Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello? Hello!

Howdy y'all!
So who's the bad blogger?  That would be me.  It's been a looong time since I neglected this thing for a whole month.  As with previous such occasions, it was mostly due to a) having a lot going on and b) having a lot on my mind.  This post is about part a). :-)

One of the absolute highlights of the last month was our trip to Messina Hof Winery, up in Bryan, TX.  On site at the winery there is a lovely little bed and breakfast with several rooms, each decorated in a particular romantic or wine-related theme.  For example, there are the Lancelot-and-Guinevere room and the Napoleon-and-Josephine rooms as well as the Messina room and the Hof room.  The foyer is gorgeous, with antique furniture and a beautiful chandelier.

We stayed in the Messina room!  
It had a wonderfully huge bathtub and an enchanting balcony/porch that looked off into the forest out back.  I loved getting to watch the birds and the squirrels in the morning!

Mark and Alicia went up the same weekend, and we had a blast together!  Each morning there was a "European" champagne brunch, where mimosas were offered and the food--from the fresh fruit to the freshly made crepes--was delicious.  We arrived Saturday evening, and relaxed in the foyer for a bit.

Later, we went down to the wine bar where we each had a glass of wine and Bryan and I split and cheese and cracker tray.  On Sunday we went on the noon wine tour.  We learned a lot about the history of Messina Hof and, since it was the first winery in Texas, quite a bit about the history of wine making in our state.  We also got to try yummy wine, of course!  And we made repeated trips to the little lake to feed the turtles!

Sunday afternoon we attended a wine appreciation class covering the influences and impacts different barreling woods and techniques have on the taste and aging of wine.  And we got to try even more yummy wine!  We then went and enjoyed a splendid meal at the winery restaurant and sat in the room that looked out into the vineyard.

That evening we spent some more time at the wine bar, and then we played a great game of Settlers of Catan.  I lost, of course, but Alicia won even though the boys were trying to team up against her!  The next morning we had breakfast and then checked out, heading back to Spring to get the pups from my parents house and then go home.  It was a wonderful, relaxing, and super-fun weekend!

The other highlight of the past month was this past weekend.
Bryan flew out for this year's field test on Saturday, and not long afterwards I loaded the girls up in the car and headed for Fredericksburg!  Mom and Dad went up too for their wedding anniversary.  We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend with my Gan Gan and the family!  The only damper on it all was tracking the Bastrop fire and thinking about how many homes and lives were being destroyed.  I had driven through Bastrop on my way in on Sunday--I still can't believe it was in flames not 24 hours later.

Mom and Dad headed home on Monday, detouring around the Bastrop fire and having to detour again around the fire in Magnolia.  They made it home safely, and I stayed in Fredericksburg until Wednesday.  I wanted to spend time with my Gan Gan!  She and I talked and talked, went out for lunch, did a little shopping, and just hung out.  I love getting to spend time with my grandmother as an adult!  I also got to spend time with my cousins Brooke and Jenna Kay, which was wonderful and a ton of fun.

Haley and Annabelle LOVED Gan Gan's backyard, and loved having Penny and Dixie there to play with them for the weekend.  

After the other pups had left, my two still spent most of every day outside--the weather was beautiful and cool!  They sure did wear themselves out tho lol.  

Of course, I felt a bit bad for the pups--when we travel we only bring on kennel.  I'm so glad the girls know how to share!  It might have been a bit cozy, but they traveled like champs, and we made it home after enjoying a wonderful weekend.  That said, the fires still burning are a sobering tragedy.  There is so much smoke in the sky right now, even miles and miles away from the main fires, that the hills themselves were hazy as I was driving home on I-10--and no, it wasn't just my dirty windshield.

Now, I'm home.  I've been working on some knitting projects--baby booties to be precise.  No, they are NOT for me--I have two friends who are both due December-January, so these booties are for them.  They sure are fun!  Other than that, I'm watching movies and cleaning house--and updating my blog!--and counting down the days until Bryan gets home!  The pups are also waiting patiently lol.


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