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Birthday full of surprises at the Hyatt Lost Pines

Disclosure: My family and I were invited to stay at the Hyatt Lost Pines. We enjoyed a complimentary night’s stay and a media rate for our second night in addition to a complimentary dinner and other amenities. I was not financially compensated in any other way for these photos or my blog post. All photos and opinions are mine.

A young boy's birthday celebration at Hyatt Lost Pines

Our son Waylon’s birthday falls just two days after Christmas. For the last few years, we’ve left town to celebrate with him away from the distractions of decorations and holiday hubub. We want his birthday to feel special and separate from the holiday.

This trip we stayed at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, just a 90-minute drive from San Antonio. The warm and inviting, yet casual atmosphere of the resort, with it’s focus on nature and family activities, was the perfect place for us to unwind and celebrate Waylon.

While at the Hyatt Lost Pines, Waylon turned six years old. He’s not a baby anymore, much as I’ve been in denial about that.


After we settle into room 2424 (perfectly located because it overlooks a field with longhorns, alpacas, and horses – be sure to ask for this corner room when you go!), Waylon and I head out to explore the resort while Delaney and Roger stay behind.

Watching the longhorns at Hyatt Lost Pines

The sun is about to set on his 6th birthday and there we are, just mother and son, hand in hand, as we were on the quiet December night of his birth, after his sister and dad left the hospital for the day.

Mother and son on the day of his birth

Maybe it’s because he’s our second born, but Waylon is usually cautious, sticking more closely to me than his independent sister. Each year, however, he adds a bit more purpose to his stride. He drops my hand more often now to run toward experiences instead of away from them (unless those experiences include costumed characters, in which case I’m sure he’ll continue to run away from those for many years to come!).

His normally reserved demeanor falls away as we walk around the 405-acre resort, up and down hallways, peeking into ballrooms and restaurants, and strolling through inviting, wide open outdoor spaces where adults gather and children play.

Exploring the Hyatt Lost Pines

His words bubble out with unrestrained excitement: “LOOK, mommy! A bouncy house! Hey, there’s an ice cream shop! Can we get some? Bikes! I wanna ride one. Can I? There’s a fire in that pit! Oooooh. I’m gonna run down that big hill.”

Bikes for rent at Hyatt Lost Pines

Sitting around the fire at Hyatt Lost Pines

And he’s off, flying down the steep hill with abandon, stopping only when greeted by the banks of the Colorado River.

Running around the 405 acres at Hyatt Lost Pines

When I finally catch up to him we attempt to skip stones on the water (a task his father is surely more suited to than I). The sun sinks low, streaking the grey sky with fiery orange hues.

Skipping stones on the Colorado River at the Hyatt Lost Pines

I sneak a peek at Waylon. He looks tall, so much taller than he did just this morning. His cheeks are bright with exertion and wonder and the chill of the air as the sun dips down. Suddenly, he’s off again, running back up the hill, so overcome with curiosity about what’s on the other side of the resort that he barely looks back to make sure I’m behind him.


I watch Waylon from a short distance as he sticks his fingers into his mouth, something he does only when contemplating a daunting task. In this case, riding a pony. I watch his eyebrows crunch into a familiar furrow as he puzzles over whether or not to go through with it. His mouth turns down and, occasionally, his eyebrows shoot up when he looks over at me, silently asking, “Is this really going to be OK?” He lets me know, without a sound, that he’s terrified.

In the last moment before he must take action I’m sure he’s going to walk away from what he had been looking forward to for a week. But he proves me wrong. Slowly, he walks over to the small set of steps that lead him to the pony’s blonde back. He accepts the stable girl’s helping hand and then throws his leg over Strawberry, a gentle pony if there ever was one. Two stable girls lead him and his pony forward. I follow behind, quickly snapping photos, wanting to remember, forever, the moment when his curiosity overcame his fear.

