First, a big thanks to Brad's mom, Janet, for watching our kids. We have never left both of them for more than one night so this was a big deal for everyone. Janet did a great job at keeping them laughing and covering them with love and affection. And she let the kids pick out a new fish - Jonah - a blue betta that adds some color to our kitchen. We miss Gigi already!
Day 1: Thursday morning we headed down to Austin and checked in to the newly renovated Courtyard by Marriott. We had an expanded king-size room and the travel size shampoo & conditioner were the best - one of my top ways of rating a hotel. Definitely two thumbs up from the Thompsons.
We had dinner at P.F. Changs and then headed to see "Angels & Demons," the latest Dan Brown novel to hit the big screen. Some of my favorite books and definitely one of my favorite movies. Again, two thumbs up from the Thompsons.
Day 2: After breakfast at the local Whole Foods market, we headed to Ikea, where we roamed and picked out some items for our newly renovated bathrooms. Two mirrors, framed art, and a shower curtain were loaded into the back of our van as we made our way to the Premium Outlets. Being disappointed by the selection of stores, we spontaneously went to another movie - Land of the Lost - where we laughed like kids and drank Coke out of a collectors cup. It only cost $4.50 and came with a free refill!!
Thanks to a suggestion from our pastor's wife, Lisa Young, we headed to the Hula Hut on Lake Austin for a late lunch/early dinner (lunner? dinch?). We ate enormous tacos & enchiladas, enjoyed the best queso ever, and drank some kind of rum punch for two. Dee-lish.
There was a Marie Callender restaurant & bakery across from the hotel so we headed over there for late-night dessert. We bought a WHOLE blueberry pie and took it back to the hotel room. I'd like to say we killed it, but that would be embarrasing.
Day 3: Saturday morning lunch at the hotel was free so we ate some yummy food, drank really good coffee, and then headed down to the SoCo, a stretch on South Congress that's populated with vintage boutiques, quirky shops, and an empty lot full of hand-made jewelry booths and recycled clothes for both adults & kids. I found a cute bohemian-style skirt for just $10 and love it already. So cool.
Hey Cupcake! serves amazing cupcakes out of trailer so we picked some up for a "some time later" treat. We felt like we were on a food tour of the city, eating every three hours in amounts suitable for big foot. We joked all weekend about needing a barf bag. Sorry if that's too much information but it gives you an idea how much we ate.
Lunch at the Olive Garden made me ready for a nap so we snoozed back at the hotel. For our last night in Austin, we celebrated at The Cheesecake Factory. Brad ate his signature order, Steak Diane, and I tried something new: Herb Crusted Salmon with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. I had a Bikini Martini and we took two slices of cheesecake back to the hotel: chocolate chip cookie dough and white chocolate raspberry. Divine, if you ask me.
We splurged on a pay-per-view movie that night and watched "Sunshine Cleaning" which made us happy and love films that sport a good ending and great acting. It should be out on DVD soon, and we would both highly recommend it.
Day 4: We checked out of the hotel and headed back towards UT where Guadalupe Street lead us to a bakery called Texas French Bread. We got some loaves as gifts and prided ourselves in finding another whole-in-the-wall place. We were a little sad to leave behind the city but were eager to see our kiddos.
This is a very long description and really, more for me & Brad, than for your reading pleasure. Some people might think how we spent our trip was lame & boring but let me share with you a little secret: when you have two children, the best vacation means sleeping in & staying up late, eating at nice restaurants without leaving crumbs on the floor, going to a movie in a theater, and being spontaneous. No seat belts to buckle, diaper bags to remember, or attitudes to adjust. Just a husband and a wife, two best friends remembering why we got married and how insanely lucky we both are.
Love you, B-Rad. You are my favorite thing EVER.