Hello friends, Happy April! I hope Spring has been leaving you feeling refreshed and inspired.
Last week, I returned home from a little vacation, and although I don't feel super rested from the trip (there were some mishaps), I did leave feeling inspired. Whenever I travel, I start to dream about what could be. I think about were my career could eventually take me, where I could market my artwork, where I could flourish, basically. This happened in Michigan, and it happened again in Texas. But there's so many places I haven't yet seen! So regardless of where life takes me, Texas for sure has a special place in my heart.
This was actually our second trip to Texas. My friend Megan and I visited last September and spent time in San Antonio and Austin. I was so drawn to Austin that I asked Megan if she'd like to go back, and fortunately she said yes. What drew me in was the sense of community. Anywhere I turned, I felt like I could make a friend. There's just something so special to that, that I don't feel like I experience as much in Ohio.
So for today's blog post, I figured I'd do a more casual type of post and mostly just share some photos I took during the trip, and giving a small summary of the stay. I hope you enjoy!
I feel like I was initially most excited to stay here, this time. But after a hotel mishap in the very beginning, I was sleep deprived for the majority of our stay here. Which sucked, by the way. It hurt my soul to be in a place that felt so special to me and to feel like I couldn't fully enjoy it since I was so damn tired. Alas, the weather was beautiful, so we felt fresh enough to revisit my favorite place, Meanwhile Brewing. It's such a comfy brewery where I can just sit outside, scope out food trucks, and coo at the array of different dogs.
In the evenings we drove around downtown and revisited a favorite from last trip, Speakeasy. I think they're charging money for most of the games now, which is a bit sad, but Megan and I annihilated checkers for the price of $0, so that's a win. The rooftop lounge is still breathtaking to visit, although there was a guy who tried freestyle rapping at me when I was enjoying the scenery. I'm not kidding. He had so much to say. We did try to stop at Congress Park Bridge to see the bats, but after 45 minutes and no bats, we shrugged at each other and said, "Hey, better luck next time methinks."
I think my favorite moment from being in Austin was stopping in Pease Park and running a 5k. I told Megan before the trip that I wanted to keep up my running streak (check out my previous blog post to learn about that one), and the photos and reviews of Pease Park really sold me on it. It was humid but not too hot, just warm enough for the fresh blooms to scent the trail. That added an extra special boost of energy to my run, which was perfect for the steep inclines I tackled here and there. I felt revitalized after my run, especially after the hotel mishaps I was still tired from.
We did also visit the Capitol building, but my altocelarophobia made it hard to enjoy. It made me feel bad, since Megan enjoys history more than me and seemed really intrigued by it all, but I felt physically weak in the knees and thought I was going to faint. I think this was also the day I visited a pal of mine for lunch at Torchy's. Not too shab! Thanks for buying, Brad!
I had been making references to Waco here and there throughout the drive, but it wasn't until we were on our way to Fort Worth that she finally asked me who the hell Chip and Joanna Gaines were. Meg! I'm trying to live out my HGTV fantasy--allow me to catch you up!
After going on and on about their show, their Target drop (how there was a literal line at the door--trust me, I was working at Target at the time of the drop), and how Joanna knows a thing or two about both cooking interior decorating, we pulled up to Magnolia Table and enjoyed a quick lunch. The Gaines' made an absolute empire in this town, holy smokes.
Fort Worth, TX
What took us to Fort Worth? Well, Drake Milligan did. At Billy Bob's Texas, the world's largest honky tonk.
Megan and I started fawning over Drake since the last trip we took to Texas, since she had one of his songs on our playlist. I wasn't initially invested, but after seeing him perform live in Oxford last fall, I was all in. His band is absolutely electric. I can definitely overlook the cheesy feeling I have toward country songs and watch Drake perform over and over again. We've now seen three of his live performances in total.
We spent that next afternoon checking out the stockyards, trekking downtown and grabbing burritos. Lots of steps that day, but hey, we love to keep moving.
Final stop, Dallas. We neglected to spend much time in Dallas the last time we were down.
We didn't have many goals for this city. I actually reached out to the one and only Marc Musso and asked if he had recommendations of things to do, since he's from the area. He recommended the Dallas Arboretum, and without any hesitation, Megan and I were on our way. There were lots of plants to behold, so I was all about strolling through it. Thanks for the rec, Marc!
We also spent a good chunk of our final day checking out the vendors at the Dallas Farmer's Market. I bought lots of stickers (I feel like that's been the unspoken souvenir that I've purchased from every city), and were fortunate enough to visit a dear friend of mine for those final days on vacation. Our time in Dallas was a lot more chillaxed; we even had Chuy's as our final meal (gotta have TexMex in Texas...although where the hell was the creamy jalapeño dip?). I even left with a free hat, which makes me look like an infant, but I'll wear it with pride.
Texas, you did me proud. I might not agree with your general politics, but I love your trails, your plants, and your pool tables. That's all I have to say about that.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this more casual format for this month. I wanted to mentally treat all month like I'm on vacation, and I feel like I kept it super chillaxed with this one. Oh, to be in Pease Park again. The dream.