Lavender and Wine Festival

On the second Saturday in August, each year, you can enjoy the Lavender and Wine Festival hosted by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery in Brenham, Texas.   A short drive from the Brazos Valley, we enjoyed a beautiful and scenic drive through Independence, Texas to the Lavender farms of Brenham.   There are several routes you could take, but we chose to drive past the Antique Rose Emporium on Farm to Market 50 and onto the farm.

This was my first year to attend the festival with my girlfriends and we had a wonderful time.  Although it was a little warm, we toughed it out and enjoyed the live music, refreshing lavender lemonade and a stroll through the lavender field where we clipped fresh lavender to take home.

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The Lavender Festival was kid friendly with a miniature horses, a petting zoo, and crafts the whole family would enjoy.  The best part about the festival is that it’s free to attend and park.  But watch your wallet when you browse through the vendor fair or step inside the Lavender Patch boutique where you will find oils, soaps, lotions, jams and really anything you can think of infused with fresh lavender from the farm.

A few takeaways that I’ll be sure to remember for next year…

1. Arrive early, if nothing else it will help with the heat.  As the day went on the crowds got larger and by the time we made it to Windy Winery it was so packed.

2.  Pack a cooler with ice water and Gatorade, like I said… it was hot and the lines were long.  It would have been nice to just run out to the car and grab a bottle of water.

3. Pack some snacks.  Although they advertised food, it was limited.  I’m hoping next year that they will have a few food truck options or expand on their food selections.

It was a wonderful day spent with my beautiful friends, we definitely will go back next year and bring a few more friends to join in on the fun.  Hope to see you there next year! xx-Jennifer

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Wine on the go!

I love supporting local businesses and seeing the Bryan/College Station community thrive through successful retailers, fine dining and attractions.  That’s why I am over the moon excited to announce my collaboration with Messina Hof Winery & Resort and Shelby Tiska Photography to present the newly released Messina Hof canned wine!

With Shelby Tiska’s amazing ability to capture and highlight food and beverage products through her stylized brand photography skills it was a no brainier to partner with Messina Hof Winery and Resort to feature their new canned wine for the summer on my blog.

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Y’all, your summer just got better with the refreshing taste of Messina Hof wine on the go!  As I’m planning all of my summer vacations and trips to the beach and pool, you can bet that Messina Hof wine in a can will be in my cooler!!

You can choose between two refreshing options of canned wine.  Each selection is sold in a four pack and you can purchase it at all three Messina Hof locations.  Click HERE to see a complete list of retailers!

 

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In addition to their new canned wine, Messina Hof Winery & Resort has a lot of great upcoming events.  My friends and I will be signing up for the Bryan Harvest Festival and good news you can too… use the Early Bird Promo Code PURPLEFEET for 15% off the Ultimate Pass Harvest 2018 Tickets!!  Hurry this code expires 6/15!

This week I also joined the Messina Hof Winery & Resort Wine Club!  I pick up my first selection this week and I can’t wait to also restock my fridge with canned wine too.

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If you’re looking to change things up during the week, the Wine Bar at Messina Hof Estate Winery & Resort in Bryan has great Happy Hour  specials each night of the week!  Monday-Thursday they have a special feature of $5 select glasses and Wine on Tap from 4 PM to 7 PM.  Take a peak at the awesome weekly specials by the day!

Mixology Monday  $5 cocktails from 4 PM to 9PM

Tap Tuesday  $5 glasses of Wine on Tap and 10% off growler fills (growler purchased separately).

Sips and Sweets Wednesday  Sip three of Messina Hof’s award winning wines expertly paired with two deliciously sweet desserts, each treat crafted by the Vintage House Restaurant Chef.  

Aggie Night Thursday $5 glasses of wine and 1 free taste of one of our Aggie Network wines by showing your student or faculty ID or Aggie ring.

Friday Flights  20% off any themed flight on the menu.

 

xx Jennifer

Girlfriends Guide… Fredericksburg, TX (Part 3)

Day 3 of our girlfriend getaway in the Texas Hill Country didn’t lack in activities… we dedicated Sunday to last minute shopping and a stroll down main street, peeking in windows and grabbing last minute homemade baked goods from a church bake sale stand.  (And yes I ate the baked goods before even getting back to the car!)

We started the morning with the idea of just grabbing a quick cup of coffee and pastries at local bakery… but quickly changed our minds when we discovered the reviews on yelp for a local restaurant, Sunset Grill.

Weekend Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

The parking was a challenge but our timing was better… the wait was organized because of their text messaging system which allowed you to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful morning and relax.  We were seated almost immediately and our table was next to a Disney style porthole window creating a “magical” dining experience.

