Katherine Pope is a wife, mother and Realtor who loves cooking.

Back in November, I was sitting in the chair of my sweet friend and hairdresser, Kendall, lamenting my endless list of Christmas to-do’s. We got on the subject of gifts, and I told her I was stumped about what present to give my mother. She is so precious that I knew she would love whatever I gave her, but each year, it gets harder and harder to find something that I think is thoughtful and meaningful.

I was frazzled, and as I fretted, Kendall came up with the perfect solution. She ingeniously and succinctly said, “What your mom wants is time with you. Take her on a girl’s trip.” It was so simple and so true; time is the perfect gift. As I started planning, my worry gave way to excitement. Unsure how to give a weekend trip, I decided to buy her a beautiful overnight bag, and I made a gift certificate, tied it to a helium-filled balloon, stuffed it into the bag, wrapped it and waited. She was thrilled, and so was I.

It turns out that this past weekend was finally the weekend. We hit the road early Friday with Fredericksburg in our sights. It has been a very long time since we spent a weekend together, just the two of us with no mom responsibilities hanging over our heads. We were two carefree chicks on the loose, and it was wonderful.

We toured wineries, sipped, shopped, ate, danced and laughed the days and nights away. We spent most of our time in Fredericksburg but also made stops in Luckenbach and Wimberley. We made our way home Sunday with a carload of treats and hearts full of memories. She and I decided to make this an annual tradition because there is no thing that either of us needs more than time together.

It is a little late for lavender season, but we did get to see what was left in the fields at the Becker Winery and enjoyed a lovely afternoon on their expansive and impressive patio. I have been to the Becker Winery several times, but it was my mom’s first visit; she loved it.

The building is an imposing 10,000-square-foot facility built in the style of a 19th century German stone barn. It is a fantastic place to spend a little time learning about and enjoying some fabulous wine.

Once back in town, we spent the evenings enjoying live music, easy conversation and succulent libations at Lauren Bade. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Several years ago, Lauren Bade/77901 had a wine bar and gift shop in downtown Victoria. Much to my disappointment, the Victoria location closed, but the Hill Country location picked up exactly where Victoria left off. The decor, food and feel are just the same; it was a little like going home again. If you find yourself in Fredericksburg, make a point of stopping at both the Becker Winery and Lauren Bade; they really are the perfect pair.

On our way to Luckenbach, we popped into a roadside peach stand and picked up a couple of baskets of peaches and enjoyed some fresh peach ice cream. It was the perfect sweet end to an even sweeter weekend. Peach season is just starting, and I am looking forward to the cobblers, tarts and jellies it will bring.

I am going to use my peaches to make fresh ice cream this week. I hope you do too, and when you do, be sure to share it and some time with your mom; you will both be glad you did.

Katherine Pope is a wife, mother and Realtor. She loves cooking almost as much as she loves living in Jackson County Texas. Katherine can be contacted by email at whatscookingkatherine@gmail.com.

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