My Post-Grad Texas Vacation
It has been a whirlwind of a couple weeks. After the craziness of graduation was over, I stuffed all my belongings into my car and drove back to Charlotte. I haven't even had the chance to properly unpack everything because a day after returning home my mom, dad, and I were headed to the airport to fly to San Antonio. My brother's college golf team made their regional tournament and ironically the location of the course was in Texas. It was almost too perfect of an opportunity to get away, watch some golf, and go see my future home!
When we arrived in San Antonio, we rented a car and drove straight to Austin. The day was a giant blur. We took a super fast tour of the city, scoped out the area I'll be living in, strolled around my future apartment complex, and I even met the people I'll be working with.
Needless to say, I was exhausted after all of it. My parents and I decided that it was definitely time for happy hour and we headed to the coolest place ever, Top Golf.
The place is a fusion of a driving range and a bar. You get your own personal bay with full service food/drinks and pay by the hour for golf. The golf balls have a chip inside of them so a computer can keep score of how far you hit it and there are also several game variations you can play. I didn't participate too much in the golf part, but it was fun to sit back and relax with a local brew after such a tiring, overwhelming day. It must be a really popular destination because it was jam-packed as early as 5! After a couple hours at Top Golf, we grabbed a quick dinner in the area and got back on the road to San Antonio.
We were up bright and early the next 3 mornings. The country club where the tournament was held is about 20 minutes outside of the city in the middle-of-nowhere Texas countryside and was not too shabby of a place to walk around for several days. In between the rounds, my parents and I ventured around San Antonio, saw the Alamo, explored the famous River Walk, ate fabulous Tex-Mex, and even got to try Texas style BBQ. (Side note: Carolina BBQ trumps all. Maybe I'm just biased.)
When the tournament was over, my brother and his team headed back to Charleston, but my parents and I stayed around for another 24 hours that were dedicated to exploring Austin! I was so excited Sunday morning. We woke up early, grabbed some much needed Starbucks and drove 80 miles north to the capital city.
Long story short, Austin. Is. Awesome.
We started the day cruising around the west side of the city. It's a lush, rolling area of town with beautiful hill-top and riverside mansions. We found a staircase that led up to the top of a lookout which provided breathtaking views of the hill country dwellings and a full skyline of the city.
After sight-seeing, we made our way downtown and walked along the famous 6th Street. It's blocks and blocks of bars and restaurants that UT students love to take over when school is in session. I found a casual, upper deck restaurant that I demanded we ate at because I was starving at this point. One thing I learned on this trip is that Austinites LOVE their brunch. We were served a broad selection of classic brunch items and our bottomless mimosas were topped off every few minutes. What's not to love about that local custom?
With our stomachs stuffed to the brim, we walked off the meal and explored more of the city. Austin is located along the Colorado River which is a popular way to cool off in the Texas summer heat. In the water were so many people paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing. It's such an active city full of running trails and water recreations. I have to admit, I wanted to jump in and join them!
Our final stop of the trip was what I was most excited about, Rainey Street! (How appropriate, right?) It's a block-long street of old, restored bungalows made bars/restaurants! The relaxed vibe was the perfect end to a fun-filled day. We chose to eat at Bangers, which has an indoor bar and a huge picnic-table-lined backyard with a stage for live music and charming strings of lights hanging overhead. The beer was good, the music was awesome, but the food was even better.
After Bangers, we drove back to San Antonio to catch our early morning flight back to Charlotte.
Texas, you treated me well. I'm so thankful I was able to explore my soon-to-be home before moving out there and I am even more excited than I was before.
See you again soon, Lone Star State!