Girls’ Weekend in the Texas Wine Country

What do you get when you gather 10 women in Texas Wine Country who all love wine, but have yet to really get to know each other?

An amazing weekend to recharge and the making of several new best friends!

Marti said it best when she summed up our weekend together:

It was a fun and memorable weekend. We got to leave our worries at home. If I think of everyone who was there and what made it so special, I think of how we all shared one thing in common – we needed to get away for our own personal reasons. It was time for us to focus on ourselves and let loose for a bit. No family responsibilities for a weekend, which was good. We opened ourselves up to others to allow for the bonding, compassion, and understanding that only women can give. The grass may seem greener on the other side, but it really isn’t. We have to embrace our struggles and keep our heads high, and know that not only have we developed a friendship from this wine weekend, we have also developed a life long support group. Thanks again to each and every one one of you for being there, not just for me, but for each other.

What did we do? Well, we did a whole lot of chatting and hanging out at the lake, but we began our weekend with lunch, wine tasting, and a tour of a lovely winery in the Texas hill country.

After a short drive from Austin, we pulled in to Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls. The beautiful vineyard and luscious grapes on the vines brought huge smiles to our faces. This was just what we all needed!

Flat Creek Winery

wine grapes

Flat Creek Winery

Lunch was amazing. We had a prix fixe meal prepared for us, due to the size of our group. Salad, pizza, and plenty of wine, graced our table and filled our bellies, but the company and conversation was the icing on the cake.

Lunch at Flat Creek Winery

We moved to the tasting room to sample some of Flat Creek Wineries best bottles. My favorite was a 2013 sangiovese blend – the Super Texan. I purchased a couple of bottles to bring back to Ray.

wine tasting goodies

Tasting Choices

Wine at Flat Creek Winery

Last, but not least, was the winery tour, with rows and rows of barrels. Barrels full of sweet grape juice ripening in to wonderful red wine.

Wine Fermentation Process

Wine Barrels

Flat Creek Estate made for a great girls’ day and the highlight of a weekend away to recharge and create a bond with other women. We will definitely be back. I can see this winery becoming a clear favorite!

Flat Creek Winery

Two Step On Over to the Barton Creek LIVE Summer Music Series at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin

Ray and I had the privilege of experiencing the Omni Resort and Spa at Barton Creek and attending the Shenandoah concert on Friday evening. It was quite the ultimate date night!

We started the early evening with a short trip to the Texas Hill Country. It was a gorgeous drive and reminded me of where I grew up in California. Beautiful hills covered in trees was our view for most of the journey. I was giddy with excitement for what was to come, but thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful drive.

Just after passing the golf course, we pulled in to Three Springs Spa there at the Resort. I had an appointment for my very first body scrub! I chose the Lavender and Honey Scrub, but wasn’t quite sure what to expect, even after reading the description:

This lavish sugar scrub is made in-house using locally sourced Texas Hill Country Lavender and honey derived from our very own Omni Barton Creek apiary. Honey gently cleanses and tightens, while lavender buds soothe and heal the outermost layer of skin. This scrub concludes with an application of our lavender-infused lotion.

I was literally scrubbed down, enjoyed a warm shower, and was spoiled with a mini massage with lotion infused with lavender essential oil. It was heavenly – so relaxing and rejuvenating!

Spa Time

It was great to be able to use the women’s locker room to get ready for my date. I only wish I had time to enjoy the sauna, steam room, or whirlpool hot tub. We’ll just have to come back!

Next up, we headed to grab some wine before our dinner at Hill Country Dining Room. I had to hold myself back from ordering some of their small bites. I knew I was going to need to save room for the buffet. And boy, was I right! The buffet contained such a tasty array of wonderful food – from beautiful salad fixings to perfect slices of prime rib. We ordered a bottle of wine (of course!) and enjoyed each other’s company while also enjoying the wonderful food and the view from the dining room.

View from Omni Creek Hill Country Dining Room

Finally, it was time for Shenandoah! They were performing as part of the Barton Creek Live Summer Music Series. Not only did they bring it, but I got Ray up on the dance floor and we had a fantabulous time.

Shenandoah at Barton Creek LIVE

This was definitely a night to remember. We enjoyed ourselves so much we even forgot to get a picture together!


You, too, can visit Omni Resort and Spa at Barton Creek for a memorable night. There are only two more concerts this summer, so hurry!

