A Visit With Old Friends - Austin, TX
You know those friends that you've had so long they've become part of your family? Well that's the case with my dear friends Kelsey and Meredith.
Despite not having seen them for two years, the minute we were back together it was like no time had passed.
Probably the only good thing about friends moving far away is getting the chance to see a new place when you visit them. The girls moved to Austin, Texas a few years ago, and both currently attend Texas State University. Eager to soak up some of the last of summer's heat, I jumped on a plane to explore the Austin area.
This is the Colorado River that snakes through before turning into Lake Austin. These stunning views are from the top of Mount Bonnell. Downtown Austin can be seen from the top too! Austin itself is a much smaller city than I imagined, so it was quick and easy to get to every neighborhood I wanted to see.
Austin is home to some of the best food in the country, so we kicked things off with some yummy barbecue at Shady Grove Restaurant. A dinner setting just doesn't get better than this!
Reunited after two years!
The next morning we hit the road to visit Texas State down in San Marcos. This is the Pennybacker Bridge, also called the 360 Bridge, that we cross while driving on the "Capital of Texas Highway".
Hello Texas State!
This is the Old Main Building built in 1903 as the university's first academic hall.
Hofstra friends, could you imagine going to school here with mild weather year round and no snow?!
And some Texas-sized margaritas to end a a fun day of exploring and tubing! (Sorry for no pics of the tubing adventure. Couldn't risk dropping my camera in the water. Making a mental reminder to invest in a waterproof camera!)
Having come from the chilly DC region, I was determined to spend as much time as possible outdoors! My tour guides complied by taking me to the Hamilton Pool Preserve.
It's just a short hike down to a hidden little swimming spot and waterfall.
This was all created when the top of an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago.
Next stop on my tour of Austin was South Congress Avenue. This is a hip street that leads into downtown Austin, lined with funky shops, restaurants, and food trucks.
This is Allens Boots! Where you can find just about any color and style of cowboy boots you could imagine.
The aisles are covered with these leather babies, and it seems to go on forever.
You just can't leave Austin without posing for a photo here!
We were in need of a jolt of caffeine before moving onto our next adventure.
This is a place where artists and amateurs can come and practice their graffiti skills.
Naturally this backdrop gave us ample opportunity to explore and goof around.
Check out this stunning view of Austin from the top!
Shooting our newest album cover ;)
We did some more sightseeing on my last morning in Austin before catching my afternoon flight back east.
This beauty is Lake Travis! This is one of the clearest lakes in Texas, and provides much of the water supply to the people of Austin.
And this beauty is Meredith!
Endless thanks to my wonderful friends for showing me around their home in Texas.
Quirky, fun, and beautiful Austin, I am in love! And I cannot wait to visit again!
The past couple months have been lonely and frustrating for me. But I am extremely thankful to have a great job that lets me take breaks to travel the world. This time spent in Austin with friends was the refuel I needed. I guess I'm always so eager to jet off to the next location because there will either be new friends or old friends, but always a new adventure waiting for me.
There's this really beautiful Sanskrit term called "samsara". It means letting go from negative thoughts and keeping things continuously flowing through you, while working against ego. It's sort of like a constant renewal of the mind. While I'm certainly no expert, I think this is a gentle theme that could be refreshing to think about when the world has got you down.
Next month I finally have the chance to visit with friends in Paris! I'll also be returning to my old stomping grounds in London for a bit. So for all of my readers out there, I cannot wait to continue sharing my travel journal with you.