I’m sitting here drinking a “beer-mosa” at our regular coffee shop while I write this post today. It’s basically a grown-up brass monkey, and it’s delicious. Brass monkeys remind me of college.
We drank a lot of them back then.
For two dollars and change, you could make yourself a delectable alcoholic beverage whilst maintaining optimal levels of vitamin C. Because you’ve got to stay healthy for those papers and exams!
This particular beverage is an appropriate choice for today, as I recap our trip to Austin, TX, which felt a little bit like a grown-up version of my college years.
In the very best way.
Our trip was booked months in advance (we planned to stay for a week over Labor Day weekend) before there was even a hint of Hurricane Harvey in the air. In light of the devastating event that impacted the area just southeast of Austin so terribly and thoroughly, it’s been hard to look back on the trip without feeling guilty. Guilty that we enjoyed some much-needed vacation time while people were dealing with so much loss.
But I have to think of it as a separate event and be grateful Nick and I were able to travel to Austin and back safely.
It’s possible I feel even more grateful for the experience we were lucky enough to have because of everything that happened just before. It really put things into perspective.
So, on a lighter note: Austin is awesome.
It’s hot, sweaty, dusty, and dry. But it’s also incredibly funky and eclectic and they make a damn fine queso (I’m officially obsessed). We ate well and drank well. We even shopped well and I don’t typically like to shop.
Austiners (?) are stellar human beings and they really do hospitality right.
There was an incident during our trip when we accidentally left our bag (with wallets and other valuables) at a food truck for nearly an hour before realizing what we’d done. We called the truck and thankfully someone had turned the bag in. When we got there to retrieve our belongings, everything was still in the bag.
I’m not sure the same thing would have happened in Seattle!
Friends, queso, and lots of beer
Most importantly, we got to spend quality time with some friends we hadn’t seen in years, and we met some awesome new friends as well.
Friendship is a funny thing. I’m not great at it. So I consider myself incredibly lucky that even when we live in different locations and don’t keep in touch as much as we might want, it’s easy enough to fall back into the swing of things when we get together. Like nothing’s changed. Like we are still twenty-one and everything is possible.
That’s what really made our Austin trip so great. Our friends. The ones who accepted us back into their lives and homes so wholly and seamlessly (if just for a few days) like no time had passed, certainly not years. Even after we’ve (read: I’ve) been so neglectful of them. I haven’t checked in. I’ve been shit at keeping in touch.
I only hope I can provide them the same hospitality when they visit us.
Places we loved in and around Austin
- Ladybird Lake (Austin)
- Pedernales Falls State Park (Johnson City)
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (near Fredericksburg)
- The Blanton Museum of Art (UT Austin)
Food & Drink:
- Wright Bros. Brew and Brew (coffee, beer and bagels. enough said; open all day)
- Blue Dahlia Bistro (French bistro; open all day)
- Micklethwait Craft Meats (BBQ; go early, like 11am)
- Nickel City (great drinks and midwestern food; open late)
- Veracruz All Natural Food Truck (breakfast tacos and smoothies; go early)
- Tamale House East (queso, fish tacos and margs; open all day)
- Torchy’s Tacos (queso and frozen margs; open all day)
- Kemuri Tatsuya (Japanese izakaya with Austin flair. Amazing; open late)
- Yellow Jacket Social Club (frozen drinks, misters & good outdoor space; open late)
- Quickie Pickie (surprisingly good tacos; open all day & late)
- Kinda Tropical (bar with good beer and outdoor dancing; open late)
Favorite photos from our trip