This is a sponsored post. All opinions & photos are our own.
After considering many options, including a tropical cruise and ski-trip to a snowy winter wonderland, Cole and I ultimately decided to keep our honeymoon much like us – low-key, local, and laid back. We chose to book with Deer Lake Cabins Ranch Resort on Double S Ranch in Mt. Vernon, Texas with the hope of starting a new tradition.
The ranch is only about 1.5hr from our home, making it the perfect little getaway to return to year after year in celebration of our anniversary. Property Manager, Kendra, attentively arranged our stay on Honeymoon Hill, home to a quaint 1-room cabin with a wrap-around porch, large windows that bathe the space in sparkling natural light, and a private pond.
We arrived after hours, but the staff left us clear instructions for checking into our little piece of bliss! Along with an email, Kendra gave us a call and left a map at the front office of the sprawling property. Throughout the entire stay, we were so pleased with the personal, friendly service we received from each staff member we encountered. They even set up our cabin with a lovely, and delicious romance package.
We enjoyed a relaxing bubble bath in the giant tub with the sparkling cider & fruit tray, before climbing into bed for a peaceful rest. The bed is so comfortable, as are the sheets. We’ve stayed in many cabins across the country over the years, and the linens are usually rough and thin from wear. Also, they are typically rustic/western in style and not aesthetically pleasing whatsoever. I was so happy with this thick, white set! It’s soft, warm, and reminds me of ours at home. The cabin is heated by a window unit, but we weren’t cold at all. We slept wonderfully- it was so nice to unplug and not set an alarm after the wedding!
After lazily waking around 10am, we sat on the porch for a bit before venturing across the road and visiting with Spirit and Governor – the two horses seen above. They were so sweet and loved the attention! Riding is available for $45/hour, but Cole was too scared so we didn’t take advantage. Instead, I talked to and petted them every morning.
Kendra dropped off an ATV at the property for us to use while exploring the various trails on the ranch. When the family graciously decided to open up this working ranch, that they’ve owned for the last 30 years, they carefully carved out more than 15 miles of trails through the woods.
We spent a few hours exploring the wonders of the ranch, home to many deer (we encountered 10!), as the property hasn’t been hunted on in more than 30 years. Then, we headed downtown for lunch at Watermelon Mills Coffeehouse. This hidden Texas gem is located inside the Historic ML Edwards & Co. building and named for a Mt. Vernon legend – William Cullen “Watermelon” Mills.
Mills earned his nickname after stealing a few watermelons from a local farmer, with his friends, as a young boy. The sheriff caught the group throwing the melons off a bridge and took to calling the boy Watermelon. After serving in the army, and working in the oilfield, Watermelon took up barbering at the age of 50. For the rest of his life, he cut hair in Mt. Vernon and is fondly remembered for his love of conversation and coffee. His legacy is documented in the Franklin County Hall of Fame, and this delicious lunch spot!
We both devoured our sandwiches – Cole enjoyed his with a classic Dr. Pepper, while I took mine with a French Press & cream.
Over our fresh and flavorful lunch, we played Table Topics – a conversation starter game provided by the restaurant.
A few of my favorite questions include: “Who can make you feel better when you’re sad or angry?” and “Which three objects would you save first if your house caught fire?” Cole answered simply “My wife” to the first one, and made me fall in love all over again when he said “I’d just have to ‘This is Us’ it and save you, River + Beaux” to the second one.
Last December when we got engaged in Seattle, we brought home a Christmas ornament to remember the occasion. Cole picked up the sweet little hand-made ornament above for me before we left the shop inside Watermelon Mills. After exploring a bit more of downtown, we headed to Brookshire’s for groceries.
Before heading back to our secluded little slice of the ranch, we stopped by the front office to visit and see if we could spot Blue, a sweet heeler pup who wanders around the property making friends and keeping everyone safe.
The next morning, on New Year’s Eve, I woke to the smells of bacon and sausage filling our cabin. Cole surprised me with a wonderful breakfast in bed, but we decided to enjoy it out of the porch before enjoying another ride on the trails.
On our last day, we sat peacefully on the dock again. We took in the fresh air, scented with pine. We held hands and gazed upon the lake. We kissed a lot. We talked about our life together and the vows we took a few days earlier. And we felt so thankful for the Deer Lake Family allowing us to stay and experience the beauty of their space.
We can’t wait to return once it warms up a bit, to enjoy all the fishing, paddle boarding, pedal boating, and swimming. We’re also excited to introduce our fur babies to Blue! If you want to experience all natural beauty East Texas has to offer, contact Kendra & let her know we sent you!