“Why does Inoki get better service than we do?” – Brother, at a restaurant
(Because she’s cuter)
Usually, when we think of traveling for vacation, we think of REAL traveling , and road trips in Texas definitely do not fall into that category. However, we’ve always wanted to go on a trip with Inoki (our husky). So, with a little nudge from my mom, we decided to plan a weekend family vacation to Enchanted Rock and the Texas Hill Country! (Someone later told me that Fredericksburg, TX doesn’t count as the “Texas Hill Country”. Honestly, anything outside of Houston counts as Texas Hill Country.)
Let me just say that planning a trip with a large dog was really difficult. We limited our travels to dog-friendly shops, restaurants, and activities, and even though the area was supposed to be very dog-friendly, choices were severely limited. The places that we did go to were absolutely amazing though, and the restaurants took better care of Inoki than her humans! We had a great time exploring Wimberley, Fredericksburg, and the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. (See page 2 for links to the places we visited.)
1. Wimberley, TX and the Stairway to Heaven
Wimberley was a cute little town with lots of Texas-sized boots everyone. We drove by rather quickly, as we were on a mission to stick to the schedule, but we did stop at Wimberley Glassworks and The Leaning Pear for lunch.
Afterwards, we headed to “The Stairway to Heaven”, which is a 200-step staircase in the middle of a neighborhood that leads you to the top of a hill for a 360 view of Wimberley. (It’s actually called Mount Baldy, but that doesn’t sound nearly as cool.) The view wasn’t all that spectacular, but it was a fun little climb and Inoki’s first time on the stairs!
2. Stonewall, TX and Wine Galore
After hearing about the multitude of wineries in the area, we decided to go do some wine tasting ourselves. There’s no comparison to Temecula or Napa Valley, but hey, we’re in Texas. They don’t even have vineyards next to the wineries, because the grapes don’t grow well in the blistering heat. Pedernales Cellars was great – they let Inoki into the air-conditioned, wine-tasting area. There was also an outdoor porch with live music, where we could bring our own food while enjoying a bottle of wine. We had a feast of cheese, prosciutto, breads, and berries.
In Stonewall, we also stopped by Wildseed Farms. May was not the right time of the year to see the fields of wildflowers, but were lots of potted plants and a butterfly garden!
3. Bless Your Heart Cottage in Fredericksburg, TX
Because of our >50 lb dog, we ended up renting an entire cottage for the 5 adults + dog. This was the cutest little cottage decorated with an assortment of rooster-related gizmos. Very fitting place to stay, considering that it is the Year of the Rooster. At night, there were hundreds of fireflies glowing outside. I wish we had more time to explore the area and soak in the country life, but alas, we only stayed for one night.
4. Enchanted Rock
On Day 2 of our trip, we finally made it to Enchanted Rock. Since dogs were not allowed on the main rock anymore, Inoki and I hiked the “Loop Trail” while the rest of the group went up the batholith. To anyone who is not experienced at hiking, I would not recommend the Loop Trail. It is not a marked trail, and you will essentially be the only ones on the trail. Needless to say, we got lost within 15 minutes. Luckily, we ran into a German Shepherd and his dad, Chuck, who kindly led us up some rocks, through a grassy meadow, and back to civilization. If you bring your doggie, make sure to check paws for cactus spines and other prickly things after hiking!
5. Willow Loop Trail & the Wildflowers
Following the hike, we drove along the scenic Willow Loop Trail to see wildflowers. Unfortunately for us, there were barely any wildflowers in early May, but we did see lots of cowboy boots! By the end of the trip, Inoki was pooped and slept the rest of the way home.
Overall, Inoki’s first adventure to the great outdoors was a blast! Our van made for a very cushy and spacious road trip, and we were able to explore parts of Texas that we’d never been to. For more details about the places we visited, see Page 2. Now, onto the next adventure!