We could barely carry on a conversation, not because it was loud… but because we envied every table around us as their breakfast was brought to their tables. Although I opted for a traditional breakfast, with biscuits I could eat for days, my top picks that you should try are the French Toast and Eggs Benedict.  I’m adding it to our list for the next trip!

Sunset Grill

With our stomachs full, we needed any excuse to get outside and walk off the calories.  So we decided to hit up main street and visit a few of our favorite stores.  Everyone knows that I go a little crazy decorating for Christmas and if I could get away with it, I would leave it up year round.  So naturally we had to visit the Christmas Store.

I love looking at the new Christopher Radko Ornaments and I was on the hunt for one very special ornament for my tree this year… the Christmas Pickle.  There are many stories that are told about hanging a pickle on your tree.  I’ve heard it brings good luck to your family and I’ve also heard that the first person to find it on the tree gets to open an extra present.  So I figured either way it would be a solid purchase.

Christmas Store

If you’re looking to squeeze in a few more wineries on your trip to Fredericksburg, main street actually has a few wineries that you might have missed out on.  Fat Ass Ranch and Winery has a tasting room conveniently located next to the Christmas Store and if nothing else you just need to experience it because of the name…and the frozen sangria.

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I love cooking, it’s another creative space for me and actually a stress reliever believe it or not.  So stopping at the Kitchen store, Der Kuchen Laden, was a must on our list before we left town.  A fun fact about the Der Kuchen Laden, is it’s historical past as a hospital.  Walking inside you wouldn’t have known it was a hospital because it is wall to wall kitchen gadget must haves. They had kitchen gadgets I didn’t even know existed… from Le Creuset cookware to every sugar cookie cutter on this planet, I was in heaven.  And if you are craving java, here’s a little secret, they have a coffee house in the back of the store to grab a quick cup while you are shopping.

I found a few treasures that I couldn’t live with out, one in particular made my day.  I have a small obsession with cocktail napkins and I found the cutest Cowboys and Indians napkins that I just couldn’t leave with out purchasing.

Kitchen Store

If you have a sweet tooth, like I do, then you don’t have to walk very far to find sweet treats of all kinds.  The Lone Star Candy Bar had everything you could think of including a chocolate covered jalapeno, yikes!  And don’t be afraid to be a kid and take your picture with the life size M&M candy out front while you enjoy your hand dipped ice cream.

Fredericksburg Fudge is also a must in the sweets department.  They have everything under the sun when it comes to fudge and it will leave you on a sugar high for days.

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Another great winery, who has a tasting room on main, is Grape Creek Vineyards.  On our first day in Fredericksburg we actually went out to the vineyard on HWY 290, but we only stayed for a glass of wine.  If we had done a little more research we could have just enjoyed a glass downtown and maybe avoided some of the crowds!

Grape Creek Vineyards on Main

As we left Main Street in “Olaf”, our jazzy mini van, we were already planning our next vacation to the Texas Hill Country in Fredericksburg, Texas.  It was exactly what we needed, a mini girlfriend getaway.  We can’t wait to plan another trip this Fall to enjoy the German heritage festivities and hopefully a little Christmas shopping too!

xx-Jennifer

The Potter’s Cottage

The three days of jam-packed Texas Hill Country fun wouldn’t have been the same had we not chosen to VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner).  True confession, I have always been a little skeptical about staying at a “strangers” house and truth be told I envisioned it as a opening line to a horror film (you know, completely normal, rational thoughts.  Insert eye roll here.)  But that couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact, our VRBO experience was true bliss and it was the icing on the cake for our Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg girlfriend getaway.

We chose The Potter’s Cottage because of it’s proximity to main street and the charm that the property offered, we just couldn’t resist.  The wooden privacy fence that lined the front of the home, the gravel drive way and elegant walk to the front door created a atmosphere that you where coming home to your very own secluded cottage in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.

Potters Cottage

We walked through the front door into a cozy living room where, little did we know, that we would spend each night in our pjs, having a glass of wine, listening to music together as we just enjoyed life and endless laughter.

Each morning we enjoyed the fresh fruit and coffee that the owner had generously provided as we got ready to experience Fredericksburg.  And y’all, I’m am kicking myself for not snapping pics of the bathroom because the cast iron teal bathtub and soft pink bead board ceiling was an unexpected element that was definitely picture worthy.

The property also offered two out door seating areas, giving you an option to rock your worries away on the front porch or relax on the back porch over a glass of wine and maybe even grill out if you were feeling adventurous!

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One of my favorite things about the cottage was all of the pottery and art that adorned each room of the cottage.  From the windmill to cacti to the giant oak trees hugging the cottage, it was difficult to pack up Sunday evening to drive back to reality.

