“Surprise!” he said. “We’re going to Austin!”
And go to Austin we did. It was beautiful and refreshing. We ate tacos, ducked into bizarre-o gift shops, drank margaritas, swam in the river in our clothes, and then ate a few more tacos. So it was a glorified taco tour. So what.
I had never been to Austin, so Bjork drew on his knowledge of Austin from the guys’ trip he took there a year or two ago in terms of fun things to do and see, and I found food inspiration from my friends Ali and Kathryne who spent a month living in Austin. I don’t know, when it comes to food, sometimes those things need to be taken into one’s own hands.
Here’s what I loved most from our time in Austin:
- La Condesa – the chiles rellenos, guys. SO GOOD. I am not exaggerating when I saw I was as close to licking my plate in public as humanly possible.
- El Primo – classic Austin taco truck. Terrible roadside ambiance and two grungy picnic tables, so in other words: very perfect. We got breakfast tacos all-around (including the spicy, delicious, grease-bomb of a chorizo taco!) and they did not disappoint.
- Elizabeth Street Cafe – it’s just so cute! Also, eating a huge, fresh, salad-like tofu/veggie bún after 48-plus-hours of taco bingeing felt really, really good. The jumbo shrimp and avocado spring rolls were also a very happy experience.
- Juice Austin – just another truck, but we visited this place MULTIPLE TIMES because it feels really good to drink something that is loaded with kale and other healthy things that, in fact, tastes like a milkshake.
- Jo’s Coffee – amazing people-watching on South Congress, especially next to the Instagram-magnet that is the I Love You mural wall. Only nerds like me could so enjoy watching people ‘gram it up.
- South Congress Cafe – when we got to Austin, I told Bjork that I had three goals: a good margarita, a good breakfast taco, and MIGAS. Real-deal migas. South Congress Cafe was my real-deal migas stop, and I loved every bite.
- Texas State Capital – obviously I couldn’t stop yawning, but Bjork really liked it, and then I kinda got into it when everyone showed up to take pictures for the spring formal and I had something to creep for a while.
- Zilker Park and Lady Bird Trail – just hike around the river, okay? We saw so many lovable dogs, a legit game of Quidditch, and a biker with a cat riding on his shoulders. And it’s super fun to watch people paddle boarding with their lifejacketed dogs and get jealous of their lives.
- Bats on the bridge – I did not know this was a thing, but it is a thing. People start coming out around sunset time and waiting for the largest urban bat colony in North America (you read that right) to come flying out from under the bridge. Somewhere around, oh, I dunno, ONE MILLION bats make their way into the sky in a non-stop parade and it is both horrifying and totally incredible.
- Barton Creek Greenway – hiking, swimming, biking, rock climbing… all of it. I did not know that there was so much GREEN in Texas. But my favorite was the swimming. There was a rope swing, and tons of people just hanging out in the water with their dogs, and this is where we decided we probably should go swimming even though we didn’t have suits and so we proceeded to swim in our clothes. 31, don’t care. We floated out into the clear greenish-blue water, and Bjork found a leech on his foot, and I couldn’t stop laughing. We sputtered back over to the shore and perched high up on the bank to dry off. It was basic, but it was a really happy life moment for me.
- Archer Hotel – this was a bit of a hike (er, drive) from Austin proper, but no problem for us since we had a rental car. It’s in a lovely newly developed area called The Domain. There were awesome restaurants, great shopping, and most importantly – calm and quiet. I want to be really adaptable and NBD about it, but true story is that I am kind of panicky and weird when it comes to sleeping on trips. Being away from the bustle of the city at night was a really good thing for me. And no, my love of this hotel obviously has nothing to do with the ON POINT tiny artisan treats (mini donut, cookie bar, coconut bite) that they leave every night at turn-down service. Nope. Nothing at all.
Okay, so I have a few takeaways for you. First: please go on a fun weekend getaway with someone you love. Surprise them, even. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just get out there and spend time together eating tacos away from your regular life.
Second: …May I recommend Austin?
Third: When you go to Austin, just be aware that you must plan to wear yoga pants for many days upon your return because your jeans will feel like leg prison. But no regrets. Life is worth living.
Here are some pics (iPhone! technology is amazing) of our 4 days in Austin. Have a great weekend, guys! ♡