Day 1 in Austin:
My friend Marlaine and I had to get up at 5 AM to make it to the airport. Everything went so smoothly, even with the longer than usual TSA lines. But the lines went by faster than we thought! One bag check, Starbucks drink and gate change later, we boarded our flight and landed an hour early in Austin. I was so relieved to be coming from a polar vortex and to feel what actual nice late Spring weather felt like when we were in search of our Lyft pick-up location. Along the way I said my goodbyes to the huge bush of cacti growing by a parking garage that I immediately fell in love with and just had to snap a pic of, even after seeing hundreds more like it over the span of my trip.
After getting driven from the airport to the apartment of my cousins, where we were staying, my cousin Myra took Marlaine and I shopping. We were all picked up again later that night by my Uncle and Auntie for my other cousin Jordan’s basketball game. The night ended with my family and friend talking and laughing over In-N-Out burgers and fries, which I haven’t had in YEARS.
Day 2 in Austin:
Despite the misty rain that came through, the havoc it wreaked on my hair and how it lasted throughout the day, my cousins and their friend Nat took Marlaine and I to some amazing Austin gems. The light rain was seriously better than the below 0 temps of the Midwest. Our city stops included Zilker Botanical Garden and the Baylor Street Art Wall.
Day 3 in Austin:
For church in the morning, Myra, her friends, Marlaine and I checked out a new place called The Well that was tucked into an older neighborhood. After service we headed out to have a mini brunch around 1 PM at Bird Bird Biscuit, one of the places I actually had on my Austin possibly to-do-list. Their biscuit and egg sandwiches have nothing on the ones from McDonald’s. NOTHING. I had the Queen Break Sandwich, which I definitely recommend, especially for anyone who likes some mild spice. By the time we finished our brunch, the sun had come out and clear blue skies peaked through the clouds just in time for our visit to Mt. Bonnell and Mayfield Park! The steep hike up Bonnell was so worth it: the view of the Colorado river lined with green, leafy trees is a definite must-see. So is the diversity of the peacocks perched on the trees of Mayfield Park. Glittering lights of the cityscape of Austin was my end-of-the-night view.
Day 4 in Austin:
Marlaine and my cousins tried out a new coffee shop for breakfast for a quick snack, and then we stopped by a huge Asian marketplace that had super cute gift shops inside. Across the street from the market and shops, there were cafes that served Asian desserts and bubble tea drinks which we shared between ourselves. My weekend vacation to Austin ended with my cousins dropping Marlaine and I off at the airport and with goodbye hugs from them. I couldn’t have asked for a better first time Austin visit.