it is important to note that no actual cows were seen and/or pet during my trip to austin. (vegetarians/vegans look away) there were a few cows consumed during said trip (not by yours truly to be clear), but i really just wanted the title to rhyme, hence the reason for the gratuitous cattle reference. but in my defense, let’s be honest, there are probably an abundance of cows in austin/texas so in reality, it really does make sense. also “chows” refers to eats and well, you can figure out what “vows” is in reference to.
i think i’ve lost my touch when it comes to making up clever blogpost titles.
but moving on.
i’m not gonna lie, waking up at 3:45 a.m. (yes, that’s A.M.) in order to have ample enough time to get ready, pack-up, and drive yourself down to the wally park was a bit
insane rough but i just reminded myself of the large pannikin coffee that would be waiting for me on the other side of the security line and used that as my motivating force. also, side note: might i recommend the wally park to any and all future travelers in need to storing your car in a lot that is not only convenient and safe, but also cost-effective? also, they have 15% off coupons on the website so to leave my car there for 2.5 days was less than $30. $28.05 to be exact. so shout-out to wally park.
but back to my pannikin coffee. i made it through the security line with little trouble (except for when the x-ray machine operator berated me for a larger-than-quart-size toiletry bag (excuse me lady but i take my travel hygiene very seriously)) and was rewarded with a ridiculously large cup of caffeinated goodness on the other side.
as i waited to board, i noticed a familiar face in a seat across the way. it was one of my high school girlfriend’s husband. HOORAY, i thought. a plane buddy. not that i wouldn’t have tried to make friends with a complete stranger and made him/her my plane buddy, but you know, it was nice to actually not have to accost someone in order to pass the time on our two hour and twenty minute flight (so thanks, J, you made things way less creepy). at one point, i gave J a break from entertaining me in order to crack open my new book and those 45 minutes were extremely well-spent. not because i stopped talking to J (because he really was a great conversationalist) but because the book is amazing. it is narrated by a sixteen-year-old girl who has terminal lung cancer (so you know, a real upper) but in reading her dialogue i embarrassingly related far too well. not because i have terminal cancer but because i use basically the same syntax/vocabulary as someone 12 years my junior. so there’s that.
anyway, we landed and ta dah! texas, y’all! i’m not gonna lie, i kind of wanted to linger as long as possible in the air-conditioned cabin of the aircraft. i was slightly terrified of the heat that was bound to overcome me once i stepped outside. but the people who had connecting flights and wanted to get off the plane in the rows behind me kind of weren’t feeling that so i gathered my items and made my way down to baggage claim where i would be meeting another high school friend and her husband. second side note of the post: i was really quite fortunate all weekend to hitch rides from high school friends and/or their parents who were all in town for the wedding. sometimes it sucks to be single, other times it’s really great because people are very willing to spare an extra seat in their car to get you from point a to b. also the generosity of my friends is kind of incredible. i am extremely blessed.
but back to the heat. turns out those fears of it being unreasonably warm were totally legit. it was in that moment that i was very pleased with myself for packing a change of clothes into my carry-on. i said goodbye to J and met up with D, her husband, and parents who were also in town for the wedding and the five of us headed to downtown austin to explore. first stop, the historic driskill hotel for a cocktail (we’re on vacay) followed by iron cactus for lunch on the legendary frat-tastic 6th street (there was an abundance of polo shirts and raybans roaming around the streets, especially given the big UT/ole miss match up on saturday evening).
