IT’S HERE. Our Texas trip recap! Can you tell from my absence in blogging last week that I was not only completely overwhelmed with post-vacation anxiety and work overload but also in complete and total denial that we were no longer there? Well, I was experiencing both. Big time.
We had the most amazing time. We fell in love with the state – more so than I think I could ever express in this blog post. So instead of trying, I wanted to just give you a recap of the favorite things we did so that if you make your way there at one point or another, you’ll have my reccommendations!
Recap: We thought it was a hybrid of Portland and the Bay Area but with Texas pride, of course. Ironic, isn’t it? My husband is from Portland and I’m from SF, even though both of us would say that we don’t identify with either’s stereotypical cultures. Regardless, think a mix of food trucks, good bars & food, start ups and hipsters.. but all with Texas pride and flair. Of course there is so much more to it than that, but we definitely saw similarities! We had the absolute best tour guides – dear family friends whom we had an absolute ball with! They showed us around and snapped our picture many a times which is honestly why I have the most photos from this portion of the trip! Here are the spots to check out:
Allens Boots. This place is boot heaven! The picture below may not look like a huge selection, but that’s only because it’s just ONE room dedicated to the brand Lucchese. It was heavenly. The smell of leather, the styles, the sweet cowboy salesmen… I could have walked out with 10 pairs! But alas… I picked out the pretty ones down to the right of that chair. I haven’t wanted to take them off since!
Elizabeth Street Cafe: I came here because it’s been recommended by other bloggers, but let’s be real… it’s because we all just want a picture with those cute turquoise shutters and pink door! The cuisine is Vietnamese with a French Bakery. Oh, Austin. Told ya it was a city of hipsters! We only grabbed drinks here (pictured is my Red Dragon Punch) and every detail was perfectly crafted, down to the cute matchboxes you could take with you. I will say, it was a bit too hip for our liking. It’s definitely not a spot to experience something true to Texas culture by any means (we wanted BBQ and Tex-Mex on the regular!), but I got my pictures so that’s a win, right?
Street Art & Murals: Austin is full of art! And the murals did not disappoint. It’s so fun to spot them around town and see others snap photos in front of them as well. The ‘I love you so much’ was obviously a must 🙂
Other spots to check out but not pictured…
Franklin BBQ: This was my husband Sam’s one request for the entire trip. Ladies, when you have a husband that easy going… YOU GET THE MAN HIS BBQ! It’s been rated top in all of Texas, and now we know why. The line for the food is ridiculous (3-5+ hours), but we realized it’s kinda a “thing”. Folks were playing cards, drinking beer, listening to music…all before 10 am. But guess what… it WAS delicious. And Sam was a happy man! Hot tip: if you’re planning on purchasing 5lbs or more of meat (we were, we’re animals) you can order a month in advance online so you can avoid the line!
Original Kendra Scott: I’m obsessed with Kendra Scott jewelry and I knew that she started it in Austin! So of course I was a total fan girl and needed to go to the original store! There wasn’t anything there that you can’t get in other boutiques or online, but to just know that is where the magic all began was all I needed to nerd out.
University of Texas: Hook ’em horns! I know Texans have their schools and stick to ’em, but y’all have to admit that the impressive campus is well worth a visit regardless of affiliation!
Magnolia Market: Chip and Joanna Gaines are the King and Queen of Waco. And rightfully so! What they’ve done with their Magnolia empire is so amazing to see and definitely worth the pit stop if you’re driving from Austin to Dallas/Ft Worth. It’s like Disneyland for Fixer Upper fans, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Recap: We love this city! So much to explore, do, see… I wish we had had a bit more time here but we made the most of what we did have!
Highland Park Village: One word to describe this part of Dallas? Dreamy. It feels and is so exclusive (think Rodeo Drive) but yet, has a surprisingly lovely laid back vibe (think friendly country club). I loved window shopping the boutiques and grabbing coffee with my lovely blogging friend Mackenzie at Royal Blue Grocery.
Mi Cocina: These are all around Texas, but we went to the one in Highland Park. It’s honestly my new favorite restaurant of all time. I’m not joking. The queso, the Mambo Taxi margarita……… I’m salivating as I type. If someone gave me a free flight tomorrow, I’d be on it to just go here.
Highland Park & University Park: Drive around the neighborhoods to see all the gorgeous homes! I could have snapped ALL of them. They’re all so charming, grand, and straight up gorgeous. Definite home eye candy and serious #housegoals.
More to see…
SMU: That campus. Oh my word. It’s stunning.
Downtown: We stayed in a high rise hotel downtown and it was so much fun to see the skyline from that perspective. Though we didn’t have much time in downtown Dallas, it was so fun to see all the unique buildings and hustle and bustle of the city.
Recap: Though I took the least amount of pictures here, it was our favorite city of the trip! There was just something about it that felt like home! A more laid-back feel than Dallas…. a combination of small town, cowboys, family friendly, good shopping, and sweet friends new and old. We went to church at Watermark, a church we’ve been podcasting from for a few years now (my dear childhood friend works there, too!). It was so wonderful to see how the campus is growing and to see the work the Lord is doing there! We also had lunch with my long lost southern sister, Katey, and her dear husband Paul. To say we loved our time with them was an understatement. We love them to the moon and back!
The Stockyards: this was the touristy of touristy stops (especially on the weekend!), but still so fun to see. If you only go to see the parade of Longhorns… I say it’s worth it. I love me some longhorns!!
Joe T. Garcia’s: Ok, so I know I said Mi Cocina is my new favorite… but the Joe T’s patio is my mostest favorite. It’s an old house with an out of this world outdoor dining patio. No real menu… just two options for dinner given to you by your waiter or waitress, and margaritas that are unreal delish. If we lived there, I guarantee you’d find us there at least once a week, if not more.
TCU: Go frogs! TCU holds a dear place in my heart as my mini-me friend Katie heads there in the fall! It was so fun to see the gorgeous campus and to be able to picture where she’ll be the next 4 years! Yay, Katie! So proud of you!!!
Shops at University Park Village: All of your shopping needs are here in the perfect little outdoor mall. What more could any Texas-visiting girl ask for?
More boutique recommendations but I couldn’t go because (much to Sam’s luck) they were closed on Sunday (which hello, I love…. Bless you, Texas), when we were there: Beehive, Hale House, Three …. All of which were recommended by friends and I will be sure to stop in when I’m back!
5 whole days just wasn’t enough! But as you can see, we made the most of it! And to answer the question that everyone seems to be asking us post-trip, “so, when are you moving?” the answer is…….. to be continued. It’s a different post for a different day full of layers and ultimately, processing and praying through God’s plan for us.
So until then… enjoy these recommendations and go book yourself a trip, y’all!