Top 5 Must Do's in The Texas Hill Country

We're slogging through winter (despite the cute boots and scarves, it's still not our fave) and literally counting down the days until we venture deep in the heart of Texas to Fredericksburg for our Spring Babymoon Retreat (it's only 70 days away!). 

Fredericksburg is an historical town founded by German settlers and it has a rich history, culture and architecture that attracts visitors from all over. Plus, it's just a stone's throw (approximately 80 miles west) from Austin, the State's eclectic, food-and-music-crazed capitol. We'll be at the Hoffman Haus, a boutique bed and breakfast tucked away on a few quiet acres but still walking distance to all the best goings-on in Fredericksburg. 

Though our days together will be full of learning all about birth, breastfeeding and baby (plus some yoga and massage for good measure) we've also made sure to build in plenty of free time in the evenings for you and your sweetie to get out and explore all that the Texas Hill Country has to offer. Below are our top 5 must do's while enjoying your Hill Country Babymoon Retreat:

  1. Watch the Sunset at Enchanted Rock: This one does require a car as it's 17 miles north of Fredericksburg but totally worth the short drive! This giant pink granite monolith rises up from the horizon and was once a sacred Native American site. The views are spectacular and we can't think of anything more romantic than a sunset hike <3
  2. Eat Your Heart Out: We'll be doing our welcome and farewell dinners together (Thursday and Sunday evening, respectively) but you and your honey bun will have Friday & Saturday night to dine on your own. Fredericksburg has a wonderful mix of old German style restaurants and new farm to table options. We suggest checking out: Otto's, Auslander, The Nest, August E's, Navajo Grill and Vaudeville.
  3. Tour the Wineries and Vineyards: It may come as a surprise, but the Texas Hill Country is now one of the top winemaking regions in the United States. While we know all expecting mamas are different (some partake in a glass of wine occasionally, others abstain) it can still be great fun to check out the wine country and take in the scenery. Texas Wine Trail has full details on all the area vineyards and a few of our personal favorites include: Becker Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, Grape Creek Vineyards and Hilmy Cellars.
  4. Cruise Main Street: With over 100 art galleries, shops and cafes plus gorgeous historic architecture, Main Street is made for meandering. Go window shopping at FarmHaus, B. Happy, Room No. 5 and Gus Antiques. You can even challenge your inner history buff by visiting the Pioneer Museum and National Museum of the Pacific War. And don't forget to support the arts at Whistle Pik Galleries, InSight and Fredericksburg Art Gallery
  5. Pick Your Own Fruit: Fredericksburg is famous for its fruit, and especially its peaches. You'll notice plenty of roadside farm stands throughout town but if you're ready to get your hands a bit dirty, then try picking your own at Marburger OrchardTuscany on the Pedernales and Jenschke Orchards.

 

 

Disconnecting to Reconnect

What I Learned in My Week Disconnected

We'd been underway about an hour before I realized I had zero phone service. I knew going into this adventure that I'd be offline from all things Internet but I'd expected phone/texts to happen but nope. Nada. I spent a lot of that first day pretending not to think about what could go wrong. This was the first time in over 2 years I'd gone on vacation and would truly not work one minute while away-- that's the life of a business owner of a brick & mortar-- and I was thrilled. But the phone was still my life line. If there was an emergency at the office, or a supremely unhappy client, or, or, or...I could be reached if needed.

And then I realized that most of my anxiety was over letting the team back at home, down. What if they needed me?! And then I realized: they'd be okay. Not just okay, they'd be great and figure out any potential curveball that might come their way. Even if they couldn't call me. 

Then a magical thing happened: I let go. My husband (the avid sailor) and I had been planning this trip for so.many.months. 7 days, just the 2 of us, on a 30' monohull boat sailing The British Virgin Islands. Forget the cell phone. This was my chance to truly melt into the moment. 

For one full week, neither of us looked at a screen. No pinging or ringing. We felt the wind on our face, we swam and snorkeled for hours a day, we daydreamed together. We stargazed. 

