Tag Archives: Fredericksburg

Things I Love: Christmas Ornaments

This is the third Christmas Chip and I have spent together as a married couple. We’re still slowly creating our own holiday traditions, but my favorite one is collecting new ornaments throughout the year. Whenever we go on a trip together, we try to always buy an ornament to take home with us. Over the first two years of our marriage, we collected ornaments in Italy on our honeymoon, an ornament from when we saw The Lion King and The Nutcracker at The Majestic here in town, our first trip to Fredericksburg. This year we were able to add a few more ornaments from our different trips. While decorating our tree the other weekend, it was fun checking out each ornament and getting to reflect on what this year has brought us. We hope that someday our tree will have only these types of ornaments that will always remind us how we’ve been  blessed and all the different adventures we’ve had together.

Cork Ornament from a day trip to Fredericksburg with my parents and the Behams

Cork ornament from a day trip to Fredericksburg with my parents and the Behams

Seashell basket from Nantucket

Seashell basket from Nantucket

Cape Elizabeth in Maine

Cape Elizabeth in Maine

From the Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway

From the Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway

San Francisco Ornament

San Francisco Ornament

Grape leaf from Napa

Snowflake from another trip to Fredericksburg for our birthdays this year and a grape leaf ornament from Napa

I love Christmas trees

I love Christmas trees

A day in Fredericksburg

Chip and I have been wanting to go to Fredericksburg with my parents for a while now. They went to Seattle for their 25th anniversary a couple of summers ago and enjoyed touring some of the vineyards there, so we thought it would be a lot of fun to visit some of our favorite wineries from our anniversary trip to Fredericksburg this past May together. Once my parents booked their flights to come visit us this past weekend, we quickly decided Saturday would be our wine-tasting day.

Before heading out to Fredericksburg, we went to the Guenther House for breakfast. Chip and I hadn’t been there before but had heard great things about their food, particularly their waffles. Our breakfast definitely didn’t disappoint! We had more than enough food to go around. Their sweet cream waffles are a must, and be forewarned, they have the biggest biscuits known to man. With a solid meal in our bellies, we got on I10 for the drive to Fredericksburg where we would be meeting our very good friends Matt and Haley. We were so excited that we would get to spend the day with them at the different vineyards, especially since they were celebrating their 5th anniversary, so there was definitely good reason to toast to a glass of wine (or two) and celebrate.

Breakfast at the Guenther House

Breakfast at the Guenther House

My parents at the Guenther House

My parents at the Guenther House

Since we would be getting into Fredericksburg around 11:00, we decided to spend a little bit of time checking out a few of the cute stores on Main Street before grabbing a quick lunch and heading out to the vineyards (11:00 just seemed a little too early to start having wine). If you’re looking for some places to shop in Fredericksburg, look no further than RedinFred. They have some of the cutest and unique items for your home (although they can be a little pricey).

RedinFred

RedinFred

So true.

So true.

After checking out a couple of stores and having lunch, we were ready to head out to the vineyards! Our plan was:

  • Start out at Becker Vineyards – it’s the biggest vineyard in Fredericksburg and Chip and I enjoy buying their wine at HEB, they’re pretty much the only local vineyard that can be bought in store.
  • Head over to Grape Creek – we love how this vineyard goes for the Italian feel!
  • Four Point – one of the newer vineyards in the area, we really enjoyed this place last May
  • Pedernales – we thought this would be a great one to end the day

Becker was packed. It took us a little bit of time to buy the six coupons for our tasting, and even longer to finally shimmy our way up to the counter, but we eventually made it. Our tasting took a while since there were so many other people there, but we still enjoyed our time at Becker. We finished our visit with some of their free chocolate samples and music from a cute little folk band.

Big crowd at Becker

Big crowd at Becker

Super cute band

Super cute band

Dad and Haley in line for chocolate

Dad and Haley in line for chocolate

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, so there were people outside each vineyard enjoying wine and snacks

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, so there were people outside each vineyard enjoying wine and snacks

After Becker, we drove the short distance to Grape Creek. Hands down, Grape Creek is now my favorite vineyard. I’m a big fan of their ambiance and Italian-esque style, definitely reminds me of our honeymoon! We found out when we got to Grape Creek that they were offering private tours which included sampling three wines straight from different barrels. That was pretty much all the convincing we needed! We had a great tour led by Maureen and enjoyed the sampling from the American and French oak barrels (my dad was particularly eager and was consistently one of the first to extend his win glass for his sample). Turns out I like the flavors provided by the French oak barrels the best. I feel so refined. The tour ended with a private tasting of six of their different wines, all of which were great. By the end of it, we had bought a couple of bottles and my parents had signed up for the wine of the month club. If you are going to one vineyard in Fredericksburg, make sure it’s Grape Creek!

Happy anniversary!

Happy anniversary!

Mom and dad at the start of the tour

Mom and dad at the start of the tour

Grape Creek Vineyards

Grape Creek Vineyards

Ready for our tour at Grape Creek

Enjoying the tour

Tour at Grape Creek

Tour at Grape Creek

Don't we look like wine pros?

Don’t we look like wine pros?

So thankful for family and friends

So thankful for family and friends

Maureen serving us wine from the barrels

Maureen serving wine from the barrels

Tasting room

Tasting room

Chip and my dad chose the same wines for their tasting and even marked them with the same x's. I married my father.

