Our Getaway to Austin

I began composing this blog post, like, six weeks ago.  And never finished.  And then school started and life got in the way.  So we'll see how much I can remember six weeks later... 


A few weeks ago (okay, like eight now), Craig sent me a text and informed me he had to go to Austin, TX for work.  "Awesome," I said.  "I'll get a ticket and go with!"  24 hours later, I had a plane ticket and we had plans for a last-minute mini summer getaway.  We were to fly out on a Saturday morning and return the following Wednesday evening.  We booked a hotel for two nights (since his work would pay) and planned to stay with my high school bestie the other two.  I was so excited!  Excited to see my bff, excited to meet her near 6-month old baby, Adrian, and excited to explore a new city!

On the Wednesday before we were to leave, he got word that his meetings were cancelled.  As in, no longer.  And he wouldn't be needed in Austin after all.  Whaaaaaaat???  Talk about disappointment.  Seeing that I spent $400 on a plane ticket, we decided that I would still go (with Holden) and he would stay home with Brantley.

Well fast-forward 48 hours and our family trip was back on!  He talked to a Dallas co-worker who suggested they set up a few customer meetings themselves so he still had an "excuse" to go.  (This co-worker knew I was tagging along.)  He had to get it approved by his boss and his boss' boss' boss (or something like that).  But low and behold, by the Friday before our Saturday flight, we were good to go!

We headed to the airport early Saturday morning.  We left our house at 6am, which is no easy task when you have a 2-year and 3-month old.  You know what else isn't easy?  Packing.  Trying to ensure you get everything with as little luggage as possible.  We are over-packers anyway, but ended up with a large suitcase and a carry-on size suitcase, plus a diaper bag, breast pump, laptop bag, and my purse.  We also took our umbrella stroller, Bjorn, and Holden's carseat.  Since anything baby-related is exempt from the "one carry-on and one personal item" rule, we could have carried on our smaller suitcase, but went ahead and paid the $25 to check it and make our lives easier.  I'm sure we looked like a hot mess trudging through the airport anyway, but you do what you have to do!

Unfortunately, there wasn't a direct flight from KC to Austin, so we went through Dallas.  Luckily the plane rides were short (1 hour; 30 minutes) and both boys behaved/flew fantastically!  We sort of broke the rules and lied about Brantley's age so that he could fly as a lap child.  We didn't want to have to pay $400 for a second ticket for a kid that was a mere three weeks beyond the 2-year cutoff.  I was a nervous wreck they were going to ask for proof of his age (I made Craig practice and practice his fake birthday - 9/6/12), but we weren't even questioned.  I think when you're flying with two kiddos and the amount of stuff we had, people automatically feel sorry for you anyway.  Proof in point, the lady that checked us in at MCI blocked off the seats around us, so between our two paying tickets, we had an entire row of five seats!  Of course, our flight was far from full, but man were we grateful for that!

We arrived to Austin around 12:30pm on Saturday afternoon, and our friends were gracious enough to caravan their way to and from the airport to get us.  We didn't do much that day, but hung around their house and enjoyed a delicious home-cooked steak fajita meal.

On Sunday, we hit up their neighborhood pool.  And it definitely wasn't the "neighborhood pool" we're used to!  This "pool" was actually three pools, a little splash pad area, and a huge kiddie play area with buckets that dumped water and everything.  Amazing.

That night, we all crowded into one smaller-size SUV (four adults and three kids) and headed out for some Texas barbeque.  The food was okay, but the restaurant (Countryline BBQ) offered a fantastic view of the hills.  It is was surprisingly cool for an August night in Texas, and Brantley enjoyed free range of the patio, played baseball with a makeshift bat (aka stick), and even made some older-kid friends who were impressed by his love of "bas-keet-ball". :)  Meanwhile, we enjoyed our beers.

