For Lauren’s 30th birthday on February 2, all she asked for from me is “a surprise.” I asked if it should be a present, or a trip, or a fancy dinner… “nope, just surprise me,” she said. Having just racked my brain trying to come up with Christmas presents a month earlier, I decided to do a weekend getaway. I contacted former high school teacher Mr. Meyer for assistance, since he now spends his days in the rural Austin area, traveling to small towns to listen to music and eat good food. He highly suggested the small town of Fredericksburg, about 90 miles west of Austin, settled by the Germans in the 1870s. So I booked a B&B for Saturday night, and made it extra special by requesting a private cottage off-site from the rest of the B&B.
The most surprising part of the entire surprise was the fact that I was able to keep it a complete secret from Lauren. On Friday night I told her to pack a few things, and on Saturday we loaded up the dog and off we went, she still having no clue where we were headed. Once we dropped Baxter off at his friend Eli’s house with his crate and food, Lauren knew we were heading somewhere fun for the night. About five miles outside of Fredericksburg, I proclaimed “almost halfway there!” to throw her off, when in fact we were almost entirely there. But once we parked on Main Street I announced the surprise was in fact Fredericksburg.
The town was very reminiscent of a place like Stillwater, MN… or maybe a touristy Black Hills town like Deadwood or Custer. Main Street is lined with fun little shops and restaurants and bars for many blocks. People just seemed to roam the street and browse stores and eat ice cream cones. It is one of the few US cities where you can openly carry beer bottles around in public. So we did that stuff for a couple hours, had lunch at a German place, and checked into our cottage.
The private cottage was pretty much a small house with four rooms and a big backyard with a fire pit and hot tub. Lauren sank into the bed and quickly was off to dreamland for several hours while I enjoyed a brew in the hot tub. Then we woke up and had a tasty dinner at a place called Navajo Grille and called it a night. On the way out in the morning we had to stop at the dog store called Dogologie and buy some beagle things including a five-foot beef stick which Baxter would eat in one sitting when I turned my back.
Lauren’s birthday was also Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday, so it was like the nexus of the universe. We joined our friends the Barts at their “retro Super Bowl party” where Bart had an elaborate game room set up featuring his newly acquired three vintage Nintendos, a Super Nintendo, a Sega Genesis, and a ton of old games. As it would turn out the vintage gaming would be a lot more entertaining than the Super Bowl.
Coming up soon, Lauren will be traveling for work, and the day she returns, Ma and Pa Glanzer will arrive in Austin for five nights. February is turning into quite the busy month!