Limestone ranch houses dot the land, cattle and horses graze peacefully. If you look close enough, you'll even spot deer.
The area is also home to some top-notch wineries.
The occasion for the Wimberley visit was a friend's 50th birthday. She rented a ranch house in the country, but not too from town, and I was lucky enough to be invited!
It was dinner time when we arrived on Friday evening, so after checking into our home away from home, we swung by the local pizza place, Brewsters. The food was great, and we ate outside on their patio. A nice breeze joined us, and it really couldn't have been further away from the hustle bustle that has become our everyday lives. The girls were thrilled to find former SF 49er and Super Bowl champ, Bruce Collie, behind the bar. He and his family own and run the restaurant.
This cutie patootie is one of the owner's sons.
Not sure what Drop the Rabbitt is...
We left with happy stomachs, catching just the tail end of what looked to be a fine sunset. It was really quiet out in the country. The Birthday Girl was the hostess with the mostest! Upon our return, we toasted the occasion with her homemade limoncello, which reminded me of those old-fashioned lemon drop candies, except with a hint of vodka. Needless to say, the hot tub called, and the day ended with more toasts and stories. Everyone had their own bedroom and bath, so we comfortably called it a night, and slept soundly. Saturday morning arrived with more blue skies and breezes, another perfect vacation day! We drove into Wimberley, which was less than ten miles away, and before we knew it, we were seated at Ino'z for a lunch beside the creek. More good food, and a view that couldn't be beat.
Birthday Girl wanted this duck for her present, but the duck was not interested!
Once fortified, we were ready for shopping. Wimberley did not let us down. From vintage shops to galleries to kitchenware. You name it, we found it.
There's something about trying on hats that makes women bond with complete strangers. I think the lady who joined us for this photograph was visiting from Kansas City.
Of course there were several places to enjoy wine tastings, and some of our group certainly did!
Did you know you can dress up a longhorn? Apparently, only after he's dead...
There seemed to be quite a lot going on, and we quickly realized that, once again, a weekend probably wouldn't be enough time to take it all in.
We had reservations in Dripping Springs at the Creek Road Cafe for The Birthday Dinner. We all decided that "cafe" was the wrong name for this gourmet restaurant, where we enjoyed everything from a fresh melon salad to Lady Bird chicken that almost melted in your mouth. And that's not to mention the stellar filet mignon with a jalapeno bacon cheese sauce and fresh vegetables. Desserts and wine were two thumbs up. The restaurant has been in business for four years. It seriously would give many places in Dallas (and other large cities) a run for their money. Chef Chae Donahue is simply amazing. A sincere thanks from the Birthday Group to you and your staff! We'll tell everyone we know to stop by soon!
It was hard to believe the day was almost gone. We managed, with a bit of difficulty, to find our way back home, which was down several dark and winding country roads, ending with a tiny little turn-off that was oh-so-easy to miss. I was tired and went to bed, but I did hear of more hot-tubbing and an unfortunate incident where one Party Girl tried to take a group photo with her cell phone. I can't believe they didn't text me to wake up and take a professional shot! Anyway, this morning was spent tidying up, and walking around outside before checking out.
Breakfast was waiting for us back in town at the Wimberley Cafe. We had homestyle pancakes, biscuits and gravy, grits, eggs, and French toast. Well worth the short wait!
Somebody had a nice ride to breakfast!
Before we knew it, noon was approaching and we wanted to visit the Bella Vista Ranch, home to First Texas Olive Oil Company and Bella Vista Cellars. We were a little geographically challenged, but once again logic prevailed, and we arrived only slightly off schedule! This is the first commercially producing olive orchard in Texas, featuring a frantoio (olive mill) and a tasting room, as well as the home of Bella Vista Cellars, a boutique winery that produces limited quantities of Italian-varietal wines.
After purchasing a few samples of their olive products, we walked around the property, before finally ending our weekend getaway. Dallas seemed years away, but the drive went quickly, fueled by good friends with good conversation, and a quick stop in West (a small town an hour south of Dallas) for kolaches. These little treats are homemade rolls with assorted fillings, everything from fruit to sausage. They were just what we needed to cover those last miles. Thanks, Birthday Girl, for inviting me! I had a blast, and am ready to go again, whenever you are!