Weird, maybe, but delightfully so.

Kim and I left the girls behind on Friday afternoon and headed down to Austin to explore. Kim hasn’t been and I’ve been on daytrips with friends, so I wasn’t paying as much attention to the city as I was the friends I was there to meet. Oh, and the books – Austin has an amazing independent bookstore around which Kim and I maybe centered a planned book tour.

It’s a three-hour drive, which really isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. Sure there was constant road construction (it seemed), but the kind that “just” eliminates the shoulder of the road and demands that you keep up at 60 or 70 mph. By the end of the trip I had nerves of steel. Also, a hard time doing less than 85 mph on the highway. Whoops. Still, it wasn’t bad. I got dinged by a flying rock and a small crack on the side of my windshield, other than that, easy peasy! Three hours on the same road and we were there! In Austin! Ready to stuff our faces and inhale all of the alcohol and then buy all of the pretty things! It was a successful weekend, is all I’m sayin’.

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We stayed at the Austin Motel, a funky little motel on South Congress Street. We were surrounded by unique little boutiques, fun restaurants, and all the people watching you could handle. There were neighborhoods, hills, New England-y type houses, and aside from all the Mexican food places, almost none of the OneConservativeTexasToRuleThemAll vibe that is so predominant here in the metroplex.

The room itself was amazing; despite being in the middle of a really busy street, we couldn’t hear anything that was going on. It was bizarre how quiet it was, really. The room was huge – we probably could have slept ten people on the floor. It was clean and eco-friendly and was run by great people. I would definitely stay again.

The location was perfect, too. The first night in, we dashed across the street to an Italian place and sat in the beer gardens they had in back. Live music and tasty food made up for the overworked waiter. Not to mention the magic patio cover and fan that I swear made it seem like we were eating indoors, not out in the Tejas heat.

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Not the best pic, you get a feel for the place. We also wandered over to Ten Thousand Things We Want Villages and bought some handmade items, and then to a few boutiques down the street, including one that had awesome prints and posters. And a bunch of others. Really, it was hard to choose which had the coolest stuff. Everything was so different and un-chain-store and everyone embraced the Weird. How can you not love that?!

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We were just a few minutes from downtown, too. It was very walkable, as we found out the next day. (My muscles are still sore – we did a lot of walking.) We discovered just how walkable when we cabbed down to the bars and figured out we could walk down to places and cab back after all of the imbibing.

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So Saturday we did just that: we walked downtown to breakfast at this very cool, almost-fancy breakfast place, and then out to Book People, the largest independent bookstore in Tejas where I spent all of discretionary funds for the rest of the year. And then we napped and rested up for more eating and drinking and walked the rest of downtown (really, it felt like all of it) and stopped into some cool bars and sampled all of them. The Ginger Man. Big Bang. The Library. (Their bartender was really cool and indulged my football talk, but refused to take off his Yankees cap, even though he said he didn’t care about baseball. I believed him, but I don’t think he thought I was serious about taking the hat off. I was.) Then we stopped at the place with the Goth cows and dashed across the street for burgers and fried eggs.

See? Eating. Drinking. And people watching. Oh! Also picture taking. Apparently this sign was a thing:

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Also, this place. Amy’s Ice Cream is a for-seriously-huge thing in Austin, for reasons. They have naughty ice cream, like their Shiner (beer) flavored ice cream. You should get it with sliced strawberries because OHMYGOD. It was the best part about Austin. It almost beats out the book store. Almost.

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I was going to take a picture of my ice cream, but I was too busy shoving it into my face and accidentally forgot to stop for the two seconds it would have taken. Then, it was closed for breakfast which was just stupid and I was forced to stare longingly. And wonder how much trouble I’d get into if I broke in and ate all of the ice cream.

So, yes. A good, good trip. Sadly lacking in a book tour, but  that’s a story onto itself. Maybe one for tomorrow. If I can stop missing my Shiner ice cream long enough to remember how the story goes.

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One Response to “Weird, maybe, but delightfully so.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend and sure beats laundry and lawn mowing. Glad you had fun.

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