Screen Free Stay-cations (are my favorite!)

While in Arizona, Ryan and I pondered more ways we could spend continuous time outdoors in 100 degree weather.

Our answer was a 4th of July weekend stay-cation. I had the weekend off work and, as a family, we had absolutely nothing to do (which after 4 months of basketball tournaments almost every weekend – nothing sounded incredible!) Sometimes, we just need to break from the norm to have fun and relax together outside of the house.

Because Ryan and I have major projects going on requiring the use of our computers, we decided this would be the perfect opportunity for both of us (and all the kids) to be 100% screen free. No phones, no iPods, iPads, computers, or hotel television. Lest we be tempted to work poolside.

I hit the internet searching for places that would entertain my crew without complaints of boredom and house all 8 of us in the same room. In the end I found the best kept secret in San Antonio when I stumbled upon the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch. I was so excited the night I found and booked it I couldn’t sleep!


Only 30 minutes from our house, we felt like we were in Hawaii with all of the amenities the resort offered.



Okay. So maybe it was the poolside bar that made it feel like Hawaii.

Let me just tell you – when you successfully get 6 kids ready and out the door on a vacation (heck – even just to go to school) you deserve a “reward-arita.” And since we don’t claim these on school days, we gladly claimed them on stay-cation day.





There was a giant pool that was half inside and half outside and both areas had a water slide.


Adam. His hair is so long right now he has to exit the water in a dramatic hair flip.




The kids were privileged to have their first experience with “room charge.” They didn’t go too crazy but I could see the enlightenment on their face….“we could get used to this!”

The also discovered a love for non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris.



And spicy snow-cones. [Gross.]




And blue shlushies.

I’m not sure what they were pinky promising on but I feel like it had something to do with “drink the rest of this spicy snow-cone juice and I’ll ride the slide with you for an hour”



This picture above was taken at the request of these 2 dudes (for lack of knowing who they are, they become “dudes.”) They couldn’t manage to walk across the black top pavement without shoes and were screaming like 10 year girls.

Except they didn’t realize there was a 10 year old girl right behind them who was walking barefoot and not screaming at all.

They were embarrassed but gave Lily some “props.” They said I should record the moment by daughter was tougher than 2 men. Since my camera was in hand, I did.




I love a resort that offers S’mores for everyone at night.


We stayed out swimming until 10pm and then crashed in our posh 2 bedroom/2 bath/full kitchen/full dining room suite. It was awesome. We were able to bring all of our food for the trip instead of spending our time and money eating out.

The next morning Ryan and I woke early (like in the 6 o’clock hour – certainly not my preferred vacation wake up time) in order to reserve a cabana down at the lazy river. We only spent one night at the hotel but could stay and swim the entire day after checking out.  The cabana gave us a nice, private home base for the whole day.

Ryan and I used our early rising to enjoy some quiet time while the kids snoozed away in the room.


The resort even had a Starbucks.

Which was awesome since we forgot to bring coffee creamer.


Within no time the kids had devoured the vacation breakfast I bought for them (giant chocolate chip muffins, donuts, and chocolate milk) and were suited up for another day at the pool.


This right here is a summer ritual: braids.

Oh yeah, and my translucent skin. That’s pretty fabulous.


So here’s what went down at the pool during karaoke hour…..

I was all about it because I’m not one to pass up a microphone or an opportunity to embarrass my kids with a little Ice Ice Baby.

I jumped up there immediately. This way, no one had cameras, phones, or even any warning for that matter.

I rocked that mic like a vandal.

Because anything less than the best is a felony.

Here’s the best part: Bravery begets bravery.


After my Vanilla Ice, we had back to back renditions of the Whip Nae Nae.


Because 1 Whip Nae Nae sung by a 9 year old isn’t enough……..



Embarrassed siblings…..


Then Ryan rocked some Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away.”


Pretending they don’t know us…..Which isn’t hard since they look nothing like us!!

It was awesome. The Newcom’s owned the poolside Karaoke party.



Meanwhile….on my iPhone, messages poured in from Walgreens. The overnight Pharmacist called in sick and they needed someone to work.

Good thing we were SCREEN FREE and I never saw the messages till the next day!!

We stayed swimming till 10pm again that night. It was so much fun – an amazing 48 hours away!

I think we’ll be back to the Wild Oak Ranch.

1 Comment

  1. Kelli   •  

    What a blast! Now I want to take our kids there. LOVE the karaoke songs 🙂 I know Abbie would be all over that!