Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Celebration in Austin!

My good friend H is getting married this fall and so I drove her out to Austin this weekend to meet up with 8 of her other close friends for a bachelorette party weekend!  We both took Friday off of work and hit the road late morning to miss the usual weekend traffic.  We arrived in the Austin area around 1 and picked up one of the bridesmaids from the airport before heading over to Hopdoddy's for a fantastic burger lunch (delicious burgers!!!)  We dropped our stuff off at our house rental for the weekend and then made another airport run followed by an ever so important liquor store stop.  I picked up some Maurin Quina, a french cherry, almond, and quinine liqueur that went out of production in 1906 and has only just recently started up production again.  It is famous for the green devil painting that graces its label.  I definitely didn't need it, but I'm excited to try making some new and unique cocktails!  We spent the rest of the evening at the rental house waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive, eating delicious tex mex (stuffed avocado's from Trudy's - yum!), and sipping on wine and margaritas.
The following morning I woke up a bit early and started preparing breakfast for all of the other girls.  The menu consisted of scrambled eggs (and egg whites), Trader Joe's almond croissants, and a huge fruit salad.  We all spent the morning nibbling on breakfast and getting ready (10 girls and only 2 bathrooms...) and then a mini bus came to pick us up at 11:30 to take us on our day long outing.  We started off at Salt Lick Barbecue for lunch!  It's definitely a classic Austin stop and they have some fantastic barbecue and sides.  We ordered our lunch family style and between all of us managed to polish off 3.5 lbs of meat, 2 quarts of sides, and 3 rather large deserts!  After lunch we went on a wine tour in the Austin hill country.  We made 2 stops and tasted a multitude of wines.  On the way back we played Cads About Matrimony, a wedding themed version of Cards Against Humanity that had us all cracking up!  After a quick nap and a change of clothes, we started our evening at Barlata, a tapas restaurant right around the corner from our rental house that had an extensive preset menu filled with seafood (garlic shrimp, mussels, and ceviche) as well as a bevy of other delicious dishes (sausage, salad, and lamb) followed by a 2nd course (I had the tuna served on warm lentil salad with avocado.  I never would have paired it myself, but it was quite tasty) and then deserts which unfortunately were all eggy-licious.  It's ok, I was stuffed on all of the wonderful dishes from the first 2 courses!  After dinner we were all a little exhausted from our long day of eating and wine tasting so we headed back to the rental for more Cads About Matrimony (and some more wine too....).
Sunday we loaded up my car with everyone's luggage as we had to clear out of the rental by 10:30 am and then we went out for brunch at another place near our rental (we were very centrally located!) called Olivia, which had huge beautiful windows that I was obsessed with and a varied and tasty brunch menu.  After brunch people gradually started drifting off for their trips home.  Eight of us made our way to the Austin Hot Sauce Festival, which was definitely fun, spicy, and unique.  But it was also about 100 degrees outside and we were all just baking in the sun and sweating profusely the entire time.  We only made it for about an hour before we had to beeline for the airconditioned car.  A few more people headed out and the six of us remaining went on a little tour of Austin that I tried to somewhat direct.  We saw the capital building, the bars on sixth street, the topless protesters on the corner of 6th and Congress Ave who just wanted women to have the same rights to bare nipples that men get.....  it was quite the tour!  We ended on South Congress Ave, which is my favorite quirky area of town for some antique shopping, ice cream, and iconic Austin imagery.    At this point the last of the ladies had to leave to catch their flight and the bride to be and I drove back to Houston.

All of the gals I got to meet are intelligent and creative career and scholastic achievement minded women which made for amazing conversation all weekend.  And thanks to a total of 5 hours spent in the car, I got to bond even more with the bride (we were both talking for the entire trip there and back!).  Add that to fun activities, quirky Texas-style party favors, and delicious food and drink and it made for a truly delightful weekend!

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