Throwback Thursday: Girls Weekend in the Great State

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Unless your a resident of the Lone Star State, I have a inkling you’ve not. Fun Fact! Fredericksburg is the 5th largest wine producer in the US! Cheers y’all!

Last weekend Aunt Tina and I surprised Mom with {another} 60th Birthday Celebration! She knew she was heading to the GREAT STATE with two of her favorite people, but little did she know all the surprises we had in store!

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We told her to pack her bags- we were heading to Texas! Friday morning we were wheels up for Texas, flying from Atlanta to San Antonio. We picked up our rental car and I played Uber driver for our 57 mile commute to our VRBO rental in Kerrville. (About 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg.) Mom just couldn’t wrap her head around WHY we had to rent a house if it was just the three of us. Even though we told her it was cheaper than staying in town and probably a lot nicer than the local Holiday Express Motel.

This home was stunning y’all and Erin, the owner, was fantastic to work with. The house was updated and the views were spectacular- the rolling Texas hills made us feel like we were up in the hills of Hollywood. The Master Bathroom had a walk-in shower with three, yes THREE, shower heads! Don’t get me started on the backyard with the fire pit, outdoor kitchen and  infinity pool- absolutely breathtaking y’all! Highly recommend this property if you’re heading to Fredericksburg for any occasion! Wish we could have spent more time there!

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The real reason we needed a larger house? It was not going to be just the three of us spending the weekend together hopping around tasting wine. We were spending the weekend with a few of our favorite Texas women- sorority sisters, family, friends from fifth grade and friends that are like family! SURPRISE TG!

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Friday Night was spent with guests arriving sporadically surprising Mom. Catching up, laughing like school girls and of course cheers-ing to our Birthday Girl!

Saturday we got up bright and early to hit the Texas Wine Trail! We used The 290 Wine Shuttle Company, which was fantastic! They charter guests around to 13 local wineries for a very reasonable fee. It was so nice not having to worry about calling an Uber or having a one of the girls miss the fun and play Designated Driver.

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We started at Barons Creek for a quick tasting of five or six varieties.

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They have a huge tasting room, complete with multiple private rooms, a lovely back garden space and gift shop. The Viognier was one of our favorites from the tasting- it has ripe apricot and delicate lemon zest flavors combination in this delicious Texas Viognier. This wine has a long, creamy finish. It’s a fantastic companion for shrimp or lobster with butter sauce.

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Mom also really enjoyed their Muscat Canelli, a deliciously sweet and balanced wine bursting with flavors of peach, honeydew and a hint of grapefruit. It is a perfect aperitif on a warm day but you can also pair it with fruit salad or Thai cuisine. That has her name all over it!

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From Barons Creek we had a short wait for the 290 Bus and headed to Grape Creek: The Tuscany of the South.

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Grape Creek is a local favorite. The property was beautiful! You really did feel like you were in Tuscany! The tasting area was VERY crowded and on weekends they do limit the number of guests per tasting groups. This vineyard was highly recommend, so we broke into small groups for tasting prior to our arrival. Our tasting experience was ok. Our guide was not full of that Southern Texas hospitality until I decide to sign up for their Wine Club. We had to wait over an over an our for a tasting, their restaurant was packed and the check-in station seemed a little frazzled and not able to give us real information the wait time, availability, etc. I wish the customer service experience as a little different because the wine was quite good. We ended up finding a spot to sit and share a bottle and a stunningly delicious charcuterie board together before heading to our final stop of the day.

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Our third winery was Fat Ass.

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Our favorite for the atmosphere! {With a name like Fat Ass, how could it not?}  It was such fun y’all! Very laid back, low key environment with a live band. So, so much fun! Their wine supply was down when we were there, but they make a wine slushy that went down way too easily! A perfect drink for Summer days. Definitely plan to stop by Fat Ass when you head to the Texas Wine Country! We had the best time!

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Whew! Feeling wined-up yet? Hang on and pop over next week for our Travel Tuesday series when we wrap up our weekend in the Wine Country!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: West Coast Wanders {Part 4}

{Just joining us? Check our West Coast Adventures on our Tuesday Travels and Throw Back Thursday posts- we started our trip in Napa and spent Saturday in San Francisco.}

Sunday:

Our final day on the West Coast. We planned to take the red eye home to allow us more time in the city…that may or may not have been a good idea. We enjoyed our time in the city, but took us about 3 days to get over the jet lag.

Our first Sunday stop was a tour of Alcatraz.

