Monday, September 20, 2010


Goodness, can you believe it is almost the end of the September? I sure can't! Let me catch you up on what I've been up too...

I spent Labor Day weekend in Austin , TX visiting my good friend from college, Ellie!

Remember this post when I mentioned I was planning on visiting her sometime soon? Well, shortly after that visit, I booked my plane ticket! I thought what better weekend then a 3 day weekend which I turned in to a 4 day weekend by taking Friday off of work to go visit Ellie and see Austin . I was lucky enough to find a reasonably priced airline ticket to fly to Austin out of Columbia . For those of you who aren’t very familiar with Columbia , it is the Capital of SC however, we have struggled attracting airlines to Columbia . Which means it’s usually very costly and takes lots of stops to get to your final destination. Well thankfully that was not the case when flying to Austin because the drive to Charlotte is very boring.

Back to my wonderful trip! I arrived in Austin Friday afternoon, Ellie picked me up at the airport after work and we headed to meet some of her friends for happy hour at Dogwood. The bar had a great a great atmosphere and it was nice to meet her friends. We had dinner reservations down the street at a Mexican restaurant, Z'Tejas. We got to eat outside and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the restaurant while sipping on some strong margaritas and delicious corn bread and of course our main entrée. I was starving, what else is new, so I devoured my entire dinner and it was tasty! After dinner we enjoyed one more very strong cocktail before heading home. You can say it, we’re lame, but really Ellie had just started a new job earlier that week and we were exhausted. By midnight we were sound asleep!

Saturday morning we slept in just for a little bit and then woke up and headed right out to start our day. Our first stop was to an amazing coffee shop not far from Ellie’s house called Caffe Medici. I told Ellie to order me whatever she was having (as I did with many of the places she took me in Austin) and can I tell you this iced coffee was amazing. In all seriousness it was probably the best I’ve ever had.

We passed a farmer’s market on our way to brunch so of course we had to stop. Experiencing the farmer’s market made me miss living in Florence , Italy . Ellie and I studied abroad in Florence for a semester in college and loved every second of it. I would do anything to go back, I know Ellie would too! After touring the market, we were starving, so we headed right for Taverna for $1 Mimosas. Don’t judge, I’m on vacation. I ordered Belgium waffles with fresh fruit, they hit the spot and the raspberries, blueberries, were so fresh and sweet, they just melted in my mouth.

After brunch we went to Whole Foods, did you know that Whole Foods corporate office is in Austin, TX . Let me just tell you this is unlike any Whole Foods I’ve ever been to and of course made me wish even more then I already do that they would open one in Columbia. The whole purpose of stopping by Whole Foods was not to look around even though we did, but to pick up some stuff to take to a friends house who was having a get together to celebrate recently being single and to watch the UT football game of course. Although it was a little overwhelming being in a house full of people you don’t know, I had so much fun talking to friends of Ellie’s and experiencing life in Austin.

We left before the game was over and before the party really got started because we had plans with Ellie’s roommate, Meg to celebrate her birthday. Meg spent her birthday sky diving with her friend Holly; they both survived of course and had an incredible experience which they say they would do again! We went to Perla’s for dinner, absolutely delicious. Ellie and I shared the Ahi Tuna which was unbelievably good. The atmosphere at Perla’s was very distinguished. After dinner we went to a bar down the street and sat at a table outside. We all enjoyed one another’s company while celebrating the last hours of Meg’s birthday.

Sunday morning we woke up earlier and went for a walk around the lake. It was so neat to see everyone out exercising with their dogs. That is one thing I noticed about Austin , it seems to be a very dog friendly city, which I of course thought was neat! After our morning workout, Ellie took me to Torchy’s Tacos an eatery in a trailer park (not a real trailer park, a trailer park full of eateries). Torchy’s is known for their tacos and of course did not disappoint. As I was eating all this amazing Mexican food all I could think about was Thomas and how he would be in heaven. To say Thomas loves Mexican food is an understatement!

After lunch we went to went in and out of the shops along South Congress Street or SoCo as the locals call it. Darling shops with so many neat things, we found Ellie two purses and two pairs of shoes and I didn’t spend a dime!

How crazy are their street lights? I've never seen any thing like them before!

How cool is this cupcake shop?

On our way home I asked Ellie if we could go to Anthropologie, one of my favorite stores, but unfortunately they don’t have a store in Columbia , so whenever I go out of town I always try and find one. Our afternoon of shopping wore us out, so we headed home and relaxed for a little before we got ready for my last night in Austin, tear.

Ellie made reservations at Justine’s a fabulous restaurant on the East side of Austin . The restaurant was so quaint and charming; I fell in love the minute we pulled up. We shared a salad and an entrée of scallops for dinner, so we could order dessert. The chocolate pear tart, or whatever it was called because I just made that up, was absolutely divine. I still wanted more after the last bite, isn’t that always the case? It is for me at least. After dinner met up with some of Ellie’s tennis friends at a fairly new bar called Clive’s, yet again great atmosphere and we were able to enjoy sitting outside. I thought it was time to head home but Ellie had a different idea. She told me we had to stop at some wild and crazy bar (that’s my description) because it was packed in everyone in there seemed wasted, but we grabbed one drink each, made a couple rounds around the place and then left. That was an Austin experience in itself!

Before I left on Monday afternoon Ellie took me to Walton’s, Sandra Bullock’s lunch restaurant. Can we talk about how darling this place is? Inside was like a breath of fresh air. It was a completely different feel then the rest of Austin , so much so it reminded me a lot of fabulous lunch spots in Columbia or Charleston . Lunch was absolutely delicious and Ellie surprised us with two amazing desserts!

My long weekend in Austin was unbelievable, I had so much fun with Ellie as I always do! I hope to plan another trip to see her again soon, may be this time we will meet in Seattle, Idaho, San Fran? The possibilities are endless!

If you are reading this Ellie thanks for making my Austin experience so special! xoxo

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