We got back from Austin last night, and we loved the trip. Austin is such a rad town, full of swimming, tattoos and rib-sticking BBQ. Here are a few photos, if you'd like to see...
We snapped this photo on the plane ride out there. Toby looked like a mad scientist, his hair shooting off in all directions, while he slept face up on our laps. He also thought we were on a bus, since planes look like buses when they're on the ground. (He actually ran through the airport, pointing out the windows and shouting ecstatically, "Bus! Bus!") Also, by the way, we ended up trying out Lugless and shipped our heavy suitcase ahead; it really did make the trip so much smoother.
When we arrived in Austin, we stayed with our good friends Matt and Megan, and their twin babies, who recently moved out there from New York. (Remember their beautiful apartment?) Their new house was airy and bright, filled with cool midcentury modern furniture, including that coffee table, which I secretly wanted to pack in my suitcase and bring home.
Toby loved playing with their twin girls, although now and again he'd get so excited about hanging with two lovely ladies that he'd try to squeeze their faces. You can't contain the love of an almost-two-year-old!
Their guest bedroom was tricked out with a Tempur-Pedic mattress (have you ever slept on one?), and Toby crashed comfortably in his travel crib on the floor. And Matt and Megan put flowers, a candle and a book of essays on our bedside table—a sweet touch, don't you think? (I'm going to try to remember that for future guests.)
Our mornings were spent chilling out in their sprawling backyard. Living in Manhattan, we've never had any outdoor space, so it was a treat to just hang under the trees and smell the freshly cut grass.
Toby tried out the girls' swingset...
We dozed and read the paper in the hammock. (Btw, did you see this is going to be a book?)
Three sets of feet this time!
The first day, we all ventured downtown to explore. (People often say New Yorkers aren't friendly, and I always think we get a bad rap...but Austin-ites are the NICEST!!! We were kind of bowled over by how friendly everyone was.) Of course, we had to stop by Allen Boots...
The city was filled with live music, even during the day...
...including this adorable one-man band, who sang the Michigan Wolverines fight song when he found out I went to the University of Michigan.
The temperatures reached 90 degrees during the day—even in March!—so went to cool off with ice tea at Jo's Coffee. (Note the taxi sticking out of Alex's shirt pocket, no big deal.) We also had ice cream at Amy's across the street; our friend Matt wants to patent his combo of Mexican vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries and Heath bar.
Toby hung with the guys, while eating a banana and watching motorcycles.
And there's a swing hanging from a tree on the main drag of S. Congress, so of course we stopped to try it out. Toby and I just swung gently, like normal people, but Alex went for it!
Austin street style is super cute: The girls we spotted wore a mix of cowboy boots, plaid button-downs, cotton dresses, and cool tattoos—like this crossword puzzle tattoo on our waitress on Saturday night. After our heavy lunch, we wanted something lighter for dinner, so we got a babysitter after the little dudes went to bed, and headed to Elizabeth Street Cafe for amazing Vietnamese food. We sat outside in the warm breezes and had beers and noodle dishes. (During our trip, we also went to Iron Works for BBQ, and Hotel San Jose for drinks; as well as an awesome street of formerly abandoned houses that have been turned into bars: we sat in the breezy backyard of Icenhauer's.)
Another day, our friends took us to lunch at Hula Hut, a family-friendly Tiki-Mex restaurant overlooking Lake Austin, where we got fish tacos and beers.
Toby learned to say, "Cheers!"
Barton Springs, the spring-fed natural pool, was even cooler than I expected—both literally and figuratively. The water was freezing! But since the weather was sweltering, it felt refreshing—almost like drinking a glass of ice water—to take a dip.
Our final morning, we went mini golfing before lunch.
Toby didn't let us do much since he insisted on holding both golf clubs:)
Finally, we headed home. Traveling always feels like such a breath of fresh air, or "a shot in the arm," as our friend Matt said. Visiting old friends, having a change of scene, eating tacos at least twice daily...Thank you, Austin, for a wonderful long weekend! And thanks to everyone for all your advice. xoxo
P.S. The 5 best shoes for traveling, and 10 tips for traveling with a baby.
(My pink jeans are from Hudson; and my sunglasses are from Lookmatic)