The BIG 4-0 Girl's Weekend

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Back in the fall, my college best friends and I decided to finally live up to a promise we made at the University of Arkansas to celebrate our 30th birthdays together ten years after the fact.

The Usual Suspects---
Christi "The Boss" and Melanie "Never Mets a Stranger"

"The Two Shannons"--the polite ones.

Our original plan was to take a 4-day cruise from Galveston through the Gulf to Cancun but in early February the cruise ship we had scheduled to travel on had a fire on board and became known throughout the world as “The Good Ship Lollipoop”. Needless to say, our cruise was canceled and our money refunded as Carnival tried to clean the ship and its reputation. I’ve sworn it was my first and last cruise.

But, that left three of the four of us with plane tickets to Texas and nowhere to go. We threw some ideas out there and decided we wanted to keep it in the same price range as our cruise. That led us to Fredericksburg, Texas in central Texas and center of the Texas wine industry and since it was in the hill country in central Texas, it was just about the same driving distance for those coming from Houston and for me coming from Dallas.

I was flying into Dallas to drop the kids off with BeBe and PaPaw on Wednesday, April 3rd and the others were in Houston. We planned on meeting at our rental house in Fredericksburg late Wednesday.
The rental house.

After we landed at DFW and I picked up a rental car, I dropped the kids off at my parent’s and got them settled in. Around 6 p.m., I hit the road for what should be a 4 ½ hour drive. It was raining and ended up taking me around 5 ½ hours.  The others were already at the house when I arrived and the Girl’s Weekend officially began with “hellos” and the exchanging of gifts.

Jewelry, glasses and wine yokes.
We spent the rest of the evening catching up in the hot tub of the rental house. The next day we had scheduled massages at The Fredericksburg Herb Farm which were great and relaxing. There were only two masseuses and Melanie and I went first, which gave us time to head to the bar and enjoy a Bloody Mary much to the dismay of the ladies of the local Baptist church which should have foretold a lot about the town considering the restaurant didn’t staff a bartender during the day.

After our massages we headed to Fredericksburg for lunch at Pasta Bella which was good. We then walked the cute downtown shops and met some locals and got some recommendations on places to eat dinner. We learned from some of the younger residents that Fredericksburg mid-week isn’t that lively. Our favorite quote was, “This town doesn’t even have a Whataburger!”.

As we walked the downtown we soon began to notice that all the shops were closing at 5:00 p.m. I was looking for a sweater of some sort to wear out that night since it was much chillier than I had anticipated and my only sweater I had worn for two days. I wasn’t having any luck in the downtown shops and since they were closing, we headed to Bealls where I also struck out except for a UT Longhorns fleece on deep discount. The fleece was next to a rack of sale shirts and once the four of us noticed the shirts it was all over. They were possibly the worst shirts ever and we had to buy them. Since it was our 40th birthdays, we decided to create “The Stupid Shirt Society”. Fifty has red hats, why shouldn’t 40 be some silly shirt about swag? Of course, we had to accessorize with earrings from the clearance rack as well. For less than $5 we were ridiculous styling.

After our shopping spree, we picked up some grocery items and headed back to the house for cocktails and primping in our new duds. Of course, we laughed so hard that we barely noticed the time and at 8:40 p.m. we were desperate to find an eating establishment that served food after 9 p.m. It was slim pickin’s.

Our first stop was a local bar which had been described on-line as “the bar scene” of Fredericksburg. If this place is THE bar scene then I pity Fredericksburg and it doesn’t represent F-burg very well. It was a walk-in/walk-out situation for us but just enough time spent inside that we all smelled like cigarette smoke and were concerned about emphysema.