after being properly fed and hydrated, we began the trek out to lakeway and to the resort where we all were staying and where the bulk of the weekend’s activities would take place (i.e. the wedding reception itself). we arrived to our accommodations approximately 45 minutes later, checked into our respective rooms, got settled, and met up with other wedding-slash-high school friendies down by the pool. speaking of friendies, you know what’s fun? when you haven’t seen people you went to high school and/or college with in umpteen years and yet when you’re reunited once again, it is as if no time has passed. then you wonder why you don’t hang out more often but then almost immediately afterwards you get sad because you realize it’s because you don’t actually live ten minutes away from each other anymore and so you have to look forward to occasions such as weddings in order to find an excuse to all be in each other’s presence again. anyway, the time spent poolside pretty much encompassed those kinds of epiphanies. then we partook in the resort’s complimentary happy hour before changing and shuttling over to the league kitchen & tavern for dinner. i may or may not have impressed-slash-horrified my fellow high school friends and their husbands by the amount of food i consumed that evening but whatever, i was starving and hello, four words: maple butter sweet potato. the eleven of us ate, drank, and
were merry shared stories of old and new -reminiscing about high school but also filling in the blanks of where life had taken us for the past ten years. and then we posed for pictures out in front of the restaurant.
once back at the hotel, i excused myself for jammies and an earlyish bedtime (typical). i realize it was only technically 8:45 p.m. california time when i retired to my room, but give me a break, i had been up since before 4 a.m. plus, in my older age sleep deprivation does not bode well on the eyes, so in order to minimize the eye-to-dark-circles ratio, i hit the hay.
on saturday morning, donned in my trusty lululemon crops and a high pony, i made my way downstairs to catch a shuttle over to the local pure barre studio. my pre-trip research had turned up a studio less than five miles away from the resort so i figured i could fit a little tuck in before any of my cohorts aroused from their slumber. i know you’re totally sick of me talking about the franchise so i won’t go into too much detail, but i will say this, it is really quite lovely to be able to go to a studio hundreds of miles away from your own and feel completely at ease due to your familiarity of the workout routine. also, my fellow tuckers and the instructor were the sweetest. so that helped, too.
i returned to the hotel after class, loaded up on caffeine, changed, and met M & M for a morning of exploring south congress, the district also lovingly known as “soco” for its proximity to the congressional building. we battled the infiltration of ole miss fans and made our best attempts at staying cool amidst the nearly triple-digit temperatures by weaving in and out of the air-conditioned shops along the main drag. we ventured into allen’s boots, a local boot warehouse with rows of boots as far as the eye could see, but quickly found that the price tags of said boots were a bit more than we were willing to spend. i suppose genuine rattlesnake doesn’t come cheap now does it?
it is important to note that these photographed kicks were found in the men’s section because apparently there is nothing petite and/or feminine about my feet. sorryi’mnotsorry. after not purchasing southern footwear we met one of our pepperdine friends for lunch at sway, a hipstery and delicious thai restaurant. i may or may not have burned off my taste buds with the spiciness of the sauce that coated my side of chinese broccoli, but who needs taste buds anyway? just kidding, i do. i distinguished the fire in my mouth with a large iced coffee from a local coffee beanery (is that a word? sure) we visited after lunch. as it was nearing the early afternoon, M & M and i decided to start heading back toward the resort so we could get ready for the wedding. on the drive, we also decided that perhaps it might be a good idea for M and i to get our hair done. because if it’s one thing that girls don’t like doing in the whole getting ready for an event where there will inevitably be a lot of photos taken, it is making your tresses camera ready. at least that was the case for the two of us. so M’s husband, the other M, was gracious enough to take us to a salon about 10 minutes away from the hotel where magical little elves (also known as hairstylists) gave us wedding-appropriate hair in under an hour (shout out to margie from studio elite salon for taking me from ponytail to coiffed and curled in twenty-minutes flat. you are a miracle-worker, my dear). we arrived back at the resort with about 45 minutes to spare before ceremony time. i quickly shaved, make-uped, and slipped into my dress and shoes before meeting up with M & M and R (another high school friend, and also pepperdine friend and double also my sixth grade boyfriend (i know)) in the lobby. looking quite dapper, the four of us piled into M & M’s fabulous kia sol (yay for hilarious rental cars) and headed over to the church to witness our gal H become a mrs.
the ceremony was beautiful. H was positively stunning. and it took me exactly 2.5 seconds before the waterworks were in full force. luckily her dad couldn’t hold it together either, so it felt nice to have company. after the bride and groom had made it official and sealed it with a kiss, we all piled back into our vehicles en route back to the lakeway resort where the reception festivities were to take place. cocktail hour proved to be the pre-game for the main event. it was filled with opportunities to reconnect with college friends, visit with the parents of high school friends (fun fact: i love parents), consume a copious number of cocktails, and of course pose for photo ops.
side note: i remember having a really hard time smiling in these photos. do you ever feel that way? no matter what you do you just feel like your face is making these really strange shapes and you’re fearful for how that’s translating through the lens? no? just me? alright cool.
