Enter: The Babymoon
Lucky for us, the hubs and I are on exactly the same page when it comes to what the word "vacation" means, and it means L-A-Z-Y. Forget museums, monuments, and other tourist attractions, vacation means sleeping late, eating good food, parking it at the beach or pool for hours on end, reading a book or two, napping, partaking in a spa service, and, indulging in one of my favorite hotel luxuries: watching television while lounging in bed. We will usually schedule an activity or two, and we typically like to rent bikes, if that's available, so it's not like we do absolutely nothing. We do some stuff, just not a lot, and it's not the priority. And in my opinion, it's the only way to have a proper vacation.
Even though a city vacation suggests that you have to do stuff, we chose Austin for several reasons, and we made it work. First we agreed on a domestic vacation. It seemed easier with the whole pregnancy thing to not worry about navigating a place with a different language and unfamiliar food. Second of all it was more cost-effective--we used reward points cover the flight and rental car--which meant we could splurge on nicer hotel rooms and other fun extras.
Beyond that, weather was key. If you're going to leave Chicago before June for a vacation, you might as well go somewhere that can provide you with a solid dose of sun and heat. We also wanted a place that was known for its cuisine. It didn't have to be fancy, but good food options were important. Beyond that, we just picked a place that we had heard was cool. And, if you've heard anything about anything ever, Austin is cool.
Austin City Limits: Day 1 and 2
After the two-and-a-half-hour flight from Chicago, we checked into our first hotel. I found Heywood Hotel on TripAdvisor. It was a highly rated, boutique hotel, which we tend to prefer, basically brand new, so I went for it. I would say that the only downside to this hotel is that it was a little bit farther from the Austin action than I realized, and the area it was located left a little to be desired. Luckily, we had a rental car and the hotel loaned out bikes for free, and the location was not an issue. And really, once I saw this in our hotel room, I knew we had made the right decision:
|The thing that has been missing from my life.|
Did I mention that we did leave the hotel room occasionally?
Congress Avenue is main drag in Austin. This is where you'll find the majority of shops, restaurants, bars, trailer parks filled with food trucks, and live music. We spent a fair amount of time wandering this street and eating Tex Mex. Our first night we had Guero's, which sold me at the mention of a "salsa bar." And the second night, after our sunset bat sightseeing cruise (see we do stuff), we had Freebirds, which is Chipotle on steroids, but 10 times better, and now that I'm thinking about it, it makes me sad I can't have it for lunch today.
|Maybe I'll open up a Freebirds franchise.|
|Let's all wait for the bats to come out!|
|Activities like this train that is clearly meant for kids and families, but we went on it anyway.|
|My photo really doesn't do it justice.|
More to come...