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Our 4th of July weekend in Belton, TX

Every year for the Fourth of July, we fly to Buffalo, NY and then make the drive to a family cottage on Lake Erie. This cottage has been in the family for decades and is the meeting spot for family from Florida, Toronto and Pennsylvania. Our cottage time is all about family bonding, lake sunset views and the simple life. With Canadian borders still being closed and the risk of COVID19 on the rise, we all made the decision to cancel this year's gathering.

My backup plan was to make the 13 hour drive to Albuquerque, NM and visit my sister and her family. Two weeks prior to July 4th, I had a follow up orthopedic visit and realized while my stress fracture was on the mend, there was no physical way I would have been able to make the drive (since the fracture is on my right fibula) back to Texas on my own.

My husband knew that with two canceled trips (amongst many other failed summer plans), my heart was heavy. We made a quick decision to book an AirBNB in Belton, TX. My soul was craving time away from our house and a little family adventure. We packed just the basics and headed out on July 3rd. Since Scott was off work that day, we wanted to make the most of our time. We drove through P Terry's for burgers, fries and the shake of the month (Birthday Cake) and made our way to Cibolo Creek. Cibolo Creek runs through the heart of Salado, TX and is a naturally (limestone) filtered creek. It's incredibly fun for kiddos to splash and play and easy for parents to setup a picnic. We grubbed on our burgers then hit the water. After a few hours of playing around, we drove the rest of the way to Belton (15 minute drive) for check in.

Our Airbnb host provided a crib for Max, a highchair and lots and lots of toys for both Max and Olivia to play with. The guesthouse shares a yard with the host's house and they graciously let us use the playscapes, patio and wading pool with zero interfearance. We had absolutely everything we needed on site to enjoy our weekend. We ordered pizza, swam in the pool and played in the backyard. Once the kiddos went to bed, Scott and I curled up on the couch together and watched a Netflix movie. It truly felt amazing to have a change in environment.

Saturday morning we sipped coffee while we took a morning stroll around the gorgeous neighborhood then dug into a delicious continental style breakfast.We loaded the car with a cooler, chairs, beach towels and lots of sunscreen and drove to Temple Lake park. We were able to safely distance ourselves from other families and groups and still enjoy a full day of lake swimming. The kids loved wading in the water and playing in the sand. Of course, no trip to Belton is complete without Miller's Smokehouse, so on our way back to the guesthouse we picked up a few meats, sides and desserts to enjoy later.

During the 4th of July evening, we grilled hamburgers and I even made a potato salad using the air fryer supplied by the owners (I am quite proud of this!), swam, had a glowstick party and listened to nearby fireworks.

This year was far from traditional, but our family laughed together, played together and created an entire file of new memories. Sure we missed seeing cousins, partaking in parades and watching fireworks, but with a little ingunuity, our holiday weekend felt just as spectacular.

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