Last week I headed to Austin, TX with Melissa, one of my best friends since childhood. We ditched the husbands and dogs and headed South! Goodbye snow. Hello sun.
There aren't many people that I'd go on a week long vacation with but she's one of them. We both like equal parts doing and resting on vacation. Neither of us likes to plan anything. She also knows I hate driving and totally drove me around Texas for an entire week. I really wish we would have gotten a decent picture of the two of us but that's practically impossible.
We've been friends forever. We're a lot alike but also a lot different. She talks to strangers. A lot. Like on airplanes and buses. I NEVER talk to strangers. It terrifies me. She's a rebel. I'm a rule follower. For example, she won't turn her phone off on airplanes. This terrifies me as well. . How we survived four flights I will never know. (Also note, if you wear jeans with sparkly crap on your rear you will get your bum patted down. And when you leave your coat on the plane and have to go back through security, they will pat you down again. Ask Melissa how she knows this.)
Once we arrived in Texas we did a whole lot of eating and sightseeing.
We checked out the Austin Postcard mural. (Which is a block from Gourdough's (more info to come) for those that plan better than we do.)
We checked out the Hope Outdoor Gallery which is a large graffiti wall. I mentioned before that neither of us plans well and we totally forgot our spray paint. Better luck next time. There's a beautiful mix of talent and profanity.
We did a little browsing on South Congress.
And at Ikea. (My second trip. It's hard living in the middle of nowhere.)
We headed to the Hamilton Pool for a little hike. The pool is a historic swimming hole. I had read to go early or there is a wait on nice days. We arrived at 11 AM on an 80 degree day and got right in. When we left at 1 PM there were cars waiting for miles. It was beautiful and would be a fantastic spot to swim on a hot Summer day. I'm not sure it's worth waiting multiple hours to get in though. Maybe it's because I didn't swim because the water was 50 degrees. I'd be willing to check it out again for a fair second opinion.
We headed south to San Antonio one day to check out the River Walk. Totally worth the drive. We had a great time strolling the River Walk and people watching. We both highly recommend doing a guided boat tour right when you get there. It was an easy way to learn the history of the River Walk and where things are located.
We had talked about visiting the Alamo but we neither of us cared to look to see where it was located. Turns out it's located in downtown San Antonio right smack next to the River Walk. We learned this on our boat tour. We're morons. Morons that have now seen the Alamo. It was surprisingly tiny.
Besides sightseeing, we ate a lot of food. We stayed with Melissa's sister (THANKS SO MUCH, SHANNON!!!) who lives north of Austin. There were so many places we wanted to try and we were only able to knock a few off our list. (It was the week of SXSW and we were too lazy to fight the traffic.) We'd go back for the food alone. One of our favorite food stops was Gourdough's Donuts.
Check out the menu for some amazing donut combos. (After reading this lovely post, of course.) Melissa got the Funky Monkey and I got the Flying Pig. I'm still having dreams of that amazing donut. Mmm, bacon.
We ate some ridiculously good pizza at Home Slice on South Congress. That name is so good that I wouldn't have cared if the pizza was terrible. But it was delicious which is why it made this ever important blog post.
Favorite dessert went to Lick. I had read rave reviews about this ice cream shop and it didn't disappoint. The ice cream is made from pure, whole, local ingredients. I read a ton of reviews about the goat cheese flavor. The thought of goat cheese ice cream sort of grossed me out but it was so incredibly good.
Such a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed Texas. I'd con Nate into moving right now if the traffic wasn't so horrible. Seriously. How do you Texans do it? But I did love your delicious food, hipster city and wonderfully warm weather.
Next vacation destination...Hawaii! 2014 is the year of travel for me and it started strong!