Chip and my dad chose the same wines for their tasting and even marked them with the same x’s. I married my father.

By the time we drove over to Four Point, it was approaching 6:00, which is when the vineyards close on Saturdays. We had a faster tasting there and called it a day afterward. A very successful day, mind you. As for Pedernales, we’ll just have to save that for next time.

We left Fredericksburg and went to one of our favorite spots for dinner: Fralo’s. There was a bit of a wait to sit inside the tented area (it got pretty cold that night), but we eventually got to enjoy some warm pizza accompanied by one of our new wines from the day.

Ending the day at Fralo's

Ending the day at Fralo’s

I feel the same way about that pizza, Haley

I feel the same way about that pizza, Haley

All in all, we had a wonderful time in Fredericksburg! We are so thankful we got to spend that time with my parents and the Behams. We had a full day at home on Sunday, more to come there!

Anniversary weekend!

As I mentioned in my last post, Chip and I celebrated our one year anniversary on May 7th. In honor of our first year of marriage, we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Fredericksburg. For those non-Texans out there, Fredericksburg is about an hour outside of San Antonio and is known for its hill country beauty and various wineries. We really hadn’t spent any time in Fredericksburg prior to this trip, except a quick afternoon at Wild Seed Farms last spring, so we thought it would be a great little city to spend some time at for our first anniversary.

Off to Fredericksburg!

We made our way out to Fredericksburg last Saturday 5/5 around noon and went straight to Pedernales Cellars (thanks, Katy, for the recommendation!). While we both love wine, neither of us had ever been to a wine tasting so we didn’t really know what we were in store for. Pedernales has a great and attentive staff and takes walk-ins for tastings, like most of the other wineries in the area. So we made our way over to the wine bar when we got in and met Robert, who guided us through a great first wine tasting! He was extremely informative and descriptive in all of the different tastes to the wines. Pedernales also offers tours of the vineyard every 20 minutes or so, so after our tasting we went on the tour and learned all about the wine making process. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll work on our own vineyard (hopefully in Italy!) :)

Enjoying the patio at Pedernales!

Tour at Pedernales

In true Texas hospitality, the staff at Pedernales encouraged us to check out some of the other vineyards along the highway and recommended Hilmy as well as Four Point O. We couldn’t ignore the advice of the experts, so off we went to these two wineries! Both are fairly new and also had great and attentive staff. We particularly liked Four Point O Cellars and would definitely recommend it to friends. They had a really open design to their space and just provided a great overall experience. We also made a stop at Becker Vineyards afterwards, which is probably the most well-known winery in Fredericksburg.

Afternoon at the wineries!

At Hilmy Cellars

Enjoying our tasting at Four Point O Cellars

Tasting room at Four Point O Cellars

Cellar tour at Becker

After our time at Becker, we made our way to Trois Estates to check in and get ready for dinner. One thing we learned from planning this quick trip was that bed and breakfasts get filled very quickly in Fredericksburg and most reservations should be made a good four weeks out (as opposed to three days). We were so lucky to find an empty room at the lodge at Trois Estates! The property was very pretty and felt like it’s own town, but the stuffed game in the lodge freaked us out a bit…

Yikes.

But there were a lot of cute signs around the property which were perfect since there was a wedding going on that evening!

Awww…

We drove back into Fredericksburg for dinner and had an extremely delicious meal at Crossroads Saloon & Steakhouse. We chose to sit outside and take advantage of the surprisingly pleasant Texas May weather and try to catch a glimpse of the super moon (sadly, we didn’t get to see it!). We both ordered the salmon, which was probably some of the best I’ve ever had. We definitely recommend this restaurant if anyone is looking for a special place to eat!

Dinner in Fredericksburg!

We spent a surprising amount of time Sunday morning trying to find a place for breakfast since most of the brunch spots were for bed & breakfast guests. After driving around for a good 30 minutes, we found Fredericksburg Coffee and Tea and had the best breakfast we could have found! Seriously. It was delicious…

Awesome breakfast

Once we finished breakfast, we went over to Grape Creek Vineyards since it got a lot of recommendations by the other vineyards. The grounds here are absolutely beautiful! Their tagline is “Tuscany in Texas” and they did a great job trying to capture the Italian essence.

Driving into Grape Creek Vineyards

Ready for another wine tasting!

At Grape Creek

After our tasting at Grape Creek, we went to Wild Seed Farms and bought some flowers for our front yard (we still need to plant these…. oops). We had a great time in Fredericksburg and are looking forward to our next trip there!

Anniversary dinner at Dough

The following day (Monday) was our actual anniversary, so we decided to have dinner at one of our all time favorite restaurants: Dough! We’ve gone here several times this past year and love it more each time we go there. The pizza is phenomenal and went perfectly with the last bottle of wine we had left from our honeymoon cruise.

After dinner we went back home to eat our thawed out one-year old wedding cake. We had been excited to try our cake out since we loved it so much the actual day of our wedding (Cathy Young makes some awesome cakes!). Unfortunately, it really didn’t taste that great a year later just like we had been warned… but the dogs didn’t mind! Oh well, we still technically followed the tradition even if we didn’t eat much of it :)

Happy one year anniversary, Chip!!

Chip trying out the cake

The dogs loved it!