Austin, Texas

It’s so easy to fall in love with Austin.

I did for the first time a little over two years ago on my first visit there to see my dear, dear friend, Han. The city reminds me so much of her- the laid back nature, the casual approach to everything, and the ease that makes it nearly impossible to imagine leaving.

So here are some of the things I loved most this time around in Austin.

Kayaking on Towne Lake

After a long stretch of driving, we pulled up to Rowing Dock on Towne Lake. Teams had been drafted and we slid into our double kayaks, each adopting our own style of kayaking. Sidnee and I drifted, searching for turtles and houses tucked into the sides of the lake. Grant, Ruby, and Sarah were in and out of a competitive races for most of our time. There was jazz playing at the dock, helpful lockers for shoes, and an easy check in process. We spent about an hour, which was the perfect amount of time to work up an appetite for the food trucks just a few blocks away.

Reading in Zilker Park

With some time before our house would be ready, we drove to ZIlker Park for a bit. Zilker was one of my favorite memories from my last visit, so I was excited to be able to show everyone it in all its goodness. We laid out our towels, opened our Didion, and lasted about five minutes before Ruby insisted we move to the shade. People (or specifically, dog) watching here is great and I can imagine packing a picnic for an afternoon on the lawn.

Vintage Shopping

When traveling, vintage shopping is my idea of the best afternoon. It’s a good way to see parts of the city you might miss otherwise, there are interesting (weird might be more honest) people, and of course, you have no idea what you might find. Ruby and I really loved Room Service Vintage and Ermine Vintage. I found the perfect navy shirt with a confusing message in a really good font and Ruby picked up matches in a little tin. We wrapped up the afternoon with Ruby’s first ever In-N-Out experience. Highly recommend.

Bonus favorite: Getting to experience it all with Ruby. She's a part of the Veurink family now, officially. Think matching t shirt, nicknames, and car ride karaoke official. 

Gourdough's and Tacodeli

All the food we had in Austin was amazing. There were so many recommendations (thanks Han) and places we wanted to try, it felt like there weren’t enough meals in a day. Tacodeli was the perfect pre-hike/Outdoor Voices run fuel. I’ve yet to have a bad taco experience in Texas, but this was really the best. Me asking to stop at Gourdough’s every night was probably the most annoying part of the trip, but my pestering paid off on the last night of our stay. After too much chips and salsa, we walked from South Congress to the nearest Gourdough’s location. There’s no way to begin to describe these donuts, coming from a true lover of the cuisine. So book a flight to Austin and get back to me. But trust me, eat a light dinner before indulging.

Until next time, ATX.