I’ve led an odd life. I’m on my second – and last marriage. You see, I finally found the right woman. My soulmate. All the other clichés…my muse. My partner. My lover. The one who completes me. I’m three years plus into this marriage, and lemme tell ya, when you find the right one, NOTHING can destroy what God has brought together. Not cancer. Not COVID. Not rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor dark of night. Nope. We ‘get’ each other. Which is about as far as you can get from my first trip down the aisle as possible. It’s as if I’ve hit the jackpot, every time I wake up in the morning next to her.
So this COVID thing hit us pretty hard, but ironically, not as hard as a lot of people. I say “ironically,” because although my bride is a cancer survivor, and 2020 saw her retire from a job she’d held for 45 years (!), we’re doing pretty well. Actually very well. We have a nice home. Two nice dogs. A very nice, very comfortable life. The only thing we haven’t had is a honeymoon. Yet.
Hey…things happened. When April and I met, and before I proposed, we’d talked about her getting her knees fixed. After 30 plus years of playing amateur soccer, she’s blown out both knees. It was time to consider knee replacement surgery (cue dramatic music). I wanted her to get them fixed so we could actually enjoy a tropical honeymoon. But God had other plans – namely, that He would use the surgery pre-op to allow the docs to discover a “shadow” in her left lung. Cancer. The “Big C.” Now April never smoked a day in her life. Never abused anything, other than her knees and Diet Mountain Dew. But this put a screeching halt to our honeymoon plans. But not our wedding plans. She had surgery in July and I proposed a couple of months later. But the honeymoon had to be rescheduled, due to chemo.
Fair enough, you say, but you were married in 2017. You couldn’t squeeze in a honeymoon between then and now? Well, like I said, things happened. April has her heart set on going to St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So we were married in 2017. But then there were the hurricanes. Two of them. They weren’t really rebuilt until 2019. She wanted to avoid hurricane season. And then COVID turned the world upside down.
I’m determined to get this woman the honeymoon she deserves. But in the meanwhile she – and I – both need some time away from home. We love our town. Our dogs. Our lives. But a change of scenery is always a good idea, when you’ve had cabin fever for nigh-on a year.
April found this amazing place, right here in Texas. A Swiss doctor discovered a piece of property a stone’s throw from beautiful, downtown Fredericksburg, Texas, smack dab in the middle of Texas wine country, I’ve been to Fredericksburg before, but I was unaware of this place – Baron’s Creekside. The owner had an old farmhouse that had to be torn down in Switzerland. He found a barn in Kentucky that was 100 years old. He shipped both of them down to Texas, and imported workers from Switzerland, to turn these various pieces and parts into a handful of charming cabins, so romantic and perfect, you expect a camera crew from the Hallmark Channel to show up at any minute.
We had an amazing time. Feel free to peruse the pictures I’ve included here. We went to a festival – a hot air balloon/polo match fest, with live music, helicopter rides, and a bunch of other stuff. We had tickets to ride in a balloon, but the event was…um…not well organized, to say the least. So we opted instead to cross a different entry off my bucket list – a helicopter ride. Fun. Very fun. We saw the polo match across the field (but due to their lack of organization skills we missed it close up). And we toured the absolutely fascinating museums of the area – The National Museum of the Pacific War, The Nimitz Museum, and the Annex, where they stage live reenactments of a US assault on a Japanese-held island. (The reenactments should resume in March, pandemic-situation willing.)
While we were down there, I was able to relax – really relax – for the first time in months. I thought, “Hey…this must be like what our honeymoon will be like…no urgent matters to deal with, fun stuff to do…and plenty of time to do it in.” I started to say something to that effect to my bride, and was instantly reminded that this was NOT our honeymoon, romantic cabins, relaxation, and scenic vistas notwithstanding. I stand corrected, although I swear, I was NOT trying to weasel out of a honeymoon. Honest!
By the way, if you plan to visit Fredericksburg, I highly recommend you take the back roads to get there. Texas is unique to other states I’ve visited by car, in that our backroads are as good – or better – as most state’s major highways. And there’s less traffic, less stress, much more to see, and a lot more leisurely fun getting there. And don’t they say that “getting there is half the fun?”
So here’s our photo journal of the trip. If you wanna go, hit me up for advice on where to stay and what to do. You can thank me later.