Tag Archives: Texas

God bless Texas

I’ve been in Texas for a while now. My time in San Antonio began in the fall of 2005 when I started my freshman year at Trinity. While I knew I loved Trinity’s campus, it took a while for San Antonio to grow on me. Coming from Tucson, San Antonio was huge. How many highways are in the city? Why are almost all of them under construction? How many people live here? How many restaurants say they have the best margaritas? Why is Texas the only state that can have its state flag at the same level as the American flag? How can there be enough material for “Texas state history” to be a required class? Initially, just about everything Texas-related was weird to me, and it made me love Arizona more and more.

Loved my freshman girls Bible study

Loved my freshman girls Bible study

Trinity grads

Trinity grads

After college graduation in 2009, I chose to stay here in San Antonio. I had come to love this city, had a job offer, and a sweet guy to keep me here. But it wasn’t until Chip and I got married in 2011 that San Antonio started to feel like home. I think it helped that I finally felt more “permanent.” We bought our home a few weeks before we got married which means this is the most time I’ve gone without moving in San Antonio. We found a wonderful church that we’ve been members of for a couple of years now. We continue to develop sweet friendships. We have our favorite go-to restaurants, even ones that Wrigley can join us at. There are different events and activities every season that we look forward to (is it weird we’re happy it’s spring so we can get started on yard work?). Y’all, I love this city.

I recently saw a Buzzfeed link on Facebook on why you should live in Texas at some point in your life. Check out this link to see the full list, but here are a few of my personal favorites in no particular order: Bluebonnets and wild flowers on the side of the road. Fiesta. Southern hospitality. Tex-mex restaurants everywhere. Breakfast tacos. Two-stepping. Eating outside in the spring. Shopping in Fredericksburg. Being a tourist on the Riverwalk.

God bless Texas.

A weekend with my brother

I haven’t had a spring break in years. Four years, to be exact. While I normally get a little jealous while young college students get a week of freedom, this year I was grateful for this unofficial holiday since it allowed my brother to come visit for the weekend. I last saw Alex while we were in Tucson for Christmas and was pretty sure we wouldn’t be seeing him until his graduation in May. So when he called me a few weeks ago asking if he could come visit us in San Antonio, I said yes in a heartbeat. Not going to lie, it makes me feel a little cool that my 22-year old college senior brother wanted to use part of his last spring break to hang out with his sister.

The timing of his trip worked out really well. Chip was actually out of town most of this weekend, so I got some good one-on-one time with Alex for the first time in a few years (no offense to Chip, of course :)). Alex flew in from Omaha Friday night and after a quick stop at Target, we went to the house to feed him some dinner (whoa, had forgotten how much he can eat) and spend some time catching up.

Picking up Alex from the airport

Picking up Alex from the airport

Now last week had some awesome pre-spring weather, so I was looking forward to having a bit of a full outdoorsy day on Saturday. Then in true San Antonio form, the weather quickly changed… we may be in a drought, but of course the rain comes the weekend my brother is here. The original plan for Saturday was to take Wrigley to the dog park and walk around the trails there, drive to Austin and possibly do a small hike there, go to Shiner to tour the brewery and end the day at the Salt Lick in Driftwood. And then the weather looked more like this:

So rude. Needless to say, we had to change our plans. I also found out that the Shiner Brewery is actually closed on the weekends, so that was out of the plan as well. I know, I was shocked, too, who would have thought they would be close on weekends? So instead we took it easy Saturday morning and since the rain had actually stopped for a bit, we decided to take Wrigley on a quick walk in the neighborhood followed by breakfast at home.

We figured we could still go to The Salt Lick for lunch, the weather wouldn’t be able to stop us from some famous barbeque. We got in the car a little before 11:00 to head out to Driftwood, which is a little over an hour away. That may seem like a bit of a drive for some lunch, but if anyone would appreciate a good barbecue it would definitely be my carnivore brother. That and Alex really enjoys road trips of any kind, so the time in the car went by pretty fast between our conversations and the different Pandora stations Alex played for us.

We were a bit hungry, okay starving, by the time we got to The Salt Lick, but we lucked out and only had a 20 minute wait. I would definitely wait longer for their food if I had to. Saying it was delicious is an understatement. It was my first time there and I will definitely be going back with Chip since he’s actually never been there yet.

Alex had the four meat Rancher plate while I had the three meat Thurman’s Choice plate. They both came with potato salad, cole slaw and beans. And were followed by a hearty food coma. We had also brought some Shiner beer with us that we had bought at Target since we couldn’t go to the actual brewery. I was hoping we would have room for some cobbler, but it wasn’t possible. Alex even had to loosen his belt by a notch to account for all the food we had already eaten. So we decided to save the cobbler for the next time we go to Salt Lick, so Alex, feel free to book your flight whenever.

Alex with our (Target) Shiner beer

Alex with our (Target) Shiner beer

God bless Texas barbecue

God bless Texas barbecue

Yum yum yum

Yum yum yum

Once we got back into San Antonio (much quieter than we were on the way out haha), we made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up food to make for dinner. Since my brother likes cooking different pastas with his girlfriend Teresa, I thought it would be fun to make the pasta dish my mom and I made a few weeks ago. I think I may have over-cooked the pancetta slightly, but it was still really good and will definitely become a part of our dinner rotation. After dinner, my brother helped me make some snickerdoodle cookies to take to church on Sunday. With the cookies baking, we spent time watching the new season 3 episodes of Duck Dynasty. Happy, happy, happy.

I was pretty tired Saturday night, so I tried going to bed a little early while Alex watched a little more TV. Before I knew it, it was 1:00 in the morning and Wrigley was up in bed with me shaking. After a few seconds I realized that we were getting a pretty good storm with plenty of rain, thunder and lightning. For some reason, one of our living room windows leaks a little bit of water whenever we get a lot of rain, and since it sounded like it was coming down at a good rate, I decided to go quickly check on the window. I was worried about waking up Alex, but the night owl was still up and able to help me check out the window and lay out a towel. We both went to sleep pretty quickly after that, feeling a little tired in the morning thanks to Daylight Savings kicking in.

We had some breakfast, went to church and brought the snickerdoodles we had made the previous night to have after the service. It was great getting to introduce Alex to some of the different members at Redeemer, I think many of them were impressed by his beard. We then went to HEB to do the weekly grocery shopping before enjoying lunch at La Fogata. La Fogata is probably our favorite Mexican restaurant in town, so I thought it would be great to take Alex there since the Mexican food scene in Omaha is a bit lacking.

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day relaxing at the house. Chip got back home early in the afternoon and we all watched the end of the Creighton basketball game together, had a lasagna for dinner, watched a little more Duck Dynasty and played a game of Settlers of Catan. I also made another batch of cookies for the guys since we didn’t have any leftovers from Saturday’s batch.

Chip kicked our butts

Chip kicked our butts

More snickerdoodles

More snickerdoodles

I took Alex to the airport Monday morning on my way to work. It was a quick weekend, but I am so grateful for the time I got with my brother and look forward to (hopefully) having him visit more! For now, I look forward to seeing him again in May for his graduation from Creighton. And yes, I’m totally weirded out that my little brother will be a college graduate in just a couple of months. When did he become an adult? ;)

Until next time, bud

Until next time, bud

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!