Helllllo, blogging world! I'm popping in tonight from the comfort of my very own.... apartment!! That's right; my OWN apartment! It's my first time having an apartment all to myself (the tiny private room + bathroom I had as an RA in college doesn't count!), and I couldn't be more excited about it. (Though it was kind of sad this morning when I was getting ready for church and had no one to consult about which heels I should wear? But overall, it's been great!)
There's not much to see yet, but... in time! :)
I also wanted to take a moment to preserve for time and all posterity the photos from my recent trip to Austin! My friend Jordan was planning a trip home (she's a bona fide Austinite!) and invited a few of us to join her. The group consisted of Jordan, Maddy, Addison (another Austinite), and moi; I couldn't have asked for better travel companions!
I booked this trip after I'd accepted my new job in Utah, but before I actually left DC, because A- I've been wanting to go to Austin for foreverrrr, B- I was afraid I'd be experiencing DC withdrawals a month into my new life in Utah, and I wanted to make sure I had something to look forward to in case things weren't going so smoothly. Plus, honestly, I was worried I'd feel claustrophobic and landlocked. One of the BEST things about the East Coast is it's SO incredibly easy (and relatively cheap) to travel, whereas in Utah, you can drive for FIVE HOURS and still be in the same state. I'm going to sound super yuppie and spoiled, but I became accustomed to traveling at least once a month, either for work or for pleasure, and I definitely already miss it! Though, actually, between Arizona (a post for another day) and Texas, I've managed to maintain my one trip a month quota thus far! :)
OK, so the most important thing to know about this trip is we essentially ATE our way through the city of Austin, with a few activities squeezed in between meals. (Gotta work up an appetite somehow, right??)
We started our trip off right ... by eating at every breakfast taco place within a few miles of Jordan's house. Let the record show that the BEST of the tacos was The Democrat from Shaky's.
Next, we explored a bit of our Mormon heritage at scenic Mt. Bonnell. ;)
Aside from the amazing view of Austin and the water, Addison's hair in that last photo was a highlight. ;)
Then, we were off to Barton Springs!
But first, a quick pitstop with some Texas wildflowers! Little did I know at this point that this would be my only wildflower photo of the trip. *sniff*
OK, back to the story. Barton Springs is a set of, well, natural springs (ha) that has sort of been partially turned into a pool. The coolest part about this place was how perfectly clear the water was. As you all may know, I'm VERY much afraid of water, but it was just so pretty, even I ventured in! (Not to swim – let's not get crazy here – but just to say I at least went in the water.) Maddy lent moral support while Jordan and Addison were catching some rays (and some zzz's). :)
After a healthy lunch of Amy's Ice Cream, we went home to clean up and change in preparation for the most luxurious dining experience at Paul Qui's new restaurant, Qui! It was voted GQ's Most Outstanding Restaurant of 2014. Jordan's generous parents joined us – and then treated ALL of us to – this amaaaaayzing dining experience! Maddy and I ordered the vegetable option (I'm so glad I did, because several of the courses were seafood, and I don't particularly care for seafood. Mostly because of the smell... Have I mentioned here yet that I'm a very smell-oriented person? I once went out with someone whose cologne I didn't like; things did not work out.), and the others ordered the regular menu. We all just ended up sharing, but ALL of my courses were amazing! If you're ever in Austin and feel like spending $55-70 on dinner, try Qui!
After dinner, we killed some time at THE original Whole Foods, and thennnnnn we went to...
GOURDOUGH'S PUBLIC HOUSE!!
Of ALL the incredible places we ate during this trip, this one was my FAVORITE. I'm super picky with sweets, but the donuts here were to DIE for! I will DEFINITELY be returning to Austin, if only to eat the Glory Daze donut (+ vanilla ice cream) one more time.
And guys! This was JUST the first day!! I now realize I took WAY too many photos to share this entire trip in one post, soooo.... Stay tuned for Day 2 with these crazy kids probably later this week! :)