Ahhh…is there anything like your birthday? A day that’s devoted just to you (unless you’re a twin), a day filled with indulgences. And this year was especially gratifying, as it fell on a Saturday, which simply begged for an adventure out of the ordinary. And the ever-thoughtful Jon obliged by planning a surprise weekend getaway to the picturesque Fredricksburg, TX.
It was such a lovely relaxing weekend. We got there Friday night, excited by the guesthouse–a 19th-century schoolhouse that had been converted into a private cottage. It was beyond adorable, with original hardwood floors, stone and wood beams walls, and the original (sometimes-working) fireplace. It even had a historical marker in front! It was filled with antiques and vintage pieces–I wanted to take everything there home with me.
We ate breakfast in town Saturday morning, and stepped into just a few of my favorite shops (like Der Kuchen Laden, filled with gadgets you don’t actually need). We went to Phil Jackson’s, where they sell imported granite in the back. Strangely, it was my favorite part. It was like walking through an art gallery–my heart was full, my eyes were hungry! They carried imported and exotic slabs of granite that were ridiculously expensive–my favorite piece, measuring about 6.5′ x 4.5′, was $16k! The lady wanted to sell us something, but we had to assure her we were just admiring the breathtaking pieces. We figured it out: even if we both sold everything we owned and pooled our money, we STILL wouldn’t be able to purchase that slice of rock. They also had a piece of granite from the same quarry the palace of Versailles mined theirs from–it was absolutely, stunningly, GORGEOUS. I tried to take pictures but they seriously don’t do them ANY justice. The green/blue was my pricey pricey favorite. It’s like a peacock.
Another stunning piece:
It had started to warm up by then, so we bought groceries and basically spent the hot part of the day back at the completely adorable guesthouse, reading and napping and eating peppermint ice cream. That was the best part of renting our own little place–we got to be away from everything we knew, but didn’t have the mostly uncomfortable experience of eating whatever was made by someone else when they said it was time. We bought what WE wanted to eat, and ate it whenever we felt like it. Jon had told me he doesn’t like bed and breakfasts because he doesn’t want to deal with people early in the morning or feel like he must interact when he just wants to relax. It was a sweet gesture on his part to find something that would give us both what we wanted–a vacation getaway that still gave us a great deal of freedom.
Later after a long nap, and cooler temperatures, we went to Enchanted Rock and hiked up one of the hills. It’s so beautiful and because it was later in the day, there was hardly anyone there. I nearly had a heart attack when he started playing mountain goat–I absolutely could not follow him, and ended up taking the path a few times while he rediscovered his inner child.
We’d seen the county fair not four miles from our private retreat, and had meant to visit after dinner that night. But we started watching this old Abbott and Costello movie with dinner (one of three random old movies at the house) and before we knew it, it was 10pm and we were exhausted. At that point, Jon admitted he was scared of carnival rides, and I decided I could wait to go with my family the next time we had a chance, to ride the zipper and the hammer. And besides, at a county fair I would actually really like to go see the big produce, and the pies, and the show animals. I guess that’s a sign i’m growing up, when pie is a bigger attraction than the rides.
(Unbelievably cute hearth in the kitchen! And that oven works–we made fries in it!)
I had a wonderful time–it was sweet and relaxing and at times, kind of scary…because a snake showed up a few times in the bathtub! I was about to use the restroom when I looked over and saw a snake tail whipping around. I screamed and made Jon deal with it. Unfortunately, the baby rat snake (BABY. RAT. SNAKE.) kept coming back at really inconvenient times. Needless to say, I didn’t shower there on Sunday because he kept finding different ways through the pipes to get to the tub. So I waited until we got home to shower!
The best part was the feeling of total relaxation and of not worrying about being anywhere or doing anything I didn’t want to. The place is about 7.5 miles outside of Fredricksburg, just out in the country surrounded by cows. (Seriously. We woke up and looked outside the windows and there were cows grazing right on the other side of the fence. Jon tried to pet them, but they just looked at him when he offered them a few strands of grass. I had a good laugh at that). It was soo relaxing but I didn’t feel like I was roughing it or was obligated to do anything at all. We didn’t do dishes or make the bed. We tidied up before we left but that meant leaving the towels in a pile and the dishes in the sink. We ate whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, and stayed up and slept in as late as we wanted. If you ask me, that’s how you do a birthday right.