H had sat all of the santa fe’ers (and their significant others) at table 1986. which obviously was the best table. the tables were all named after years in the couples’ lives and were accompanied by a photo of each of them at that specific year. cute idea and noted for future reference.
the sequence of events for the remainder of the evening was typical of most weddings -dancing, toasting, eating, crying, picture-taking, cake cutting/feeding, taking advantage of the open bar, hugging, congratulating, and finally, assembling with sparklers to see the bride and groom off to their honeymoon suite.
fyi: it’s probably not the best idea to hand drunk men fiery objects. they may or may not take that as an opportunity to use them as flaming light sabers. just food for thought.
while i was fully content to retire to my room following a full day of sight-seeing and wedding-attending, i succumbed to some serious peer pressure and headed to the hotel bar for a night cap with most of table 1986. despite it cutting into my amount of zzz’s, i was very much a fan of my ultimate decision to prolong the time i had with my high school peeps. but as the clock struck almost one, i feared my carriage would turn into a pumpkin and doled out a half dozen goodbyes before making my way back to room 506 one last time.
sunday morning came far too early and before i could wipe the sleep from my eyes, i was checked out, loaded up, and en route to austin airport, hitching a ride with C and her gracious family who were all on the same 11:00 a.m. flight back to san diego. i spent the duration of the flight alternating between cat naps and diving deeper into the fault in our stars (y’all, it’s SO good) and one complimentary beverage service later we were reunited with charles (lindbergh) once more. i said my goodbyes to my fellow flight 642 passengers and thanked them for their unofficial airport taxi service and headed toward the shuttle stop. as i approached the sidewalk pick-up point, the wally park shuttle came into view. perfect timing. i jumped aboard, was escorted to my car, and was paid and exited before noon.
and just like that, my weekend adventures in austin officially came to a close. i spent the remainder of the afternoon restocking my fridge, taking care of some household chores, unpacking (and then re-packing for nashville), emptying my dvr (holy moly, graceland season finale!), and of course, taking a much-needed nap. i don’t know if it was the heat, the rigorous schedule, or the influx of fabulous people in less than three-days’ time, but i was exhausted.
but maybe that’s how you know you’ve had one of the best weekend’s ever. when your eyelids can barely stay open without the assistance of toothpicks and caffeine and you’re frantically checking instagram for posted pictures of your experiences to allow you to relive them over and over again. i know wedding weekends tend to make you feel sappy in general on account of the amount of love displayed between the bride and groom, but this one in particular just seemed to ooze love at every turn. the love of the couple, the love of their family, and in my case, the love i have for these spectacular humans i was privileged enough to spend my formative years with and the ones i’m even more privileged to consider friends after tenplus year’s time.
to all my fellow table 1986’ers, i must say, spending time with y’all was good for me mind, body (well, that’s debatable, y’all are alcohol enablers), and soul. thanks for being so dang awesome and for laughing at my jokes. can someone please renew their vows or something so we have a reason to congregate again? kgreathanks. and to everyone else who helped make my austin trip one for the books (yes, i’m looking at you, shuttle guy who took me to and from my pure barre class), thank you. i’ll be honest, at first i was a bit hesitant to make the trip, i mean, mostly for selfish reasons like “wahhhh i don’t have a plus one and everyone else does” (clearly i’m mature), but in the back of my mind i knew once i got there i would have the best time. and i should really listen to the back of my mind a lot more because once i got there i really did have the best time.
so cheers to the newlyweds -may they have a lifetime of love, laughter, and happiness. and cheers to the class of 2003 -may it not be another ten years until we’re all united again. love y’all. mean it.