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I am so glad we took the time to do this tour- it was our favorite thing about our time in San Francisco. We took the first ship out at 8:45am {if you can’t get tickets for the night tour, bite the bullet and take the first tour.}

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We’ve mastered the “selfie” don’t you think?

We were the only one on the island for a about 30-45minutes and were able to get most of the audio tour done without having to fight around people. They are prepared for a very large crowd- the line for headphones for the cell audio tour can easily be a 2 hour wait. The cell tour was about an hour long and is FREE! (Guess what? They have a Twitter too!)

{Travel Tip: We heard the best tour to do, if you’re not too chicken, is the night tour. It does book out months in advance, so if you can plan ahead go for it!}

From Alcatraz we headed to AT&T Park for the San Francisco Giants vs Atlanta Braves Game.

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BEST BALL FIELD EVER! I can’t say we saw much of the inside of the stadium, but we did find the best hidden gem! Alongside the far right field wall the Giants have a hidden viewing area for FREE! Thats right, you can literally get some free baseball! For 3-4 innings the staff allows 20-25 people in this viewing area to watch the game. Since we live in Atlanta we couldn’t justifying paying $75 to see the Braves play, but am so glad we found this secret spot. The area outside the stadium is so fun too! Boaters wade in the bay area outside the outfield, after each home run they all blow their horns- we even saw a few passengers jump ship to fetch balls! Such a fun time!

After the game we heading back to Fisherman’s Wharf for one last bowl of Clam Chowder in a bread bowl. This time we headed to The Franciscan Crab Restaurant– every table in the restaurant has a view of the water.

Not original photo: www.franciscanrestaurant.com/photos.htm
Not original photo: http://www.franciscanrestaurant.com/photos.htm

Their “menu” is a mix of a magazine and cookbook each item accompanied by a photo- wish we would have found this spot sooner! We both had a bread bowl with chowder and spilt a iron skillet of mussels- oh my gosh! Oh so good! I’d plan a trip back just to go there! (Don’t worry they have a Twitter too!)

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Whew! What a great, quick vacation! Adam and I had such a good time seeing the sites and trying new things! We’re really looking forward to going back especially to the Napa area. Now back to reality.

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed of Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts.

(Whoops- we forgot to tell y’all about our Trolley Car photo shoot- never made time to ride on a rail car, but we did get our picture with one!)

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Tuesday Travels: West Coast Wanders {Part 3}

Friday (continuation): 

{Just joining us? Check our West Coast Adventures on our Tuesday Travels and Throw Back Thursday posts- we started our trip in Napa.}

Adam and I finished up in Napa and headed South to San Francisco. We made sure to plan our way to the city with  a stop at the Muir Woods to take a glimpse at the gigantic Red Woods.  (Thanks to all our friends that suggested this stop.)

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The park was mesmerizing. I felt like I was in the middle of the Twilight Saga. Not as romantic with the crowds and local runners zooming by us, but just as majestic! If you have time while you are visiting the area, the Muir Woods are a must see! {If you don’t have time…make time. Trust us!}

From the Muir Woods we continued our drive toward San Francisco making a detour at the Muir Beach Overlook.

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Wow! Talk about beautiful views. We just happened to have taken a wrong turn that took us to the overlook. Even on a foggy day the views were stunning. Drive a little out of your way- seeing the views from the cliffs is so worth it y’all!

Muir Woods Over look

After a few wrong turns (are you seeing a pattern here?) and trips over the Golden Gate Bridge we finally made it to The Argonaut Hotel, another Kimpton property. (We came across Kimpton properties during a recent trip to Savannah, GA and fell in love!) Just like our previous Kimpton stay, The Argonaut was not a disappointment!

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The hotel is nestled inside the historic century-old Haslett Building smack in the middle of Fisherman’s Wharf. There was a nautical theme throughout the hotel. Original exposed brick and timbers gave our room a bit of character.

Kimpton Hotels really know how to take care of their guests! We were welcomed with all sorts of Birthday Treats for Adam’s 30th Celebration. Fresh flowers, personalized notes,  a bottle of wine, a fruit and cheese tray and more were waiting for us upon our arrival in our upgraded suite! It was fantastic! We really can not wait for our next trip to a Kimpton Hotel! (Wish they had a Nashville location- hint hint!)

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Once we settled into our room Adam and I were ready to explore the Wharf! First stop, The Blue Mermaid Chowder House for some of their famous Crab & Corn Chowder in a Bread Bowl….OH-MY-GOSH y’all…it was so delicious! If I could only have some now! After supper we did a little window shopping and headed back to the hotel.

