Arrived in Austin last night to a gorgeous house where my second cousin Michelle lives – the house is staged to sell, and has to be ready to “show” at any time, so basically, there can be no personal trail. This is a great lesson for me to put my mess away as soon as I make it!
My home base until Thursday:
Michelle was awesome to change her travel plans to be here most of my time in Austin (in addition to letting me stay with her), and she arrives back from Father’s Day travel tonight, so today I was on my own to check out the city. Design*sponge guide in hand, I went downtown to check out the capitol, as well as walk the streets (some really cute stores are popping up on Colorado and W. 2nd St. that I perused in the morning, my favorites definitely being Mercury Design Studio (mix of vintage and modern home furniture/accessories) and Eliza Page (jewelry that was way beyond my budget, but fun to look at).
Next I drove over to South Congress – a groovy stretch of several blocks that hosts tons of vintage furniture and clothing stores, and what I’ve realized is big here: mobile restaurants. There were tons of trailers parked and cooking – from ice cream and cupcakes to BBQ and tacos – I guess you get to keep overhead costs down if you don’t have rent to pay? Very cool vibe, and I would have probably eaten at one if it weren’t A MILLION DEGREES here. So instead, I headed over to Guerro’s, which Michelle’s roommate Christie had recommended and had fish tacos – they had sweet corn in them and were super good. My only “complaint” was that the wait-staff didn’t seem to know what to do with me – I guess a lone diner is unheard of there. Nevertheless, it was the perfect resuscitation after being outside for so long walking up and down S. Congress.
I was feeling so good, in fact, that I headed over to Uncommon Objects, which is known as an Austin Institution (i.e. Must go!). I wandered through row after row of vintage furniture, clothing and accessories before falling in love with a vintage pair of rattan pendants. The owner saw me looking at them and we ended talking about design and he mentioned he had decorated a restaurant in Orange County – turns out it was down the street from my parents’ house (has since gone out of business, but I had eaten there before) – small world. And… I bought the pendants. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them (Eddie, I might convince you we should hang them on your back porch), but they were so rad and super cheap I couldn’t pass them up (and are now occupying the remaining space in my Jetta’s trunk).
That about summed up my day – the heat started getting to me, so I drove back to Michelle’s a bit ago to hibernate in her air-conditioned house. And, I know I probably sound a little whiney, but seriously, I went to one store today that had a sign out front that said “Closed due to AC being broken” – so you know if the locals think it’s hot, it can’t just be me!
Michelle lands in a few hours, and I’m really looking forward to seeing her – I can’t remember the last time I did. And, I’m excited to start her list of “must-see” things in Austin – so more to come over the next few days.