Beyond Words: One True Loves

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

Is it just me or do the months seem to be getting shorter and shorter? I have a feeling that has something to do with the fact that I’m definitely under a deadline with my due date getting closer and closer, but it’s still so crazy to believe that September is pretty much over and done with! But the end of the month also means that it’s time to link up for some Beyond Words- A Bloggers Book Club with Carolann and Christy! This month we read a book that has been on my list for over a year, so I was so happy to finally read One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words- One True Loves

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

After hearing about Taylor Jenkins Reid for the past year, I finally understand what all of the hype is about! I swear for about a year there was at least one person always reviewing one of her books during the Show Us Your Books linkup and I would tell myself that I needed to read one of her books, but somehow I just never got around to picking one up. I’m just glad that I picked One True Loves for Erin’s Reading Challenge and then it got selected for book club, so there was no way that I couldn’t not read a TJR book!

One True Loves follows the story of Emma. In high school Emma never really felt like she fit in and couldn’t wait to break away from the small town life that she currently was living. She also has a huge crush on the captain of the swim team but doesn’t think that they’ll ever date since they’re so different. Then one summer night they meet and start dating and Emma and Jesse decide to pursue their dreams of breaking away from their current lives and move to California together for college.

After college they decide to get married and everything is going perfectly in their lives until Jesse disappears after a helicopter crash on their one year anniversary. Emma is devastated and heartbroken and doesn’t know how to put her life back together after losing Jesse. She moves home and slowly but surely things start coming together for her. She is still living near home when runs into a old high school friend who she begins to date and then becomes engaged to. So when Jesse shows up alive and well, Emma is torn between the two men that she loves, her one true loves. Because really and truly Emma loves both Sam and Jesse so much, and she has no idea how she’s going to pick between the two of them.

I’ve read my fair share of Nicholas Sparks and romance books and while I do enjoy them, they can definitely be a little hokey if you know what I mean. This is so not true with One True Loves. With the little synopsis that I read of the book, I have to admit that I thought that it might be true, but I really thought that TJR did a great job of making the characters and their decisions relatable and also very real as well. I was definitely right there with Emma and was wondering how in the world she was going to pick between Jesse and Sam!

The other aspect that I really enjoyed of this book was how TJR told the story of Emma and Jesse and Emma and Sam. She did a good job of telling the story in the present while also going back in time to tell the story of how the characters got to that point in the first place. I’ve read some books that don’t do a good job with jumping around in the timeline, but that is definitely not true for One True Loves. The story was perfectly woven!

So basically the moral of this story is that I loved One True Loves, my first TJR book, and I have no idea why in the world it took me so long to actually read one of her books. Now I know that I won’t be able to stop, so I guess the only question is which TJR book will be my next! But don’t forget to join us next month when we’ll be reading All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood.

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Beyond Words One True Loves- A story that makes you question whether it's possible to love two people at the same time.

Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

When most people think of Denver, Colorado, they probably think of the great outdoors and all of the beautiful mountains and scenery first and the great brewery scene second. When Chris and I visited last year, we were both very excited to visit a few breweries, but when I was doing my research for Denver I stumbled upon a little something extra that was right up our alley, a winery located in the heart of downtown Denver, The Infinite Monkey Theorem.

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

Now I’ll be the first to admit, when I think of a winery the first thing that comes to mind is all of the beautiful wineries in Napa Valley with the sprawling vineyards and the big beautiful house where you sit down and have a seated tasting and they explain to you all about the flavors that you’re experiencing with your wine. That is not what you can expect from the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Instead of a “classy” Napa experience, definitely expect a much more laid back winery experience that almost feels like you’re in a brewery instead of a winery.

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

The Infinite Monkey Theorem winery started in Denver back in 2008 when the owner decided that he wanted to throw all of the normal winery pretentiousness out the door and focus on making good wine out of local ingredients, which is how the name came to be, that you can make a really good product out of all the normal winery chaos. So he started growing grapes in Colorado and harvesting them at their best time and then began to make wine in a warehouse in downtown Denver, and that’s exactly where you can go today for a tour and wine tasting!

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

Chris and I actually arrived a little bit earlier than our tour time at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, but instead of just sitting around, we were given a glass of wine to help hold us over until our tour started which, of course, was on tap. Now I don’t know about you, but having wine on tap and readily available is definitely a perk to me! Chris and I relaxed outside for a little bit because Denver outside in July is actually bearable, unlike in Houston, before we headed on our tour.

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

Our tour guide was a ton of fun and did a great job of explaining us to the history of the winery, how the production works, and of course just tasting and talking about wine. We tried a few different types of wine, but one of my favorite parts was getting to try out their canned cider and wine because at the time it was such a unique concept, now not so much. I still think that it would be a blast to get some canned wine and take them to a tailgate, so I could drink wine instead of beer, although that will definitely have to happen next year instead of this year.

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver
The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver
The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver
The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

Overall, our experience at The Infinite Monkey Theorem couldn’t have been better. Now if you’re not going to be in the Denver area anytime soon, don’t worry, The Infinite Monkey Theorem actually has another location besides Denver, and that’s in Austin, Texas. Both Denver and Austin are funky cities and Austin is located pretty close to the Texas wine region so it just makes sense for their second location to be there. So next time you’re visiting the capital of Texas, make sure to stop in for some wine as well! I’m very happy to be linking back up with these wanderful women for some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!

