Austin, TX

Austin, TX:

Scrambling to write my last post of the year, as it’s only 2 more days until 2018 and I’ll be ~away from my computer~ during those days! Everyone always says that the year was a whirlwind, but mine was exceptionally crazy. I distinctly remember going into 2017 with a determined sense of purpose, since I knew/(hoped?) a bunch of changes would ensue. To start, we spent this time last year, New Year’s weekend, away from the hordes of people in NYC and escaped to the Catskills. M was working 7 days a week at that time, and as a Christmas present he planned a weekend for us for every month for the first half of the year (since we didn’t know what would happen post-June!). His first weekend planned was a long-weekend getaway. While not an exotic destination, I think it was one of the most fun we’ve ever had, since that time away felt more precious because of our insane schedules. Of course, the “activity” a month for the first six months concluded with our European trip in June – which was his ultimate surprise: a proposal! (Okay, it wasn’t a complete surprise because we both had mapped out our lives very bluntly, and I wanted to get engaged after I finished my masters but before we moved anywhere, so the window of opportunity was only a few months).  Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

I began this blog with the intention of completing a few very important life goals before I turn 25. Scarily enough, I’m one month away from turning 25. On a day to day basis I feel very young, especially since most of the people I’m surrounded with are a bit older, but once in a while I panic because I’m almost over the mid-twenties hump. But looking back, I think I did relatively okay! I had a few professional (promotion, new job!), academic (graduate with my masters!), personal (move on to to next phase in our relationship, settle down in a new apartment), and financial (save save save) goals, and I’m happy to say I’m very pleased with where I ended 2017. Of course, 2018 will be focused on continuing to work towards financial independence, as well planning #HappiLiuEverAfter, and a few other ~secret~ goals/projects #staytuned. M will continue working on his PhD…for the next who-knows-how-many-years 😉

2017 was an amazing year of travel. After coming back from our European and Asia adventures, it was a few months before I felt settled enough to travel for leisure again. The last trip of the year that wasn’t for family or work matters was to Austin, Texas with a few girlfriends ; an easy, but amazing, way to end the year of crazy travel.

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crossing the South Congress Bridge. This is where the famous colony of bats reside during the summer. Sadly we visited too late to see the colony come out at night – it’s supposed to be spectacular!

One of the many things I miss about NYC is some of the friends I made during my time there. I was thankfully able to be reunited with two of them, IT and JL, on a Veteran’s Day long weekend! I simply worked remotely on Friday while the others took off, and we all stayed the weekend. IT missed her flight on Friday….so she and JL ended up arriving in Austin much later than expected on Friday as they drove from Houston together instead. My first stop right off the plane, by myself, was making a beeline towards La Barbeque – I thought it wouldn’t have as huge of a line, but I was wrong! Actually the line wasn’t that long, but the restaurant operations were simply inefficient and the line just moved very slowly. But, when I finally arrived at the front, I was able to order some DELICIOUS BBQ! It’s probably better to go with a bunch of friends so you can share things, but I was all by myself and wanted to try as much as possible. I ordered ONE pork rib, one beef rib, some brisket, and some sides, and only managed to finish the brisket and mac and cheese. I took the leftovers back to our hotel…..the cow rib was the size of half my body. Totally worth it.

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Best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever had. Brisket was melt-in-your-mouth heavenly.

Once the girls arrived we headed out for some tacos, and ended the night at Continental Club, where we saw probably the best live music of my life. The performers were SO talented, and so fun! They played a variety of funk, jazz, and soul music.

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Tacos & Coronitas

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Breakfast tacos from a food truck. So delicious.

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some of these boots were thousands of dollars! And almost everyone had a pair on in Austin. So strange. 
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Continental Club

The next day we spent exploring as much of Austin as possible. We walked down South Congress and browsed all the cute shops, ate delicious tacos from food trucks, and simply generally had a leisurely, food-filled time. Austin feels very “authentic”, whatever that means. There was enough interesting things to do to warrant a tourist town, but nothing felt touristy at all. It was just a great, low-key, fun vibe all-around. The food and free-flowing booze certainly helped. Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, table and outdoorNo automatic alt text available.

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Two of the main “attractions” we visited was the Hope Gallery and the Texas State Capitol – very different, but very worthwhile. We ended the night at the Dirty Six (a strip of bars similar to New Orleans, with fun dancing/general debauchery). Image may contain: outdoor

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IT left very early the next morning, while JL and I took our time to eat breakfast before driving to Houston. While I didn’t stay in Houston for long enough to warrant a separate blog post, it seems like a wonderful place to live. I also had the best meal of my life there – a delicious crawfish boil that rivals anything I’ve eaten elsewhere in the south!

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Texas State Capitol

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We’re already talking about planning our next girls trip – perhaps we’ll be reunited for Bachelorette Party 2018!

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an awful picture of the crawfish boil. So delicious though.

Have a very happy New Years, and see you in 2018!!

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