The next day was Monday.  Craig left Austin early in our rental car and headed north to Dallas for work.  We laid low around the Flores' residence until afternoon when us girls headed to Ikea.  I had never been, and though I didn't have plans to buy anything, I really wanted to see what the fuss was all about!  After that, Sarah dropped us off at our hotel (The Westin Austin at the Domain) so we could settle in while we waited for Craig to return.  It was about that time that I thought I may have had a clogged milk duct, so I took a hot shower and breastfed in an attempt to make myself feel better.  I was feeling progressively worse (achy and chilled) by the time Craig arrived, so I called the on-call doctor at my OB clinic and practically begged her for some meds.  She said it was probably mastitis and agreed to prescribe some antibiotics to a local pharmacy.  Meanwhile, we were headed out for Mexican (at a place called Chuy's) with the Flores fam.  Oh, but first, we realized Brantley's carseat was missing the buckle.  Awesome when you're unfamiliar with the city and area.  Things really couldn't have gone any smoother...  And you better believe Craig tweeted Avis in hopes of a refund or something!

Low and behold, Brantley was fine.  And my meds kicked in and I started to feel better.  Things were looking up once again.

Unfortunately, Craig had to work the next day, too, but that's what you get when you go for business.  I didn't let it stop me from exploring however!  Our hotel was in a super cool area called the Domain.  Lots of shopping and dining within walking distance.  I loaded up the boys (Brantley in the umbrella stroller, Holden in the Bjorn) and hit up the stores!  I spent about an hour in H&M and another hour in Forever XXI.  I felt slightly old and out of place shopping in those places with two kiddos in tow--especially while trying on clothes in a 15-square foot dressing room at H&M and having to lay Holden on the floor--but whatever!  Unfortunately, the Texas heat was back.  It was probably 100 degrees that day, and humid, and I was sweating bullets from toting around the kids.  We enjoyed a mommy-son lunch date in the shade on a patio and then headed back to our hotel for naps.  Let me just say this - getting one kid to nap, in a hotel room, while the other is screaming was no easy task.  But never fear, Super Mom prevailed, and Brantley was out for a good two hours.  Just enough time for me to clean, wash bottles, pump, and relax.  

That evening, I met back up with the Flores clan. They brought me dinner in our hotel room and then we headed out so I could snap some family photos of them.  It was still hot.  Miserably hot.  But we made due.  And then went for some froyo.  Craig had a work dinner and didn't get back to our hotel room until about 10pm.  Despite really enjoying my day exploring with both boys, I was beyond ready to have some help once again.

The next day was Wednesday.  We checked out of our hotel, and headed downtown for a few hours before going to the airport.  We parked, walked around (it was beyond hot again), and had a beer on 6th Street.  While drinking our beers, I started thinking about the Real World Austin.  It's the only Real World I've watched religiously from start to finish.  I Googled some info about it and learned we were only blocks from their house (which had since been turned into a Mexican restaurant and then a steakhouse).  Call me dorky, but I made Craig drive by it on our way out.  (Hey, we went all the way to San Francisco a few years ago and never made it to the Full House house...I wasn't letting this opportunity pass me by!)

Sadly, I didn't take many photos.  While at the Flores' residence, I think I was too concerned with what Brantley was getting into.  And then later, I was on my own and it was too hard to take many real photos (I have iPhone photos, of course!).  Anyway, here are the few I took on our mini getaway to Austin!

Plane rides and meeting Baby Adrian

Pool time
Dinner at The Countyline BBQ



First trip to Ikea
Checked into hotel
Dinner at Chuy's Mexican

Per Brantley's request, Daddy was playing catch with this glove...errrr the drink menu.

Shopping & exploring at The Domain 
Family photos for the Flores' fam
 Froyo time

My fitting room at H&M...see what I mean??

Downtown Austin/6th Street & The Real World House :)

We had a really great time and it was an amazing way to spend my final week of summer.  Thank you to Sarah and JC for the food, fun, and place to stay.  So glad we got to see you guys!!

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