Catching Up In Kerrville
I am fortunate to have three good friends I’ve known for years—Sharon, Julia, and Nancy. Although we all live in Houston, we don’t always schedule time together for girl talk, so we decided to plan a weekend getaway to the Texas Hill Country.
We drove west on I-10, and as we got closer to Kerrville, the road began to wind and climb into beautiful hills, a physical indication of our change in location.
The energy changed with each mile, growing more peaceful as we approached this delightful small town tucked between the hills and nourished by the spring-fed Guadalupe River.
As we entered Kerrville, we passed the new city hall square and heard the clock in the old tower striking.
“Doesn’t this feel like we’re stepping into a time capsule?’ Nancy remarked. She was right, the charming town echoed a slower era.
Beginning to unwind
Within a few minutes, we arrived at the Inn of the Hills. After finding our rooms, we enjoyed refreshing drinks and snacks by the waterfall near the pool, surrounded by palm trees. Leaning back in a comfortable chair, listening to the sound of the waterfall, and birds singing nearby had a very tranquilizing effect.
Later in the afternoon, we strolled along the river near the hotel and decided to have dinner at the 1011 Bistro, an intimate little restaurant overlooking the river. We sat outside on the deck and watched the sun go down, then selected our wine from an extensive selection. We were also delighted to find that their menu had quite varied choices, from filet mignon to sea bass. “I didn’t expect to find such a wide choice of entrees,” remarked Julia as she sliced through her tender filet mignon, steam rising from the interior. “This is like some of the best restaurants at home.”
It was still too early to retire, so we retrieved the car from the hotel and made a five-minute drive to Azul, an upscale cocktail lounge in downtown Kerrville, owned by the same person who owns the 1011 Bistro. We had a nightcap and relaxed, listening to a great jazz combo.
On Saturday morning, we breakfasted at the Inn of the Hills, then it was on to the James Avery Jewelry showroom and workshop on the outskirts of Kerrville. James Avery, the company, began in Kerrville, so we knew that it was a special must-see for our girlfriend getaway. We ooh-ed and aah-ed at the beauty and creativity of Mr. Avery’s craftsmanship—silver bracelets and earrings filled the cases. Sharon was wearing a James Avery ring she had purchased years ago; one of her favorites.
“Ladies, would you all like to commemorate this trip? What about these “Sisterhood” rings?” she asked.
We agreed that it was a stellar idea, the bold, simple swirl of silver appealing to each of us.
We also picked up a few gifts for others, wanting to share the beautiful pieces with our loved ones.
“I think I’ll get a few charms to add to my niece’s bracelet,” Nancy said. There were lots to choose from, but she finally settled on two: an owl and a pair of dainty ballet slippers.
Then it was back into Kerrville for lunch at Rails… a Café at the Depot, a petite restaurant located in Kerrville’s former railroad depot where we sat outside at an umbrella table and enjoyed potted plants surrounding the stone patio with privacy. The Depot is now a collection of shops, and although there are no trains chugging through modern Kerrville, the flavor and some of the artifacts of that era are still preserved here. Our first stop was Rustic Elegance, only a few blocks west of the historic downtown district. The girls were captivated by the beautiful one-of-a-kind-hand-woven rugs, custom-designed furniture, some of the artwork and accessories that are unique to the Texas Hill Country.
“Several of these pieces will be perfect for my home remodel,” Sharon exclaimed.
Our next stop was Water Street, bordering the river, which boasts a plethora of unique shops. We discovered a delightful women’s shop, Schreiner Goods, with a nice selection of dressy and casual designer clothing. We sat down for a while in the comfortable seating area provided in the middle of the store and enjoyed a cup of tea in between browsing the diverse designer collections including Donna Mizani, Eileen Fisher, and Stuart Weitzman.
“This is really wonderful,” Julia remarked. “This is like finding gold in unexpected places.”
River’s Edge Gallery offers a diverse selection of paintings and sculptures, while across the street was Cricket’s, featuring selections from Jon Hart, Baggallini, Crabtree & Evelyn, Thymes, Crane Stationery, and Tyler Candles, to name just a few. I fell in love with the extensive collection of Vera Bradley cloth handbags featuring various prints and colors. Then some delightful embroidered bird pillows caught my eye.
“Nancy, look at these pillows,” I said. “You’ve always loved birds—these would look great on your sofa.”
A musical interlude
That evening we headed to the Cailloux Theatre for a pops concert by the Symphony of the Hills. Tonight they played a selection of favorite love songs. As I leaned back in the comfortable seat of this world-class theatre, I was transported to a different time and place through the strains of light-hearted music, I glanced over at Sharon, and the small smile on her face told me that she was feeling more relaxed than ever, too.
After the concert, we treated ourselves to a little local bistro called Grape Juice. Their welcoming staff educated us about their many wines, both imported and domestic, plus a very large selection of draft beer. We decided to sit out on their deck overlooking the river with our glasses of wine. Each of us appreciated the luxury of just sitting and talking with each other, not having to rush off to take care of work or family.
Julia said, “This trip has really given me a chance to catch my breath and relax for a while.”
“Getting away from my normal busy routine gave me a different perspective on my life.” Sharon agreed. “It’s been awhile since I could spend a few days with no responsibilities. It’s something I’ve needed, but didn’t realize it.”
“I think we should try to schedule an annual trip, just us girls,” I suggested.
“I love that plan,” agreed Nancy with a grin.
As we chatted, we heard the clock on the city hall tower strike 11 p.m., reminding us of the late hour. We were reluctant to go back to the hotel, but realized we needed to rest up before playing golf in the morning.
Golfing with the girls
Early Sunday morning, we drove out to the Comanche Trace Golf Club, a few miles south of Kerrville. We followed a winding road up, up, up to the clubhouse located at the top of a very high hill. We found two golf carts waiting for us as arranged, so we were all set for a fun day on the links. As soon as we were familiarized with the course, we drove our carts down the steep hill and played on one of the most beautiful golf courses I’ve ever seen.
The morning was delightful as we followed the golf paths through a challenging course, built among the many Tuscan, French, and Hill Country style homes. Along with playing a lovely course, we also got a casual tour of beautiful upscale homes.
Our golf outing concluded with brunch in The Pinnacle Restaurant, next to the golf shop. We sat next to a large window that overlooked the entire countryside including the golf course below, giving us a birds-eye view. The service was impeccable, and I thought that my Eggs Benedict were delicious; the rich Hollandaise was the perfect complement to the accompanying fresh fruit. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, served with great style.
During lunch, we remarked that we all were reluctant to leave Kerrville and its mesmerizing energy. We all felt rejuvenated from our time together.
“Kerrville reminded me to slow down and take some time to enjoy myself,” Julia said. “What a wonderful experience.”
Driving back, we all agreed that we would return to Kerrville soon. Each of us wanted more of this peaceful, easy feeling.
Learn more about Kerrville!