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(Insider Tip: If you don’t know this already, San Fran is FREEZING in June. This was something we had heard, but did not realize the severity of it until we got there. Needless to say we did not pack the right clothes! Our first night in the city was cut short- we were two freezing cold southerns!)

Saturday: 

Unlike most of our trips full of “touristy” things we felt more like locals! (Someone even asked us for directions-ha!) We started at the Ferry Building Marketplace‘s Saturday Farmers Market. Rows and rows of fresh produce, flowers, seafood- it was unbelievable. We found a local company who specializes in flavored salts- stay tuned for new recipes using it! Wish we could have brought home more of what the market had to offer.

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We tasted Italian Donuts stuffed with Nutella and shared a breakfast sandwich from the Golden Gate Meat Company-oh so good! You can’t go wrong with Nutella!

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We walked the streets of China Town-peeked into the different stores, stopped by one of the local restaurants for a taste of, well who knows what we actually ate, but it was tasty! We found the Original Fortune Cookie Factory and of course had to have a taste! (The factory created the Fortune Cookie in 1962. They have very strict rules about photos- so we grabbed one outside.)

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Adam knows how much I love Social Media and took me by the Twitter Home Office….yes…true story! I tweeted from Twitter y’all! I was probably overly excited about this, oh well! Are you following me @Hollywoodhollyc?

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We drove around the city by the “Full House” House and the House from “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Around the curves of Lombard Street and took in the delicious, hints of chocolate from Ghirardelli Chocolate. Yummm!

Market Place

We finished the night with supper at Cioppino’s– an Italian Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. We spilt a Margarita Pizza and a few Blue Moons- delicious! We finished the night at The Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee. The Buena Vista is the home of the Irish Coffee- make time to stop by for one…of three!

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Such a great first night in San Francisco! Stay tuned for details from our final day on the West Coast! We can’t wait to start planning a trip back! If you have favorite spots, be sure to share them with us!

Hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts.

Tuesday Travels

@HeliHubby (are you following him on Twitter yet?) and I are packing our bags again!

This time we are off to the West Coast for a little R&R to celebrate Adam turning the BIG 3-0 in San Francisco! Oh who are we kidding? I highly doubt there will be much time for rest and relaxation with the schedule I have planned!

Have you visited the West Coast? We would love to know your favorite spots in San Francisco and Napa areas. We’ve gotten so many tips from friends old and new that we have recently met traveling, but are always looking for more ideas!

Take a look at our itinerary thus far- we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Day 1:

We arrive at SFO late in the evening and plan to make the hour drive North to Napa where we start the first part of our trip.

Day 2:

Our first full day in Napa starts bright and early- can’t miss an opportunity to try some new wine! We begin our day with a drive on CA-29 N to Castello di Amorosa for our first Vineyard Tour and Tasting. From The Castle (@thecastello on twitter) we head over to Sterling Vineyards for a Noon tasting and ride on their ariel gondola. After our tour at Sterling (@sterlingwines on twitter) we’re planning to hop around a few vineyards thru Yountville (we hear its a darling little town with lots of character and shopping) and back down towards the Meritage Resort. (@meritageresort on twitter)

*Were still looking for somewhere for Supper that night. We were not able to get a reservation at The French Laundry. *

Day 3:

The following day we’re heading back to San Francisco for the remainder of our trip. We’ll leave our hotel, head South through Novato and San Rafael toward the Muir Woods stopping at a few vineyards along the way, before finally reaching San Francisco.

Day 4:

Our first full day in San Francisco we’re planning to do all the “Touristy” things: crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, visiting Fisherman’s Wharf for some Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl, riding a cable car through town, swinging by the “Full House” House (duh!),  and driving down Lombard Street.

Do you think we are missing anything? Know of a fun night life spot? Fill us in!

Day 5:

Our final day in the West Coast begins with an 8:30am tour of Alcatraz– we’ve heard it is a fantastic tour! After the tour we’re heading to the ballpark to take in a  little baseball action and cheer on former Atlanta Brave, Tim Hudson and his San Francisco Giants (@sfgiants on twitter)! Adam and I are looking forward to checking another ballpark off of out list! Once the game ends, we have the entire day to site see (and have NOTHING planned) as we’re taking the Red Eye home.

We can’t wait for our next adventure! Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your favorite spots with us! Let the count down begin!

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed Moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds not experts!