Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fredericksburging finale

Taking in the wildflowers at LBJ Ranch
Last full day Fredericksburging, boo.  Can't we have just a few more?  Oh well.  After eating peach pie with ice cream (hellooooo, we're on VACATION!!) for breakfast (that was just me, actually - far more reasonable people had breakfast that actually resembled normal breakfast) and lounging around Avery Haus for a bit, we divided up into three groups.  (1) A group of travelers to Luckenbach for a little beer and a little music and the purchasing of t-shirts, (2) families to a wildflower farm for really adorable pictures, and (3) the boys + Diana + me to LBJ Ranch for some learning and wildflowers of our own and other historical/nature adventures.  

Can't get enough of the pretty flowers and beautiful day!
Our time at the ranch was pretty awesome!  You pick up a CD that you play in your car as it guides you through the whooooole ranch (completely free, too, which is a nice perk), and you can get out at different stops along the way and do things like listen to historical reenactors explain how to make cheese (eeekk!) and admire fancy old hats...

 ...and entertain yourself 1860s style...

...and watch out for feisty barnyard animals...

...and explore cool old barns...

...and meet some really large animals and learn about things you didn't know existed like the ability to brand HORNS...

...and make new friends with the guy attached to those horns...

...and see cool old airplanes affectionately known as Air Force One-Half...

...and pretend to be the President...

...and just generally enjoy the beautiful, wide-open spaces. 

beautiful day at the ranch 
We also took a guided tour of the Texas White House (no pictures allowed inside, boo) with a pretty enthusiastic park ranger, and it was really interesting to learn about the history of the house and check out LBJ's office. After making our way through the house, we took a little swing break down by the Pedernales River...

...and then went to meet up with Groups #1 & 2 for some winery time!  First stop was Grape Creek, where they most fortunately had some awesome ladies serving BBQ (we were STARVING - historical adventures are hard work).  We set up shop outside in the shade, listened to some live music, and worked our way through brisket sandwiches and several bottles of wine.  So right.

beverages of choice for the afternoon
the gang under a dang big tree
Number Three
cheers, parenting style
ummmm, excuse me!  mom needs some more juice!
Then we headed up the road to Becker for some more wine, some more quality lounging time in the shade, some more wine, a couple of bug adventures, and some more wine.

Diana, Dan, & Jeremy outside Becker
It really was just a beautiful afternoon!
Back into town for dinner on the giant patio at Silver Creek, then we all headed back to the great backyard at Amoroso Cottage for a rousing game of horseshoes and a grand finale in the form of s'mores.

Isn't this such an awesome backyard??  I want to steal that stone fireplace.  And the Adirondack chairs.  And some of those people and just keep them here with us at home because they're so awesome.
S'mores.  Dan's doing it right.
Our house ended the night shouting curses, and then it was time to crash and hit the road the next morning in the hopes of avoiding epic traffic nightmares (although cars sure did seem to have a hard time not running into each other as we came up I-35 - fortunately we were spared).  Full photo spread from the long weekend here, and it was just a GREAT weekend.  Yay for awesome friends and awesome times!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fredericksburging, days one and two

Memorial Day weekend adventures, go!  We pretty much did a repeat of last year's awesome adventures, just with more awesomeness this time in the form of more awesome people.  Same crew from last year (the Vaughns, who Craig now refers to as "Grianity" in order to capture all of those names efficiently; the Keffers; and the Reynolds, who are + 7/9 one more kiddo this year) plus the Horsleys and the fabulous Dan & Jeremy.  Quite a crew!  Necessitated two house rentals this year - one for the families and one for the childless, which worked out swimmingly well.  Phew, we're a lot of people.

Let's hit the road!  Absolutely mission critical to stop for kolaches in West (Craig and I made this our lunch...AWESOME)...

...and after picking up the keys for our overly adorable house, we met up with the boys and Grianity and hit up winery #1 for the weekend, Messina Hof.  We all did a tasting (well, except for Grace, who really wanted some juice but made do with water and crackers) and then enjoyed a happy hour glass or two while just relaxing and catching up.

Number One in my series of "Trinity's Awesome T-Shirts"
I think The Craig is happiest when toting around a case of wine, I really do
Back to Avery Haus we go!  Quality time in the porch swing with a few high fives thrown in for good measure...

...and summertime sprinkler adventures are ALWAYS a good thing... is dinner at Rathskeller and just relaxing with friends and drinks and PIES.  This year Trinity thought ahead and picked up the pies pretty much immediately upon arrival, so we had friends in the form of German Chocolate and Key Lime and Peach and Cherry hanging out with us all weekend.  So good.

