We traveled to Austin over the weekend so that my husband could present his dissertation at UT and finish his PhD. He’s DONE! He DID it! “Tears of joy,” is all I can say at the moment. I’ll post more about the road to getting his PhD later, but everyone is seriously so proud of him right now.
We met at UT and lived in Austin for the first two years of our married life and loved it there, but now we live several hours away, because my husband got a job near where my parents live. This turned out to be a great thing because we love being near family, and having our first baby right around the corner from my mom and dad couldn’t be more perfect.
But we do miss Austin. A LOT. We hadn’t been back in a year so this little trip was like a much needed Austin vacation for us.
The long car ride was pretty tiring for E so once we were at the hotel and he could move about freely he was ecstatic. Even though it was past his regular bed time, he got a kind of late night rush and crawled all over our room and happily rolled around on the beds.
We had a crib in the room, but he didn’t spend much time in it. He ended up sleeping with Mama most of the time and the crib was just used to play in for a few minutes at a time when we needed to contain him while we got dressed or something.
The first morning, Papa was busy putting some last minute touches on his presentation, so we enjoyed breakfast in our room. I dropped him off on campus at noon and then headed out with E to visit friends at my old work places. It was SO nice to see some very familiar, missed faces. E was happy the whole afternoon, smiled at everyone, and napped in the car between stops.
We headed back to campus a little early, so we shopped around at the Co-op a little bit. I wanted to get E a new UT outfit, and their baby section had tons of great stuff.
My husband texted me when his presentation was done, and we headed over to the six pack to meet him. I’m glad I had E in the stroller because even though it wasn’t a very long walk, carrying a 22 pound baby in 100 degree weather across the drag, even in the front carrier, would have been tough!
After the excitement of finding out that he passed, I got to meet some of the colleagues whose names I had been hearing for so long. It was really nice to meet them.
Then we took some obligatory photos in front of the tower and headed back to the drag.
Oh Austin, I miss your quirky, random street art.
We met up with a good friend of mine and her mom for dinner that evening at Hopdoddy’s, our favorite hamburger place, but the line was way out the door and not moving. After a few minutes of standing in the hot sun, we decided that it would be better to go elsewhere. Luckily, Madam Mam’s was right down the street and we all love Thai food. We actually haven’t found a good Thai restaurant near our new home, so Madam Mam’s was a big treat for us that we’re glad we didn’t overlook while in Austin.
My husband played with the baby most of the time so that I could catch up with my friend. It was really great to see her happy face! Her mom is really sweet too and I hadn’t seen her in a long time, so we had a wonderful time.
The next morning, we headed to the beloved Magnolia Cafe. We had our first date (and many after) there, and a friend of ours used to be on the waitstaff. I ordered the Eggs Florentine and it was the best thing I ate the whole trip. Papa ordered the Salmon Benedict and said it was just as good.
My husband had to meet with a professor after breakfast, so E and I headed out to a couple of stores. Our first stop was Asahi Imports, where we used to buy lots of our Japanese groceries. I wanted to pick up some matcha green tea, which is not available within an hour of our current home, and I also bought some noodles for hiyashi chuuka.
The next place I really wanted to go was Book People. This is my favorite book store in Austin. I even put in a application here at one point, but sadly, they weren’t hiring at the time. There’s a coffee shop inside and in addition to a lot of great books they sell all kinds of great knick-knacks, toys for kids, greeting cards, etc. They have a wonderful children’s section and I knew that I could find some unique books for E. We spent about an hour and a half wondering the shelves, and I decided on these two because I had never seen them before. Haiku for Baby is just a really cute, simple book with seasonal haikus, which I think are a great way to introduce poetry to small children. First Book of Sushi has beautiful pictures and I applaud it for it’s use of technical sushi terms. (Temaki, Ikura, Tobiko, etc.) My husband loves this one.
No trip to Austin is complete without at least a drive past the capitol building.
On the way out of town, we stopped at Whole Foods for snacks and some local beer to bring home.
Austin will always be a home to us. ♡