Austin with My Gals

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I am just returning on a flight back from Austin TX.  48 hours in Austin with 2 of my best gals made for a fantastic weekend.  We haven’t seen each other in 2 years but we  “talk” via group email nearly everyday so when we see each other we plunge right back into our old groove.

There is something so mentally cleansing about spending a weekend with “old” friends.  After four years of living together in college, we know even the most random details about each other. It’s 2 days of mutual therapy and endless laughter.

We are all juggling, raising families, working, being wives, working out, getting involved, staying at home, staying smart, and trying to look darn good while doing all of this.   We need a couple of days to get away to quiet the endless chatter in our brains and recharge our batteries.  At any moment in our weekend, it can be guaranteed we have a cocktail in our hand, whether sitting by the pool, sitting in the lounge, sitting in a restaurant, sitting in a steam room (ok, no cocktails in the steam room), and one of us relaying a recent drama, a recent NPR story, a retelling of a recent movie, a crazy work story, a frustrating husband story, a hilarious kid story, or any combination of the above.  Talk about unloading.

Our convos may not be earth shattering but it’s like having a confidential panel discuss, appreciate, validate, and advise without providing all the solutions.  I love that about girlfriends – we offer advice without it sounding like we just solved all problems.  Oh of course, we capped off Saturday night with a midnight yoga session, probably not the most elegant sight.

Not only was the weekend an amazing time spent with 2 amazing women who are doing amazing things, but as I return home, I feel so refreshed and ready to get back to my routine.  Today (this is the day after I started writing this entry),  the kids and I made Halloween crafts and went for a fantastic fall hike, all done enthusiastically by all parties.   They were psyched to see me – a couple of days without mom definitely made the heart grow fonder – and probably needed the break just as much I did.

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On another note, Austin is a great spot for a girl’s weekend.  We could all fly direct (a “middle” ground for CA, CO, & MA).  It’s small so can be easily explored in 2 days and has a fun and bizarre mix of cowboys, college students, and hipsters.  Here are my recommendations.  Keep in mind I was only there for a weekend, so I only know what I know (that’s very yoga’y).

  1. 6th Street: A crazy nightlife scene, think Bourbon Street but smaller.  A long corridor of bars, the street closes to cars in the evening and fills up with mass amounts of college students.
  2. Parkside: A nice respite from 6th Street, this restaurant is definitely more civilized than its neighboring establishments.
  3. South Congress Avenue (SoCo): If you are looking for something a bit more mellow than 6th St, this strip has a wide array of restaurants and eclectic shops; including my favorite, Heritage Boots – a purveyor of handmade cowboy boots.
  4. Perla’s:  A great al fresco dining spot to end an afternoon of shopping along South Congress Avenue.
  5. Bats – Austin is super into their bats.  I believe we were able to catch the tail end of bat season before they migrate out with their pups, which makes the bats seem rather adorable.
  6. Festivals – Austin seems to always have a festival going on at any given time.  This past weekend was ACL (Austin City Limits) a massive music fest, and of course there’s SXSW (South by Southwest), the major film/music fest with a variety festivals in between.