Emily Starbuck Crone, formerly Emily Starbuck Gerson, is a newlywed based in Austin, TX. She adores travel and is a professional writer, so in her free time, she combines the two passions and runs a travel blog called Maiden Voyage, which is geared toward 20somethings.
I never thought much about weddings until I got engaged, but I always dreamed of a grand honeymoon. Perhaps a long safari in rugged Africa. Maybe a beach retreat in a bungalow over water in Fiji. Shortly after getting engaged and dreaming up every possibly honeymoon idea, we decided upon an adventure in Spain. We would train around Southern Spain, eat delicious tapas, see gorgeous architecture, and have an incredibly romantic European honeymoon. I spent hours doing research and piecing together an itinerary.
As the wedding approached, reality set in. My soon-to-be husband was busy with his first year of law school and had no income (we didn’t want to get married in the summer because it’s ungodly hot here in Texas). We didn’t know how much money we would get in gifts for the wedding. I had a good amount of travel savings, but we didn’t know if it was the best idea for me to foot the whole bill.
After me shedding many tears, we decided that we would take a very short but luxurious honeymoon nearby with hopes that we will take a delayed honeymoon sometime in the near future. Several months before the wedding, we stayed one night at The Inn Above Onion Creek in Kyle, Texas just for fun. The B&B is only 20 minutes out of our city of Austin, but it’s so peaceful and rural that you feel like you’re worlds away. It sits on 88 acres in the Texas countryside, with no nearby city lights or noise. It was so romantic and relaxing.
We realized that this would be the perfect place for our mini-honeymoon. We got married in downtown Austin and stayed that night at the Omni Hotel Downtown in a beautiful suite. The next day, after dropping some things off at the house, we drove down to Kyle.
The B&B has 10 rooms and two stand-alone cottages. The rooms are spread amongst two buildings that are adjacent to each other, and all open to the outside. All rooms have either a front porch or back porch; some are shared, and some are private. Both times, our rooms had porches that overlooked the countryside. On both trips there, we spent countless hours sitting outside and reading, talking, enjoying the view, and watching the sunset.
My favorite thing about The Inn Above Onion Creek is that a three-course gourmet dinner is included in the room rate, as is a gourmet breakfast. You eat the dinner at shared tables in the dining room, which allows you to meet some really interesting people from all walks of life. However, if you want some privacy, you can pick up your dinner to-go and eat it wherever you want. Even better, the dining area is left unlocked at all times and always has several jars of homemade cookies for the taking, plus free bags of popcorn that you can pop in the microwave. You also have access to free juices and sodas 24/7. Forget expensive mini-bars at hotels—it’s included in the room rate here.
The first night, the dessert was homemade tres leches. It was incredible. One of the other highlights for me was the first course on the second night; it was a tart with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and balsamic vinegar. The entrée one of the nights was local roasted chicken, which was moist and fantastic. The other night was a fish dish that I was a bit ambivalent about, but I was unexpectedly in love with the pureed root vegetables, which was like mashed potatoes but better. I didn’t like that night’s dessert—lemon curd—so I stocked up on homemade cookies instead, which were fantastic! I vividly remember the meal from our first stay there. It was the best pot roast I ever had, so tender and made from locally-raised beef. The dessert was a sinful fresh apple pie a la mode.
The first time here, we stayed in the Kyle Room, a beautiful room with a king-sized bed, fireplace, and two-person bathtub. For the honeymoon, we stayed in the Kuykendall Suite, which spanned two floors. The bottom floor was a large sitting room with several chairs, a couch, a TV, a wet bar and mini-fridge, a half-bath, and a fireplace. Upstairs was a king-sized bed and a bathroom with not only a huge two-person tub, but an enormous double shower, too—I had never seen one in person before! There was also a fireplace in the bedroom. We were there during a cold snap, so we had one of the fireplaces going nearly the whole time we were in the rooms. The rooms here have a clean and sophisticated feel, yet they are also so cozy with a Texas country vibe.
Another interesting feature here is a library, which you can use at any time. It has a large television with a DVD player, dozens of board games, tons of DVDs, and hundreds of books. You can borrow any of these for free, or you can hang out and enjoy them in the library. All of the guest rooms have TVs with DVD players, but it’s nice that you have the option to watch something in the library instead. The Inn Above Onion Creek has a pool—I wish it had been warm enough for me to get to use it! The inn also has an on-site spa, though we didn’t use it either since it’s a little pricey. They also have a scenic overlook of the creek it is named after. We were bummed that the creek was dry, but the nice nature walk there was really pleasant.
While this wasn’t my dream honeymoon I had always pictured, it was the perfect relaxing getaway that we needed after the stressful wedding process. We dined on phenomenal cuisine, read in front of the fireplace, and watched the sunset over the Texas countryside together. It was just what we needed.
I took this photo of Bryan hanging out on the deck using the iPhone app Panorama for the first time: