I'll have to be honest - though most everyone who lives there loves Austin, I'm going to say that I would never want to live there. I'm just not cut out for the Austin life. Despite my protests, though, I did have a pretty good weekend with Holland. Also despite the fact that Holland's coworker suggested he (Holland) take me to buy some nice cowboy boots and he (Holland) DID NOT.
I arrived to the hotel late Thursday night to a surprise.
Since Holland has been racking up major points with his hotel and they knew I was coming, they left a little surprise for us to enjoy. The first bottle of Washington wine was for Holland earlier in the week. The second was for me. Sadly for these wine bottles, neither were consumed. But we did really enjoy the chocolate covered strawberries and the chocolate truffles inside that chocolate guitar. And I appreciated the Longhorns hat; though, it took me longer than I'd care to admit to figure out what LHN had to do with Texas...
Friday, Holland had to work, so I played hotel by myself. And by that, I mean that I did almost nothing. I had hot chocolate ordered to my room and went to eat breakfast down in the hotel restaurant (because Holland had free breakfast buffet coupons for me too!).
|This is actually Round Two of hot chocolate, but I figured one picture was enough to convey the deliciousness.|
I also wandered a little bit around the hotel to try to find a post office. I found out later that there was one maybe two blocks from the hotel that doesn't show up on the map. Much more convenient than the post office that was closed down like a mile away from the hotel...
After we were done, we met up with my college friend, Kurt, and his boyfriend, Steven, for some TexMex. The first Trudy's we went to didn't exist anymore (it was a rough pattern for Friday) so we drove to one a little further away. It was nice to catch up but so odd to think about how much time has passed since college (and how LITTLE time has passed since college too...)
Saturday morning, we got up to go stand in line at one of the good BBQ places in Austin. Austin is known for their brisket and I really didn't think it disappointed (though Holland tells me that he's had just as good BBQ without standing in line in the heat for 2 hours. Didn't stop him from scarfing it down though...)
|You can draw on the picnic tables at La Barbecue|
|When we were a little closer to the front, I snapped this picture. A lot of Austin's food is from a truck.|
Saturday was pretty much food themed. After La Barbecue, we went home, tried to go to the pool but were met with hordes of bachelorette/bachelor party people, so we took a nap in the hotel instead. It really is hard to beat a nice comfy hotel bed. And also, I was on vacation, so no judgement please.
We got ready later to go out to celebrate our 5 year anniversary/my birthday since Holland wouldn't be in town with me for either of those occasions.
We went to an Italian restaurant called Vespaio. You can't make reservations, but we didn't have any problem getting in. We had a few dishes that were delicious. My favorite dish (that I shared only a bite with Holland) was the butternut squash & amaretti filled half moon pasta (with locatelli pecorino, sage brown butter, and walnuts). I tell you that it was to DIE FOR. It was my favorite pasta that I've maybe had ever. When we were done with our pasta, the waiter said "Yeah, I really feel like it's a really good autumn/winter dish," to which I replied "Well, I'm not complaining in summer. I will eat it all seasons." or something like that. Holland is probably rolling his eyes with how much effort I'm putting into describing this pasta, but I don't care. (You hear me, H? I don't care!) It is now on my last-meal request list.
After dinner, we walked a little bit down South Congress and snapped some photos. H didn't think we should ask someone to take our picture, but I insisted he take one of just me (not shown) and some kind souls offered to take our picture for us. I knew my trick would work. :)
Also that night (after dinner and after our walk down South Congress), we headed to a local bar to watch the Huskies opening game vs. Hawaii. It was terrible, but at least they pulled out a W. The bar was not our favorite - kind of outdoors so it was really hot, and EVERYONE was smoking. The one highlight (or low-light, depending on how you look at it) was the fight we witnessed. We heard a glass spill on the table behind us (they were picnic tables so it was at the table we were sitting at though we were facing the wrong way) so we stood up to avoid being beer-i-fied. When I turned around, two guys were on the table going at each other and punching each other. As we moved out of the way (Holland even tried to pull me aside, the gentleman!), more people joined in and all of a sudden people were under the table getting punched right where we had been sitting. It broke up pretty soon thereafter, but it was kind of crazy. One guy was bleeding from the back of his head. It's hard to say what happened. Holland says someone accidentally spilled a beer and things got heated. A couple girls were trying to say that the guy INTENTIONALLY poured his beer and that's how the fight started. I guess we'll never know.
Sunday morning, we had brunch at the hotel at our leisure. Then we walked to the Austin Capital Building. Fun fact, Texans LOVE Texas. Everything in the capital building had Texas written all over it. Sometimes literally in the case of EVERY door hinge in the building. They also had stars all over the place. And the lights in some of the rooms were shaped like a star and spelled Texas. I wish I was exaggerating. And I would be remiss to not mention that the outside of the capital building is made of SUNSET RED TEXAS GRANITE and none of that pink Georgian granite that they used a little bit of on the inside.
One really cool thing about the capital building is that you can go up four floors in the rotunda, so you have a nice aerial view of everything.
We hit up the pool after the capital tour. It wasn't as busy as the day before so we laid out for a while (much to my pale skin's disappointment) and sat in the pool for a while before retiring to our bedroom.
Sunday night, we went out to dinner with my sister, Shelby, and her boyfriend, James, where I was publicly humiliated in front of the restaurant as I sat side-saddle on a horseless saddle and swung a napkin around my head like a lasso to "celebrate" my birthday. The injustice!
But dinner was delicious and I was glad to see Shelby and James, despite their cruel treatment of me.
Monday, I had round two of hot chocolate and then we went and played Peter Pan mini golf. I guess it's sort of an icon in Austin. It's full of these weird Peter Pan-esque (and other) statues. I think I described it to Holland as having been made by the worst sculpturists ever.
Mini golf was followed by Torchy's Tacos - a place that Kurt had recommended to us earlier. It did not disappoint (though the outside eating was kind of miserable).
Tacos led me to another hotel bed nap (what can I say - I love hotel beds and napping on them when I'm on vacay) followed by a sad, forlorn good bye as I made my way to the airport and back to DC.
These were my seat mates. Twinsies.
And this was my view part way through the trip. I guess it wasn't so bad.