Although we spent most of our days away from the cottage and out enjoying the beautiful Spring weather, ending each day at The Potter’s Cottage was wonderful and it helped to create lasting memories for three girlfriends during their Texas Hill Country getaway.  We can’t wait to make another trip to The Potter’s Cottage in Fredericksburg, Texas!

xx-Jennifer

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Girlfriends Guide… Fredericksburg, TX (Day 2)

Fredericksburg Day 2!  Y’all it was, yes, another wonderful day in the Texas Hill Country.  Ok pause, if you missed Day 1… stop and click here to read all of the fun we had on the drive to Fredericksburg and our big night in Luckenbach, TX.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our girls weekend in the Texas Hill Country.  With clear blue skies and rolling hills on the horizon, the day was picture perfect for a Saturday packed with wine tours and a lazy afternoon patio hopping.  Y’all I could seriously get use to the Texas Hill Country life… Let’s just say Monday back in the office after this girls weekend was a struggle.

Weekend Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

We kicked off our day on Main Street at the Old German Bakery and Restaurant.  The pictures really don’t do the pastries justice.  The good ole saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” rang true as soon as we walked through the doors of the bakery.  Not only did we order food that barely fit on the table, we had do grab sausage wraps and pastries to go.  Our waitress thought we were nuts, but totally worth the carb overload.  The must haves for this dinning experience were the waffle (only a 1/2), the potato and German pancakes.

Old German Bakery & Restaurant

Our carb overload didn’t slow us down one bit, we called Uber and made our way to William Chris Vineyards in Hye, Texas…just outside of Fredericksburg.  And yes, I said UBER.  Just as a side note, Uber has expanded into Fredericksburg.  They began this December and we used the heck out of the app over the weekend.  I will say that Uber was really great for in town requests, the farther we got away from town the more challenging it was to actually get a ride.  Next time we plan to use our friend Rex at the 19th hole Wine Tours , he actually saved us when Uber stranded us at William Chris Winery.

Ok ya’ll back to the important topic…wine.  William Chris Vineyards was picture perfect and a great way to kick off our wine tour.  The tasting room was divided by six bars where guests were paired with their William Chris customer experience representative to taste each wine.  A list of wines were provided to you for the tasting along with a small bowl of almonds, with a little bit of kick, to cleanse your pallet between tasting the wine.  After our delightful tasting, we enjoyed sitting out on the lawn, people watching, and listening to live music.  Quick tip…they take their reservations very seriously, so please make sure and go to their website to register before just showing up for a tasting!

William Chris Winery

William Chris Vineyard (10352 U.S. Highway 290, Hye, TX 78635).                                   Bluebonnet Photo Credit: William Chris Vineyard website.

After hitching a ride with our new friend Rex at 19th hole Wine Tours, we headed over to Kuhlman Cellars… and I hate to be biased y’all, but this was by far my favorite tour.  What made the experience for me, at Kuhlman Cellars, was the outstanding customer service and attention to detail.  Not only was the atmosphere amazing, the staff was beyond knowledgeable about their product.  I really enjoy learning about wine, and more specifically how it pairs with food.  I think it’s great to hear where the grape comes from and how it grows, but what I really want to know is … “does this go with steak and potatoes?”  Kulhman Cellars did just that, they provided gourmet bite size bundles of flavor that paired with each wine.  Our tasting guide was excellent in explaining how the flavors of the wine would change in each bite of our food.  If you do nothing else please stop by and buy a jar of their herbed almonds, I could eat these by the truck load.

After a great experience in the tasting room we decided to test out the porch where we fell in love with their orange tabby cat and the cozy patio furniture.   I recommend also making a reservation at Kulhman Cellars, unless you just plan to just buy a glass of wine and enjoy the patio experience.

Kuhlman Tasting

18421 E US 290
Stonewall, TX

Keeping up with our patio hopping theme for the day, we made our way back into town to sip Rose at Lincoln Street Wine Market.   We indulged in an afternoon snack, inclusive of a custom gourmet cheese tray and margarita pizza.  Live music and the faint smell of cigars filled the patio as we relaxed, laughed and simply enjoyed life in the slow lane.

Lincoln Street

Y’all, don’t let our jam packed day fool you, the best part about our vacation were the afternoon naps to recharge for each evening.  After a break and some much needed relaxing time we felt renewed and ready to take on the night!  We found ourselves at The Treaty House, known for their cocktails and shareable dishes.

The food was amazing and the atmosphere almost topped that with a piano playing in the background and vocalist singing his little heart out.  The Treaty House was a great experience and a good place to hangout for the evening with no pressure to leave.  PS y’all, get the crab mac and cheese … your stomach will thank you later.

