I recently visited Austin, Texas for about a week. The trip was originally for my cousin’s wedding at Lake Travis, but I’d never been to Austin so I just thought, why not make it a “whole thing”? After all, I had a lot of fun on my vacation to Los Angeles two years ago for another cousin’s wedding. I had so much fun, in fact, that I moved to LA. But we all know that story.
I arrived in Austin a few days before the rest of my family to get the lay of the land and do some solo exploring. When I arrived at the airport in Austin, I spotted a currency exchange and FINALLY converted my Chinese Yuan to USD. My Air B&B host (also named Colleen) made me chocolate chip cookies, then I laid out by the pool for a bit reading The Prince of Tides (so good – definitely one of those best beach reads). I took a shower and changed, then met an old friend from my 50 East days at Haymaker. Funny story: I couldn’t quite remember how I knew him. College house parties are all a blur at this point. We were catching up and I asked him how Nate and JT were doing and he said, “Who?!” Yikes. But we recovered and had a really fun time bar hopping in East Austin. I ate both a bowl of truffle mac & cheese AND a pizza for dinner. The truffle mac & cheese was from the Toaster truck at Stay Gold, and the pizza was from Via 313.
My Air B&B host recommended a coffee shop called Bennu that I could walk to. Unfortunately, I walked half a mile in the wrong direction. At noon. On a 95 degree and 1000% humidity day. The internet was unforgiveably slow at Bennu but their iced coffee was pretty good. I stumbled upon an adorable mural that said “You’re my butter half!” As I approached, a couple wearing the exact same shirt as me came around the corner and asked me to take their picture. All of our shirts matched the mural. It was weird.
For dinner, I went to Odd Duck with Carrie and a few of her friends. Carrie is a cook, so I had high expectations for the dinner, and Odd Duck did not disappoint. I had goat meat for the first time in my life. It was delicious.
I had an early breakfast with Ohio State friends Amanda & Zach at Austin Java in downtown Austin. It was so great catching up with them. Actually, it was strange talking to people about college on this trip since I rarely talk about college to anyone these days. Zach also pointed out the mayor of Austin walking down the street. Afterwards, I had an Iced Turbo at Jo’s Coffee and did some work outside. I saw a bird attack a man. The birds are crazy in Austin. I walked around and looked for gifts for Carolyn and Shelby, but I didn’t find anything I liked.
For lunch, I met up with my my Aunt Ellen, Uncle Keith, and Uncle Jack and went to Stubb’s BBQ. Then I went back to my Air B&B and worked some more. Later I got a text from my sister: “We’ll be there in 10 minutes.” I changed my clothes quickly, put on a little lipstick, and went outside. I went to dinner with my parents, my sister, and my sister’s boyfriend at Eureka on 6th St. It was delicious. The rest of the aunts, uncles, and cousins piled into the bar. People got crazy. We went to a blues club that had a shower curtain for a bathroom door. I shared an egg roll from a food truck with my dad and then headed back to my Air B&B.
My parents picked me up and we all went out to Snooze for brunch. I had a pretty fantastic Pineapple Upside Down Pancake. My mom got their lemon pancake, but it was nothing compared to the pancakes we had in Albuquerque. Next we went down to Rainey St. to meet some other relatives, but it was just too goddamn hot. We went to our hotel on Lake Travis and took naps. Later, a party bus came to pick up my cousins and I for the post-wedding rehearsal party. We stayed at the party for a bit, then went bar hopping down Rainey St., ending up at Container Bar. I almost choked a nacho chip and died. I don’t mind the choking on a nacho part (I mean, is there a better way to go out than eating your favorite food?) but I really didn’t want to die in Texas and ruin my cousin’s wedding. We made up a whole scenario where my cousins pulled a “Weekend at Bernie’s” and carried me around the rest of the weekend with my sunglasses on. Then, weirdly, Skittle met up with us at Container Bar. She was visiting friends in Dallas and they went to Austin for the day, I guess. We all danced until our party bus guy came to pick us up. He hated us. While we waited on the corner, my sister asked her boyfriend to go in a bar and get her a glass of water. They wouldn’t let him take one of their glasses outside, so he somehow put it in his shorts and brought it to her. That’s love right there, my friends.
The day of the wedding finally arrived. Of course, the wedding wasn’t until the evening and we had the whole day to kill, so my dad found a bar on Lake Travis for us all to go and enjoy some beers and live music. The bar, Ernie’s, had a huge sign in the front said “Weekend at Ernie’s”. Coincidence? The music was reggae, so that was dope. My cousin Conor spilled his frozen margarita on the table and sucked it up with a straw. Now that’s something you don’t see every day.
After a siesta at the hotel, we got ready for the wedding. A huge thunderstorm rolled in. Would it be a Welsch wedding without it raining? I think not. Of course no one brought an umbrella, so we all ran to the wedding pavilion in dry cleaning bags and bathroom towels.
The ceremony was really beautiful. My Aunt Megan officiated as she did for Jason & Derek’s wedding. Erin and Trevor did a Celtic knot ceremony where the bridal party laid different colored cords over their clasped hands as they said their vows. Each cord’s color had special significance. Then my aunt tied it together into an infinity knot.
The reception was great! We had Texas BBQ for dinner and all the guests were given whiskey from the couple’s favorite distillery. I’m not sure, however, that anyone got to drink the whiskey since my dad and uncle were going around later and stealing all the mini bottles. Oh well. We got some dancing done and only, like, 6 people fell on the floor so that was great for us. Towards the end of the party, one of my cousins stole a block of cheese and had a photo shoot with it.
By Memorial Day, everyone was pretty wiped out. We visited Zilker Park where a few people in our party took naps and the rest of us walked around and tried to pet dogs. Then we went to Mean Eyed Cat, a Johnny Cash-themed bar, because there’s nothing better than a little hair of the dog, right? Later, after everyone else had gone to the airport, I went to Haymaker by myself and Facetimed with Shelby.
All in all, I had a nice time, but I’m not moving to Austin any time soon. I was really afraid that I was going to make a pattern out of going to destination weddings and then moving to the destination a few months later. However, I still prefer LA to any place I’ve been on Earth (except, perhaps, Hong Kong).