Thursday, June 10, 2010

Austin 2010

Not many people can say that they still keep in touch with their friends from high school. Well, I not only keep in touch with my friends from high school, I keep in touch with my friends from middle school...wait back it up one more, I keep in touch with my friends from elementary school! And one of those friendships even backdates to when we were just two years old! There are nine of us who still keep in touch...about 5 of us became friends in elementary school...then we picked up the others in middle school. I remember people saying that when we went off to high school, we would split apart and make new friends. But, we stayed together. Now, eight years after high school, we are all still great friends!

Because we all haven't been together in three years, about nine months ago we started talking about a reunion trip. I clearly remember the night the conversation started - four of us were sitting in a wine bar in SF, thinking up locations. We considered a cruise, Mexico, Arizona, Vegas...but then I suggested Austin. I know...random. I had heard that Austin is a super fun city (plus, it's on my 30 Things) and since none of us had ever been there, we decided to run with it.

Well, four months later we bought our plane tickets and this past weekend we reunited in Austin! Eight out of the nine were able to come (our friend Sarah who is in the Navy and stationed in Hawaii couldn't make it). The trip landed at a great time, too. (Dr.) Kirsten was not only celebrating her 26th birthday, but also her graduation from Georgetown Medical School (top of her class)!

So, what was my first impression of Austin? HOT! And HUMID! Oh my gosh - I remember walking out of the airport, gasping for air. I could not breathe. It was in the high 90's with probably 90% humidity. (And my boyfriend wants to live in Texas - ha!) After dropping our luggage off at the hotel, we bolted to a restaurant down the street and cooled ourselves down with cold beverages and misting fans! We then checked out 6th Street...which we would soon discover is a whole different place once nighttime hits!


Sixth Street is the main downtown strip of Austin, full of bars and restaurants. And let me tell you, it comes alive at night. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before - us girls walking down the streets and guys chasing us to come to their bar, with the promise of a free round of drinks for all of us. I must say this was exciting at first, but when it was going on all night long, it definitely lost its thrill. Plus, bar hopping is not my scene. Nonetheless, it was fun to experience the 6th Street scene.

Two free bottles of campaign - set up in the window...

Saturday morning was spent tanning at the pool. We then attempted to walk to Lake Austin. Our hotel front desk told us it would be about a 25 minute walk. Well, take the heat and the humidity, and combine it with...not a 25 minute walk...but rather, a 3 mile walk, and let's just say we didn't make it. We stopped after about half a mile, got lunch, and visited Sandra Bullock's bakery. We then attempted the walk again, and made it another half mile before we quit and called a cab.

Gave up on the walk and stopped for lunch...
Walton's - Sandra Bullock's bakery

As we were sitting on the street corner waiting for our cab, a guy walked by and asked if we were okay. We said we were just waiting for our cab. As he walked away, Kirsten recognized him and asked him if he was an actor...on HBO's "The Wire." He confirmed that he was, and then Kirsten realized that he is the current quarterback on the show "Friday Night Lights." So, of course we had to get a picture with him! (I would have been more star struck if I knew who he was, but I didnt...). As we were taking the picture, our cab pulls up and then leaves without us. Our new friend Mike (Michael B. Jordan) then offers to give us a ride (in what turns out to be his sweet car!).

Just waiting for our cab...

Oh, look who walks by...

And, you need ride - I'll drive you in my sweet ride

Is this really happening?!

After arriving at Lake Austin with our famous chauffeur, we hung out at The Hula Hut and then wandered down to Mozart's Coffee House! This was one of my favorite places in Austin. My friend Julie who went to University of Texas had told me about Mozart's, so I'm so glad I got to experience it. I mean, a coffee shop on the lake! What more could you ask for?! We then headed over to UT to explore the campus, which was beautiful.
Mozart's Coffee Shop - on Lake Austin

Go Longhorns!

Saturday night was much mellower and spent at a really cool two-story bar called Union Park. They have a huge patio up top, and with 98 degree days, nights in Austin are gorgeous. We had such a great time hanging out on the patio and chatting!

In our buggy...

My trip ended after a short 48 hours in Austin, but I sure was ready to get out of the heat and humidity. It was so fun to reconnect with all my high, elementary school...friends. We are all at such fun places in life - finishing grad school...starting jobs...getting married (or engaged), so I loved catching up with everyone! We are already planning "(Insert new fun city) 2012".

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