Ryan and I travel quite a bit and frequently leave our sweet puppy behind to hang with her grandparents or other friends. She enjoys these “vacations” and returns to us wiped out from all the fun, but we wanted to plan a getaway that included our little Timber (60-pound, mixed breed, two-year-old dog). We really wanted to drive up to the mountains in Colorado, but Timber has never spent more than 45 minutes in the car and her anxiety keeps her mouth-open-panting and pacing the whole time, so we thought trying something a little closer to home would be preferable. Ryan’s sister had recently taken her pups for a long weekend in the hill country outside of Austin and recommended this fabulous AirBnb accommodation.
Wimberley is just over a 3-hour drive from Houston, but somehow feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of daily, city life. We drove up Thursday afternoon and stayed until noon on Sunday. The house had everything we needed and then some! There are multiple fire places inside and a couple of fire-pits outside, 40 acres of land to wander, a grill, a hot tub, two large decks, wonderful views, great cell coverage and fast WiFi connection (we worked remote from the house on Friday so this was a must!). We brought groceries for every meal and really didn’t need to leave the house at all, though there is plenty to do in the immediate area.
As mentioned, we worked remote on the back porch on Friday, we felt so spoiled to have office views made up of the surrounding hill country. The weather was perfect to sit outside, and Timber loved trotting all around the yard chasing squirrels, birds, bugs, any wildlife that happened by her. The yard has 2 acres fenced in immediately around it, so we her roam all of that area without concern that she’d get lost or wander off. A couple of our friends arrived with their dog that evening and we caught the sunset in some rocking chairs on the lawn before grilling a feast of steaks, shrimp, peppers and potatoes. Then we unwound in the hot tub before facing off on the pool table!
On Saturday, we had a huge breakfast spread before walking the dogs around the ranch grounds. As mentioned, the whole ranch is 40+ acres and there are defined trails to follow all around it. We allowed the dogs to remain off leash during the walk and they LOVED it! Though, a note of caution, we did see one snake and the host mentioned that there are lots of hogs around the property (we didn’t encounter any hogs). There are also plenty of outdoor hiking spots around Wimberley, though most require dogs on leash if they’re allowed at all; some options include Cypress Creek Nature Trail, Winters Mill Trail, Jacob’s Well, and The Blue Hole.
After tiring out the pups on a trek around the property, we packed up a charcuterie lunch and headed to Duchman Family Winery. The grounds of the winery and vineyard are beautifully maintained and the entrance to the tasting room is lined with blooming, red rosebushes this time of year. There are picnic tables and corn-hole games, plenty of shady trees and a lush green lawn where a picnic blanket would be sufficient in the case that the tables were all occupied. The estate is dog friendly, so we brought our furry friends who were thrilled to lay, exhausted, in the cool grass while we sipped some tasty wines. All of Duchman Family’s wines come from 100% Texas grapes with a focus on Italian varietals; we tried some red, white and rose and all were a hit. Though this day started out a bit cool and windy, we experienced a perfect 70 degrees with sunshine for most of the afternoon. (side note, if you don’t pack a lunch, Salt Lick BBQ is right down the road!)
After we’d had our fill of wine and charcuterie, we went back to the house for another stroll around the ranch. There is a creek that the long driveway passes over and we thought that the dogs might like to take a dip in it; but when we wandered to where it sits, the creek is stagnant throughout the portion contained on the Airbnb property. So, no swim for the dogs, but we went back to the house and all the humans took a dip in the hot tub before soaking up another beautiful sunset. We prepared homemade pizzas for dinner tonight; then admired the bright, hill-country stars; followed by a blazing campfire and more hot tubbing.
On our last morning in Wimberley, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, coffee on the porch and gave the pups a final opportunity to enjoy the free rein of the country before we packed up and returned to our city life. This weekend getaway was everything we could’ve imagined and more!
P.S. Timber was still quite anxious throughout the car-ride to and from Wimberley. We even gave her Benadryl on the way home, which helped with the pacing but not the panting. I know we can talk to the vet about other medication options, but curious if anyone has other car anxiety tips such as counter-conditioning, pheromones, Thundershirts, or anything else?