The Fernandez Family is On the Road Again

VACATION FUN: Nicholas, Tristan and Jade playing in the cabin’s hot tub.

Before having children, I was an avid traveler. Give me a choice between a new car, diamond ring or a European vacation and I will choose the latter every single time. Then over the years I somehow acquired four children. I still don’t quite know how it all happened. I went from one to four in less time than it takes to say procreate.

Yet, I still love to travel and so does my husband who has been all over the world several times over. It makes things a bit more difficult and extremely more expensive to do so with a cargo full of children. This is especially difficult when their ages range from 10 years old to seven months old. We run the gamut.

So while our worldwide travels may be on hold, we decided to spend this next chapter in our lives exploring our great state and the surrounding areas. There are so many unbelievably fun, inexpensive and incredible places to visit all within a few hours drive.

This column will feature family friendly road trips that won’t break the bank. Trust me, we have no discretionary income so I promise they are cheap. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

I have lived in Oklahoma most of my life and until my husband who grew up in California took me, I had never been to Beaver’s Bend. If you haven’t been, you are missing out. This is truly a gem for our state.

Beaver’s Bend is a great weekend road trip, especially this time of year. The fall foliage is spectacular and so is the drive down south. Located in the far southeastern corner of Oklahoma, Beaver’s Bend is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s about a three-hour drive, which is the perfect distance when you have kids.

Everyone would be surprised with the plethora of lodging options in the area. We have been about four times with our family and have stayed in a different cabin each time and have loved them all. Most all the cabins are brand new with all the modern amenities, yet all have that log cabin rustic feel. Check out for a list of privately owned cabins. Individuals can get everything from a one-bedroom cottage to huge cabins designed for family reunions. Every cabin we have stayed in has a wood burning fireplace, an outside grill and fire pit, fully stocked kitchen and a hot tub. Remember, a hot tub can provide hours upon hours of entertainment for the kids. Forget Disneyworld, a hot tub is all our kids need.

I promise we do venture out of the cabin and out of our bathing suits because there is so much to do. There are tons of hiking and biking trails and the terrain is beautiful. We always take the nature trail that runs next to the river and the kids love it. Well, until our oldest sliced her leg open on a rock and we had to crazy glue it back together. That is an entirely different story. By the way, crazy glue really does work.

Of course, there is the gorgeous lake on the property. From the swimming hole, to fishing, to renting paddleboats and canoes, there is no end to the fun you can have. It is only a few dollars to rent a paddleboat or canoe.

Ladies, if you can talk your husband into watching the kids, have I got a place for you. Girls Gone Wine is an awesome little place right off the highway, which is only a couple of miles from Beaver’s Bend. There, you cannot only taste wine, but can actually make it. These gals are great and it is such a fun place to hang out on their patio and sip some wine. They have a darling gift shop too. Visit for more information.

As far as food goes, there are several options for low cost family dining. However, we like to take advantage of the fire pit. We roast hot dogs and marshmallows and all that good stuff. So we don’t spend any money on going out to eat at all, which definitely helps the pocketbook.

Beaver’s Bend has quickly become a family favorite for a quick family get-a-way. And it is perfect place for the holidays. Who knows, we may see you all there!

Updated 11-09-2010

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