We lucked out at our next stop, the Buffalo Nickel, which stayed open until 10 p.m. It was at the Buffalo Nickel that Melanie we began chatting with one of our waitresses and found out she was 17 years old with a 2 year old child at home. It was an uplifting conversation {insert sarcasm here} as we heard about her “life” while wearing shirts about our swag. It was a bit of a buzz kill on the evening but it looked to improve when she offered to show us THE happening bar in town, Red’s, which just happened to be on the way to her house because she didn’t have a ride home. So, with our waitress in tow, she took us outside of F-burg down some abandoned road by a cattle barn through and industrial park when Melanie felt compelled to inform her that we were being nice taking her home and were hoping she wasn’t taking us somewhere to be “jumped”. She wasn’t. The place was a dump. Worse than the first place we went to that evening. No way were we setting foot in there. We dropped our waitress at her apartment and as we bid her farewell she told us she was excited to go to a tractor-pull the next day and get drunk.  And on that bombshell, we called it an evening and went home to start an online voting contest on who wore the best shirt.  Hint: It was midnight when the shirt photos were posted and the only one with friends still awake was the person from the west coast. She also happened to be the winner. Hmmmm… did that happen?

The shirts:
Christi's shirt: "Awesome All Day Every Day"

Shannon's shirt: "Who Needs SWAG When You Have GANGNAM STYLE?"

Mine: "Status: Single, Taken, Who Cares I'm Awesome"

Melanie's shirt: "Call the Doctor My SWAG is Sick"
And, yes, we wore them in public (at 9 p.m., there were only maybe 14 people we saw in these shirts):

Friday was wine touring day. Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect. I am a native Texan and didn’t expect much but we were all surprised. I had booked a limo for a wine tour with a driver. There was the four of us and two other couples in the limo with our driver Cole, who was a good sport and great cameraman. We went to 5 wineries and a distillery and bought something at each stop. The Tempranillo wine from Texas is great and our wine tour was great fun. Of course, we had our stylish handpainted and personalized wine glasses and wine yokes that turned heads everywhere we went.
At limo pick-up before the winery tours began.

Melanie and Shannon in the limo.

Christi & I in the limo.
Melanie tasting wine at Pedernales.

Christi, Shannon & Melanie looking good with matching wine accessories.
 At the distillery. The before-----

The after:

Our limo group.

At Hilmy Vineyards.
We got back from the wine tour late in the afternoon. If you would have asked me on the day, I would have told you I liked William-Chris wines the best, but once I got back to Dallas with my purchases and sampled the wines, the bottles I purchased at 4.0 Cellars were my favorites along with the Pedernales Tempranillo.

For dinner, we at a German restaurant on Main Street in F-burg. We walked out of a steakhouse after it appeared to be one thing from the outside and was totally different when we got into the dining room---very stuffy, not for 4 loud ladies on a birthday/reunion trip. After dinner we headed to Luckenbach, Texas to the famous dance hall. We were greeted by Tumbleweed the longhorn and his hilarious handler and had to oblige a photo shoot. When I sent these photos to Chloe via text, she didn't think it was a real longhorn I was sitting on. Tumbleweed was real, that is why Shannon is holding his horn, so one of us doesn't get gored.
Where I am being instructed NOT to touch Tumbleweed's neck.

The group shot.

In the dance hall.

Luckenbach was fun and laid back. There was all ages there and the band playing that night was excellent. We returned from Luckenbach and Melanie and I hot-tubbed and gossiped well into the wee hours of Saturday morning which meant we didn't wake up and get going until after mid-day. We went for a late lunch and some more shopping on Main Street where I had my eye out for a fancy pair of cowgirl boots to wear to Gruene Hall that night.
Needing a little help to remove the boots!

The boots.
Gruene, Texas is outside San Marcos and was an hour and a half away from F-burg. I love Gruene Dance Hall (oldest in the state) and Asleep at the Wheel was playing a sold out show on Saturday night. We left later than we anticipated (what's new) and arrived at Gruene with just enough time to eat. We chose an outdoor venue with a live band.

After we ate, we went to the concert at Greune Hall. Very Texas. Very fun!
Tonight's theme--BIG Texas hair!

We made the 1.5 hour drive back to F-burg and woke up on Sunday morning, packed the house up and had brunch before we said our goodbye's at the Shell station across the street because someone clogged the ladies toilet at the restaurant (no one in our party!) and we had to go across the street to use the toilet.

After our goodbyes, I drove the back roads back to Dallas in 4.5 hours and was reunited with the kids at my parent's house.

It was a fabulous getaway with great friends. We have to do it again in 5 years (or sooner)---just not a cruise or Fredericksburg--BTDT!!!!!

No comments