Out in nature, navigating the water and the weather, I learned a couple of things about life/partnership/parenting:

Prepare, prepare, prepare and then just show up. Things won't go exactly to plan (see phone meltdown above) and there's so much you won't know until you get there. Roll with it. Trust yourself. See what happens. Feel things out. You might get a quick, 7-hour labor and push your baby right into the world. You might not. You might get a baby who sleeps well starting at 2 months old. You might not. Read books, take classes, consult with friends. But also remember you're stronger than you realize and yes, you'll be just fine. Embrace the moment. Enjoy the smooth sailing when it comes and weather the rough waters knowing they too, shall pass. 

Above all else: you're in it together. You might be surrounded by people in other boats, sailing the same course as you. Smile, wave and say hello. You don't know where they've come from and you might not know where they're headed. And they're not, quite, in the same boat as you. No one ever will be. It's you and your partner, together, figuring things out. 

Ultimately, the best part of disconnecting for an entire week was seeing my partner in a new light. On one of our last days traveling, we were moored up in a bay of the most exquisite, blue water. We were listening to music, drinking rum and taking turns diving off the side of the boat. For hours. It doesn't have to be exotic, but there's something about shaking things up a bit. Get you and your sweetie out of the hum drum, the daily grind, for a bit and you'll be amazed how you really see each other again. You might even fall head over heels all over again :) 

Why Babymoon?

4 REASONS TO TAKE A BABYMOON

You're eagerly anticipating baby --registry is ready, shower is planned and the nursery is coming together-- and everything revolves around the arrival of your little bundle. But what if you added yourself to the list? 

A babymoon is a chance for an expecting couple, usually first-time parents, to get away and have one last hurrah before baby makes three. Before I started The Babymoon Retreat, I created a boutique parenting center in Austin, Texas. And in my years of working with expecting and new parents you know what I saw again and again? They were run ragged before baby even arrived. Moms and their partners were spending their last free weekday evenings and weekends going from class to class to workshop to prepare for their new baby. Add to that the demands of regular work and life and it's no wonder everyone's eyes start to glaze over after a while! 

But I figured there had to be a smarter, more engaging and more fun way to get ready for baby. By combining that sweet couple connection of your babymoon plus all the comprehensive classes you need to prepare for birth and beyond, The Babymoon Retreat rejuvenates your relationship while building your confidence in bringing home baby. Let's unpack 4 good reasons to take a babymoon:

Sleep

This is #1 for a reason! In case you hadn't heard, newborn babies have radically different sleep needs than adults. And even beyond those first several weeks of waking every 2 hours, when experts say "sleep through the night" that's measured by baby sleeping for just 5 hours (not the 8 hours many new parents dream of). Imagine the 500 thread count sheets, downy duvet and fluffy pillows of your resort and all the good sleeping-in you'll get to do on your babymoon (plus, someone else makes the bed!)

Reconnection

Pregnancy tends to really focus on mom and baby (rightfully so!) but what about partner? And, with a new baby, time alone as a couple is minimal as you focus your full energy on caring for your sweet babe and also meeting your own needs for sleep and nourishment. Your babymoon is a super sweet chance to reconnect, reminisce about how far you've come together and daydream about what your new life will look like. 

Relaxation

This one should go without saying but don't we all love to get away now and again? Forget about work and the daily grind by getting totally unplugged and totally indulgent. 5 days to indulge in massage, yoga, belly-pleasing food, fresh air and swimming under blue skies. Yes, please!

Less Stress

Here's where The Babymoon Retreat is really special. You don't have to sacrifice your precious evenings and weekends to taking multiple classes at home (which, if we're being honest, you often have to squeeze in around your work schedule + baby showers, holidays and all the other things that keep life full). We've got it all lined up for you! Our program includes the very best instruction in childbirth, breastfeeding and baby care so that you feel 110% prepared to welcome your little bundle. 

We hope to see you October 25-30, 2016 for our next Babymoon Retreat.

Early bird registration goes through August 31st and saves you $500!

xoxo

Phyllis

Did you take a babymoon? Tell us where you went in the comments below!