Every time I ask my Instagram followers what they would like me to write about on Empty Nest Blessed, somebody always asks for a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an influencer! Well, that’s what I’m giving you today!
About three weeks ago, Bob, our son, Weston, Weston’s wife Sarah, and I were invited by Long Cove to experience a weekend of lakefront living. I hope you read my post about this truly remarkable luxury lakefront community on Cedar Creek Lake. (If not, you can read it HERE.) It’s hard to believe this idyllic spot is just a little more than an hour outside of Dallas! The four of us had a fantastic time together, and I’m so grateful to Long Cove for hosting us. 😀 Today, I’m going to share a little bit more about our weekend, and give you a real-life, behind-the-scenes look at our family getaway at Long Cove.
Our Family Getaway at Long Cove: The Set-Up
The initial invitation to spend a weekend at Long Cove actually came about this time last fall. Unfortunately, our schedule was already jam-packed, so I asked them if we could go ahead and get a date on the calendar for this fall. After checking the college football schedules (Sadly, it’s true!), we settled on our date. I was excited to collaborate with Long Cove!
You may not realize it, but I get lots of offers for collaborations. I say no to about 99% of them. I’m super picky! For me to agree to collaborate with a brand, the collaboration has to meet two pretty rigorous criteria:
- The collaboration has to feel natural and authentic. The product has to be either something I have or would use in real life. (In this case, an experience I would love to have and somewhere I would love to go!)
- The collaboration has to fit my aesthetic. It has to be true to me, my style, the Empty Nest Blessed® brand, and to what I hold dear. (In this case, it was a family getaway designed to make memories and provide the opportunity to spend time with adult kids.)
As I learned more about this luxury lakefront community, it became clear to me that a collaboration with Long Cove would be a perfect fit for Empty Nest Blessed!
Here’s what happened: After talking to Bob, I called Weston to see if he and Sarah wanted to join us. As I described Long Cove and all we would be doing, I could tell my outdoor-loving son was getting excited.
Here’s what really happened: Weston hates to have his picture taken. He’s hated it all his life. In fact, he’s ruined many otherwise lovely family photos by making a face something like this 🥴 or this 😣 or this 🤪. As I told him about the opportunity, I knew I had to ‘fess up: He was going to have to take part in a photo shoot. I hoped that the chance to enjoy Long Cove’s amazing amenities would win him over, despite the photo shoot! He agreed to talk it over with Sarah, they agreed to go, and the four of us settled on a date.
Our Family Getaway at Long Cove: The Preparation
As the time for our family getaway at Long Cove approached, there were many conversations! Bob and Weston mostly talked about what fishing lures to bring. Sarah and I mostly talked about what we would be doing, what the weather would be like, and what we should wear!
Here’s what happened: I told Weston & Sarah to go shopping and buy two cute outfits apiece on Empty Nest Blessed! I wanted to thank them for going, and I knew you all would want to see what everyone wore during our getaway!
Here’s what really happened: The day Weston (who hates shopping) and Sarah (who loves shopping) went out to shop, there were a lot of dressing room selfies sent to my phone! Since it was September, but still hot here in Dallas, it was tricky to find looks that color-coordinated and looked somewhat autumnal!
Our Family Getaway at Long Cove: The Departure
We agreed to head out as soon as fourth-grade teacher, Sarah, could leave school. Weston brought his truck, and we packed it full of outfits, golf clubs, fishing poles, and food. (Long Cove’s pool and lakeside Regatta Grill is a resident favorite, but unfortunately, it had closed for the season, so we brought our own food.
Here’s what happened: We were all so excited about our family getaway at Long Cove that we didn’t even mind that we were leaving in the midst of Friday rush hour traffic.
Here’s what really happened: Everybody was so fired up, that nobody minded when I insisted on taking this photo for Instagram right before we left. Also, despite Long Cove’s proximity to Dallas, in rush hour, it took us almost two hours to get there! (But our time in the car turned out to be the perfect time to catch up on everyone’s lives!)
Our Family Getaway at Long Cove: The Arrival
It was dusk when we arrived at beautiful Long Cove, and we all felt ourselves relax immediately!
Here’s what happened: We were all starving, and we planned to unload quickly and head into nearby Malakoff to check out the local offerings.
Here’s what really happened: Weston went immediately out to the dock to fish. We all sat, chilled out, and enjoyed the sunset. We eventually headed into adorable Malakoff to eat dinner at Ochoa’s Mexican Restaurant.
Our Family Getaway at Long Cove: The Next Morning:
Here’s what happened: The Long Cove team kindly left bikes in front of our Camp Houses for us to use during our Stay & Play weekend. So we decided to do a little biking.
Here’s what really happened: Sarah had not been on a bike in some time, and she was pretty much mortified that her mother-in-law was asking her to ride a bike in a dress. But she was a team player and a good sport about it! 💟
Here’s what also really happened: I wanted to get a shot of all four of us riding together in close proximity, so I kept yelling, “Stay close! Think Sound of Music, people!” My instructions were met with very poor singing of Do-Re-Mi. 🎶🤣
Long Cove is home to one of the largest putting greens in the world! Designed by renowned golf course designer Dave Zinkand, the Thistle Never Dhu putting green is built to challenge players of all skill levels.