New day, new adventures!  Shopping adventures!  Which means that Jen and I quite obviously need coffee to start the day, so we picked up icy caffeinated cups of goodness while the boys did this...

Beer for breakfast, anyone?  Just look at those smiles.
Oh, boys.  And have you always been able to wander around Fredericksburg with obvious booze in hand?  We didn't remember this being an option last year, but it was also so miserably hot last year that I think we actually wanted to just hydrate.  Curious.  At any rate, I think beer in hand keeps the boys generally happier with shopping adventures, so I'm all for it.  I just love all of the cutesy stores!  And we actually kept our spending pretty much in check, so that's a good thing.

We contemplated a moustache for Gracie...
...and didn't really contemplate adding "cardboard taxidermy" to the list of house decorating ideas, but it's still kinda fun.
Number Two
After a long afternoon of parting with our credit cards and racking up bags of cuteness and deliciousness, our party o' fourteen made it over to Hondo's for dinner where Mike finally got his club sandwich and we ordered enough fried ridiculousness for a small army.  It was awesome.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The babies turned one!! You know, months and months ago...

So my awesome friends have these really cute babies that graced us with their presence in the fall/winter of 2010, and this was originally intended to talk about celebrating all of their first birthdays...yeah, so those babies are now closer to two than one, but I'd already put cute pictures in a draft post so I'm just going to go with it.  Adorable is always timely.

Gracie's party!!  Diana let me decorate cupcakes because it makes me so happy. =) And Gracie, you just rock.

So full of cuteness AND deliciousness!!  Adorable little fabric flags = Pinterest inspiration.  Obsessed.
The sweet birthday girl and her momma
Allllll the kiddos - trust me, this was really the best we could do at containing them for a picture.
The backyard is definitely the best place to have cake explosion adventures.  Especially when Trinity is involved.
Ahhhh, that milk tastes goooooooooood
The return of THE BOOK.  The reaction was priceless.
And yeah, Taylor is waaaaaaay past one, too, but I made her some cute stuff and wanted to show you.  I'm so behind it's not even funny.  We're making this happen.

Cutesy clothes, both for now and for later
Pink and green girl fest extravaganza!!  I did animal appliques onto onesies and a little jacket, then some fabric flowers on onesies.  It was too much fun.
Birthday girl and her momma, showing off those walking moves
Make a wish!
Sweet baby Rhett is way past one, too!  AND now he lives all the way back in the motherland of Louisiana, and I miss his little antics, but it's kinda nice to remember him in this tinier state.

Sweet baby and his momma chillaxin at Taylor's par-tay
Every little boy needs a pirate bag, right?  Absolutely.  So I made him one.
And he could probably also use a stuffed turtle.  Which was just easy and fun to make.  So cute!
And a tie for when he needs to dress up. =)
While these babies were busy turning one, two BRAND NEW AWESOME BABIES also came around - yay for the no longer quite as new new additions to the Stewart and Holmes families!!  Reese Elizabeth Stewart made her way into the world on November 16, followed shortly by Mr. Liam Rex Holmes on November 22.  These two new mommies are two of the most wonderful people I met while doing that DC thing, and I'm so, so happy for both of them.  Yay for cute babies!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Girls weekend in New Orleans.  LAST SEPTEMBER.  Eight months ago.  I'm throwing it in here anyway.  Bachelorette kinda thing going on.  Not "ahhhhh, crazy, wooooooo!" bachelorette moments, more of the "hey, let's drink and eat and drink and eat some more in this tasty city and NOT have too many embarrassing moments" kinda thing.

Pat O's hurricanes MUST be involved.  This was our first stop after checking in.
Kami the animal-whisperer made friends with our tour guide.  Was his name Prince??  See, this happened WAY too long ago and I'm forgetting.  Or maybe that has something to do with the hurricanes...
They just got mah-wied and are doing that cool follow the band get in a line wave umbrellas dance thing!  We participated via balcony.
This balcony, actually.  It was lovely.  Except for my Sazerac, which is really just not to my boozy liking.  Oof, that thing packed a punch.
Beignets at Cafe du Monde.  Pure powdered sugar happiness.
The ridiculously awesome Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone.  It ROTATES while you sit and drink.  Too fun.
Had a wonderful weekend with my girls.  New Orleans.  Just do it.