.
But you guys, the pool. It is amazing. The view. The water temperature. The pool toys. It’s just plain perfect. And the porch surrounding the pool is great for just relaxing and eating snacks before jumping back into the water.
We spent two full afternoons soaking up the sun and relaxing in the pool. With three little kids, it was perfect. We could still enjoy the Texas weather, have a gorgeous view, and not have to worry about carting them around or be concerned about them having a pre-nap melt down in public. We could simply walk back down to our house and put the kids to nap. If they were hungry, we would sit on the porch and eat snacks. It was wonderful.
And when we weren’t spending the day at the pool, we spent the day at the beach on Canyon Lake. There are a couple of different beaches at Canyon Lake, and we found this beach that was hidden below a huge cliff–Canyon Overlook Park The climb down to the beach was a bit challenging holding a little baby. But it was completely worth it!
It is a pebble beach so make sure to wear secure sandals. It not only helps with the climb, but helps with walking around once you get to the beach. The water is such a clear blue. It goes on forever. If possible, bring some shade with you (ie: umbrella or tent). The are no trees down on the actual beach and the Texas sun is strong.
It was such a wonderful trip and a great first vacation as a family of five. While we were initially disappointed that our place to stay fell through, the place we ended up staying at made our trip such a success!
And sure, we did not do any of the typical San Antonio site. No Riverwalk. No Alamo. But it was exactly the kind of vacation that fit our young family. I cannot recommend it enough!