The stable girls cheerfully ask him all sorts of questions: How old is he? What grade is he in? Where is he from? Is this his first time on a horse? He doesn’t answer. Occasionally he nods. Mostly, he looks down at the ground, probably pondering how far down it is from his perch on Strawberry’s back. On they walk, around the woods, making a few loops, a 15 minute ride in all. Waylon doesn’t smile. The furrow never leaves his brow. Not once.

Taking a pony ride at the Hyatt Lost Pines

Afterward, when the stable manager prints a photo of him riding Strawberry, Waylon holds it in his hand and examines it, proudly. His smile is back and confidence radiates from his brightly shining brown eyes, from the way he struts over to his dad to show off the picture. There it is, the moment my baby became a boy.


Today’s adventures include meeting the longhorns, T-bone and Ribeye, and, for the very brave, sitting on one for a photo. Delaney, our dauntless daughter, is beside herself, fizzy with energy, clamoring to climb on top of a longhorn. This girl was born to sit on a longhorn.

Meet the longhorns at Hyatt Lost Pines

We head over to watch the cowgirls prepare the longhorns for their walk across the resort to the place where the guests line up to meet them.

While Delaney keeps up with the procession, Waylon hangs back, holding my hand. He’s quiet and I see him slip two fingers from his free hand into his mouth. Today likely won’t be the day he rides a longhorn. For now, holding the stuffed one he received as a birthday gift from the Hyatt is as close as he’ll get. But after a weekend full of growth, celebration, and surprises, that suits his mama just fine.

It's Ribeye, one of the longhorns from the Hyatt Lost Pines

A Visit to Hyatt Lost Pines, Bastrop, Texas

View the full set of photos from our visit to the Hyatt Lost Pines:


  1. That looks like so much fun! And your pictures turned out beautifully! 🙂
    Jessica recently posted…Book One: Steady DaysMy Profile

  2. I’ve often wondered about this resort!
    Patti recently posted…My Top 10 Picks for 2013My Profile

  3. This is beautiful! Definitely putting in our “to-do” list. 🙂
    Melissa D recently posted…Our Afternoon Homeschool Routine | Lone Star SignersMy Profile

  4. Just wonderful, Colleen. Perfect.
    Dawn recently posted…Today for lunch…My Profile

  5. Awesome birthday and Waylon will have your account, and beautiful photos for years to come. This resort looks beautiful, and I love that they encourage interaction with the animals. Now, I have to go spend time with my 5 year old before my “baby girl” becomes a girl!
    Kristin Barclay recently posted…Crown Royal Has Drafted Me To Crown Center CourtMy Profile

  6. Robert Alvarez says:

    Well done Colleen. You have a great way with words. You should write a book if you haven’t already.

  7. I love this story about your son. It shows how special and meaningful a simple family trip could be! The pictures of the resort are beautiful!
    Michelle Hernandez recently posted…Healthy New Year for the Family with YMCA Membership Drive {Giveaway}My Profile

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Colleen. Your photos are gorgeous, as are your words!
    Abby recently posted…1/52My Profile

  9. I also really enjoyed both the storytelling and the photo memories 🙂
    Melissa Leddy recently posted…Building Your Family’s Christmas Decor, Via Post-Holiday SalesMy Profile

  10. I love that place. I’ve been there for a few weddings and it’s wonderful. The pool is so great in the summer! 🙂
    Bailey K. recently posted…LOST MAPLES STATE PARK | TEXASMy Profile

  11. Happy birthday to your son!

    These pictures are gorgeous and it looks like you all had a wonderful time celebrating. I’m glad you found a way to make his birthday special and separate from the holidays.
    Ashley recently posted…Citrus Lane ReviewMy Profile

  12. We spent Mother’s Day of 2013 at Hyatt Lost Pines, and my then 3-year old was absolutely in love. it is such a tranquil and beautiful resort. Thanks for sharing!
    Lin @ DisneyMamas recently posted…WDW Transportation Cards: Fun and Free for Kids!My Profile

  13. Wow, what a cool place to stay!
    Erica recently posted…Beach Baby EssentialsMy Profile

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