Words By Mae

content creator / mental health advocate / your friend

Getaway Recap: Austin

My home group & I hit up Austin this weekend.

For our first (and hopefully annual) retreat, we packed our bags and left bright and early Saturday a.m. to explore the weird city.

I have been to Austin several times for different occasions: to see family, meet up with friends, escape from Waco while in school. Each and every time I fall more in love with the city, and this time was no different.

Saturday was a busy day.

We left just when the sun woke up around 6:30 a.m. to make the 3-ish hour drive down south. Once we arrived, we hiked to Sculpture Falls mid-morning. To my surprise, we didn’t die of heat strokes. The shaded walk was easy, breezy, beautiful.

After our hike to and from the falls, we headed to Barton Springs. Parking was a nightmare, but we managed to survive. On a normal day, Barton Springs is $3 for residents and $8 for non-residents — cash only. With seven of us, we were a bit short on cash. Well thank The Lord for divine intervention, because it was the annual free-entry day for everyone! Talk about a blessing.

Since we were practically melting in the Texas heat, we grabbed Amy’s Ice Cream on S. Congress and took a pic by the Jo’s famous “I love you so much” wall. To me, these Austin staples never get old.

After our afternoon in the sun, we went to our Airbnb to shower and get ready for dinner. Our Airbnb was a newly renovated house in North Austin that was tiny, but turned out to be perfect for us. It was cute, trendy and clean. Its open element gave us plenty of space to sit and talk.

Next, we had dinner at the Tillery.  In my opinion, this is an 8.5/10 recommended place. Service – great. Drinks – great. Setting – great. Food – slightly above average. Overall I ate a delightful meal surrounded by wonderful friends (and even servers), which left my heart & stomach full.

Lastly, we went to Hotel Vegas and The Eastern for drinks and dancing — well I didn’t dance (you really have to catch me in the mood) — but it was great fun to be in a high energy, youthful environment.

Sunday was much more mellow.

We woke up, munched on muffins and fruit, laid around and chatted, packed and left around 10:30 a.m. It was a slow and steady morning, which was perfect after such a jam-packed day before.

Waco is a wonderful halfway point between Dallas and Austin, so our tribe stopped at Taqueria Zacatecas (also known as the beloved “Taco Z”) for lunch.

The better the company, the better the trip.

This little weekend getaway could have gone terribly. We only had a shell of a plan when we left on Saturday morning, but by the evening we had done so many activities and really enjoyed our time together.

Overall as a group, we are rather low-maintenance. We were told we couldn’t swim at Sculpture Falls — which later turned out to be false — and the hot water didn’t work at our Airbnb, but we bounced back with positive attitudes.

This brief retreat made me feel more encouraged and at peace than I have felt in a long time. I am excited to see what the future holds for our home group and I can only hope we will continue to adventure together.

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