Books have been written about how nature-deprived our kids are. We parents who worry about that sort of thing have several options, many of which involve camping or otherwise being uncomfortable. For those of us who don't think that's the way to spend a vacation, Canyon of the Eagles Resort offers the option of taking kids out to explore nature and retiring at night to a cozy room that looks rustic on the outside and is anything but rustic on the inside.
The resort sits on the northern shore of Lake Buchanan (it's pronounced BUCK-annen in Texas-speak) in the Texas Hill Country, about an hour northwest of Austin. You can teach the kids to kayak, take them fishing, or just dip your toes into the cool water on a hot summer day. You'll have time for all of that because there are no TVs in the room and the Wi-Fi is blissfully spotty.
On a cool summer night, head down to the Eagle Eye Observatory right on the 940-acre nature park and let the kids see what a real night sky looks like. If the Adler Planetarium sky show wows them, the real thing on a clear night is sure to please. If you are star-gazing novices, the local volunteers from the Austin Astronomical Society are happy to point one of the huge telescopes at a constellation, star or planet and wax enthusiastically about what you're seeing.
Throughout the property, you'll get up-close and personal with deer and other wildlife, have time to stop and smell the wildflowers, or hop onboard the Vanishing Texas Colorado River cruise to see more canyons, waterfalls and wildlife-and give your kids an understanding of the scarcity of water that we just don't get here on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Then head back to the resort to eat a gourmet dinner or listen to a charming and surprisingly funny cowboy poet. When the night ends and the kids are asleep, there's still time for parents to sit quietly on the cabin porch, rocking slowly, sipping wine and drinking in the beauty of Lake Buchanan and the big Texas sky.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.