Fredericksburg Getaway 

Dan’s parent’s recently built a place in Fredericksburg, which is affectionally termed “The Cabin”. We’ve been out several times over the past few months and a few weeks ago, they lent it to us for a weekend friend getaway (THANKS!). It was so refreshing to hang out on the deck, drinking beers, away from the big city. There ended up being 10 of us, but through the miracle of air mattresses, we made it work! I was slightly intimidated to play host to that big of a group, but they are the sweetest and it actually ended up being a breeze. (I did forget to bring the nice camera, so the pictures aren’t stellar!)

Friday night, Dan grilled up some burgers and corn, and we had this lemony salad on the side. After we ate, we lounged around, star gazing and roasting marshmallows for some s’mores. And a short game of Quelf, which is always hilarious.
For Saturday morning breakfast, we cooked bacon breakfast tacos, which are a staple at the Witcher residence. We had to fuel up for a day at the wineries! Texas actually has the 2nd largest wine region outside of Northern California, and over the last few years it’s grown even more! Every time we visit Fredericksburg, it feels like a new winery has opened. Since we had so many people, I tried to stick with places where we could make reservations. The popular spots can get super crowded on nice weekends, so this was helpful.
We started at Pedernales Cellars, mostly for the amazing views! It’s not my favorite wine and on the pricier end, but the setting is beautiful. They have a nice patio to picnic on, also!
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However, we moved on to Kuhlman’s Cellars because it’s quickly becoming a favorite. I love all of their wines and they are reasonably priced (for the area… I splurge a bit when in wine country, compared to my typical $12 Kroger bottles). They were totally booked up by the time I tried to make a reservation (see?! book ahead!) but we were able to grab a couple  bottles and enjoy their deck as we ate lunch. I packed this delicious salad in advance, and it was surprisingly portable and actually perfect picnic food.  I did add chicken (because Dan refuses to eat a meal without meat) and had him grill it up the night before while he was working on the burgers. Everyone loved it, and it was so easy (although there are one million ingredients). All the recipes on her blog are on point.
Next up was Calais Winery, which was definitely the best tasting of the trip, and actually, ever in Fredericksburg. It’s basically a bunker in a field, so don’t come expecting hill country views, but the knowledge passed onto us was thorough and fascinating. It’s owned by a young, French guy who is making his mark on the Texas wine scene by using only Texas grapes with French oak barrels. He was the one leading the tasting, and we asked so many questions that he was happy to answer.
We ended at Lewis Wines, which is another one of the few who only use Texas grapes. We sat out on a patio, surrounded by vines and it was the perfect last stop.
We spent the next few hours playing outside like a bunch of kids. We played corn hole, frisbeer (Dan’s new favorite ever since the UT tailgate), and beer pong may have happened. Then we wrangled everyone up and headed into Fredericksburg for dinner at Fredericksburg Herb Farm.
On Sunday, we drove out to Alamo Springs, which has my absolute favorite burger. The drive is beautiful and I love seeing old German-style homes from when the area was founded.

For previous Fredericksburg trips, see here and here.

Happy Anniversary, My Love

We had pretty limited wi-fi (and I didn’t feel like doing anything but Italian things while away) so I didn’t get to post anything on our anniversary. So here it is, a week late 🙂

Reliving the day that started it all! One whole year that has completely FLOWN by. And honestly, every day has gotten better. I can’t even imagine being paired with someone who so perfectly fills in my imperfections, who makes me laughs in ways that help me forget any worries, and encourages me so completely. Here’s to many more days of travel and happiness and house projects and cooking and unconditional love. Life with you endlessly fun.

Thank you again to everyone who shared our wedding day with us- what a joy to be surrounded in celebration by everyone we love.Your support of our life together means so much.


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Summer Daze

Houston gets reallllly hot in the summer. I grew up in Texas, I’ve lived through Dallas summers, I know it gets hot. But the humidity in Houston totally ups the heat game. Between that and the mosquitos, I feel like everything outdoors has been semi-miserable since June started. And I haven’t really been enjoying the summer time, just kind of waiting for it to be Fall already. This is on top of getting ready for the remodel/ being out of town all the time anyway. But thinking back, relaxing outside on summer nights at home can be pretty magical.

All this to say: thank goodness for having friends over to grill because it saved me and now I want to take advantage of the rest of the summer, even if it is hot 🙂 Oh and it may have had something to do with the watermelon, which I had for the first time this whole year. Juicy goodness.


Summer Goals:

– Make homemade ice cream

– Take Barley to the beach

– Blend up some frozen margaritas

– Not complain about the weather- embrace it as a warm hug

– Go to an Astros game

– Go swimming

I’m giving myself to the end of September 🙂

Washed Away in Houston

Thanks to all who messaged us with concern about the flooding! I know my mom was having a mini panic attack when she found out we hadn’t made it back to the house.

