Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Kids. One Road Trip: The Top 10 Reasons I Loved Austin, TX

Ok, here we go. I am about to break down why I really and truly loved our time in Austin. While I'm not a person with much sentiment... I will aside my humorous ways  (well, I can only TRY not to be funny... did I mention I was voted Most Comical in Jr. High?) to create a legit list and highlight some of the city's characteristics that I loved...

I just ripped apart all of our luggage to find the notes I'd been talking all week for this post and I'm prit-tee bummed they've been lost. Birdie probably got a hold of them and ran them to the nearest lake or something. I actually think I left them at our last food stop in Austin, Home Slice Pizza. The only thing that makes this even somewhat bearable a thought is that somewhere in Austin a server is laughing hysterically at #8 and yelling, "WHAAT?" at a torn piece of paper. Been there, done that. And if they aren't laughing, I don't even want to know about that, they must be dead inside.

As we're on our way home now back to California I am going to take a break from the daily blogging (unless something incredible happens, like The Break Down- Part 2). I'm thinking it's just going to be the trip home... much less exciting than the trip to Austin. If you're just joining me on this ride across the US to Texas, you can find an entire series of blog posts titled: Two Kids. One Road Trip.

The Top 10 Things I Love About Austin, TX (by memory...)

1.) Joe's Coffee. This is going to sound like a backhanded compliment to Joe's but bear with me. JC- you're awesome, it doesn't take a genius to see how many people think this. Your employees are efficient, your product is crazy delish (Iced Turbo, will you just marry me already?) and you sell tacos (?!) and chocolate croissants- my two favorite items in life at one coffee stand. But hello, it's time to open up another flippin' location. Idea: other end of South Congress. There's room for growth here trust me, I'm a business woman... OK- total lie- but I just have a really good feeling that if people will wait in a 30-minute line every morning for a cup of Joe, another location might do... OK?

2.) No-Judgement Curfew for Small Kids. We had our kids out at 10:30 at night on South Congress on our first night in town (8:30ish our time) and no one gave us dirty looks. I even said to someone, "I know what you're thinking but we're on California time!" as Birdie spun in circles repeatedly after I asked her to "turn around" so I could fix her fro. The woman replied, "Girl, ya'll in Austin- no one cares bout that silly stuff!" Wow. Does anyone care that she is walking around barefoot because she refuses to keep her shoes on? OK, only me... I'll just judge myself then...

3.) That A Man in Texas Made a Replica of Mater. We kept hearing that there was a Mater Tow Truck from Texas and that he might be at the car show. I guess this guy is a legend. Well, he should be. I personally wanted to thank him for making my kids' day and for coming out to the cruise night so Cormac could get a look even before the actual car show. Stuff like this makes me remember imagination IS still alive and thriving in some adults...

4.) The Waitress/Waiter Friendliness Level. I am a waitress. A crazy friendly, pull-out-pics-of-the-kids kind of waitress. I may screw up your order a million times but I'm so damn sweet when I do it, it's impossible to hate me. So when I'm eating out, my standards are a little high when it comes to the friendliness level of a waitress/waiter. A question about the kids ages? Love it. Tell me how adorable they are and how your cousins kid has red hair- make it up- I don't even care! Double love it.

I never understand why servers don't "work their clients" more- I mean, you do realize a tip is in order (for any normal person) at the end, based on your service? Well, I guess Austin does! Every single one of our servers was crazy sweet (and we ate out 2 meals a day)- to the point where I was wondering if that server at El Mercado was psychic. She looked at me in all my frazzledness and said, "Margarita?" then brought it (quickly) along with extra crayons, extra coloring sheets, a booster, high chair and a smile saying, "I am one of 6 sib-lins, let's just get you cozy!" She was like an octopus with much-needed items coming out of every pocket, apron and tentacle imaginable. I refrained from a deep embrace with her... but can you say insta girl crush?!

Then there was the waiter at the Mexican place last night- he was literally wiping up (with a wet rag mind you, not a paper towel) my kids messy chips and salsa eating areas every 5 minutes before our food came. He may have had OCD come to think of it, but my goodness we were clean.

5.) The Way People Watch A Car Show Cruise Night. I will just let the images do the talking... These guys meant business. I have been to a lot of car cruises, but nothing comes close to this- I mean if that's not commitment, I don't know what is...

6.) That Everything Is Open Late. I love a town that can party late. We stumbled upon "First Thursdays" on our first night in town and got lucky that all of the shopping stayed open until at least 10 p.m. There's nothing like shopping when a lot of people are sleeping. I mean, the local carnival was open until midnight. Ah-mazing!
           (if you don't know what this image is about other than the late night carnival than you missed my post here)

7.) The Bigness of the Thrift Stores. The thrift shops are Costco sized warehouses. Every one I've been in. If I'm overwhelmed in a thrift shop, there's a problem. A very good problem. I'm also pretty sure the cashiers make up prices which never happens in CA. In CA they'll say- "Oh, no tag? Can't let you buy it. You can come back tomorrow and it'll be tagged." In TX they say, "2 dollars?! Looks more like 25 cents to me!?" Um yes, yes it does m'am.

8.) The Overheard Conversations. Two of the very best conversations I've pretty much ever heard we're while eavesdropping fair and square in Austin. The first was while I was waiting in the wagon with Birdie while she napped (for fear of waking the beast). A man said to his wife while walking by our car, "Now what the haail is a pesceterian? Some kinda Presbyterian??" I laughed out loud then pretended I was laughing at something on my phone. Being as though my husband is a pastor at a Presbyterian church and one of my besties is a pescaterian, I felt like I was really capable of shedding some light on the subject since his wife also had no clue. But I didn't want to come across as some arrogant Californian so I just let them wonder...

The other conversation was while walking home from The Family Thrift... I heard a man tell another man, "I have two of the biggest varicose veins you have ever seen! C'mon sit on down and lemme show ya." And then the men did just that: varicose vein watched. It took everything in me not to join them.

9.) The Fact That Everyone Says "Ya'll." Prior to coming here, I thought it was a like an older person thing. I have never been so wrong. The hipsters say it. The hippies say it. The cool musicians say it. The cowboys/girls say it. They ALL. SAY. IT. I love me a little continuity.

10.) A Fishing Texan and His Custom Boat Car. Similar to #3, these Texans know how to customize their cars and give the people what they want! I mean, who isn't going to jump up and down and fist pump at the sight of one of these?? Oh, just me huh?

                                                                       xo  Road Trip or Die xo


  1. As a born and raised Texas gal (Katy/Houston/New Braunfels, TX to be exact) I can say that your list of Austin lovin is spot on ;) We still do drive-ins, there's one ten minutes from my folks place. And yes, many people come with couch or recliner in the back of the pickup. And yes, my local resale shops do have a slidin scale on prices (I recently bought a huge 70's wood and velvet turtle pincushion that was marked $10 and the cashier laughed and said "How's a dollar sound?") And you mentioned a Family Thrift, we have one here in Houston and it's OVERWHELMINGLY huge and cheap and awesome and my husband hates when I go there.

    1. The girl who commented right above you is from New Braunfels... maybe she sent you? Anyway loved Austin and miss it dearly... could totally live there if my husband wasn't a surfer. I wear my Austin Rocks! tee way too often...


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