Back from a wonderful three day weekend at the above resort. A full review follows. However, first things first. This was a trip for our 25 wedding aniversary. It has been a wonderful ride…and we can both look at eachother and say 80% of the time.  Hey we are honest, you all should do the same.  It is refreshing. We went to the Resort at Artesian Lakes , formerly Chain O Lakes resort in Rayomar, Texas.  This is deep east Texas for you Russians who constantly spam this site and have no idea where Texas is. In our family, this resort has always walked on water.  Well, somewhere along the way, they must have taken thier eyes off of God, as they began to sink.

First, a little about the resort that makes them unique.  This property is built around a series of small lakes that were created when a back jam on the Trinity River swirled over a long period of time to create this web of small lakes. The resort has many small cabins facing the lakes, many providing privacy from others. This is what you come to expect from Artesian Lakes, and this is where they went wrong.  I digress.  Also on the property is a restaurant called Hilltop Herb Restaurant.  This was a in nearby Cleveland, Texas that was move many years ago to this property.  This is the star of the resort.  Great menu items, all created around the fresh herbs they grow on site create a vibrant train of tastes that never cease to amaze at their creativity.  Long ago we discovered their margaritas.  Creamy, smooth, sweet, these are to die for.  Their secret?  The recipe includes their Lime Tarragon Jelly. Yup.  That’s right, he said ‘jelly’ with tarragon in it.  Is he high?  If anyone requests, I will post the recipe and the link to get the jelly.  Sidebar.  Tonight I tried another jelly of theirs, Jalapeno Jelly, on my pork chop.  I added a touch of tarragon here as well. Heavenly. Their food overall is tremendous.  There are a few misses.  The biscuits and gravy are poor. Their rib eye, while prepared perfectly medium rare to my wife’s requests, had a great taste, but a piss poor fatty piece of meat. I had scallops.  Masterfully prepared and tasty. The one interesting point over the years is that this restaurant does a lot of buffets.  They used to be fixed menu based upon chefs creations.  A step backward, undoubtedly to cater from the many ankle biters this resorts now touts.

Our cabin was excellent. The neighbors sucked. We purchased a package that was marketed for privacy and personal catering.  When we pulled up, the cabin next door had six vehicles parked, and clearly a coven of rednecks ( not meaning to offend…but could not think of any other description) lining every wall of the cabin.  I guess I should be thankful.  I learned a new language.  How often does this happen?  I learned “F”Bonics.  This is where chief redneck uses the F Bomb for two thirds of his words, and mixes in some other language I presume to be English.  I could not tell.  Look, I am not prude and do not care….but when I am looking for privacy, I do not need someone forcing their lifestyle on us. Further, the resort seemed uninterested in doing anything for this since they had rented three cabins.  Oh yes you money people, the almighty dollar had spoken once again.

But, inspite of this, the weekend, for the rest of it was terrific, and we will go back ( the resort did offer us “substantial” discount on our next visit and said they had marked our file as such….we will see).

This was a nature laced trip….from feeding the two alligators bread from the balcony to the birds and the squirrels that would come right up to you to get bread…in fact, I had to protect myself from the squirrel so he would not get on my chair. Check photo.  Very cool.

Feeding Gators

Overall, I still highly recommend this resort.  I do now suggest that if you are considering going, do not go during summer season between memorial and labor days.  I think fall would be the best time overall


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