Story time: After spending the weekend in Fredericksburg (and hitting a LOT of rain while driving out there), we safely made it back to Houston Monday evening. Since Barley had been out all day, we figured we could sneak off to a movie that night. We ended up choosing Mad Max in 3D, which was really awesome. The effects were unreal and I enjoyed the story line. It was action from the very beginning until the very end and the whole movie was essentially one long chase scene. I’m not usually a big action fan, but for some reason I loved it.

Moving on… We left the theater to employees warning us of heavy rain and flooding. Great. Everyone on the highway had their flashers turned on and were driving very slowly. It’s pretty terrifying to drive in heavy rain, especially at night. We finally made it to our exit and rain straight into deep water. No matter where we turned, we kept hitting flooding. Eventually, we gave up, found a little bit of higher ground, and waited it out. For 4 hours. In a not great part of town. Luckily, my car wasn’t damaged from all the water, even though my brakes were making some scary sounds! We saw one car goes nose first into a ditch, but the occupants were okay. Just wet! The rain finally lightened up a bit around 2 AM and somehow we found drive-able roads that led us home. Even our street, with the big, deep ditches, was flooding! Still low enough to drive through, thank goodness.  Poor, poor Barley. Alone in the house with all the loud thunder! He didn’t damage a thing and I’m so proud 🙂 The Houston Chronicle has some pictures that capture how bad it got here.


Seeing the damage the next morning was very sad. My heart goes out to those all over Texas who lost priceless items, their homes, and worst of all, family members.

Dan still went into work yesterday, but the roads around downtown were pretty bad, so I stayed home. Perfect for many loads of laundry and cleaning. Our internet was out all day, so I was actually very productive! Plus, we enjoyed a quiet evening at home with an early bed time. Hope everyone stays safe and dry! Looks like we’re in for many more days of rain.

Here’s some photos of Barley enjoying a break from the rain last night to cheer you up 🙂

Cute babes

I have a new favorite picture of Daniel.

Too stinking cute. I get so excited thinking about him being a dad and I have to remind myself (and both of our familes :D) that we want to wait.

“waiter!” also… that’s beer in the glass.

Anyways… we visited Dan’s parents in Georgetown over the weekend and Jenny was in town with the kiddos. While I terribly wish they thought we were awesome and wanted to sit and hug and play with us all the time… that is not the case (Opa and Nana win by a LONG shot there). Although I did squeeze in hugs when they would let me and helped Ellie make some really cool pumpkins with mustaches (leftover craft from Halloween?). Fingers crossed that as they get older they realize how super cool we are and want to be our best pals. Lucky for us (though not for her family), Jenny is moving back to Texas while Rob is deployed, so we will be seeing more them 😀

The weather was pretty terrible so we were inside a lot. Which meant Dan took a nice nap. He gets a cute award too.

 I leave you with Ellie and “Ariel”. All the chickens got princess names. And I took these on Dan’s phone so the picture quality is much better.

Should’ve Been A Cowboy

The Houston Rodeo is a BIG deal. All my Houston friends in college raved about it. I was a little confused because while rodeos in Ft. Worth can be fun, they aren’t something to be raved about. But now that I live in Houston, I totally get it. The Houston Rodeo is awesome.

Dan’s boss gave him suite tickets at the last minute to the show last night and I was stoked. Being in a suite was pretty darn cool. Lots of food and drinks and your beer is served to you in your seat! And no line for the bathroom! I also loved all the events although I did wonder who originally decided to ride a bull and make it a sport. So dangerous! But some of those guys made it look easy. I can’t even imagine hopping onto a bull for the very first time. Plus, the announcers were hilariously entertaining.

We tried really hard to get a good photo but the lighting in the suite was just terrible and this was the best we could do.

Suite cookie! After the amazing ice cream in a cowboy hat with bailey’s and a cookie on top… sugar overload 😀

Stage set up. Happened so fast!

Oh my, Zac Brown Band. I’ve always listened to them and enjoyed their music, but they totally wowed me last night. Musically, they were spot on. Zac killed it on the guitar. And they covered Enter Sandman AND Bohemian Rhapsody. And just took down the stadium. Those are super tough songs. So basically I love Zac Brown now. They also played a newer song that definitely wasn’t country. Pulling a Taylor Swift? I dug it. And his hat? Adorable. Dan needs one. And I need to visit a haberdashery ASAP.

It was a really fun night, even if I did miss the turkey legs. SO glad we made it to the rodeo this year- it was questionable. Can’t wait for next year 😀 Maybe we’ll get lucky and get suite tickets again…

EEP!

THIS has got me SO excited!! Big Bend has been on my list for a while but it’s SO FAR. Even the commercial airports closest to Big Bend are far from Big Bend. Story of living in Texas… it takes a bazillion years just to get out of your own state. You lucky folks in the NE with your tiny states… you don’t even know. Also, all of Europe. Don’t even get me started on Europe’s public transportation system and how quickly you can get places for so cheap. It provokes jealously.