Treaty House

Day 2 complete!  When planning your Texas Hill Country vacation keep in mind that you will need reservations at the wineries and at the higher end restaurants.  Also consider your transportation… ok putting my “mom hat” on here, please utilize Uber or local businesses like Rex’s 19th hole Wine Tours for safe transportation.  Also take naps, it’s ok to take naps on vacations, in fact it’s highly encouraged.

Y’all, stay tuned for a recap of Day 3, full of shopping and more food!  I will also tell you how to fit in a few more wineries when you are short on time!

xx -Jennifer

 

 

 

Girlfriends Guide… Fredericksburg, TX

What better way to celebrate the first day of Spring than to share with y’all the details of my Texas Hill Country getaway with a few of my girlfriends.  This trip was just in time and a MUCH needed get away to Fredericksburg for all of us.  Looking back over the last three days I can’t believe all of the fun we had and I have outlined each day in detail for y’all so you can start planning your Texas Hill Country getaway this Spring asap!

  Weekend Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

Y’all our days were filled with fabulous food, beautiful wineries, shopping and each day ended in the living room of our VRBO cozy Texas Hill Country cottage enjoying a glass of wine.  Hold on tight because I’m sharing all the details over the next three weeks!  I’m kicking today’s blog post off with a recap of our first day in Fredericksburg.

DAY 1:  Our caffeine fueled send off from College Station was filled with excitement and a minivan (aka Olaf) packed from floor to ceiling in suitcases and best friends.  You know when you haven’t seen your besties in a few weeks and you just can’t talk fast enough, you talk over each other and laugh so hard you hope you don’t pee in your pants… that’s pretty much the theme for the weekend in a nutshell.

We made our way through Austin, Dripping Springs, Johnson City and finally made it to our first stop in Downtown Fredericksburg at Vaudeville Bistro for lunch.  The original ceiling tiles and retro light fixtures created a unique dining experience that matched the gourmet food.   In addition to the culinary experience, the Vaudeville also offers a market, wine store, home and gift retail store and art gallery – even a supper club, all spanning over three floors of this Fredericksburg Downtown landmark.

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Vaudeville

What’s lunch without dessert, I say…  After lunch we took a short walk over to the Fredericksburg Pie Company to enjoy heavenly slices of pie with a jolt of pecan flavored coffee.  Get there early because when they are out y’all, they are out.  We chose an assortment of flavors from peach, to apple and my personal favorite key lime!

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With our bellies full we decided that the afternoon would need to include some walking, ok a LOT of walking…and shopping of course.  We were in luck, the Fredericksburg Trade Days were in full force and we couldn’t wait to get there to see what treasures we could find to take home.  On the 3rd Saturday of each month you can walk through the Trade Days searching for antiques and collectibles.  Side note, make sure and pack comfortable shoes, bring recyclable bags or even a “canton cart” to carry out your finds.  You will need cash to park and maybe even a cooler of water to stay hydrated.

Market Days

Grape Creek Vineyards was nearby so we decided to take a shopping break to go enjoy a glass of wine on the back patio and the beautiful landscapes surrounding Grape Creek  Vineyards.  If you plan to visit and tour Grape Creek Vineyards on a Saturday you will need a reservation for the tour.  Since we dropped in on a Friday we just grabbed wine by the glass and did not do the tour.  Instead, we enjoyed sitting on the patio and taking a relaxing break from all of the eating and shopping that filled most of our day.  Grape Creek also has a wine tasting room in Downtown Fredericksburg, which I would recommend doing.  This then allows you to have the option and time to substitute in another full wine tour, maximizing the wine tasting selections! Priorities!

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After a quick afternoon siesta we were refreshed and ready to put on our dancing shoes for a concert at Luckenbach, TX.  This is a Texas sized backyard with a dance hall that will make your feet hurt the next day.  We made a quick pit stop for burgers at Alamo Springs Cafe for  burgers that even Texas Monthly raved about… side note get the jalapeno cheese bun and don’t be afraid to add a fried egg on top!  You won’t be disappointed!  If you have the time stop by the Old Tunnel State Park on your way out to see the Mexican free-tailed Bats in an old abandoned railroad tunnel it’s also a must see.

The saying goes “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach.” We quickly found our place at a rustic picnic table in Luckenbach and of course we took the classic photo in front of the Luckenbach Post Office.  It was an evening full of laughs, singing and laughing…. and most importantly, the much needed girl time!

Luckenbach

It’s hard to believe we did all of that in one day… I’m exhausted just typing it y’all, but the adventures were worth it.  Check back tomorrow when I recap Day 2 in the Texas Hill Country! We tour two wineries and eat our hearts out at some amazing restaurants in Fredericksburg, TX… oh and I’m sharing all the details about our cozy Hill Country cottage that we rented through VRBO!

xx-Jennifer