And, if you are feeling lucky, head on over to the From Dates to Diapers Facebook page to enter to win a pair of wristbands to one of the last two concerts.

Barton Creek LIVE

Disclosure: We were hosted on Friday night by Omni in exchange for this post.

Live Music, Good Eats, Delectable Libations, and Breathtaking Views – All in One Place

Ray and I went out with a friend last night to check out The House of Songs’ new concert series in downtown Austin. The House of Songs has partnered with the Westin to bring local and international artists in for a few hours every Wednesday night. Sahara Smith, from Girl Pilot, played for us last night, with a special guest appearance by Thorbjorn from Denmark.

The House of Songs

Sahara is a native Texan who has always had a passion for singing and songwriting with a delightful sound. Each of her songs were written from her own experiences and she plays from the soul. She is mesmerizing and her bluesy voice is calming and relaxing.

This was definitely a great way to spend an evening. What can be better than enjoying a glass of wine and some of the best biscuits and brussel sprouts around from Stella San Jac, all the while listening to some amazing artists!

Stella San Jac's Flaky Biscuits photo Stella San Jac's Flaky Bicuits

Brussel Sprouts with Candied Jalapenos photo Stella San Jacs Brussel Sprouts with Candied Jalepenos

There is a fabulous lineup of artists set to appear over the next couple of months. I am most excited about the concert on August 19th – Phoebe Hunt and One Village music project. I got the inside secret scoop on this particular concert and, trust me, you don’t want to miss it!

Now, I want to share a bit about this brand new hotel where these concerts are being held — First of all, the Westin Downtown is gorgeous! It has only been open for five days, but the staff is friendly, helpful, and more than willing to give you a grand tour.

We discovered on our tour that the rooftop pool and bar is open to the public on the weekdays. All are welcome to cool off and enjoy a drink made by one of the talented mix masters at this “highest rooftop bar in Austin.”

The views from this rooftop are incredible! You can see 6th Street, Zilker Park, Ladybird Lake, and more. Watching the sun set over the buildings of downtown Austin was just breathtaking.

6th St View from Rooftop Bar at Westin Downtown Austin

View of Downtown Austin from the Rooftop Bar at the Westin

Let me know if you’d like to join us next week for a good time!

Trying to Stay Cool?

Are you looking for something to do with the little ones in the Austin area these next couple of weeks? If you have small children and want to stay cool, the Quarry Splash Pad in Leander at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park is just the ticket! At just just $1 per child, it’s a super fun outing and incredibly affordable.

We heard about this great splash pad from a new friend, through our good friend Andrew. All of us met at Quarry Splash Pad last weekend, and loved it so much I just had to tell you about it! 

Leander, TX - Quarry Splash Pad

In addition to lots of areas in which you can get soaked (including a waterfall I forgot to snap a pic of), there are picnic tables, synthetic grass, a sand pit, and a climbing wall. The slide was a big hit, although my boys wanted deperately to climb up it, as they do most slides. They also wanted to climb all of the rocks around the splash pad. Both a big no-no. After being redirected a few times, they easliy kept themselves occupied for the rest of our visit.

Quarry Splash Pad - Leander, TX

There are a couple of areas that you can reserve – both in the shade – one near the sand pit, and one near the splash pad, so either be sure to do so, or check the posted schedule for the day before throwing your stuff in these areas. Otherwise, there is plenty of space to set up camp elsewhere.

reservations - Quarry Splash Pad

The splash pad is currently open 7 days a week, from 10am to 7pm, but the last day of operation is Sunday, September 29, 2013, so don’t wait! I heard mornings are pretty crowded, so maybe plan to visit after lunch. Even us “big kids” got drenched so, wear your suit, mom and dad. And, remember to bring something to drink and maybe a few snacks… If your kids are anything like mine, they WILL need a bit of something!

Summertime Fun At The Austin Ice Cream Festival

There are certainly no shortage of fun things for the whole family to do in Austin…

We were excited to discover that this weekend was the 7th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival. Ray and I thought it would be a great way to spend one of the last Saturdays before school starts, so we decided to check it out!

There was definitely plenty of ice cream, as well as lots of activities for kids of all ages – A petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses and slides and vendors. There were also some fun contests to enter, including “guess the ice cream cones”, and an ice cream eating contest.

Our favorite, though, was the EuroBungy. All seven of the kiddos tried it!

The Hot Sauce Festival is next weekend!