There’s a cedar log cabin tucked away on a 20 acre plot of land just south of Austin called Austin Heaven. I first discovered the property through Airbnb. The photos depicted a gleaming hand-built cedar cabin with modern appliances. I closed my eyes for a moment to relish the scent of cedar, a scent I’ve taken enough deep gulps of in recording studios to have it imprinted in my mind. As I clicked through the photos on the listing, I became increasingly interested in this cabin and land not solely for leisure, but for my own wedding.
%Gallery-148320%I contacted Melissa, who owns the cabin alongside her husband Mike, to arrange a visit. I drove out of Austin going south on Loop 1 and as soon as the 1 became Highway 45, the scenery began to change. The sky was wider and pine needles had collected on the grounds we passed leading up to the stoplight at the end of 45. A dirt road from that intersection wound us around to our final right-hand turn, a dusty one that pulled us into the parking lot for Austin Heaven. I got out of the car and immediately noticed a change in the air; a change that I could inhale. Again with the pine–the needles were beneath my feet and the scent was pungent in the air. Pines aren’t noticeably common in Central Texas, so this landscape struck me as a rarity.
I could immediately see that the cabin was artfully constructed. Thick logs lined the exterior walls. A long and narrow porch on the front side of the cabin faced a dense tree and shrub gathering. An over-sized porch helped transition anyone exiting from the back door out onto the 20 acres of land awaiting. Sprinkled with trees throughout, the expanse of land was mostly flat and cleared at first, but it became more dense the farther back into it I trekked. Melissa led me through a path toward the property’s pond, which she told me is normally filled with water during non-drought times. This initial visit was during the dead of summer, in the peak of a drought. There wasn’t a drop of water in the pond, and that wasn’t at all to my surprise.
The cabin’s interior was sleek and simple, not overdone, but not lacking in comfort, either. New appliances in the kitchen were immediately juxtaposed against the rustic aesthetic of the cabin. A projector and pull-down screen added a nice touch to the loft and high-ceiling area. The ‘yoga’ room in the cabin was incredibly peaceful and filled with natural light. The beds in both the bedroom downstairs and the loft were plush. A claw-foot tub and vinyl record player were pleasant surprises. I was charmed by the cabin, the property, and Melissa in no time. Melissa, a yoga therapist, graciously listened to my ideas for my wedding. Her enthusiasm about my wedding ideas was the deal-maker for me. She was open-minded and flexible throughout the entire process. I was simultaneously impressed and put at ease by her.
The wedding itself, despite all of the hard work, was a no-brainer. Many of our friends had flown in from NYC or other large cities and the property itself was all the entertainment that they needed. The stars were bright in the night sky and all was quiet outside of our music and conversations. You don’t need much else when you have all that’s included with renting Austin Heaven and you don’t have to expect sky-high prices when renting the cabin and property, either. All of it can be rented for less than $200 a night (for now).
I’ve learned through my travels that vacation rentals like this one aren’t always easy to find. Sometimes the accommodations are right, but the property is wrong. Sometimes the property is a dream, but the property owner is a nightmare. Sometimes the location is perfect as a standalone destination, but the destination itself is too far from anything else to make the trip worthwhile. Upon finding all of the right things in one concise package, I felt it my duty to disclose my Austin Heaven secret with you.