God Blessed Texas

The adventure continues. Flew into Austin Texas to start our week. Traveling with Keith, our two youngest boys, Anna, her husband and their three kids. I have been to Houston, Dallas, Waco and San Antonio. First time to Austin or Sorona and Texas Hill Country.

Two Chevy Tahoes were waiting for us and a quick trip to our destination. Most of the properties we visit are away from the metropolitan areas. This was an unusual one in Austin. A Mansion built in 1928 by a prominent businessman. Mediterranean architecture with 10,800 sq ft on ten acres. Served as the Estate for the family, a Catholic Girl’s School and eventually a Hotel with a 50 room Inn added to the property in the last few years.

Breathtaking Gardens and Landscaping
Round Swimming Pool
Greenhouse Private Dinner
Mediterranean Architecture
Mansion Restaurant

The Mansion has four suites. One with two bedrooms that we stayed in. Anna and her family stayed in the Inn which was just as beautiful with the same architectural design elements. The kids enjoyed a swim and we got the Tour after lunch. A game of Croquet on the lawn in the late afternoon. Texas BBQ brisket for dinner in the Greenhouse. Looked like a big storm was rolling in by bedtime. Thunderstorm warnings so was looking forward to a show but it never happened.

Mansion Suite
Our Bedroom

Visit to the University of Texas Tuesday. Enjoyed catching up with a good friend from BYU days. Wishing him success. Wore BYU apparel for the visit. 😂 Longhorn Football Boosters now which is kind of fun. Bringing home a lot of Texas Orange. The Cougars will always be my first love but I have room in my heart to love the Texas Longhorns too.

Wednesday up early to golf 9 holes at the Austin Country Club. This Club and course was established in 1899 along the Colorado River running through Austin. Despite our over par game our hosts were gracious. Enjoyed some good laughs. Brunch after at the Mansion before heading to Ranch near Sorona Texas.

Four hour trip to Sorona in the heart of Texas Hill Country. The Ranch sits on over 13,000 acres, has 16 luxury cabins surrounding the Main Lodge and 16 rooms in the Guest Lodge. The Main Lodge has space for entertaining, a restaurant, bar, spa, meeting space, an infinity pool, health center with state of the art equipment, game room, etc. On the original Homestead site they have built a beautiful 6 bedroom Villa for VIP guests that has its own private pool and a 100 year old oak tree providing shade.

The Ranch has a general store, shooting ranges, an amphitheater that can seat 500 people, a recording studio, hunting, horseback riding, four-wheeling, hangar and private airstrip. Weddings, corporate events, retreats, hunting and concerts are popular activities held at the Ranch.

Ranch Main Lodge
Aerial View
Guest Lodge

Unexpected and appreciated our hosts provided the Villa for our group to stay in. Enjoyed time at the Villa pool before dinner at 8 followed by stargazing and Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Villa at the original Homestead site
Night One Ice Cream Flavor!

Thursday morning after breakfast a Tour of the Resort buildings and main areas. After lunch the Tour of the Ranch continued by four-wheelers and horseback. A lot To see on over 13,000 acres. Dinner was under the stars out on the Range.

Night Two Ice Cream Flavor!

Friday morning after breakfast a shooting experience like no other. The sporting complex included long range, pistol/rifle range, clay shooting, skeet/trap shooting. The long range shooting was 1500 yards. I didn’t even come close to hitting targets at that range. For those that understand these things they use 7mm MOA’s with Nightforce optics. The 3 story structure allows for different a view had experience from each level. It was pretty insane. The pistol/rifle range is 200 yards and they even had an Archery Range. What was cool is the Skeet/Trap field had lights for night shooting on the course. My favorite is still shooting clays with the shotgun. One cool thing I got to shoot was a 9mm Uzi. Burned through a clip so fast. This was a fun day. Anna and I broke away a bit early for the Spa. The hot rock massage and hand massage was two hours of Heaven. Wrapped up the evening at the Amphitheater singing Karaoke under the stars. Guys went back to the skeet/trap range for a late night under the lights.

Long Range Shooting Venue
Pistol & Rifle Range
Night Three Ice Cream Flavor!

What I loved most about our trip to Texas was the contrast of the two properties. The Mansion was so peaceful and relaxing. Enjoyed slowing down and late nights talking. The atmosphere was a true escape. The Ranch was a couple of days of new experiences and sights. Very active from shooting to hiking to horseback riding and four-wheeling. Explored a lot of ground. The dinner out under the stars away from everything was a delight.

Flew out of the Ranch private airport Saturday morning for Idaho. Our older kids had gotten home Friday evening so have the whole family for the weekend. Keith took us to Olive Garden for Mother’s Day dinner. My choice. ♥️ Sunday morning the kids made French toast, bacon, sausage, a fruit bowl and OJ for breakfast. Enjoying my Mother’s Day very much. Tomorrow off to Napa Valley California. After that I get a little bit of a break. These trips are a delight but you wear down. Looking forward to Summer and more time at the Homestead.

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