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  • Writer's pictureMarcy Lytle

The Retreat at Cottonseed Falls

We had four days away with the kids and we needed a large house with a cool spot for all of us, plenty to do, and space and fun! That's always a challenge, but this place might be one of our new faves. It's less than an hour away in the town of Martindale, Texas on the San Marcos River. The house is huge, has a big room for kids, a sprawling back deck (800 sq ft), a massive yard and river access with shallow areas for kids.

The first day we arrived earlier than checkin, because Martindale (once a ghost town) has recently been purchased and is being revitalized. We ate at Martindale Cafe (the cutest and the BEST food - so good), shopped at a vintage store and a cool grocery store, and saw other places as well...with more being built! We enjoyed Red Barn Bakery, as well.

And was time to checkin (it's not til 4pm but we asked for earlier and they let us!)

Let me tell you about the kids room - three huge bunk beds, a play area, their own bathroom, an entire wall size doll house and more. This house is over 100 years old and has history in every corner - even a push button light switch. The kids explored and found so many interesting things! A garden is beside it, too. And lots of places to sit - multiple sitting areas inside and out.

We unpacked and went right to the river out back. It was a little swift (not good for toddlers) but we found a path where our kids (ages 10, 9 and 7) could navigate and float to us as we caught them. They brought $7 tubes they got from Walmart and they were perfect!

Dinner was macaroni and pork cheese sliders (I'm including the recipes in July issue TIPS) and after - we enjoyed ice box cookies and peach tea. There was a firepit out back, and we enjoyed gathering around it after sundown. You do need to bring your own wood.

The next day and the next we spent a good amount of time down by the river. We took chairs and some of us just sat with our feet in the cool water. The kids NEVER tired of dragging their tube and floating back down - it was the greatest watching them all have fun. Their parents sat on rocks and visited, and the trees and the beauty of the area was breathtaking.

We also set up an obstacle station outback, along with badminton. These games had been purchased ahead of time and it was great fun to play. Uncle Conner and Gideon (age 10) won the games with the highest total score.

A couple of meals found us around a huge platter of goodies, including one night a movie tray - full of snacks and fruit and meats and cheeses - while we watched Yes Day in the big room. A great family film!

The girls had a spa night and the boys put together dinosaurs, we all picked a rock and painted it to leave by the river, and we enjoyed breakfast and lunches on the big back patio on cute plates we brought from home. And dinner was back in the huge dining room indoors.

One night was especially special. We all shared our favorite worship songs and a good gift in our life from God, around the fire pit under the stars while eating s'mores. I loved hearing the kids sing along, and everyone was telling each other of His goodness...and it fed our souls.

One meal was a taco salad bar - an easy meal to prepare together and serve! And breakfast was bagels, scones, pancakes and more. It's so fun to cook in a new place, and everyone pitched in to clean up.

Besides all that, the kids also fished in a pond just to the back of the house and in the river...the little kids loved it. We made root beer floats, too, to be enjoyed by all. And one afternoon, the girls ran into town to grab a coffee and buy a treat.

Four days at this place and it was all lovely and provided the perfect spot for a family vacation in the summer, in Texas.

On the way home we had tickets to a children's production of Oliver - had hamburgers before - and loved the music and the fun.

I love my family and any time spent with them is fun. Check out this retreat if you're looking for a spot for yours!

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