Why Texas for spring break? 1) We’ve never been to Austin, and 2) we wanted to meet up with my cousin stationed at Fort Hood.
For six days, we stayed at a 2-story Airbnb in Austin that reminded me of Muji. It was simple with wooden accent walls, concrete floors, wooden sliding bathroom doors, and bamboo curtain rods. Our first stop after landing was Terry Black’s BBQ. (The leftovers, warmed on a skillet, made for a great breakfast the following morning.) Afterwards, my mom and I checked out a thrift store called Lo-fi with lots of vintage jackets, windbreakers, and sweatshirts, while the sneakerheads (dad, brother, cousin) headed to Nice Kicks.
We heard that bats that fly out of a bridge in Austin at dusk, so naturally we went over to see what that was about. When we got to the area there were a ton of people waiting. When we’d hear noises or see a bird fly by, we’d pull out our phones all excited. When the bats finally came out thirty minutes later, I had already drained my battery from all the false alarms. I thought they were going to be huge bats with giant wings, but they turned out to be smaller, which I guess is a good thing.
We spent our 2nd morning on the Colorado River, which ran under the bat bridge. It was a good thing my mom and I shared a kayak because it was a team effort to actually get moving–we are not pros, but we survived. The rest of my family did waterbikes, a much better idea. For dinner we ate at El Chile near our Airbnb. It was lively. We were seated near a big party having a blast, laughing, and toasting to “familia!”
The following day, my brother had finished his graphic novel so he needed another one for the flight back, so we ended up at Bookpeople. To stay dry and out of the rain, we watched a movie at Alamo Drafthouse. Afterwards we continued thrifting (even though it bored my dad and brother). I didn’t get anything at I Luv Vintage cause most of it was pricey, but my mom got some needlepoint artwork at Antique Marketplace.
During our trip, we also spent an afternoon in Fort Hood which is about an hour away from Austin. We went to an open air museum with tanks, helicopters, and other vehicles, saw the barracks where my cousin stays, and dropped by the PX.
The rest of our time in Austin, we’d sleep in and start our day at lunch. One of those meals was at Elizabeth Street Cafe which had Vietnamese and Singaporean dishes. Later that day, we went to see the Contemporary Austin museum. We happened to go on a Tuesday which was apparently free admission (yay!). The art on display was by Garth Weiser. His paintings are abstract and layered, and kinda gives off this optical illusion feeling.
Another lunch was at Hillside Farmacy, which used to be a pharmacy in the 20s. It took almost an hour to get our food (so loooong!). After that, my brother kept asking to go mini-golfing, so we killed an hour playing 18 holes at Peter Pan Mini-Golf. It happened to be a sunny day so we were also prepared to go swimming. The original plan was to swim at Barton Springs (absolutely gorgeous), but it was closed since it had stormed and flooded the day before. We ended up at Deep Eddy Pool, a huge pool but so cold.
For our last dinner in town, my cousin picked a Peruvian place called Lima Criolla. It was my second time ever eating Peruvian food. The restaurant was run by all women which I loved (I could see all the women in the kitchen). Before my cousin joined the army, he used to take me and my brother out for dessert, usually boba, on special days when he’d pick us up from school. So like old times, we went dessert hopping, hitting up Mang8 for boba and shaved ice. The adults had Prohibition Creamery which serves ice cream with some alcohol.
All in all, we had a great time in Austin. We’re coming back for Barton Springs the next time we’re out there.