Bob’s Polo | Bob’s Khaki Shorts | Bob’s Boat Shoes | Bob’s Sunglasses | Suzy’s Camo Dress | Suzy’s Gray Sneakers | Suzy’s Earrings | Suzy’s Sunglasses | Weston’s Polo | Weston’s Khaki Shorts | Weston’s Sneakers | Sarah’s Shirtdress | Sarah’s Converse Sneakers | Sarah’s Earrings
Here’s what happened: My golf-loving husband and son brought their clubs to Long Cove, and although we were taking pictures, they were serious about practicing their putting. #methodacting
Here’s what really happened: With the temperatures in the high 80s, and us in full sun, we all started sweating profusely! I wanted to get a shot of the four of us where you could clearly see our well-coordinated outfits. (Ya’ know, to use on the Christmas card, if nothing else!)
Families say that one of the things they love the most about Long Cove is the Toy Barn stocked with community bikes, footballs, soccer balls, fishing rods, and more! It sits right next to a well-manicured football-field-size Play Field. We planned to head over there and play a quick family football game after putt-putt.
Here’s what happened: We were all so hot that we decided to use the football Weston had packed and shoot our “football game” right on the putting green! Bob took this very seriously and started designing actual plays and telling everyone where to go! 😂😲
Here’s what really happened: It’s not easy to photograph a football game! So Weston did a quick Heisman pose, which I then tried to imitate. 😂 #fail
Despite all there was to do on land, we were excited to take a shoreline boat tour of the property with the Long Cove team. We headed to the Long Cove Welcome Center, where we were to board a pontoon boat for our tour.
Here’s what happened: We were sweaty and very glad we’d all brought a second outfit! We changed in the air-conditioned Welcome Center, and everyone headed down to the shore.
Here’s what really happened: Everyone waited on me because I insisted on getting these outfit photos with the lake in the background. This meant I was facing the sun and was basically blind for the next few minutes. 😄 #justcallmesquinty
Here’s what also really happened: I kept asking my Megan, “Is my cellulite showing?” 🙄 #yes
There are so many great places to fish at Long Cove! Bob and Weston were so excited about the fishing, they got up early both mornings to fish for large-mouth bass in Cedar Creek Lake. They caught tons of fish! (Photo evidence in this post.)
After hearing about the men’s’ success, Sarah and I wanted to try our hand at fishing. So after our amazing boat tour, we headed to one of the several well-stocked ponds on the property to try our luck.
Here’s what happened: Being real fishermen, Bob and Weston were determined to catch fish, photo shoot, or no photo shoot. They were also determined that Suzy and Sarah needed to catch fish. #moremethodacting
Here’s what really happened: Sarah caught fish 🎣. Suzy did not. Weston was proud 😊. Bob was not 😕. #justkidding
Here’s what also really happened: We’d been playing hard for about three hours, and we were all hot and ready for lunch. The only thing left was to get a good outfit shot of the four of us. I yelled, “Pose for all you’re worth, people!” This is the overly-posed shot we got! #posers
Bob’s Tee | Bob’s Shorts | Bob’s Sneakers | Bob’s Sunglasses | Suzy’s Long Sleeve Striped Tee | Suzy’s Blush Shorts (Similar) | Suzy’s Navy Sneakers | Suzy’s Navy Skinny Belt | Suzy’s Floral Statement Earrings | Suzy’s Apple Watch | Suzy’s Sunglasses | Weston’s Tee | Weston’s Shorts | Weston’s Sneakers | Sarah’s Tee | Sarah’s Shorts | Sarah’s Sandals | Sarah’s Earrings
Our Family Getaway at Long Cove: The Rest of the Weekend
After fishing, we said good-bye to Megan, who later told me it only took her a short hour and fifteen minutes to get home with no traffic! (That’s the same amount of time it took us on Sunday!))
We went back to our Camp Houses for lunch, and I took a nap! Sarah read, and the boys fished (yes, again!).
Here’s what happened: After my nap, we headed to Long Cove’s Proving Grounds Golf Course—a 9-hole course designed by Tripp Davis set amongst native grasses and wildflowers. It only took a little over an hour about 45 minutes to play golf.
Here’s what really happened: They played 🏌️♂️🏌️♀️. I drove the golf cart and worked on Long Cove Instagram posts. (After all, it was a working weekend for me!) Want to see those posts? Head to my Instagram profile page and click on the Long Cove logo in my highlights.
After golf, we headed back to the Camp Houses to put on our gameday attire (Our team was playing that night!) and to slap some burgers on the grill. #grillmasterWeston
The Long Cove team had kindly left us all of the fixings for s’mores, so we planned to light the bonfire in front of our Camp Houses and cook them up after the game.
Here’s what happened: The burgers were delish. Our team won! 💚💛🏈
Here’s what really happened: We were so exhausted from our busy day, Sarah made s’mores in the microwave! 🤣
After a great night’s sleep and a morning of fishing (boys) and relaxing (girls), our super-chillaxed foursome packed up to head back to Dallas. On the way out of the property, we stopped to feed the famous Long Cove longhorns.
Now you know what really happened during our family getaway at Long Cove 😃!
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Long Cove! Our weekend was such a special time of memory-making, laughter, and fun. It was so precious to have the opportunity to pull back, slow down, and enjoy one another in this beautiful place. Many thanks to the Long Cove team for their incredible hospitality and for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.
For more information about Long Cove, or to book a Stay & Play package, call 214-817-0319 or email [email protected].
Photos by Megan Weaver.