A few weeks ago Clayton and I ventured to Austin, Texas to see my dear friend Kaylee Devine. And attend a wedding, of course! Which was beyond epic – big and loud, love filled the room and throughout the ceremony and reception, traditions from the far north, deep south and even a little Wisconsin quirk were present. But more on that later.
We arrived to Austin late Thursday night and were greeted by Kaylee and her sister, Madisyn who quickly filled us in on the Airbnb. There was a deck and upper deck off the roof, looking over the entire neighborhood. There was a trapeze school on the other side of the back alleyway. And no one had hopped the fence to test their skills. Yet.
The next morning we attempted to grab breakfast at Texas French Bread and missed the cut-off by 2 minutes. I would almost always prefer lunch food, even in the morning, and everyone else was starving so we grabbed some sandwiches and set off to explore. On our way to downtown Austin, we detoured through the University of Texas in hopes of seeing the stadium. The stadium has been in operation for over 90 years and it’s largest crowd was 101,851 people in 2012 – it’s a monster. Clayton stayed to wait for the next stadium tour while Kaylee, Ashley and I ventured downtown and I think it may have been the highlight of his trip.
Shortly after we arrived downtown we met up with the rest of the Alaskans in town for the wedding and were thrust into an aggressive “street art” tour. Our guide, Hailey, was on a mission to see as many of the famed Austin murals as possible and with her fierce determination, expert navigation and mostly her sense of humor, we accomplished that goal.
To celebrate, we headed over to Rainey Street for some day-drinking. Rainey Street is a street of historic homes that have been renovated into bars and restaurants and features anything from recycled shipping containers stacked around a courtyard (Container Bar) to a hidden oasis complete with Cornhole, Jenga and a taco truck (Bungalow).
We attempted to experience Austin’s famous 6th Street later that night. Like Bourbon Street in Nola, traffic is blocked in the evenings to allow for bar-to-bar wandering. Knowing that we had a full day of wedding festivities ahead of us, we called it an early night but it’s on our bucket list to venture back and check-out the rooftop bars and live music.Saturday morning we walked 2 blocks from our Airbnb to what looked like a total dive, Juan in a Million. From the street the restaurant looks like small diner but after the waitress led us through the second dining room to a huge patio, we were glad that we didn’t dismiss the spot because of the bars on the windows and intimidating exterior. We later learned that the restaurant had been featured on Man vs. Food and delivered a rare loss to Adam Richman for their Don Juan Challenge – oh and the line snakes out the door and around the block after 11:00 am so get there early.
The wedding started at 2:00 pm leaving us in full-celebration mode by 3:30 pm and the 17-acre reception venue, Pecan Springs Ranch, set the stage for a BIG party. The main building and outdoor pavilion hugged the ends of a large courtyard that hosted yard games, porch swings hanging from large oak branches and plenty of photo opps. After eating some authentic Texas barbeque and experiencing my first Grand March, we danced the night away.