The Wandering Weekenders- Visiting An Urban Winery In Denver

Have you ever visited a winery in a city before? Have you ever visited The Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery before? 

Other Denver Posts:

6 Things I Learned While Visiting Denver
How To Spend A Weekend In Denver

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A unique experience in an urban environment, a winery in downtown Denver. Be sure to visit The Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery in downtown Denver!

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The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

Man oh man, the longer weekends just really seem to fly by even quicker than the two day weekends! Chris and I took off on Friday so that we could have one last extra long weekend in Blanco visiting his parents. This was weekend was also special because it was the  last “trip” that we were going to take before the babies get here. So let’s get into an extra long weekending with the always amazing Biana!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

Friday

We arrived at Chris’s parents house in Blanco late on Thursday night, so we were able to sleep in a little bit Friday morning before we woke up to start the day. And we woke up to some of the best news on Friday, our friends had their little girl! She’s so precious, and I can’t wait to meet her when they’re in town in December for a visit! Chris had a few calls to make in the morning, and before lunch time got here we were ready to get out and explore a little part of the Texas Hill Country that I had yet to visit: Gruene, Texas.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

Gruene (pronounced like the color green) is a small Texas town that is known for it’s German heritage but also as a hub for Texas country music. Despite many economic hardships that hit the town Gruene Hall never closed, and to this day continues to be a place that launches Texas country music stars.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

When we arrived in Gruene, we immediately went to one of the most well known places in Gruene besides Gruene Hall, The Gristmill! Located right beneath the Gruene Water Tower, The Gristmill offers open air dining and amazing views of the Guadalupe River. We arrived a little bit after lunch time, and because we were visiting on a Friday afternoon and arrived not during normal hours we were able to get a table without any problems, but I have heard to be prepared to wait in some pretty long lines if you want to eat there on a Friday or Saturday night. But don’t worry the food is well worth it! I personally got the Chicken Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, and oh my goodness was it delicious!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day exploring the Historic District of Gruene. There were antique shops and other little knick knacky shops galore, and it was a lot of fun to just walk through them all. We did find the cutest little children’s boutique while we were in town, but unfortunately it was a little (A LOT) out of our price range. I guess that I’ll be sticking to some of the twin purge pages I’ve found on Facebook instead! We managed to not spend a ton of money while we were in Gruene, and then headed home to a nice and quiet evening at the house. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

Saturday

I feel like the past few weekends if we have a day where nothing is really planned Chris and I manage to sleep in until 10:00 or 10:30. I guess that we just get so worn out during the week that we just have to sleep in (although I think that it’s mostly me that’s worn out). Anyways, I figure that we might as well do it while we can because I know that we won’t be able to once the babies get here!

Once we were up, we only had a short time before the Aggie game started. To be honest I didn’t have very high expectations for the game, but thankfully we were able to pull out another win over Arkansas in overtime. It would have been a lot less stressful of a game if the refs hadn’t taken one of our TD’s away in the second quarter, but it doesn’t matter because we won in the end!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

After the game was over, we headed out for another short little trip in the Texas Hill Country, this time to Luckenbach. What was established as a local Trading Post, the town of Luckenbach never really grew much bigger than that, and in fact eventually went up for sale 1970. The town was actually bought, and not long afterwards, Jerry Jeff Walker recorded an album in Luckenbach which pretty much launched the small town into Texas Country fame! Luckenbach really hasn’t grown too much, but it’s still known for being a great place to listen to live Texas Country and even go dancing as well.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

We arrived around mid Saturday afternoon, and enjoyed just walking around and seeing the sights and listening to the live music as well! The only thing that would have made it better would have been an ice cold beer, but I guess that I’ll have to enjoy that next time we visit. The town of Luckenbach is right near the town of Fredericksburg, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make a pit stop there next year when we visit.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies
The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

After spending a couple of hours in Luckenbach we drove back to Blanco and spent the rest of the evening relaxing. Chris’s dad grilled some fabulous ribs and deer sausage, and then we made a quick trip to town for some dessert of DQ Blizzards! I can’t tell you the last time that I had a Blizzard, but it was so good! Both babies were very happy too!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend Trip Before The Babies

Sunday

We didn’t get to sleep in that late on Sunday because we needed to make it back to Houston for a funeral for one of my friend’s brothers. It was a very sudden death, and my heart just breaks for my friend and her family. The rest of Sunday was spent getting a few things organized around the house, like finally bringing baby stuff upstairs so that it can be organized in the nursery soon, and just relaxing before the week started.

We had such a blast this weekend in Blanco, and we definitely enjoyed our last weekend trip without babies! Although, I have to admit that it’ll be a ton of fun to go back and visit with the babies in tow because that means that momma will be able to enjoy a beer, and I know that they’ll enjoy the time traveling as well!

Have you explored small towns near your hometown? Do you enjoy visiting small towns in your home state?

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Our last weekend trip before babies was a long weekend in the Texas Hill Country with some trips to Gruene and Luckenbach! It was so much fun!

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