Not just because it is a cool little town, but because every corner, store, and dance hall has a story to be told by a trip we have taken in the past.
Whether it was a family trip as a kid-- or a river trip with friends.
Gruene is so nostalgic to me.
Wendy and I took the initiative to book a trip there for my 30th birthday.
Although it was actually Lance's birthday... or just a few days from it... so technically, it was a weekend for the both of us.
As soon as I posted the first picture on my Instagram, everyone had the same comment or text to me:: I wish I was there because I know how hard y'all are laughing.
And it is true.
We have been friends with Mark and Wendy, as a couple, since the day they went on their first date.
Although Wendy was a friend of my brother's long before that-- and Mark (Pepper) was to Lance.
We have laughed a lot over the years.
It honestly is what we do best.
They are the true definition of friends to me, because there is no work to it.
We can talk every day for a week straight, or go 6 months without seeing each other, and everything is the exact same.
It is such an easy relationship like that.
Wendy and I are so similar in that we are both passionate, honest and will literally talk to anything that moves... or doesn't move. And we both hand out compliments to strangers like they're business cards.
But after this weekend, we realized that Wendy is more like Lance than me.
They both like cake, they both like ice-cream... and neither like confrontation.
I'll get to that.
Lance planned our drive around our stops getting there.
First, West for kolaches.
And then Salt Lick for BBQ, which honestly was just okay.
We spent a few hours in the San Marcos Outlet mall, and then arrived at our beautiful cottage-- walking distance from Gruene Hall.
Ray Wylie Hubbard played at Gruene Hall on Friday night, and we listened to him from our table at Grist Mill.
We woke up Saturday morning and went for breakfast at a cute little cafe called Buttermilk Cafe. We got pedicures, walked around the shops in Gruene while the boys drank beer in Gruene Hall. I tried to drink my first Bloody Mary at the Gristmill which tasted like alcoholic fire, and $10 wasted.
I had 'happy birthday' sang to me from Wendy in a crowded cupcake shop.
Or maybe we were the only crowd... Who knows!
We had Lunch at Mozie's, which was amazing. We went to the river, and almost fell in; and we went home with the intentions of taking naps before Stoney-- but never did.
It was pretty perfect.
As much as Wendy and Lance like their sweets--
Mark and I like our food.
And even though we had a late lunch, we were too hungry to concert before we grubbed.
Every meal we had in Gruene was incredible and Gruene River Grill was no exception.
(Wendy even re-made my Asian salad there, as soon as we got home!)
Stoney was an awesome time-- and the friends we made in there were pretty fun too.
Lance and Mark got to talk to Stoney on their trip to the restroom and asked asked him to play Empty Glass for us... Wendy I were less impressed with talking to him, but wanted to stalk his girlfriend to see what she looked like.
Which we tried to do...
But were too over-eager, and missed them both in our search--
And had we stayed with our husbands, they shook their hands on the way out.
We swung back to Mozie's, since it was the only place open, after the concert.
And it is there where I realized that I love Mark not only the way for the way he rocks his jeans (from the back Mark, --he'll twist this on me if he can), or for the way he looks at Wendy-- still 87 years later-- and adores her like I do... for the way he pacifies her moods-- just like Lance does mine, or the way he cries when he laughs-- every single time...
but also because he's "ride or die", just like me. And together, we don't back down!
Unfortunately our other halves do...
And we didn't stay there long.
We sat by the pool for a while and then I went to bed while Lance and Mark talked Wendy into calling the Whataburger for a delivery. That didn't happen.
We headed out Sunday afternoon, ready to see our babies. ....It was Lance and I's first time to leave them more than 24 hours.
But not without eating at Adobe Verde, as we have every time I have ever been to Gruene as our last meal.
Cheers to Gruene!
Cheers to birthdays!
Cheers to alone time as spouses rather than parents!
...and cheers to good food, good wine, good music and great friends.
Oh! ...and all of those little dip samples that I ate every time I was hungry, laced with unwashed hands and double dipped crackers.
I can't help it. They're my favorite.