I received the trip itinerary a few weeks ago, and immediately got excited because although Matt's whole family lives in the Austin area, and we've visited countless times, we really don't get out and experience much of the culture when we're there. Sure, we've been to a few awesome restaurants and done some cool stuff, but I'd never spent a full weekend immersed in everything Austin has to offer.
First up, we got these awesome T-shirts, which were designed by Bree (aka Mrs. Bunting). She is so talented, and I used my name button (designed by JoAnna, aka Mrs. Scone) to hide the Longhorn, because BOOMER.
We started out our first night with some fantastic Indian food from G'Raj Mahal. I had mushroom masala, which was pretty much to die for. There's nothing pretty about Indian food, so instead you get a picture of the group at dinner.
That white skeleton thing on the right was like, this plastic giant lizard with bicycles inside it. Austin, I don't understand you.
Afterwards, we met up with some of the other girls that had later flights, and went to a few cute bars on Rainey Street, where I discovered my new favorite drink: amaretto sours. Now I know two drinks I like! (Haha. But seriously. I was a little tired of ordering cosmopolitans every time I go out.)
The next day we were supposed to go on a hike at Mount Bonnell, so after a quick breakfast at Monkey's Nest Coffee, we headed up to the highest point in Austin. We had all been under the impression that we would have to climb a whole lot of stairs to get to the top and were expecting a bit of a strenuous hike, but it took like, three minutes to get to the top. Anyone could do this. The views were lovely though!
After getting showered, we went for a late lunch at Shady Grove to do some people-watching. Part of the group was planning to go to an early dinner before we headed out for the evening, but I missed that because I found out my car wouldn't start earlier that morning when I was supposed to drive people (luckily we had enough cars and use of the hotel shuttle, so we all got where we needed to be). So instead of sipping "cactus juice" at the Iron Cactus, I called AAA and had my car jumped so I could get to a mechanic in Austin rush hour.
But luckily I made it back in time for the evening's activities (and fixing the broken battery gasket only ran me $22), and I'm so glad because I think that night might have been my favorite: we went to see a show at Esther's Follies. I had been told it was a theater show that involved magic, comedy, singing and political satire, but I didn't really know what to expect. IF YOU ARE FROM TEXAS, YOU NEED TO GO TO THIS. It was HILARIOUS. Obviously, it's Austin and therefore a little more liberal than other places in the state, but they pretty much made fun of everyone, regardless of ideology. And while magic is sometimes kinda hokey, I thought this was incredibly well-done. I would go back. I'm planning on dragging Matt next time. (This was recommended to us because Emily, aka Mrs. Waffle, used to be one of the performers. Coolest place to work ever.)
After the show, we were already on Sixth Street, so we hit a few bars, the most notable of which was called Big Bang, where this happened. (Video from Steph, aka Mrs. Fox.)
At the Rooftop Bar, where they promised free drinks for all 18 of us. Jon Taffer would not have been pleased.
Those of us who didn't go to the earlier dinner were famished, so we stopped at Roppolo's pizza window right on the street, where I got a yummy tomato and artichoke slice that was bigger than my face. Someone else took a picture of it, but I was too busy stuffing my face. I never remember food pictures until it's too late.
The next day, most of the group was participating in a Pubcrawler (which is where you bike around in this big trolley contraption while drinking), and since I'm not a big drinker, a few of us decided instead to hit Kolache Factory for breakfast — Surprised? Of course not. — followed by a visit to the state capitol.
Egg + cheese, and a strawberry kolache.
I hadn't been to the capitol in at least 10 years, so it was neat getting to go back. Especially because so much has happened in the Texas legislature over the last few months, and I've seen so much video footage from inside this building.
The Senate, where Wendy Davis filibustered, and Leticia van de Putte laid the smack down, and the gallery made me proud to be a Texan.
Here's the part where Matt gets all jealous. I told him that we went to Torchy's for a late lunch after the Capitol, and he was all WHY DID I NOT GET INVITED TO THIS WEEKEND because Torchy's Tacos are UHMAZING. And I reminded him that I DID invite him, and he decided he didn't want to party with us, and so no Torchy's for him. I had a fried avocado taco that was yum, and Jess ordered these "Little Nookies," which were fried chocolate chip cookie balls, and were sinfully good.
At this point, the group split up again, because while we all wanted to see the bats at the Congress Street bridge, some people went on a waterbike tour to see them from closer up. And after the fact, I'm glad I only watched from the bridge, because the people on the bikes got ... rained on. By bat poop.
Safe on the bridge! The bats still got way too close for comfort. Lauren, me, Ayesha (Mrs. Genie) and Jess.
Starving, we headed down to Stubbs barbecue to meet up with the rest of the group. I stuck to my plate of sweet potato fries, because REAL dinner came next — we trekked down Sixth Street for Amy's Ice Creams! (Yes, we made plans to eat ice cream for dinner before we even went to first dinner.)
Butterbeer ice cream with Oreos! Oops, I already ate one.
All sugared out, we headed back to the hotel and passed out. The next morning everyone was scheduled to leave, so after I made sure my car would start (yessss!), we got some crepes at Cafe Crepe, and then I hauled my butt — and my leftovers — back to College Station. I had a blast hanging out with these awesome ladies, and it's good to be home. :)
How was your weekend? Did you eat ice cream for dinner? :)